PZ Myers is expelled from Expelled

Notable atheist blogger and professor PZ Myers was prohibited from attending a screening of the movie Expelled tonight. Expelled is a piece of abominable dishonest creationist propaganda dreck produced by Ben “Bueller” Stein that plays the “Ohh, big bad science is persecuting us poor little honest religious folk!” card. Naturally, they’ve been hypocritical about it at every turn, excluding people from commenting or seeing their work much like they accuse the scientific establishment of (really, it’s just a case of projection). They secured an interview with PZ Myers by completely lying about who they were and what the movie was about, then carefully edited what he said to put science in the most negative light possible. Yes, that’s right, they prohibited PZ Myers from attending a movie that he appears in! So much for creationist honesty.

Oh, but that’s not the best part of the tale, not by a long shot. You really have to read PZ’s account for the punchline. It had me laughing out loud. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

13 Responses to “PZ Myers is expelled from Expelled”

  1. Jordan Mills Says:

    It’s sad to see such blatant personal bias when the author is trying to gripe about bias. Whatever message you may have had is completely lost.

  2. Cyde Weys Says:

    I’m sorry Jordan Mills, you’ve been so vague that I don’t know whether you’re talking about me, PZ Myers, or Ben Stein. Please use more proper nouns?

    Assuming you were addressing me … you need to educate yourself on Expelled a bit more. It’s trash of the worst kind. They are actively preventing anyone who might view it critically from seeing it. They threatened to arrest a man merely for attempting to view the movie — the same man who they interviewed under dishonest circumstances and who appears in the movie. Do these actions strike you as honest? You’re using the fallacy of equivalence: because two views are presented, they must be equally valid. That’s simply not true in the real world. Expelled is propagandist nonsense, absurd on its face for accusing science of being one huge conspiracy to falsify truths about the world. Does it make me biased for pointing it out as such?

  3. William (green) Says:

    They may have had a good reason. I mean, we don’t have the other side’s story or an objective viewpoint. That can hardly be called unequivocal.
    I’m assuming here that you haven’t been following this previously and are going solely or mostly on Mills’ article.

  4. drinian Says:

    For some reason, thinking about Richard Dawkins hanging around the Mall of America is amusing enough.

    I saw Ben Stein when he gave a talk at Duke. (He was promoting a new book at the time). Aside from being a genuinely witty and intelligent person, he was also generous enough to give away a decent chunk of money right there, as in his old Comedy Central show. And unlike most celebrity speakers, one of the first things he did when he arrived on campus the night before was go to somewhere where he could meet up with students — the 24-hour diner. He seems, at least, a decent human being.

    That said, I’m waiting to hear Dawkins’ take on the story. I have trouble believing that the producers are so naive as to think they can block critics from watching it for too long. And although I believe that it is likely a propaganda film in the same mode as, say, Sicko or Farenheit 9/11, I’m not going to go around blithely calling it “trash of the worst kind” without it even having been screened yet. That does nothing more than help create the persecution mentality mentioned in your writeup and, perhaps, personified by the first comment.

  5. Cyde Weys Says:

    I’m not sure what “Mills’ article” is, but …

    I’ve known PZ Myers online since my talk.origins years (which was awhile ago). I’ve met him in person. He’s actually a pretty soft-spoken guy in the flesh (with strong convictions, of course). He’s a polite midwesterner Minnesotan through and through. Just knowing the history of this movie, you’ll see that what happened here isn’t at all inconsistent. The movie is unadulterated trash, propaganda of the worst kind that tries to make its arguments by comparing scientists to Nazis.

    They know that letting anyone see it who is not completely in the theocon fold would generate all sorts of bad publicity, so they’ve been locking down all of the screenings to prevent anyone who might possibly be critical from attending. They’ve even attempted movie reviewers to sign NDAs, which is completely unprecedented. PZ signed up for this restricted screening and was given access, and then apparently, by the time he had arrived, a producer had looked over the list, recognized his name, and decided they wanted to deny his access.

    What is the other side to this supposed to be? They interviewed PZ under false pretenses, chopped up what he said in the worst possible light, stuck it in the movie, and then prevented him from even seeing it! William, you strike me as a reasonable guy, so I’m going to assume that the only reason you’re showing any sympathy to the theocons in this is because you haven’t been following the situation closely. But those on the side of the science in the ridiculous evolution “debate” have been following it, and there’s nothing inconsistent here. It’s just more of the same idiotic behavior from those who are denying basic reality.

  6. Cyde Weys Says:

    drinian: Ack, you posted a comment at the exact same time as mine. My preceding comment was for William. This one’s for you.

    If Ben Stein is really so smart, one wonders why he’s gotten involved in this Intelligent Design Creationism nonsense. The cynic in me thinks he’s just using it to milk people for money. Everyone in the Discovery Institute is in on the charade. You see them online and in interviews every so often catching themselves saying God or creationism, which is what they actually believe in. Of course, they can’t use those words because that makes it illegal to teach in schools, so instead they use words like “the Intelligent Designer” or “Intelligent Design”, as if that makes it any more acceptable. Of course, it doesn’t, as the lawsuit in Dover found a couple years back.

    ID’s flagship textbook, “Of Pandas And People”, turns out to have undergone a curious revision wherein every mention of “God” was changed to “Intelligent Designer”, every mention of “creationism’ was changed to “Intelligent Design”, etc., but with all other content unchanged. These people are fundamentally dishonest, and their whole movement is about nothing more than subverting real science education with disproven religious hypotheses. They’re not quite as bad as the Young Earth Creationists, but they still have the potential to do serious harm to biology education (As biology generally makes little sense except in the light of evolution. Evolution is the driving mechanism behind all of the nifty things in biology students learn about; without evolution, they’re all just a set of disjoint facts to memorize.).

    It’s important to judge a person by their actions as well as their personality (George W. Bush taught the American voting public a painful lesson about that). So yeah, maybe Ben Stein is a nice guy in person, but his actions are contemptible. I have no resignations about calling them out as such.

    I won’t deny your claim that Michael Moore’s movies are propaganda. They are. Documentary movies that try to advance a viewpoint generally are. But Expelled really is trash of the worst kind because one of its major threads of argumentation is saying that what modern scientists are doing is just like what the Nazis and Soviets did (with immediate cuts between people like PZ and Richard and old B&W footage of said Nazis, no less). They’re taking evil groups that killed millions of people and saying that science is somehow just as evil because we are supposedly “oppressing” dissenting viewpoints. It’s utter nonsense. And seeing as how I actually have ancestors who did die in the Holocaust, yes, I am very offended, and I am going to continue to call Expelled trash of the very worst kind, thank you very much. It is so dishonest, and its metaphors so inaccurate and forced, that it deserves to be called nothing less.

  7. Cyde Weys Says:

    Just some more reading material:
    The Bad Astronomer covers the disturbing Nazi aspects of the movie, while
    Skatje (PZ’s daughter) reviews the movie itself and finds it incredibly lacking.

  8. drinian Says:

    Good Grief, it’s an entire movie based around the Chewbacca Defense.

  9. William (green) Says:

    You’re right, I haven’t been following this at all. In fact, I’d never heard of the movie or PZ Myers before your post (and hence my writing “Mills” instead of “Myers”, I guess?)
    It seems frequent that people ranting about how terribly biased a certain group of people is are informed merely by material from the opposing side of an argument. Too often you see that kind of thing, you know?
    I should have expected that you’d be more on top of the subject than that.

  10. Cyde Weys Says:

    And Richard Dawkins’ response is by far the best yet. He mercilessly tears those creationists apart.

    William: Yeah, I have been following the evolution debate for awhile now. Something like six or seven years.

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