God Outraged Over Expelled!!

Earthquake in Illinois heralds divine wrath over release of Intelligent Design propumentary!

WEST SALEM, Illinois (AP) – An earthquake struck the U.S. state of Illinois early Friday, and it appeared to rival the strongest temblor ever recorded in the country’s Midwest region.


The quake, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, hit just before 4:37 a.m. (1037 GMT) and was centered 6 miles (10 kilometers) from West Salem, Illinois.

The jolts were felt in a region that included parts of the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Its Web site said earthquakes seldom occur in the area, and that the largest recorded earthquake in the region – also a magnitude 5.4 – caused damage in southern Illinois in 1968.

Coincidence? I think not! Not on the very morning Expelled hit theaters! No, it’s God’s way of saying, “Oh, my Me, what do these IDiots think they’re doing? In My name? You are so smited!”

George at Decrepit Old Fool reports, “Well I’ll be damned. It cracked my basement wall… It’s an old cinder-block wall and wasn’t in great shape to begin with, so while it can support a large load it can’t handle compression waves. Gives me a preview of what will happen if a big quake ever occurs.”

Yes: this is God’s preview of what will happen if another atrocity like Expelled is ever allowed to hit theaters.

How does this atheist know it’s divine wrath and not the natural result of normal seismic activity along the New Madrid Seismic zone? God spoke to me!

“Dana,” He said, brushing aside the minor quibble over my not believing He exists, “look at the reviews and tell Me I’m supposed to be happy about this. A lousy star and a half from TV Guide? An F from E! A D from BeliefNet? And – this is really insulting here – AND an F from the Ayn Rand Institute! Ayn Rand! What an insult!

“So I sent a little earthquake. You know, just a hint that maybe I’m not really happy here. Don’t look at Me like that – I didn’t hurt anyone, just a few bricks, I’m a lot different from the old days, you had to be firmer back then or they’d worship golden calves on you at the drop of a hat. But just look at the timing here. I sent them the earthquake at four in the morning – plenty of time to call off this travesty. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. But did they listen? No! Do they ever listen? Of course not. Why do I bother? Forget them. They’ll be facing a worse wrath than Mine soon anyway – they’ll rue the day they crossed Yoko Ono. I’m for golf. Laters!”

Straight from God’s mouth to your ears, my darlings!

So let the Expelled crew claim unilateral victory – as they will, since they’re habitual liars. Let the DIsco dancers try to tapdance around Darwinism and try to declare it dead while it’s dancing a lively jig with its evolutionary offspring. We have irreducible proof that God doesn’t like them one little bit!

God Outraged Over Expelled!!

Expelled Expectorated!

It’s been a busy day not seeing Expelled. I’ve spent the majority of it reading the flood of terrible reviews, the deluge of ridicule, and reflecting on the meaning of this meaningless film. I’ve also thought about what’s likely to happen next.

I’ve a few predictions:

  • Morbid fascination will keep the film in theaters longer than we expected, and help pay part of the enormous sum Yoko Ono will extract for use of 25 seconds of “Imagine.” The rest of the settlement and attorney’s fees will come from Mark Mathis’s lecture tour on the rabid fundie circuit explaining how Yoko Ono persecutes ID advocates and leads to atheism. Meanwhile, XVIVO laughs all the way to the bank, and creates the animation for a wildly-popular anti-Expelled documentary entitled Expelled: When Fools Flunk.
  • The next court case challenging ID’s pathetic attempts to crawl its way into science classrooms will introduce Expelled into evidence. ID’s final attempt to pass itself off as a non-religious alternative to evolution will meet a gruesome end when it runs full-tilt into the steel hawsers now tying God to ID. A gory decapitation will ensue. It will be years before another suitable euphemism is discovered and they can resurrect themselves for another attempt.
  • In 2012, presidential candidates will no longer be asked, “Do you believe in evolution?” but “Did you fall for Expelled?” The gotcha question will turn from flag pins to questions about a candidate’s fitness for office if he let a steaming pile of pig offal fool him.
  • The extreme Christian right will do nothing but watch reruns of Expelled in church basements and whine about how persecuted they are. They will continue to confuse fact-based rebuttals to their bullshit with being thrown to lions.
  • Scientists will release a flurry of popular science books, movies and websites that treat the American public as if they have a brain, and the American public may possibly remember that they possess one.

These are my predictions, founded on hope, grounded in weary cynicism. While there are a great many smart Americans, the country as a whole has seemed perfectly content with being bloody stupid for many years now, and I’m not sure how long it may take for that to change.

One thing I hope is that America’s native sense of fairness, equality and lip-service to freedom doesn’t rise up like Michael Behe to shoot us firmly in the foot. We need to remember that these people don’t mean the same thing by fairness, values, morals, and rights that we do. We need to remember that while we are happy to give quarter, they are happy to give none.

I’m not sure how many of us are waiting for them to admit defeat, but I hope no one’s holding their breath. They’re already screaming “VICTORY!” Well, persecution, actually, but they’re delighted by such things as Expelled Exposed and blog swarms and bad reviews. Proves they’re persecuted, they say. They have no idea what persecution is. They think that criticism equals suppression. Their ideas are too weak to withstand the force of evidence, so they have to squeal about conspiracies. They think that the outcry we’ve raised is driven by something more nefarious than a genuine outrage at outright propaganda. They’re dupes, but they can’t admit that. They can’t possibly be wrong. So if we counter their lies with truth, they’re being oppressed. If we force ID to play by the rules of science in the science classroom, they’re persecuted. If we stay silent, they’ve won. If we give them a hint of respect, they’ll declaim victory.

We can’t win. Not against them. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for truth, justice and what was the American way before the lunatics took over the asylum.

We have to be loud. We have to hit back hard with every fact at our disposal. We’re not doing it to change their minds and win their hearts – we can’t. But there is a huge swath right there in the middle that still values truth. There’s a great number of people who understand that being Christian means being honest. Christ himself said it: You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Some still believe that. They aren’t afraid of truth, and they have no reason to be. What they should be afraid of is lying sacks of shit who wrap themselves in a warped version of God and pretend to be righteous. What they should be afraid of is lies drowning the truth, and kicking this country right back into the Dark Ages.

Mathis and his ilk do Christians no favors. And most Christians will be smart enough to see that, especially if they’re aware of just how extreme Expelled’s dishonesty is. If movie reviews are anything to go by, plenty of Christians already are.

That gives me almost as much hope as the wrath of Yoko.

If you’re not through expectorating Expelled, have some links:

Blake Stacey at Science After Sunclipse has posted a tour-de-force: Creation, Power and Violence. If you read nothing else today, read that. Should your horror and outrage grow too great, skip down to the link to fluffy kittens in the comments.

The Lippard Blog has news on Expelled’s weekend box office.

The Panda’s Thumb has an avalanche of truly awful reviews. There’s also a contest!

Abbie put up a link to a pirated video of the Expelled animation that should lead to much courtroom goodness.

The Digital Cuttlefish has a few truly awesome poems up. What did I tell you about Expelled being good for the arts, eh?

Expelled Exposed grows all the time.

Bay of Fundie has an educational illustration of what will shortly happen to Expelled.

Thoughts in a Haystack has a quartet of extremely entertaining posts.

Laelaps exposes Expelled’s true purpose: to get folks to stop thinking. That is, of course, the only way their ideas can possibly be accepted.

And, finally, Monty Python’s classic treatise on rights, oppression, and babies in boxes:

Expelled Expectorated!

Expelled: a Boon to Humanity

Nonono, my darlings, there’s no need to worry: I haven’t seen the film and been converted. That’s about as likely as me developing a deep and abiding love for my uterus. Considering I’d be first in line for a home hysterectomy kit, you can suss out the odds. They’re roughly the same as a meteor landing in Times Square and dancing The Masochism Tango.

Not even going to see the film unless Mark Mathis brings me a free copy. That’s right, Mathis: you want to convert my ass, you do it on your own dime, you slimy shit. You can send Mr. Dumbski down with the video – he’s the boil on the butt of my city, so he wouldn’t have a long drive. Let’s see how your film stands up to a scientifically literate layperson, eh?

I think we all know how that’s going to go.

But Expelled isn’t unmitigated evil. It’s an opportunity. And it’s been a boon to many sectors of society.

Movie reviewers have gotten their first real challenge in years: how do you review a film that won’t let potential critics screen it? Reading through the list of reviews on Expelled Exposed, I get the sense this is the first real fun they’ve had in years. No other movie has forced them to become spies. Not many movies present so many opportunities for mockery. Aside from actually having to suffer through the film, they seem to be enjoying themselves immensely.

Expelled has also led to a Cambrian Explosion of art. Let’s just have a quick survey, shall we?

In drawing and photoshop, we have the classic “IDiot…” from Decrepit Old Fool. We have the excellent Yoko Ono as Kali, Stomping on Ben Stein from Secher Nbiw. Quidam’s What? It’s Not a Copy, Ours is brown! Midwifetoad’s No Intelligents Allowed. And so much more!

In video, a plentitude of mockumentaries have sprung into being. RichardDawkins.net airs Sexpelled: No Intercourse Allowed. You can find FSM Expelled on YouTube.

Comics: Ben Stein’s Career Goes Down the Toilet. Win Ben Stein’s Intelligence.

Song: Bensteinian Rhapsody.

So. Much. More. This has been a mere smattering of the bounty, my darlings. A taste only.

And it doesn’t end there.

Expelled’s benefits to science could prove incalculable. The movie has tied Intelligent Design to religion with steel hawsers. Try denying it’s all about God now. It’s exposed the fact that ID is scientifically empty to a far wider audience than the Dover trial and any number of evolution sites have. It’s proven that ID has to fall back on lies, fallicies, theft, politics and pleas to the churches to get into science class, because it can’t get there on its own merits.

Many people who wouldn’t have given two shits about evolution will now likely be curious just because of all the fuss. And there’s an abundance of evolution sites to satisfy their curiosity. I’m sure an explosion of books, movies and lectures will follow. There’s a hook, now: in exposing the antics of the Expelled crew and the Discovery Institute, there’s a wonderful opportunity to slip real science in with the gory details. They wanted us to “teach the controversy?” Great! By all means, let us teach the controversy. It’s amazing how much science you can learn when you’re discovering why everything those assclowns say about evolution is wrong. Keeps it interesting, too.

We’re not going to reach everyone. Plenty of folks will be happy to pretend that Expelled is purely the truth, because it feeds their persecution complex and their deep-rooted need to be lied to. But there are far more who will be pushed right over to our side because they’ve now seen the clothes stripped from the ID emperor. There’s no pretending it’s science now. They’re not going to fall for fallacious arguments about Darwin = Hitler, Darwin = atheism, Darwin = evil. And they’re going to understand now just what it is that’s trying to sneak into their kids’ science classrooms, and I doubt they’ll like it one little bit.

This run-up to Expelled’s release has helped us hone our responses. We’re prepared. We have all the resources, wit and wisdom we’ll ever need to help folks understand the difference between science and pseudoscience. So when they come stumbling out of Expelled feeling bludgeoned by the rampant stupidity, we’ll be ready.

They’ve heard the lies. Now they’ll be ready for the truth.

And we’ll have Expelled to thank. How fucked up is that?

Update: Blue Collar Scientist has a fantastic compendium of reviews.

Expelled: a Boon to Humanity

Expelled Exposes Itself

Ah, yes, my darlings. Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: Waterloo. Expelled hits theaters today like a tsunami of bullshit.

Evolutionists are supposed to hide under the bed. Evolutionary biology will end. Etc.

Uh-huh. We’re all shaking and stuff.

There was a calm before the storm: aside from a flurry of negative reviews, the only news of note comes via ERV. Much to no one’s surprise, Expelled lied to the Killers, too:

Here is what the head administrator over at the official Killers message board just posted:

“I just spoke to the band’s manager, and adding to the confusion was the fact that they did authorize a project months ago with this request:

Quote:’The film is a satirical documentary with an estimated running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, exploring academic freedom in public schools and government institutions with actor, comedian, economist, Ben Stein as the spokesperson.

‘What they authorized was a documentary about ‘academic freedom in schools’, not the film that the producers produced.

They contacted the producers of the film to ask that the song be removed but it is too late. Unfortunately it was misrepresented to them when the request came through to use it. Add this band to a long line of people who were misled by the producers of this film.”

She later added:

“The band asked the producers to remove their song from the film when they became aware of the true nature of it. They were told it is too late. That’s all there is.”

As Doc Halliday might have said, their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

I’m sure as fuck not wasting my time or money on this poorly-made propaganda piece propped up by plagarism. I’d have my choice of theaters, mind: it’s on several local screens, but definitely not on reviewers’ radar. The Seattle P.I. doesn’t even have a review. The Seattle Times does, and tain’t pretty:

A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda, “Expelled” slyly appropriates its style from liberal and left-wing sources, sending Ben Stein out to do deadpan interviews with a grab-bag of people, while intercutting old movies, new animation and newsreel footage.

Succinct. Manages to capture both the truth of what the movie actually is – i.e., fundamentalist right-wing propaganda – and gets across the fact that the fuckers have to sneak, deceive and steal from others because they don’t have the intellectual power to come up with original work. Nice.

The Stranger is even more cruel:

Yes! I love that the Discovery Institute’s precious little pseudoscience has to be peddled directly to pastors, rather than being debated in the open air, as ID proponents constantly insist they’d prefer. When you market a supposedly secular, scientific movie to religious people—purposefully excluding anyone from the independent press—it’s pretty clear that you’re trying to dupe the poor rubes. It’s also sweet that the reviews that the Discovery Institute has been trumpeting so far on their blogs are from places like Christianity Today (you came into the film “very, very skeptical,” did you , Mr. McCracken? I’ll show you skeptical).

After that, no one should be suprised that The Nanny made their list of recommended films, while Expelled did not.

Seattle Weekly didn’t pull any punches, either:

[Stein’s] thesis: Teaching Darwinian evolution but ignoring intelligent design in America’s public schools and universities is the biggest threat to American freedom today—bigger, presumably, than Al Qaeda, Iraq, and the recession combined. A series of interviews with ID true believers has him playing Michael Moore–dumb—no hard questions for the folks at the Discovery Center, whose infamous leaked 1993 “wedge memo” stated as one of its primary goals the propagation of the idea “that nature and human beings are created by God.” ID’ers protest that they’re simply interested in secular alternatives to Darwinian evolution; their scientific opponents, meanwhile, are potential Communists and Nazis (Stein visits Dachau for an insulting “It happened here” moment). Using the powers of low-grade montage to compare the divide between
evolutionary scientists and ID’s proponents to the Berlin Wall, Stein becomes, with his doc’s insistence that we tear down that wall, Ronald Reagan. Bizarre and hysterical. (Vadim Rizov)

Somehow, I get the sense he didn’t mean “hysterical” as in “intentionally humorous.”

I want you to take note of something: there’s no positive review anywhere in Seattle’s main newspapers. Not sure about the minor ones, or the religious ones, but the papers with the broad audiences are sure as shit pretty fucking far from impressed.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not anticipating a wave of conversions. I feel no need to prepare for a rash of “I believed in evolution, but Expelled showed me how wrong I was!” I am, however, ready with the consoling pat, because I’m sure I’m going to hear plenty of “I want my ten dollars and ninety minutes back!”

We tried to warn them.

Expelled Exposes Itself

Expelled for Plagarism!

Expelled and the Bush Administration have something very much in common: they’re evil, lying fuckwits who like to pretend they haven’t broken the law. And they can’t stop. They can’t stop lying, cheating, stealing, or whining.

Premise Media, the incredible gang of assclowns behind Expelled, is going to need more lawyers soon. I think Alberto Gonzales should apply. He’d be a perfect match.

So, you knew it was coming. It’s not even news: Expelled has ripped off still more people. The entire fucking movie is nothing but plagarism.

Today, it’s revealed that they filched from John Lennon:

Having ruffled feathers in the scientific community, the filmmakers behind a documentary questioning evolution theory have now incurred the wrath of one of the most powerful figures in the popular music business, Yoko Ono, and have generated a blogosphere mini-drama in the process.

The flap concerns the film’s use of the song “Imagine,” by the late John Lennon. Bloggers had accused Ms. Ono, Mr. Lennon’s wife, of selling out by licensing the song to the filmmakers. In fact, her lawyers say, she never granted permission for its use.

Well, we knew they were dumbshits, but pissing off Yoko? They’re suicidal as well, apparently.

But wait, there’s more! They may also have stolen from the Killers. I know, I know, it’s shocking.

In other Expelled legal news, ERV got her hands on a copy of Premise Media’s SLAPP lawsuit against XVIVO. Her assessment?

It is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have ever read in my entire life. And I have read the Bible and Atlas Shrugged.


I can hardly wait to see how many thousands of people stumble out of the theaters tomorrow shouting, “Hey! They stole my work!” I don’t think there are enough SLAPP lawsuits in the universe to help these asshats now.

At least we can see with blinding clarity exactly why it is they got Expelled. Flagrant, prolific plagarism is still frowned upon in academic circles.

Expelled for Plagarism!

Mr. Forehead, Meet Mr. Wall. Wall, Forehead.

There comes a time in every debunker’s life when you look over the panorama of breathtaking dumbfuckery and find yourself breathless. All you can do is search for the nearest brick wall and beat your head against it in the hopes the pain will go away.

My darlings, tonight I have reached that point. I have ceased to ask: can the Expelled crew possibly do anything more terminally stupid than they already have? The answer’s always “Yes.”

Via Pharyngula comes the news the asshats have gone on the offensive:

Expelled is suing XVIVO! Oh, and take note of the
bizarre complaint that I’ve put in bold in the middle of this freaky press

Premise Media is ready to challenge the unfounded copyright infringement claims asserted recently by representatives of XVIVO, LLC concerning original animation Premise Media created for the documentary, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.

On April 14, 2008, Premise Media filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement. Premise Media also seeks its attorneys’ fees in responding to the XVIVO claims.

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?

This is what their top-notch intellectual property lawyer has come up with? They think this isn’t going to explode all over them? I can’t wait to see these fuckers in court, because they’re going to get their asses handed to them in a baggie.

And they’ll also have to explain this:

After denying, then admitting, then denying (OH! Mega-TARD took that last post down! No harbles for him, eh?) stealing the hard work of a small animation company and a couple of hard working scientists, turns out the Discovery Institute Fellows stole from PBS too. The organization they found just sooooooooo offensive after ‘Judgment Day‘ and Evolution‘. The organization that teaches little kids how to count and the alphabet and how to read and how being different is okay…

The Discovery Institute stole from Mr. Fucking Rogers.

Abby at ERV rips them a gaping new one, and if you haven’t read her takedown, go do so.

I just have one thing to say to these fuckwits: if the scientific community and its advocates were truly into persecution, we’d have fitted you all for the iron maiden long ago. You’d better be damned fucking glad we’re not Bible literalists ourselves, because I seem to remember that the punishment for theft was lopping off a hand. Chop! Slash! Literal interpretations of the Bible suddenly don’t look so great, do they, now?

But there is good news. Even Tristero from Digby’s Hullaballoo taken up the cudgel:

A new piece of propaganda called Expelled is about to be inflicted on an America that needs more lies the way a dog needs a huge helping of chocolate – if we enthusiastically consume it, it will make us sick and is possibly fatal.

Too fucking right. And the fact that Tristero took time out of slamming the Bush regime bloody over the torture debacle to debunk this piece of shit says something about how rancid it truly is.

I’m just going to let Tool speak for me. Intolerance is right. I can’t fucking tolerate these assclowns anymore.

The gent who put this video together was also kind enough to beat up on my other bete noir, which is a kindly bonus:

Mr. Forehead, Meet Mr. Wall. Wall, Forehead.

Expelled Exposed! It's Aaaalllliiiiivvvveeeee!

A banner day, my darlings: the National Center for Science Education’s Expelled Exposed is fully operational and ready for battle. Expelled is going to get the crap knocked out of it. Well, what’s left of it, at any rate:

Welcome to Expelled Exposed, a detailed look at the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We’ll show you why this movie is
not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.

To learn why the claims made in Expelled are false, find out The Truth behind the Fiction. For information on the producers and their actions, go Behind the Scenes. To learn more about evolution and intelligent design, or to see what other people thought of Expelled, view our links to other online Resources.

Ah, yummy goodness. I know what I’m doing tomorrow night.

To celebrate the site’s launch, I’m serving up a delicious banquet of Expelled-taunting tidbits. But first, an imperative from PZ Myers:

We need to get the NCSE’s counter-site to the hideous little propaganda film, Expelled, to rank higher in the search engines. The way to do this is for lots and lots of you to link to the Expelled Exposed site with the word Expelled. It’s not hard: just copy this code into a blog post.


He’s got red banners both top and bottom that repeat OBEY, so I think he’s serious. You know what to do, troops.

Next course: file this under “Doh! Why didn’t I think of this?” The Factician at Conspiracy Factory quotes Carl Sagan, and gives me a brilliant idea that has, alas, come far too late to take action on. It would have been all too much fun to prostelytize right outside the one (1) theater in the Seattle area that’s showing Expelled. How much fun would it have been to stand outside with a Candle o’ Science, handing out copies of Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, and spreading the Good News of Science? A damn lot of fun. Too bad it’s too late to place a bulk order.

The Factician has really outdone himself this month: he’s also got this hysterically funny analysis of William Dumbski’s past predictions:

Expelled, the Musical is about to hit theaters! In theaters across the country! Well, in a few theaters. This has inspired creationist mathematician and philosopher William Dembski to fire up his prognostication machine!

And we all know how infallible that is. If you don’t, well, there’s a link up there for ye.

Great minds, I’m telling you. I’m talking Expelled: the Musical, so is he. Muy bueno.

Abby over at ERV’s our next confection. She absolutely murders the idea that the Expelled crew’s animation of an actin network is an original. Not ripped off from XVIVO at all. Nossir. And if you’re inclined to believe that, you either need to send me money, or you need to take a look at the sequence of photos at ERV that expel that notion thoroughly.

And, my darlings, the feast isn’t over yet. Via Expelled Exposed, we have a sinfully good New Scientist article about the debacle:

Expelled is pure propaganda, its style reminiscent of a sub-standard Michael Moore flick complete with voice-over narration and lots of aimless wandering around. Its selling point is that academic freedom in the US is threatened by a vast conspiracy of atheist scientists, hypnotised by what Stein labels in the film the “Darwinian gospel”.
Supporters of ID are fired from their institutions or denied tenure, the film argues, while journalists who report on ID are silenced or shunned. This is an old trick. By claiming their views are suppressed, proponents of ID hope to be protected from criticism. When someone argues that ID is bogus, all they need do is yell: “See? Suppression!”

A masterful summary, madam. Allow me to translate: what you’re saying is, they’re a bunch of whiny fuckers with a persecution complex.

And that’s it, my darlings. Couldn’t eat another bite. Let’s have a nice apertif, shall we? A little TV sounds excellent just now. And I have just the thing. You remember that list of scientists who signed a Discovery Institute declaration against Evolution, the Universe and everything? Well, funny thing, and I know this will shock you, but… they lied about the signatories:

“Now, tracking down many of these [scientists] was actually somewhat difficult because what the Discovery Institute would dishonestly do was
take the most prestigious organization that was ever affiliated with this individual, and they would put that beside their name.”

Ye gods, man! You mean to tell me, they made shit up? Egads! And then you inform me that of all the biologists who signed this document, of those you were able to contact, only two actually reject evolution? The rest were shocked and upset to find their names on that list? I am astonished, sir!

/sarcasm off

DonExodus2 is a generous man. He gives Disco their full 101 names, and calculates that IF those were all biologists (not mathematicians and so forth) and IF they ALL rejected evolution, they would represent .0025% of the biologists in America. I’m not so generous. I calculated by those biologists who didn’t state uncategorically that they do not reject evolution, and I get a figure of .00074%.

Yes. That’s right. An infintesimal fraction of biologists in this country are total fuckwits. The rest are perfectly sane, even though their poor names got dragged through the muck by Disco.

Why do I get a feeling there won’t be a sudden stampede of biologists rushing into the free air of Intelligent Design once Expelled is released?

Our feast is ended for tonight, my darlings, but I have no doubt that Expelled and Crew will provide a hearty bounty for us as the week wears on.


Expelled Exposed! It's Aaaalllliiiiivvvveeeee!

Countdown to Humiliation

You know things are bad when Expelled gets pilloried in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Every semi-knowledgeable moviegoer and reader of movie criticism knows what the words “not screened for critics” means: The movie is a

“Not screened for critics” means a movie is so terrible that the studio will take its chances, deprive itself of free publicity, and go without release-date reviews. Considering the garbage the studios will show us
critics ahead of time (such as the gruesomely lurid “Street Kings” or the laughably stupid “10,000 B.C.”), to keep a movie away from critics is usually a sign that things are really, really bad.

That’s Sean P. Means with the Salt Lake Tribune, telling it like it is. I don’t think I’ve ever been this delighted reading something out of that newspaper. It’s actually the first time I’ve read anything in that newspaper, but that’s beside the point. I sure as shit didn’t expect a writer in one of the most conservative states in America to excoriate Expelled. Then again, I’ve lived right on the Utah border, and I can tell you that, conservatism aside, quite a few folks in Utah are pretty adept at putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with “wait just a darn minute…”

Sean is very good at smelling a stench and identifying a rat:

Now, I have no idea whether “Expelled” is a good movie or a bad one. Like a good critic, I will reserve judgment until I actually see the thing. But I can’t help but be struck by the irony of Stein’s own words in the movie’s introduction (which is also on YouTube):

“In my experience, people who are confident in their ideas are not afraid of criticism. So that tells me the Darwinists are afraid. They’re hiding something.”

What, pray tell, are Stein and the “Expelled” producers hiding? And what are they afraid of?

Just so, Sean. And I can tell you exactly what they’re afraid of: intelligent folk who do their research (the body of the article sniffs around the antics of the Expelled Clown Crew, since they wouldn’t let him get within a mile of the actual film). Intelligent folk like you, who have a public forum in which to say: “The movie is a dog.”

Something tells me that April 18th is not going to go at all well for these assmonkeys.

Countdown to Humiliation

Expelled: No Wonder They Call It "No Intelligence Allowed"

You know, it’s pretty fucking pathetic when I could be blindfolded, blind stinking drunk, standing on one leg on a pilates ball, shooting a compound bow with my tongue, and still manage to hit me some stupid from Expelled & Co.

It’s almost epic. It’s beyond farce. We need to stop answering them with science and produce Expelled! The Musical. It’s already pure fucking comedy: all we need are some catchy tunes.

I can’t even do a takedown here. I just can’t. Others have done the work, and what follows is a compendium. If you haven’t had your daily dose of overwhelming fuckwittery, or if you just need a good reason to whack your forehead into your desk until unconscious, go follow the links, my darlings.

Valerie Tarico from the Huffington Post introduces us to a useful new word: Manufactroversy.

Scientific controversy exists only when the jury of relevant experts is out on whether a new finding meets the standard of evidence. The debate and evidence gathering still are in process. A manufactroversy is when someone motivated by profit or ideology fosters confusion in the public mind long after scientists have moved on to the next set of questions. Think tobacco and lung cancer. Think Exxon and global warming. Now think Ben Stein and evolution.

Elegant. Simple. Hits like a sledgehammer. And the whole article’s like that. I especially love her list of IDiot tactics, including their newest one: whining.

I suspect, for their next trick, we’ll see them falling down screaming and pounding their little fists into the floor.

Efrique over at Ecstathy has started counting the number of commandments the Expelled crew has broken:

The makers of Expelled have taken lying to the form of art, or at least artifice. They lied to obtain their interviews – lied about the film’s title and purpose, lied in the film, lied in marketing it. The whole “not bearing false witness” thing is apparently only a suggestion. Certainly it doesn’t carry the force of the cryptotheist’s only commandment – Promoting creationism’s lies shalt be the whole of the law.”

But it doesn’t end there. Apparently a few other biblical commandments are also mere suggestions, not, well, commandments.

It’s pretty sad when they can be taken down by an atheist on the basis of their own faith, you know.

In keeping with the Biblical theme, John Lynch at Stranger Fruit makes a kindly suggestion about seeing to the log in one own’s eye. I’m not going to quote from the piece. It needs to be read as a whole so you can appreciate the beautiful snap at the end.

On to plagarism and nasty legal issues. In case anyone was suffering any doubt that the animation The Inner Life of a Cell was ripped off by the Expelled crew, David Bolinsky weighs in with an open letter. I sort of get the impression that maybe he knows what he’s talking about, considering, you know, he was one of the chief medical illustrators involved in creating the original:

Given the vast number of structures to be removed, and given the structures remaining “on camera”, whose positioning and relationships,
both aesthetic and functional, needed to remain true to the function and beauty of molecular biology, it is inconceivable, mathematically, that the animator hired by EXPELLED’s producers, independently and randomly came up with the same identical actin filament mesh XVIVO depicted in one scene, which had never before been rendered anywhere in 3D! It is astonishing that among well over a dozen functional kinesins from which an animator might choose, we both chose the
same configuration of kinesin, pulling the same protein-studded vesicle, on the same microtubule! Can YOU believe we coincidentally picked the same camera angles and left in the same specific structures in the background, positioned with the same composition?

When you put it that way, no. But do go on:

To Mr. Dembski: The only reason I am involved in this discussion is because I do not want the reputation of my company, hard-earned as
it is, to be sullied by even oblique affiliation to your sort of smarmy ethics, if only through works of ours, purloined to fit your agenda. Last year you were charging colleges thousands of dollars to give lectures showing a copy of The Inner Life of the Cell, you claimed you “found somewhere”, with Harvard’s and XVIVO’s credits stripped out and the copyright notice removed (which is in itself a felony) and a creationist voice-over pasted on over our music (yes, I have a recording of your lecture). Harvard slapped you down for that, and yes there is a paper trail. One can only assume that had we not taken notice then,
we would be debating The Inner Life of the Cell being used in EXPELLED, instead of a copy.

I haven’t any doubts on this point, either. Especially in light of what Mr. Dumbski – excuse me, Freudian slip there – Dembski had to say:

I ve gotten to know the producers quite well. As far as I can tell, they
made sure to budget for lawsuits. Also, I know for a fact that they have one of the best intellectual property attorneys in the business. I expect that the producers made their video close enough to the Harvard video to get tongues awagging (Headline: Harvard University Seeks Injunction Against Ben Stein and EXPELLED you think that might generate interest in the movie?), but different enough so that they are unexposed.

Un-fucking-believable. And I thought Behe was the world champion of shooting one’s own side in the foot. I’m going to make a prediction here, but don’t call me a psychic if it comes true: I expect that once this whole fiasco has wound its way through the courts, Expelled’s so-called best intellectual property attorney is going to be a laughingstock. Furthermore, I predict it’ll turn out Dembski was just a tad wrong about that attorney being so great to begin with. I mean, look who’s making the assessment.

Abby at ERV delivers a full-course banquet in Expelled’s latest dumbfuckitude. I present you the appetizer, the main coursehttp://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/2008/04/anyone-want-seconds.html, and of course, dessert. Enjoy!

I just want to highlight the dumbest thing Dembski said:

BOTTOM LINE: Before you think the producers of EXPELLED are idiots, you might think that they are chess players who have seen several
moves ahead.

Chess players, William? Would these be the kind of chess players who shout “Hey, look! It’s Deep Blue!” and switch the pieces on the board when their opponent looks away? Because that’s the only fucking way these fuckwits are going to win at chess even against a player with massive brain damage and the palsy. Reality really doesn’t have any meaning for you, does it? Getting sued for plagarism and theft of intellectual property is no way to advertise a film that asks for a seat at the academic’s table. On the other hand, it’s a damned good way to prove that your entire premise is dishonest bullshit.

You know, one of these days, I think I’ll have to amble down to the good ol’ Discovery Institute and ask William personally if he’s this fucking stupid naturally or if he has to work at it. The man’s a museum piece. If they ever have an exhibit of all-time dumbest bastards, he’ll be a contender.

Expelled: No Wonder They Call It "No Intelligence Allowed"

Time Gets It Right, Then Fucks Up

Time magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger does his best to present a “fair and balanced” assessment of the propumentary Expelled. He gets a few things spectacularly right:

[Ben Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth’s primordial soup. The answer is it couldn’t–and it didn’t. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing. More dishonestly, Stein employs the common dodge of enumerating all the admittedly unanswered questions in evolutionary theory and using this to refute the whole idea. But all scientific knowledge is built this way. A fishnet is made up of a lot more holes than strings, but you can’t therefore argue that the net doesn’t exist. Just ask the fish.

It’s hard to imagine a more succinct and elegant way of presenting scientific reality. I think I’ll have this paragraph made into a little laminated card and carry it around so that nonsensical non-scientists and I can read it slowly together. Even your uncommon dumbass should be able to grasp it after several perusings and some help with the big words. It’s even got a brilliant metaphor at the end. And that’s why I feel a little bad about having to spank Jeffrey’s bottom now.

But spank I must. Just remember, Jeffie – this will hurt you more than it hurts me.

First off, your snooty I’m-so-above-the-fray tone starting out is just ridiculous. You say this:

There is nothing so tiresome as an argument that no one will ever concede–particularly if the participants don’t seem to know it. And there’s no place the fighting is growing more pointless than in the ongoing smackdown between evolutionists and advocates of intelligent

As if it’s an argument that can be conceeded. As if evolutionary biologists and science teachers can just throw up their hands, mutter “Fine! Your science is stupid, but if it makes you feel better, we’ll mention it.” The fight isn’t pointless, any more than the fight against racism is pointless. Some people will never get it. That doesn’t mean that the people who are on the side of reason can stop fighting the irrational just so you don’t have to listen to such tiresome arguments.

Let me let you in on a little secret, Jeffrey. If you give the religious fanatics a millimeter, they take a thousand miles. Fighting them is only pointless if you think it’s fine to teach fiction as science, it’s okay for the public to be lied to, and you don’t care much for the advances evolution allows science to make in fields like, oh, say, the medicine that keeps your sorry self alive.

For someone who understands science, that was a stupid fucking thing to say, and I think you know it.

Then you really screw the pooch:

In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.

Where do I even begin? Firstly, in fairness to Stein? Are you fucking insane? In fairness to a bald-faced liar who likes to pretend that evolution leads to mass murder? Stein lost his right to fair and balanced treatment a long fucking time ago.

But I digress. Let’s take on the second half of your remarkable pooch-screwing: the whole “covered themselves in glory” schtick. Give me a fucking break, Jeffrey. It’s largely thanks to your kind that “covering yourself in glory” generally means “being nice so you can be roundly ignored.” And what’s this bullshit about not answering the claims of IDiots with “clear-eyed scientific empiricism”? What’s this, a code phrase for “I really want to lick Ben Stein’s balls, so I’ll reference his Clear-Eyes commercials and pretend everyone’s a nasty, name calling atheist crank”? Is that what you intended? Because it’s sure as fuck how you sounded.

I know this is very hard for really-real mainstream journalists to grasp, but do your fucking homework. There’s this little thing we like to call research. Only bloggers and a few lonely investigative reporters seem to remember what it is. Let me refresh you: before setting up a straw man and burning him, Google the key ideas in your argument, you fuckwit. Wikipedia alone provides all the information you need. It even debunks the film’s claim that scientists are losing their jobs due to belief in intelligent design, which you worried over in an earlier paragraph (hint: they lost their jobs because they were shitty scientists. Nuttin’ to do with ID).

“Evolutionary biologists and social commentators” are still answering ID claims with “clear-eyed scientific empiricism,” but you lot never notice them, Jeffie. You only notice people who kick up a fuss. That could be a subtle clue as to why some of us have taken to using “sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism,” no? I notice you have plenty to say about PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, but bugger all about Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, or any of the many other scientists and organizations who speak in calm, civil, “clear-eyed” scientific tones about the whole debacle. Could it be because they’re not being outrageous enough to get your attention?

Thank you for proving my point so succinctly.

Finally, you sneer at Hitchens for typing god with a lower-case g. What the fuck do you expect an atheist to do, Jeffrey? Atheists don’t believe in God, gods, goddesses, or deities of any description – why, then, capitalize a g? That’s not “tautology as typeography”, that’s truth.

There. I’m done spanking you. You can pull up your pants now. Here’s a hankie. Remember – you had nobody to blame but yourself.

And just so you know there’s no hard feelings, I’ll highlight the other bit you got right:

We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.

I think I’ll make Ben Stein write that line a hundred times on his little blackboard next.

And class, let’s all tell Jeffrey how impressed we are that a writer for Time “We’re Conservative-Approved!” magazine managed to stay in touch with enough reality to realize that Expelled is a lying sack of screaming goat chunks. Not only that, but the middle of his piece, minus the whiny “scientists are being so mean, and everybody’s being so loud” bits, is amazingly good. If he could get over this “must be fair and balanced even if one side is flat-out fucking wrong on the facts” syndrome the media is currently suffering, he’d be genius.

Here’s your silver star, son. You may go now.

Time Gets It Right, Then Fucks Up