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Duped and Duping — What Goes Around Comes Around

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Richard Dawkins continues to be indignant about being “duped” into taking part in Ben Stein’s EXPELLED. His indignation is a pose. Dawkins and his TV production company tried to dupe those who disagree with him into taking part in his “Enemies of Reason” series. Some of the people in that series (and in his previous polemic against religion, “The Root Of All Evil?”) felt that they had indeed been duped into taking part. For details about Dawkins the Duper, go here.

In this vein, here is something I posted last week at UD (click here for the thread):

[Denyse O’Leary] hit the nail on the head in noting that Darwinists redefine “lie” to mean anything that does not promote the party line. I wrote about this a few years back in my contribution to the Phil Johnson Festschrift when describing why the Darwinists can never seem to agree that our side gets even one thing right. It’s as though every aspect of everything we say and do must be discredited. With regard to payment for the film, you are right: I know of no one on our side who was paid for being interviewed for EXPELLED — I wasn’t.

I find it remarkable that the Darwinists are belly-aching about the treatment they received from EXPELLED producers. Our side experiences far worse. When the BBC interviewed me for their documentary on ID, they didn’t tell me it would be titled A WAR ON SCIENCE and that my colleagues and I would be portrayed as those trying to destroy science. Whereas the Darwinists were filmed in their offices and made to look professorial, they had me walking down a railroad track, Behe suspended in mid-air on a carnival ride looking ridiculous, etc. Finally, they spliced in commentary by Ken Miller ostensibly critiquing my work on probabilities, which he then was forced to repudiate since the criticisms were so patently off target with respect to my work — he attributed the fault to bad editing on the part of the BBC. I blogged on this here and here.

So, if you want to debunk dishonesty and sleaze in documentaries, the BBC is far more worthy of your attentions. The worst that can be said about the producers of EXPELLED is that they didn’t tip their hands early. In consequence, we find Darwinists with their pants down and looking unimpressive. I’m sure that hurts. Take the pain.

Jonathan, great points. Just look at the visible corruption in the Archdiocese of Boston. tribune7
As Rodney Stark points out, it wasn't that the Church didn't denounce the slave trade, but that it wasn't listened to. It hasn't done a great job at stopping the abortion holocaust either, what with Catholic bishops giving communion to pro-abort politicians, and CINO (Catholic In Name Only) universities inviting abortion-loving politicians but cancelling pro-lifers. Jonathan Sarfati
Any institution touched by the hand of man will do some evil. So will an institution founded on the precept that one should "love one's neighbor" do evil. Sure. Especially if it becomes influential, then wolves in sheep's clothing will be quite attracted to it. If you want to see this process of corruption in full-bloom look at what the foundational principles of our academic institutions are and look what they've become. Still, an institution founded on the principle of "love one's neighbor" will do far, far, far, far less evil than an institution founded on the principles of "do as thy will", "we exist by accident" and the "strong should survive at the expense of the weak." And it might actually do some good. tribune7
Jonathan Sarfati: I believe Kamen's book deals exclusively with the Spanish Inquisition, not the medieval or Roman Inquisitions. My approximate figure of 10,000 deaths is meant to cover all three inquisitions. I should add that the Inquisition is the tip of the iceberg in terms of atrocities committed by Christians. I do NOT wish to lay the blame for their bad behavior at the door of Christianity; rather, I simply to counter the assertion made by certain naive apologists, that there would have been fewer massacres in a world without atheism. The sad truth is that Christians have committed their share of massacres; however, their faith has also inspired them to perform acts of heroism which have saved the lives of billions. Atheism has not done that; it is a barren tree with no fruit. You make a valid point regarding Wilberforce - one which I myself make on the Web pages I cited above. However, I did not claim that religion was to be blamed for the slave trade. Rather, I wrote that "religious authorities failed to stop" the slave trade, "either through negligence or lack of fortitude." That, I think, is a fair claim. vjtorley
vjtorley Henry Kamen's book on the Inquisition claims that it killed 2000 over three centuries. Texas has a higher rate of execution. Fewer than 20 were killed by the Salem witch trials. How can religion be blamed for the slave trade, which was ubiquitous. What is significant is that the slave trade was only abolished after Christians like Wilberforce fought against it. The pro-slavers told them to leave their religion out of politics (how modern sounding!). Jonathan Sarfati
GilDodgen, you sound just like my grandfather! Your grandfather is right! What a wonderful fellow he surely must be. By the way, I had the same opinions about music as a teenager in the 1960s when I learned the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto and the Rhapsody in Blue. Another BTW: I do enjoy some pop music of the latter half of the 20th century, including some of the Beatles' stuff. It's just not generally in the same class as the really great popular music of a previous generation. Also, I play keyboards in a praise band at our church, and I love rocking out with this wonderful team of talented and enthusiastic musicians. GilDodgen
Jonathan Sarfati: 1. OK, you want more information about my religious beliefs. I don't like to talk about denominations, because the way I figure it, people of faith have to stick together these days. But since you asked, I'm a practicing, Mass-attending Roman Catholic, who returned to the Church after an absence of over 15 years, and who now believes that Humanae Vitae was right. Is that specific enough for you? 2. Yes, a world without religion would be a world without communism, which was responsible for somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million deaths - far more than the medieval, Spanish and Roman Inquisitions combined (probably somewhere around 10,000) and the witch hunts (around 50,000). However, other acts of officially sanctioned religious violence were far bloodier: the Crusades killed around 2,500,000, if you include the Albigensian Crusade, while the Thirty Years War killed about 7,000,000. You also have to take into account the fact that the world's population was far smaller during the time of the Crusades than in the 20th century. Other violent acts have to be taken into take into account include: (i) acts of violence which killed well over 10,000,000 people altogether, and which religious authorities failed to stop, either through negligence or lack of fortitude (i.e. the slave trade, plus the European conquest of Africa and the New World); (ii) man-made famines created by the business policies of the imperial European landlords, merchants and bureaucrats of countries whose leaders professed to be Christians, which caused the death of nearly 50,000,000 people in India, China and Brazil in the nineteenth century. If you're wondering where I got these figures from, please check out this link to a Web page I created: http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/whybelieve7.html (see sections 7.2 and 7.3) and also http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/whybelieve3.html . Obviously there are greatly varying degrees of responsibility here on the part of the Church, but to say that the Christian Church is only responsible for a few thousand deaths, as a few recent apologists have done, is just nonsense. I can hear the atheists rubbing their hands with glee at tehse embarrassing figures, but before they start laughing, they might like to consider the number of lives saved by the Christian Church's prohibition of infanticide, suicide and abortion - not to mention the medieval Peace of God and Truce of God, which reduced intra-communal violence. Over a period of 1,700 years (Constantine's Edict of Toleration to the present), the number of lives saved by these measures would easily number in the BILLIONS, as I argue on my Web page at http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/whybelieve3.html . My conclusion is that the Church has been a great force for good and evil. Fortunately, the good far outweighs the evil. Islam has been responsible for at least 100,000,000 deaths, but its prohibition of female infanticide, coupled with the very low suicide and AIDS rates in Muslim countries, means that the good it has wrought definitely outweighs the evil. Atheists, by contrast, have killed many, but saved relatively few people. Dawkins is right to argue that atheism, being a purely negative ideology, cannot be blamed for Communist violence as such, but for precisely the same reason, atheism cannot be credited with any of the good things that philanthropic atheists have done. 3. Your objection regarding copyright misses my point, which has to do with courtesy, not property. If you're going to use a famous song in a film, the polite thing to do is ask the widow of the songwriter: "Excuse me, but do you mind if we use a snippet of the song your husband wrote?" If she says no, well, that's that. In response to other contributors who panned John Lennon's music, I say: to each their own, but I'm pretty confident that Lennon and McCartney will both be remembered in 200 years' time. I shoudl also add that I greatly admire Gershwin, and of course, Bach and Beethoven, for whom I have the highest respect. vjtorley
"The art of great songwriting has been lost." These young people today, with their funny hair and their piercings and their weird music . . . GilDodgen, you sound just like my grandfather! evo_materialist
WELCOME BACK BA 77! We missed you . . . kairosfocus
I am primarily a classical musician (pianist) but I love and appreciate the great works of popular music. Listen to Leontyne Price singing Summertime or My Man's Gone Now. At one time this kind of music was wildly popular. The art of great songwriting has been lost. Click on my name at the top of this comment to visit my website. There you can download three of my piano albums for free, along with program notes. One album is all Gershwin, and includes his songbook transcriptions for piano. GilDodgen
Music is more an epiphenomenon. It goes through stages and revolutions that seem to reflect the state of the culture and the transformations of various things in a given time . But now with the computer and the easy accessibility of music I don't see the revolutions happening in strong socially backed blocks of time like they use to. Music will now become more diverse and more unitary at the same time. Diverse in the multitude of new directions or channels of venture that are being developed thanks to the increase in technology and information. Each style will easily co-opt things from other styles. As a whole music will become more complex. This is very much a reflection of Darwinian evolution though it is of course the inextricably linked byproduct of “Intelligently Designed” guidance and causation. If anything has revolutionized music it’s ID. Just look at Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. For the record Purple Haze's only appeals to those sharing in Hendrix's acid trip and Image was simply the ideological derivation of a 1960's hippie who like Hendrix also had a fired brain. Like a rolling stone however was mildly good music though I don't think it is musically talented in any significant sense. It was more “popular poetry” mixed with a catchy malady. It was not "great" or revolutionizing like the music of Beethoven or Bach. Beethoven and Bach did to music what Isaac Newton did to physics. Those are examples of real revolutions. They are timeless and almost infinite in their stature and artistic demarcation. The music that Evo mentioned will be forgotten. Like Marx Freud and Darwin- destined for the dust bin. Frost122585
vjtorley "I’m a Christian," Sorry, but this needs more explanation these days, since the word has become debased currency ... "John Lennon imagined a world without religion," But a world without atheism wouldn't have had communist tyranny, which caused far more deaths than in all "religious" wars, inquistions and crusades combined. "countries or possessions, because all of these things can cause wars." You seem not to notice the irony here. The notion of copyright violation presupposes that there is a right to possession. By the reasoning of Lennon's own song, his widow has no case to make for copyright. Jonathan Sarfati
evo_materialist Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” And this is why people with no musical ability can have no place to comment on musical prowess. Firstly Bob Dylan is out of key constantly, he may be the worst vocalist in rock history and he's only notable because of his lyrical ability. Nirvana is a blatant cookie cutter copy of the pixies, and let's be honest, Kobain was a miserable excuse of a singer. No charisma, no challenging notes, lyrics that were hell bent on being exploitive rather than expressive. Eminem has changed his style 2 different times, On infinite he's obviously ripping off of illmatic era nas, to his latter material where he becomes a blatant chino xl biter. He adapted Chino's punchline style on songs like "Just don't Give a f^ck" He can't even come up with original titles for his songs, He used to tour with the House of Krazees who were known in Michigan and Northern Ohio for the song "Murder murder", so was it any wonder on the shady EP he released in 97, he stole their chorus for a song called "Murder murder murder"? Lose yourself was a pretentious load, and it's mediocrity is evident when compared to similarly themed songs such as Mc serch's "here it comes" Imagine was montonous droll and a blatant cop out to strike up emotions rather than focusing on musical complexity. Music is a craft, not an art. The difference being, between resonance, tune and the number of melodies within a song, the focus is not a matter of loose creativity but rather of thousands of hours of practice meant to achieve an objective goal. Imagine probably took a whole 5-10 minutes for the music and I'm sure a whole 5-10 for the lyrics... It's musically garbage and no, I'm not a metrosexual with a scarf and a martini criticizing music. I don't like fruity/flamboyant people and I hope someone flies a plane into Bravo TV. Stone
I’m a Christian, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
Gosh, vjtorley, how do you reconcile these two contradictory aspects of your thinking?! (Just kidding. I'm supposing you meant "I'm a Christian, so I believe in giving credit where credit is due.") Lutepisc
Hi Dr. Dembski, I thought you may be interested in these following videos (I found them inspirational): Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (The Amazing Human Body) This video has some amazing science facts about the human body and mind that gives glory to God's craftsmanship in us; set to music and pictures. http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=ebd24d7787d69d4974ca Science, God and Famous Scientists who Believed in God A scientific comparison of the materialistic and theistic philosophies; as well as a reflection on some of the most notable scientists of history who were believers. http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=35f05e0c69a1a80be0ea&page=14&viewtype=&category=mvd bornagain77
I'm a Christian, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I think "Imagine" is one of the best popular songs ever written. It's a song about peace, written by a man who hated war. John Lennon imagined a world without religion, countries or possessions, because all of these things can cause wars. It's a simple song, but simple songs are the hardest songs to write. The same goes for paintings and books. Is it naive? You could say so. Lennon freely admitted as much: "You may say I'm a dreamer." But many people have said the same about the Sermon on the Mount. If Christians are to address the song's message intelligently, they must begin by acknowledging that Lennon had a good point... and then take a step back. Religious wars are started by people who think their side is losing. People of faith don't have such doubts. They know their ideas are going to win, even if they die. The remedy for religious violence is not less religion, but more. For the whole point of religion is to take us to a point where we can forget about ourselves and leave our foolish little worries behind us. Then and only then can we hear the still small voice of God. What I know about the law could be written on the back of a postage stamp, so my opinions on legal matters are worth zilch. I haven't seen "Expelled," but I think that using the song without asking Yoko Ono's permission was a dumb thing to do. It would have been polite to ask. And it's not nice to talk about laughing in Yoko Ono's face. vjtorley
-----Gil Dodgen: "Compare this (imagine) to the really great works of 20th-century songwriting like those found in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess." Gil, you can measure the psychic health of a society by its music. Really good music is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving. The American classic songbook, for example, contains harmonic formulations that have been totally lost in popular music. Certain chords, such as minor sevenths and major sevenths, can move the human spirit and give hope and courage in ways that obscenely simple chords cannot. Other combinations, such as the flatted fifth, can create a kind of drama in the soul that seeks resolution and a kind of search for unity. Our youth has been cheated out of this kind of beauty and fed a diet of visceral junk that can only be felt in the glands. Plato was right about the positive and negative effects of music. Having said that, allanius' creativity is admirable in the context of what he was working with. The "Beware of Believers video with Dick to the Dawk was similarly innovative. In this perverse culture, we have to make lemonade with the lemons. Still, you are right. Music has gone down, down, down. StephenB
Gil, Your disdain for the taste of the masses is adorable. I imagine you, typing your post, wearing an ascot and with a martini beside the keyboard. True, "Imagine" isn't one of those songs that transformed radio by making everything else look suddenly terrible. Only a few songs in rock history have done that. The birth of rock did that (but I bet you'd say that the chord structure of rock and roll is "unimaginative" and "repetitive"). After that moment, which has too many great songs to count, I'd list the transformative songs as Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," The Clash's "London Calling," Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit," and probably Eminem's "Lose Yourself." But if "Imagine" didn't transform music, people love the song for reasons you don't seem to get. Aside from expressing thoughts many people identify with but are reluctant to say out loud, "Imagine" works partly through the childlike simplicity that is apparently beneath you. Even the grammar has that effect: "no religion too" is not worse than "no religion either"; it's more childlike and intense. In short, seeming grammatical "error" can be effective in verse and song. If you're going to beat up Lennon for his grammar, you should raise your standards: your sentence about bad grammar is ungrammatical. There should be no comma after And, and what just modifies is unclear. (I assume you're using just as an adverb, but none of the accepted meanings lead to a sentence that makes sense.) evo_materialist
Imagine there’s no Darwin; It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to spin and lie for, And no Big Science, too. Imagine all the people Using their own minds… Imagine there’s no theories, Only things that are real; No transperm or evo devo, No secret wisdom to reveal. Imagine all the people Using common sense… You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join up, ‘Cause we’re really having fun. Imagine there’s no bullies, Hitlers in Birkenstocks; No more indoctrination, Or tenure chopping blocks. Imagine all the people Talking about God… Imagine there’s no Dawkins No faux philosophers; No raving Darwinistas, Or tall tales to rehearse. Imagine all the people Thinking for themselves. You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join up, ‘Cause we’re really having fun. allanius
The word is Mimophant. Arthur Koestler invented this term to describe Bobby Fischer: "A mimophant is a hybrid species: a cross between a mimosa and an elephant. A member of this species is sensitive like a mimosa where his own feelings are concerned and thick-skinned like an elephant trampling over the feelings of others." A mimosa's leaves collapse at the slightest touch, which triggers a sharp drop in turgor pressure. Jonathan Sarfati
It's amazing to me that Dawkins can dish it out in spades, but cries like jilted Trilobyte scorned when he receives it back. As well I find it quite telling that blogs all over the itnernet have attacked Ben Stein's character instead of refuting the evidences in the film. Dawkins is just making it worse and worse for people on his side of creation- The show is crumbling and all the minstrels are packing up and heading home it seems Nazareth
Lennon’s 1971 song, which suggests an evolutionary utopia without heaven or hell, has been ranked No. 3 by Rolling Stone magazine on its list of the 500 greatest songs. "Evolutionary Utopia"? Oh yes, I suppose the world will be so much nicer once we've killed off all the weak and wounded. That is what an "evolutionary utopia" must imply. I wish more people, particularly in the media, would think about the meanings of the words they use before they use them Zakrzewski
Ono and the sons of "Imagine" songwriter John Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon and Julian Lennon, are suing the documentary makers for using a brief clip of the popular song in the film.
Imagine is one of the worst popular songs ever written. The chord progression is trivial, repetitive, and unimaginative. The message is embarrassingly naive about the human condition. And, the grammar sucks, just to make the rhyme and meter work (there are no countries, no religion either). Compare this to the really great works of 20th-century songwriting like those found in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for today... Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one GilDodgen
I can add to this the routine deceptiveness of the Australian ABC and American PBS when it comes to (mis)representing creationists and ID supporters. Jonathan Sarfati
Here's another interesting news regarding how the anti-God, anti-ID types are trying to stop EXPELLED. http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62489 EXCERPT : --------------------------------- The makers of Ben Stein's "Expelled" movie, which opened last weekend at No. 10 nationwide and already has become one of the top 25 documentaries of all time, say the U.S. Constitution will be their defense against a lawsuit filed by Yoko Ono. Ono and the sons of "Imagine" songwriter John Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon and Julian Lennon, are suing the documentary makers for using a brief clip of the popular song in the film. Lennon's 1971 song, which suggests an evolutionary utopia without heaven or hell, has been ranked No. 3 by Rolling Stone magazine on its list of the 500 greatest songs. The action, brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, demands the filmmakers and their distributors remove "Imagine" from the film. ------------------------------- It looks like they're going to SUE the pants off the film makers until they bleed their last profit, thus making sure the film makers lose money even if the film itself makes money by spending their profits in court. SeekAndFind

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