Expelled

Expelled: When telling the truth means telling “lies”

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The Expelled film performed agreeably at the box office (see link below) but just for fun google “Expelled” and “lies” and see how many hits you get from very angry Darwin fans. Apparently, a well-meaning Christian was concerned about all this steam and fog, asking, “Is it true? Did the Expelled producers really lie?”

Well, no, yes, … and no again. The term “lies” needs unpacking in the context.

As I mentioned to some friends yesterday, the Darwin fan, like other materialists, uses the term “lie” in a different sense from the traditional one with which that Christian is familiar.

To the Christian, a lie is a deliberate falsehood. In that sense, no, the producers are not lying. Darwin fans really behave as the film portrays them when anyone produces evidence or argument against their orthodoxy.

But Darwin fans themselves use the term “lie” in a quite different way. They mean any statement or piece of evidence that does not promote their party line or does not make them look good.

Their usage has nothing to do with the sincerity of the speaker or the quality of the evidence.

From their perspective, Expelled is full of lies.

But no again if you mean, does the film describe fact as opposed to fiction? It is fact.

Likewise with the claim that the Expelled producers tricked Darwinists into appearing.

The real story is this: Darwin fans expect control of the story whenever they appear in the media, and they expect to be portrayed as heroes. When that does not happen, regardless of the circumstances, they are sure they have been wronged.

Unlike many of us, the Darwin fans were apparently not even cautious* with the documentarists. Presumably, it had never occurred to them that their behaviour could be questioned by the peons who pay their salaries.

*Apparently, most were paid for their appearances! The ID guys I have heard from were not.

Meanwhile, new at the Post-Darwinist

The Expelled film: The box office and other important stuff

Expelled: Not your father’s documentary?

Earth to planet D’Souza: Check your space-time co-ordinates before wading deeper into the Darwinism-ID controversy:

Excerpt: I find D-‘Souza’s glib assertion, “Most Christians don’t care whether the eye evolved by natural selection or whether evolution can account for macroevolution or only microevolution.” troubling to say the least. Many of us oppose Darwinism because it is a false official account of the history of life, and thus a major obstacle to developing a correct account. We want to provide accurate information. If “most Christians don’t care” it is either because they do not know the facts or because they do know them, but do not mind promoting falsehoods. Either situation is a cause for concern.

New at Mindful Hack:

Art produced by animals: Is it really art?

Are there really innate ideas about God?

Why can’t philosophy alone kill off materialism? Why do we need evidence from science?

Civil rights protests force extinction of Olympic flame

Mayo Clinic co-sponsors Dalai Lama’s 16th Mind and Life conference, on benefits of contemplation or meditation

Artificial intelligence: A look at things that neither we nor computers can discover

32 Replies to “Expelled: When telling the truth means telling “lies”

  1. 1

    Thanks for this post, Denyse. I think you’ve 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.

  2. 2
    Larry Fafarman says:

    The Anti-Defamation League has deleted the post denouncing the Darwin-to-Hitler “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy” TV documentary of the Christian fundy Coral Ridge Ministries. Does anyone know why? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  3. 3
    -MIIKE_ says:

    Why does it matter if they lied? If telling lies helps you survive, they should be all for it.

  4. 4
    Frost122585 says:

    I was watching the Pope leaving the US just little while ago and afterwards they were featuring Ben Stein and doing a story on Expelled on foxnews and the subtitle underneath the various clips from the movie read “Creationism vs Evolution movie”

    The person who was responsible for that being up there obviously did that purposely for political reasons and was obviously a bigot.

  5. 5
    Frost122585 says:

    Bill as I posted earlier foxnews tonight on Geraldo’s show I believe had the move Expelled

  6. 6
    Frost122585 says:

    This description which is typical of the mainstream media concerning anything calling D into question is insidious. Neither creationism or evolution was being critiqued or debated in the movie. At best the limits of random or blind evolution may have been called into question a bit. But even the Darwinists themselves do this. ID on the other hand while barely even talked about has nothing to do with creationism.

    This was just subliminal slander. It was nice to hear Ben say though “the movie is doing very god business.”

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    When Michael Moore does his next movie why don’t they write underneath the clips “Communist Bush hater vs accepted reality”

    and pass it off as somehow the stated intent of the movie.

  8. 8
    DLH says:

    A current example is the FAQ
    at “What is Intelligent Design?” at IMBD

    Intelligent Design in this form refers to the idea that life cannot have developed by natural means and must have been created by some intelligent outside agency. It rules out evolution or other wholly natural mechanisms as explainations for the current state of life on Earth – a designer must be involved somewhere, they argue.

    Perhaps someone could enlighten them with a correct version ID Defined from UD:

    ID Defined

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

    In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

    ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.

  9. 9
    jinxmchue says:

    #10 DLH: “Perhaps someone could enlighten them with a correct version ID Defined from UD”

    People have tried. Mainly myself. Check the histories of each FAQ section. The Darwinists have, ironically enough, chosen to expel any and all common sense and facts.

    If anyone wants to start helping there, it would be appreciated.

    http://imdb.com/title/tt1091617/faq

  10. 10
    Frost122585 says:

    DHl you say,

    “ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence.”

    I think that both are reasons why. If ID had no leg to stand on then they would just kill it in every debate and no one would be interested in it. The evidence and questions pointing toward it’s ontological reality and away from the explanations of unintelligent driven sceintific explanations is part of what scares the other side.

  11. 11
    wnelson says:

    Even NPR couldn’t ignore Sternberg — blast from the past:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=5007508

    Reading the Expelled Exposed site, one would be led to believe that NPR is now covering imaginary stories.

  12. 12
    nullasalus says:

    Very nice post, Denyse.

    Though (re: D’Souza) I don’t think that atheists love darwinism because it promotes atheism – but that they’ve latched onto it and used it to promote atheism, to the point where the two are associated deeply.

    I’d understand how others could agree, though. But as someone who sees quite a lot of evidence for creation as a result of investigating evolution, I wanted to mention as much.

  13. 13
    godslanguage says:

    LOL DLH, I don’t think it will ever sink in.

    The definition floating around Cyberdumb is exactly this one:


    Intelligent Design in this form refers to the idea that life cannot have developed by natural means and must have been created by some intelligent outside agency. It rules out evolution or other wholly natural mechanisms as explainations for the current state of life on Earth – a designer must be involved somewhere, they argue.

    What follows from this definition is likely to be (statistically speaking) “ID claims because we can’t explain it naturally, therefore god-did-it, how convenient etc…”

    See, the Darwinists have invented they’re own theories of Intelligent Design. Isn’t that wonderful? and, isn’t that the only way they remain dormant untouched authorities of science? Its a loopback feature (ie: propoganda) designed by the Darwinists intended to bring ID back to questioning the designer every single time. I admit its an effective method of promoting ignorance, dismissing evidence and propogating they’re low resolution theory.

    The reality is they know the actual definition, at one point they’re going to have to face it just as long as ID remains focused on the science. In any case, I don’t believe Expelled speaks for scientific ID. Expelled was just the first step in exposing Darwinism (a political and religious movement as well as possibly dangerous to society), the next logical step would be to expose Darwinian Evolution (ie: put all the facts on the table)… Expelled part2.

  14. 14
    Jason Rennie says:

    Nice work Denyse. I agree with your point whole heartedly.

    I really must wonder actually. How stupid are these people ? Seriously. Dawkins many years ago got “tricked” in this fashion, or so the story goes, by a bunch of young earthers.

    Seriously, what kind of moron gets suckered like that twice ?

  15. 16
    Jason Rennie says:

    “What about when you, say, quote someone so that it appears they hold one view, and yet omit the following paragraph that, along with the first, has a completely different meaning?

    Is that a lie?”

    Apparently it depends on your politics as to whether or not it counts as a lie.

  16. 17
    AussieID says:

    I just thought of an idea for a movie …

    This movie involves watching the unfettered and rancid abusing by one group against another group who released a film that shows the first group to be exactly what they are shown to be doing right now …

    I hope someone has been filming the hysterics and goings-on of the Darwinians since Expelled was first raised. Now THAT would be an excellent movie.

    Premise. Premise. Anyone?

    Oh, and I hope you lot in the States are enjoying the movie (as you seemingly are!) as we lepers in the rest of the free world will probably have to wait for a DVD release to see it.

  17. 18
    DaveScot says:

    Jason

    It’s called lying by omission and it doesn’t depend on politics unless your politics are the politics of denial.

  18. 19
    Stone says:

    “What about when you, say, quote someone so that it appears they hold one view, and yet omit the following paragraph that, along with the first, has a completely different meaning?”

    What the author is omitting could be considered subjective, so no that wouldn’t be lying.
    It may howver be slightly spin but it’s not a lie lol

    Let’s not get into the whole spin argument though, I can find plenty of it on the opposite side of the spectrum.

  19. 20
    Jason Rennie says:

    “It’s called lying by omission and it doesn’t depend on politics unless your politics are the politics of denial.”

    You misunderstand Dave. Haven’t you noticed the way it is lying if Darwinists are presented in an unflattering light, but they can misrepresent people they disagree with and they are being perfectly reasonable ?

    This is true of lots of things.

  20. 21
    O'Leary says:

    I wonder if this comment will make it past the spam filter …

    Thanks for the clarification, Jason.

    The phenomenon I note above (Darwin fans claims’ about “lies”) is unrelated to the accepted use of the term (= Jake lied to the insurance company about his driving record while abroad).

    These people assume that whenever they are presented in an unflattering light, that is because the presenter is “lying” and they were “tricked” into participating.

    Their claims have nothing to do with the fact base and are not usefully evaluated with reference to a fact base.

    Experience shows that they contest and rewrite any fact base whatever, to support their agenda.

    They will be the last to know when it isn’t working any more.

    In Canada, we deal with these types of people all the time, though they are usually leftists seeking to entrench and extend their power at the expense of civil liberties rather than intellectual freedom.

  21. 22
    Nathan says:

    Most of the complaints that I have heard about the movie aren’t about the arguments for ID or against evolution.

    I do think things were a bit skewed but its nothing worse than what Michael Moore does every single time he makes a movie.

    It does make me a little curious to see the posts about ‘crossroads’ never being registered though expelledthemovie was registered long in advance of the interviews.

    That doesn’t change what the interviewers said but it just doesn’t seem right. I would like to see the unedited interviews if for nothing else to see more candid Ben Stein.

  22. 23
    DaveScot says:

    Nathan

    Expelledthemovie was not registered “long in advance” of the interviews. It was registered a month in advance of when Myers, Scott, and Dawkins were first contacted by the producers.

    Whether or not it was still a “working title” (one of two of more titles under consideration) at that time is anyone’s guess. “Crossroads” was never registered in and of itself but was rather a page inside Rampant Films’ website and it had been that way indeed “long before” expelledthemovie was registered. The producers at Premise, at least some of them, were also producers at Rampant Films. How the project got switched from Rampant to Premise is just as likely (moreso IMO) to be business related as it was something designed to hide the nature of the film.

  23. 24
    Nochange says:

    Darwinists redefined the word “lie”? Are they allowed to do that?

  24. 25
    alext says:

    Seriously, what kind of moron gets suckered like that twice ?

    a moron who has been lied to.

    realise that everyone in your field says you’re wrong, you’re either in a vastly elaborate, evil, arbitrary Dan-Brown-esque conspiracy theory (this is called paranoia, folks) – or, chances are you are actually wrong.

  25. 26
    StarryStarrySkies says:

    No one with any knowledge of the disagreements between those who accept Evolution Theory and those who accept Intelligent Design Theory is saying that the producers of Expelled lied. The only issue is that, while Evolution Theory has been repeatedly supported by scientific observation, whereas Intelligent Design theory has not. There have been no rigorous scientific tests that ID has stood up to. This does not mean that it is wrong; This means that it belongs in the subject of philosophy, not science. Science covers fields that look for things that can be experimented upon. Only that which can be observed and tested should be categorized as “Science”.

  26. 27
    DLH says:

    StarryStarrySkies at 26

    The only issue is that, while Evolution Theory has been repeatedly supported by scientific observation, whereas Intelligent Design theory has not. There have been no rigorous scientific tests that ID has stood up to.

    Do you mean to be serious? Or are you just parroting “Big Science” as briefly summarized in Expelled? Or have you even seen it?
    Have you read any of the evidence for ID? Can you seriously address the arguments in Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box, and Limits to Evolution,
    Dembski & Wells, The Design of Life
    Dembski, No Free Lunch.
    (For the light reading.)
    e.g., See
    The Essential Intelligent Design Bibliography

    For serious articles see:
    Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories By: Stephen C. Meyer, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
    May 18, 2007

    William Dembski, The Design Inference.

    Do you actively support or are you in a position to support publication of ID research or articles, as in Stephen Myers article?

    Only that which can be observed and tested should be categorized as “Science”

    Will you kindly show us where the Origin Of Life has been observed and tested?
    How about any “Macroevolution” from one species to another, or one genus to another, or on phyla to another etc.?

    When considering “Science” you have to distinguish between laboratory repeatability vs the “science” of interpreting historical or prehistorical events. etc. See Stephen Meyer The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design: The Methodological Equivalence of Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Origins Theories, By: Stephen C. Meyer, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe (Ignatius Press) November 13, 2005

    PS Both Evolution and Intelligent Design have major philosophical IMPLICATIONS. Do not confuse the implications with the science.

  27. 28
    Jason Rennie says:

    “a moron who has been lied to”

    Even if it was true that Dawkins was lied to (I don’t actually buy this claim, but for the sake of argument). He has supposedly been “taken in” by a ruse like this before. The first time is excusable but what is his excuse this time ?

    And besides, AFAICS (seeing as the movie has yet to open in Australia and I haven’t had a chance to see it yet) it isn’t like his position has been misrepresented in any way. Dawkins has not claimed that anywhere.

    If he doesn’t like everybody knowing he is a fundamentally clueless anti-religious bigot, perhaps he should shut his pie whole and stop confirming it for everyone.

    If he wants to insist on making an arse of himself I don’t see why anybody is obligated to cover for him.

  28. 29
    DeepDesign says:

    Regularity is found at every level in the known universe. We call it a Cosmos not Chaos. The fact that the cosmos at every level, from the outermost galaxies down to the interior of the indivudiual atom, is saturated with structure of a kind that is expresisble in mathetical terms is a fact lost on many people. Including the majority of Darwinists.

  29. 30
    DeepDesign says:

    Did that just go through?

  30. 31
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Ok this is a bit random.

    But would a Godel Universe support ID? What exactly did Godel believe about God? I know he believed in an afterlife.

  31. 32
    alext says:

    DeepDesign:
    Regularity is found at every level in the known universe. We call it a Cosmos not Chaos.

    have you looked up the word “stochastic”? apparent complex sequences (even mathematical sets) will often arise in large enough random processes (and the universe is apparently the largest possible ongoing process we can see).
    out of interest (and this is completely hypothetical of course), would a universe in which there was absolutely no possible observable regularity indicate design?

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