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How does one make a “pseudo-documentary”?

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Mark Perakh now resorts to calling Ben Stein’s EXPELLED a “pseudo-documentary” (go here)? I know what a pseudo-science is (e.g., Darwinism, in its claim to account for biological complexity). And I know what a “mockumentary” is (e.g., This is Spinal Tap). But how does one interview real people about what they really believe and come out with a “pseudo-documentary”?

Well, perhaps we should not be surprised. Mark Perakh offered this insight at the Panda’s Thumb pseudo-blog.

Comments
"If they deserve to be called documentaries (I was in “A War Against Science” — it was billed to me as a “documentary”; moreover, I was not told the title), then so does EXPELLED." I agree with you Dr Dembski, I don't think they deserve the title of documentary either. These are all ultimately on some level propaganda pieces. I don't think that is a bad thing though, most film making that is not just story telling is propaganda of one sort or another.Jason Rennie
May 1, 2008
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this blog is my playground.
I suppose that explains the absence of monkey bars. ;)soplo caseosa
May 1, 2008
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Andrea: Granted, the level of persecution ID people face here in the U.S. is nowhere near that of the former Soviet Union (by the way, do you think ID proponents would have fared any better under Stalin than Perakh -- at least one thing didn't land him in the gulag, namely his atheism). Yet I haven't seen one person at talkreason admit that what was done to, say, Bob Marks in the removal of his lab from Baylor was wrong. Suppression of freedom is suppression of freedom, and it's wrong wherever it takes root. Perakh understands this intimately in his own case, but seems blind to it in other cases.William Dembski
May 1, 2008
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Michael Moore referred to "Bowling for Columbine" as a documentary when talking to his fans, and mere "entertainment" when talking to critics. So, when his facts were unchallenged, it was a serious documentary. When his facts were challenged, it didn't matter, because it was entertainment, not a documentary.russ
May 1, 2008
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ungtss you wrote
Personally, I’m a big believer in leading by example: let them have their say, and defeat their nonsense with reason.
That happens here on pretty much every blog. The problem with some critics i.e. the militant ID haters, is that there is no intent on a rational exchange of ideas, they simply are intent on pushing their hate agenda. They are like zombies. You can't reason with a zombie because zombies are only interested in eating your brain.mentok
May 1, 2008
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Mr. Dembski: I understand -- it's certainly your right, because it's your blog. Personally, I'm a big believer in leading by example: let them have their say, and defeat their nonsense with reason. But as you say, it's your playground, and we play here at your pleasure.ungtss
May 1, 2008
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To coin "pseudo-documentary", presumably Mark Perakh claims the authority of being a pseudo analyst - or should that be a pseudo-linguist? or a pseudo scientist?DLH
May 1, 2008
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Jason Rennie: Richard Dawkins has done "The Root of All Evil?" with the BBC. The BBC did "A War Against Science" on ID. PBS recently did "Judgment Day" on the Dover trial. Several years back PBS did an evolution series. All of these were highly biased and agenda-driven. If they deserve to be called documentaries (I was in "A War Against Science" -- it was billed to me as a "documentary"; moreover, I was not told the title), then so does EXPELLED.William Dembski
May 1, 2008
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ungtss: You're new to this blog. We've seen past incarnations of Uthan here. There are plenty of places on the internet for them, but not here. I'm sorry if you think this unfair, but this blog is my playground.William Dembski
May 1, 2008
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I see that Uthan's comment was deleted from the thread, making all subsequent comments incomprehensible. I hope we're not unwittingly proving Dr. Perakh right.ungtss
May 1, 2008
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I haven't had a chance to see expelled yet (stupid not showing in Australia currently), but based on the different things i've read it might not be entirely appropriate to call it a documentary. Well if "An inconveneint truth" or anything by michael moore is a documentary then so is expelled, but expelled is a film with an agenda that it is not shy to push AFAICS. I don't actually think this is a weakness of the film and from what has been said the film makes no bones about its agenda, but it isn't really a documentary in the classic dispassionate sense of a documentary. Then again, most documentaries probably aren't like that either, so perhaps I am being to critical.Jason Rennie
May 1, 2008
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As Dr. Perakh felt on his own skin, through hard labor in a Soviet Gulag, what being persecuted for one’s opinions means, perhaps he was referring to his perception of the plight of the pro-ID academics in Expelled. Or perhaps he was referring to the movie comparison of evolution scientists to Stalinists and Nazis, both of whom he was unfortunate enough to personally meet (the latter, as a WWII soldier). Ah, more fantastic reasoning. From Andrea, we don't really have an argument. Just a sarcastic statement regarding the suppression of someone else's ideas in comparison to the significantly less severe oppression occurring in contemporary academia. Apparently the reasoning goes something like "That was worse, so quit whining." As though the existence of severe oppression makes less severe oppression acceptable. But Dr. Perakh's argument is even more of a gem. He argues that ID advocates are more analogous to the Communists and Nazis because: 1) They both praised their respective intellectual allies; 2) They both think poorly of their intellectual opposition; 3) They both held meetings in which only intellectual allies were permitted to attend; 4) They both believed their side would ultimately prevail; There are two flaws in his reasoning. First, his argument proves to much -- that means, Darwinists like Myers + Dawkins are guilty of all the same "sins," yet somehow ID folks are "more guilty" than the evolutionists. But more importantly, he skips over the key and defining similarities between oppressive ideological movements at all times and places -- the deliberate, aggressive suppression of dissent. That's the comparison being made here. And THAT behavior is common to the evos in power today, and the communists, nazis, and all other oppressive ideological movements of the past. He claims that ID is similar to communism in its tactics because they share superficial similarities shared by evolutionists as well; and then fails to address the comparison at issue: suppression of dissent. Genius.ungtss
May 1, 2008
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As Dr. Perakh felt on his own skin, through hard labor in a Soviet Gulag, what being persecuted for one's opinions means, perhaps he was referring to his perception of the plight of the pro-ID academics in Expelled. Or perhaps he was referring to the movie comparison of evolution scientists to Stalinists and Nazis, both of whom he was unfortunate enough to personally meet (the latter, as a WWII soldier). You can read about Perakh's life here: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/eandp.cfm#perAndrea
May 1, 2008
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P.S. You might want to compare google hits on "design" vs. "evolution" and "intelligent design" vs. "darwinian evolution."William Dembski
May 1, 2008
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I'm afraid Uthan won't be here to comment again.William Dembski
May 1, 2008
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Wow. “Google hits –> scientific legitimacy.” If I were to select a single deduction to illustrate the fundamental flaw of the contemporary darwinian mind, I think that would be it. Legitimacy by popularity. Truly, the spirit of science lives on here.
Exactly right. Google hits has nothing to do with the legitimacy of a science. Consider that Time Cube has approximately 75,000 google results.soplo caseosa
May 1, 2008
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Hi Uthan Rose, "Until something better appears to replace the pseudo science of Darwinism I guess we’re stuck with it." Not me, I am not stuck with it at all. Please show me how Darwinism accounts for the complexity found in biology? Thanks.Pazu1982
May 1, 2008
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Wow. "Google hits --> scientific legitimacy." If I were to select a single deduction to illustrate the fundamental flaw of the contemporary darwinian mind, I think that would be it. Legitimacy by popularity. Truly, the spirit of science lives on here.ungtss
May 1, 2008
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