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A silver lining to Expelled? Ken Perrott Jun 29

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Readers are probably aware of the nasty little creationist/intelligent design film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Despite all the fanfare suggesting it was coming to a church hall or basement near you sometime soon it seemed to drop out of existence.

Perhaps that is why the company that produced the film has gone bankrupt. And the film itself, together with its assets, is to be auctioned off any day now.

I thought that would be the end of the sorry little affair. But no – there may be a silver lining – depending on who the final buyers are.

PZ Myers reports that Talk Origins, the people from Panda’s Thumb, are making a bid to buy it. That seems weird.

But think about it. Expelled misrepresented some important people like Myers, Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Michael Shermer and so on. These people were interviewed extensively on evolutionary science, science in general and intelligent design. However, only short clips, heavily edited to produce a misleading impression, were included in the film.

Expelled — The Uncut Interviews

So if Talk Origins wins the bidding they will have access to the full interviews. As Talk Origins suggests:

“The auction promises that besides all available rights and interests in the finished film itself (there is an existing distribution contract), the winner will get all the production materials and rights to them. Want to know what was in the rest of the interviews with Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers? I know I would like to have that material archived and made available to the public, among other things that Premise Media found inconvenient to include in their film.”

Anyone who has watched the uncut interviews available from the Richard Dawkins Foundation will appreciate the possibilities. These are interviews used initially to produce BBC films documentaries like The Root of All Evil?, The Enemies of Reason , The Genius of Charles Darwin and others.

So I look forward to a new series of documentaries – Expelled – The Uncut Interviews. Just imagine, not only will we get an interesting and extensive interview of each person (Myers says his interview last 3 hours!). But as an extra, if the clip used in the film is also included we will get to see examples of how creationists quote mine scientists.

Thanks to PZ Myers: I think the creationists would rather just forget about Expelled.

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Monckton requires religious certification for scientists? Ken Perrott Jan 18

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Lord Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley – Chief Policy Adviser of the SPPI

Christopher Monckton is one of the leading lights in the movement to discredit the International Panel on Climate Change, climate science and its findings on the human contribution to current climate change. Local climate change sceptics and deniers like Ian Wishart, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, The Climate Coversation Group and bloggers pro0moting a denier platform eagerly promote his statements and videos.

Monckton is the Chief Policy Adviser of the Science & Public Policy Institute (SPPI) which disseminates propaganda aimed at discrediting climate science and scientists. So it’s worth considering what his ideological approach to science is.

Science gives us nothing!

Monckton has a rather revealing article, What is science without religion?, on the SPPI blog. Much of the article attempts to discredit science and scientists, often associating science with the worst aspects of humanity – similar to Ben Stein’s approach in his creationist Expelled film. But the last two paragraphs hint at a very objectionable policy towards science. He says

“Precisely because the worst sort of scientists are prone to say, intolerantly, that religion is not a legitimate pastime for any scientist, many scientists have come to the view that they no longer need to adhere to any moral precept at all. Morality, they say, is the province of religion and not of science. We, they say, can do what we like as long as we can get away with it, and there is no such distinction any more as true or false, right or wrong, just or unjust.

Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions — Christianity outstanding among them — that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing.”

So what can we take from this. He is saying without religion, specifically Christianity, one has no morality or concept of truth. Really he is proposing that science should be subordinate to relgion, to its concept of truth and morality. Instead of scientists determining the accuracy of their ideas by testing against reality they must test them against religious “truth” and “morals.”

Climate change denial similar to intelligent design

This is exactly the approach taken by the anti-science activists of the intelligent design movement. While I don’t by any means wish to equate very climate change sceptic with intelligent design, Monckton’s position does give some ideological explanation to the observation that many climate change deniers are also Christian apologists and intelligent design/creationism proponents.

So just imagine of Mockton had his way. Scientists would have to have religious certification, capable of being withdrawn anytime their findings contradict the religious “truth” promulgated by the Church.

Imagined lining up every six moths for your “scientific warrant of fitness.” Being examined by the local Bishop, Priest, Parson, Iman, Monk, etc., and, depending on how they thought you did in their test, relying on their accreditation, their stamp of approval.

I guess that’s one way of eliminating climate change!

What a silly man.

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