A silver lining to Expelled?

By Ken Perrott 29/06/2011

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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0 Responses to “A silver lining to Expelled?”

  • It seems interesting that misrepresentation is nothing new. But it is interesting also to point out that two of the most important discoveries of the 20th century actually suggest that this is not a done deal. Big cosmology and the fine tuning of the universe as Jerry Wineberg recognizes speaks of something personal being involved. The idea that nature is all there is may be need reviewing. I also believe that is a certain bias towards design ideas no-matter how well conceived because one would find it hard to not acknowledge this personal aspect. If there were a few random things that seemed to suggest this then perhaps this could be of no consequence. However for example there are at least 33 finely tuned features relating to Galaxy, sun, planet, moon system alone than are finely tuned and rely on each other being this way to provide life life. Yes, real scientific evidence, especially when scientists understand the implications. If something exists outside of the universe then this could pose a problem for those who seem to reject these parameters that give them life also. One talks about evidence here is two things that have been very influential about how we understand the world we live . Of course this is where science and ideaologies intermingle.

    • Nick, not sure of the relevance of your comment to the Expelled film. Perhaps it’s that the “fine tuning” argument is used and misrepresented by the creationist propagandists.

      I have a few questions:

      1: Who is Jerry Weinberg?

      2: You mention at  least 33 finely tuned features. Do you claim them all independent? After all Martin Rees has honed these down to the values of 6 physical constants?

      3: Do you include the cosmological constant? If so, what degree of fine tuning do you claim for it?

      4: Are you claiming this “fine tuning” as evidence for a god? If so what is your reasoning as the physicists and astronomers don’t seem to advance such an explanation?

      5: Do you think vague claims of “god did it” ever explain aspects of reality? Should scientists now close down these research projects, give up their attempts to understand why physical constants have the values they do, move on, now that you have revealed the “Truth.”?

      6: Do you think that instead of employing expensive researchers and laboratories on solving such questions we should instead sack them all, demolish the labs, and instead employ a few priests or similar with their holy scriptures to solve the problems? It would be cheaper wouldn’t it?