Talk:Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

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Page has become a vandalism magnet - which, by the way, proves the thesis of the movie: people want to shut Stein up instead of answering his points. --Ed Poor Talk 09:43, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Ed, with respect, I think that all it really proves is that vandals exist and they like hot button issues.Jros83 18:59, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Contents

Categories

There is already a page on Expelled. Merge the categories over here? DanH 00:14, 2 January 2008 (EST)

Including Criticism

I have to disagree with this edit. While I don't think the critics' arguments have merit, I think we should include them. People who believe in creationism or intelligent design have nothing to hide; let's not appear that we do, by removing a criticism section.-MexMax 13:47, 15 February 2008 (EST)

See strawman fallacy. I don't know that the film portrays intelligent design as an alternative scientific theory to evolution. According to what I've read so far, it portrays the establishment as suppressing discussion of whether there can be any such alternatives. Do you see the difference? --Ed Poor Talk 13:59, 15 February 2008 (EST)
Oops. You're right; that doesn't bear on the movie, it bears on the theory. Good call on removing it, sorry. Thank you!-MexMax 14:01, 15 February 2008 (EST)

Counterarguments

Has anyone argued that the film's thesis is untrue? Or are we just going to get the usual liberal backlash complaining that interviewees were "tricked" into exposing the truth? --Ed Poor Talk 16:30, 4 March 2008 (EST)

The main point of the film is that there's a vast, far-reaching conspiracy by the Evolutionists to stifle the teaching of the idea that a magical man created everything exactly as it is now. As for proving it untrue... Well, how can we possibly prove there ISN'T A conspiracy against the teaching of unscientific dogma under the guise of science? Barikada 21:20, 5 March 2008 (EST)
You should take up cricket: You're good at putting a negative spin on things! Philip J. Rayment 21:36, 5 March 2008 (EST)
Why thank you, Philip. Somebody here needs to take off the rose coloured glasses, yes? Barikada 21:40, 5 March 2008 (EST)
Or clean their glasses. Philip J. Rayment 03:35, 6 March 2008 (EST)
You're not very good with metaphors, are you? Barikada 21:21, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Hmmmm. Philip J. Rayment 07:59, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Bribery

Oh deary me. I cite the website itself with its message of "Force kids to watch our film and get money!" and you still revert my edit stating that the producers have been ACCUSED of attempted bribery. Tell me, Philip, what would be a better source than the website in question? Barikada 21:40, 5 March 2008 (EST)

The problem is not (this time) with the choice of web-site, but with what it's claimed to be saying. The site says nothing about bribing. Philip J. Rayment 03:37, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Ah, yes. Encouraging mandatory field trips (Question 2.) and saying the schools can return the ticket stubs for donations certainly isn't bribery. Aside from that, I said that that's the site that was cited. How about I simply add that they've been accused with no source? Hmm? Would that appease you? Barikada 10:10, 6 March 2008 (EST)
The main definition of "bribe", according to my dictionary, is "any valuable consideration given or promised for corrupt behaviour in the performance of any official or public duty" (my emphasis), and this is what use of the word here would suggest. Yet there is no basis for putting that in the article, beyond a non-notable blog. Therefore, it should not go in, full stop. What could go in is a mention along the lines that the producers of the movie are encouraging schools to take their students to see it, but I don't really think that's of sufficient relevance to warrant a mention. Philip J. Rayment 20:43, 6 March 2008 (EST)
It seems to match the definition given perfectly. What's your problem, then? Barikada 21:21, 6 March 2008 (EST)
My problem is that it doesn't' match the definition, unless you have an odd definition of "corrupt behaviour". Philip J. Rayment 08:01, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Subsidizing the exposure of censorship seems to be what you oppose. Sounds like you're only against "bribery" when it opposes your cause.

What we need for this article is a discussion (or better yet, a description) of the thesis and the specific points made in the film - one which regrettably I have not seen yet. Along with this, we welcome any reports of noteworthy critiques of the film's thesis.

Complaints by the group which in engages in censorship, that they were tricked into testifying against themselves, are irrelevant. "No fair! I thought I was bragging, not confessing!"

Our mission here is to provide trustworthy information. So unless Dawkins, et al., are taking back what they said, then the lack of candidness on the part of the producer's is hardly germane. Unless you want to make an argument that academic dishonesty is so prevalent, so cavalier, and so devious that exposing it requires extraordinary detective work! --Ed Poor Talk 10:22, 6 March 2008 (EST)

"Subsidizing the exposure of censorship seems to be what you oppose. Sounds like you're only against "bribery" when it opposes your cause." Please, show me where I've encouraged bribery to support my "cause."
So... In order to expose the academic dishonesty of this secret cabal, you must use academic dishonesty? The ends don't justify the means, my tinfoil hat wearing friend. Barikada 15:03, 6 March 2008 (EST)
What standard of academic dishonesty do you suggest we all avoid while collaborating here? --Ed Poor Talk 13:49, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
He was blocked for 3 months, so you'll be waiting a while for an answer. Philip J. Rayment 19:21, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
Not the classiest way to win an argument. --Gulik5 15:38, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

Stating my reasons

I changed some wording that may make me seem like a liberal...I'm not. I simply did so in order to make the article as unbiased as possible. If you want proof of my views look at all the trouble I've gotten into on the Wikipedia version of this talk page. Saksjn 09:39, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

I don't think it's serious enough to revert, but in doing so the wording now gives the impression that it doesn't necessarily succeed in this. Not having seen the film, I can't really comment on the accuracy of that, but Conservapedia aims to be accurate rather than neutral, and if being neutral gives a false impression, then it's not for the better.
You also added a line about criticism, footnoted to a paragraph that said nothing about the criticism, and which had no source. Could you clarify that please?
Philip J. Rayment 10:17, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
The Orlando Sentinel's movie reviewer snuck into a private screening and then blasted the film in his reviews. Several other editors have done the same. We were talking about it over at wikipedia and I couldn't find the source cite. So I took a quote we we were discussing at the talk page and used it as the temporary source. Saksjn 14:16, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

I've always found that its better to say that something attempts to do something than to say it does something. If you say it does something than it someone will come along and claim that it doesn't. Its just a way to be safe. Saksjn 14:18, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

Where does your last reference come from? You quote it, but you don't state the source. Learn together 14:25, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

So we should say that NASA attempted to send men to the moon rather than saying that they actually did? The point is, we say things as though they are true when we are satisfied that they are true, and by that I don't mean that nobody disputes it (some argue, for example, that NASA didn't really send men to the moon). At Conservapedia we reject a lot of ideological objection. A lot of the objection to things like this movie are ideological. That's not to say, of course, that the people objecting are wrong; we still have to be careful to ensure that what we say is correct, but we don't qualify statements that we believe are clearly true just because people with a different ideology object. However, in this case, as I said, I've not seen the movie (and presumably nobody else here has yet), so I can't say whether it does succeed in its objective.

To clarify some of that, when a court decides if a defendant is guilty of a criminal offence, it does so "beyond reasonable doubt". When a court decides who is at fault in a civil matter, it does so on the basis of probabilities. In neither case are the matters normally settled with absolutely no doubt at all. If they were that clear, the criminal defendant would plead guilty and the civil participants would not even bring the matter to court, but settle it themselves. In both cases, the court decides according to the level of "proof" appropriate to the circumstances. Note also that the court is unable to test the matter scientifically. The court is making its decision on a unique past event, and that event is not repeatable; it's not able to be studied in a scientific way. (This doesn't deny that scientific tests can be made about some of the supporting evidence, such as DNA found at the scene.) Similarly, whether this movie achieves its results, although not a past event, is difficult if not impossible to determine in a scientific way, as it concerns people's motives (i.e. it likely does demonstrate suppression and persecution, but it's further arguing that this is deliberate. How do you scientifically test for deliberateness?) But this lack of ability to scientifically test does not prevent courts from making decisions, and neither should it prevent this encyclopedia from stating what is clearly the case (on those occasions when it is clearly the case), regardless of the objections of people with opposing ideological views.

Philip J. Rayment 19:45, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

opps

My mistake.. AdenJ 15:06, 14 April 2008 (EDT)

Disagreement and condemnation

I'd like to see a division in the article, between actual disagreements and mere condemnation. After all, the whole point of the movie is that ID opponents never take on ID directly but merely condemn it. Where are the specific rebuttals of the movie's main point? --Ed Poor Talk 10:47, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Ed, I'm happy to debate with you about the merits of the article. However, it seems to me that you block anyone who tries to do that. If you're willing to not block me, and listen to me in good faith, I'll try to abide by 90/10 as well. Are you willing to listen, or am I going to be expelled, too?-Cdesign 11:28, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Ha, ha, nice try. You condemn without giving evidence - precisely what the movie complains of. --Ed Poor Talk 11:50, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Seriously, what would you like me to answer? I can tell you that scientists certainly take on ID directly - for example, in response to the "irreducible flagellum" argument, a great amount of research has been generated which parses the variety of intermediate forms between "nothing" and "flagellum," and scientists have identified each and specified their independent uses. I'm looking for the source right now.-Cdesign 11:55, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Inter alia, a director of the NCSE assembled this accessible document here, which explains how the gradual evolution of the flagellum is possible. Additionally, there are a couple of easy-to-understand arguments against irreducible complexity - namely, if all flagella are irreducibly complex, and therefore "designed," how come there are so many different types or assemblies of flagella? Why are there different "styles" of flagella, functioning in different ways, which still perform the same task today? Evolutionary biology suggests that "convergent evolution" - different processes working on different organisms which, by virtue of the end product's desirability, produce a similar result - would have exactly this type of result. How does intelligent design explain that?-Cdesign 12:00, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Regarding your last question, what is there to explain? Why does several similar but different flagella speak against design? Rather, it's for the evolutionists to explain why similar items have arisen separately. "Convergent evolution" is code for "we can't attribute it to common descent", yet common descent is what evolution is mainly about! Most "explanations" of gradual evolution are merely "just so" stories, which assume evolution to be true and then explain, usually in very general and untestable terms, how something might have come about. Philip J. Rayment 03:42, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

The movie said people are pressured to keep quiet about their scientific disagreements about evolution. How does your response relate to this point? --Ed Poor Talk 12:33, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

I don't appreciate the "yawn" edit comment.
You said that evolutionists never take on ID, head-on, scientifically. I just did, right? And proved that scientists do, right?
Also, if the claim is that ID creationists are being "expelled" for their bona fide scientific position, what I've proved is that their position, if scientific at all, is bad science, and therefore their alleged termination wasn't "discrimination," but termination for failing to live up to professional standards... just like a history teacher being fired for denying the holocaust. After all, ID is a negative argument: once a valid positive surfaces, to continue to argue the negative and pretend the positive doesn't exist is just ignorance.-Cdesign 12:39, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
This latest edit of yours isn't borne out by your ability to debate the merits on the talk page :-/-Cdesign 14:44, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

More like a journalist fired for questioning Senator Clinton's tarmac terrorist story. --Ed Poor Talk 14:47, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

ID is a positive argument, that there is evidence of design. Philip J. Rayment 03:42, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

Copyright infringements

I noticed that someone removed the piece about the movie using plagiarized animation material from Harvard. There is also another issue that the movie used John Lennon's "Imagine" without getting the rights as well as well as some other song "All these Things That I Have Done" by the Killers. Since the original material was removed from the article is it allowed to put these issues back in?--Able806 11:45, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

You may put in any trustworthy information. I will remove anything which is false, misleading or inadequately sourced.
If you know anything about metabolism that you can explain in terms a high school student can understand, I'd rather you worked on that. See recent changes for a draft. --Ed Poor Talk 11:49, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Wall street journal? Would this count?--Able806 11:58, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Ed, what was false or inadequately sourced about my original edit? Someone accused the film's producers of copyright infringement,and I sourced the legal notice sent to them. The producers filed a counter-suit claiming they didn't, and I sourced that as well. The fact that this is unresolved is just that, a fact - it's wrong to assume that the producers of Expelled are innocent (or guilty for that matter) until the issue is settled in the courts. I've restored the edit, and if you can present a fact-based reason why it should be removed, I'm open to revising it accordingly. --DinsdaleP 21:15, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
After I was blocked the section about alleged copyright infringement was removed (again). Why doesn't this belong in an article about the movie, when it was more than adequately sourced (from the producers own countersuit, no less)? Also, Able806 still hasn't been answered on why the Wall Street Journal isn't a credible source for documenting that the producers are accused of using Imagine without permission. While they responded quickly to the accusations of infringement by XVIVO, the producers have been completely silent on that allegation. --DinsdaleP 21:18, 24 April 2008 (EDT)

Slashdot effect

I'll probably protect this article tomorrow, when lusers start pouring in after watching the premiere. --Ed Poor Talk 14:45, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Probably a good idea, at least until the publicity dies down.--Frey 20:19, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Reviews

Ed - regarding your pulling of the Time magazine review, the fact that ID is explained on the website isn't a good reason to pull the reviewers comment. The movie should stand or fall on its own merits, as that's all the viewer's going to see. So while I've removed the inflammatory section you objected to, I'd ask that it be put back in - or any other quotes from any of the reviews, in fact. These reporters are mostly the movie critics of their publications, and it's only fair to hear their comments on the movie itself, even if we don't agree with them - remember, this is only a movie, and even if you like its premise, you might not like the movie, as a movie. MakeTime 21:07, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Ed, I found a document at the movie's website - it's promotional material for the film, the Leader's Guide. Although we haven't seen the movie yet, obviously the Leader's Guide and movie are a coordinated effort. MakeTime 21:30, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
I don't see your point. Many evolutionists have claimed that life was magically generated on its own from a primordial soup. Experiments have even attempted to duplicate it.--Aschlafly 21:33, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
The Time reviewer knocked down a straw man of his own creation, by putting words into Ben Stein's mouth: characterizing him as "asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup".
The leader's guide - quoted at Rat. Wiki - says: "Darwinian evolution argues that life arose from a primordial sea on a lifeless planet through a chance collision of chemicals, and that over billions of years, this biological accident gave rise to all of life, including humans."
The contrast is between cell ... arisen whole and life arose.
It's not "fair to hear their comments" on what the movie didn't say - but if they have comments on the movie itself I don't mind those. --Ed Poor Talk 21:38, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
I wasn't trying to debate ID, not at all - let's not forget those words are someone else's words, not mine. Disagree with him if you wish, but don't shoot me - the messenger. I was simply asking that a quote of a journalist's review of the film not be removed simply because one is offended by their negative review of the film? I think the studios wanted to rip up all the review pages when the reviews ofIshtar or Gigli came out? Sure! My own point is one and only one- just because you want to like a movie, doesn't mean it's going to be a good movie. That's all - I'm staying out of the ID debate. MakeTime, as TakeTwo 21:42, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
We don't post falsehoods. If a review makes a false claim, then it would generally not be posted.--Aschlafly 21:45, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Fair enough, I have no problem with that. But then neither you, nor Ed, nor I have seen the movie, and the reviewer has. Perhaps Stein does indeed ask "for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup". I don't know that he doesn't, and no-one else does yet either. And since other reviewers refer to the same fact, and they have all seen the movie, perhaps he does? TakeTwo 21:50, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
But evolutionists do believe and teach that life arose from a primordial soup. They do not teach that there was divine intervention.--Aschlafly 21:52, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
The actual words used by the reviewer are "[Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup." But Ed suggested that this was clearly not so - despite not having seen the film, unlike the reviewer. TakeTwo 21:56, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I will probably need to retract, as it seems Ed has seen the movie. He states quite clearly here that the movie does not say that. Although, it does appear he uses the leader's Guide as reference, rather than the movie itself. Which, again, the reviewer has seen. TakeTwo 22:00, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

No, I haven't seen the movie. If I've made an error here, by assuming that it conforms to the Leader's Guide, I stand corrected. --Ed Poor Talk 22:04, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Ah, OK Ed, thanks for clarifying that. It'd be great if in future you didn't try and post deceitful information you're not party to in the Trustworthy Encyclopedia - or ban users on the basis of your own ignorance. I hope you enjoy the movie. TakeTwo 22:13, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
TakeTwo, you're not addressing the falsehood. Evolutionists do claim that life arose from a primordial soup, and they teach that. There is nothing "mistaken" by criticizing that view.--Aschlafly 22:08, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
ASchlafly, I wasn't, and am not, going to get into the ID debate. Others are more qualified than me to do so. My problem is that Ed Poor claimed to have seen the movie when he hadn't, pulled a quote because he essentially claimed that a journalist at a major national new source was lying, and then banned me when I pointed out that it was the journalist's words, not mine, he was disagreeing with. TakeTwo 22:13, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
TakeTwo, the quote is nonsensical and should be deleted, and I'm not encouraged by your refusal to address why. Instead, you launch into an attack against Ed. Decisions can be right for the wrong reason, and your harping on a claim that the reason was wrong does not address the bigger point that the decision to remove the falsehood was right.--Aschlafly 22:25, 17 April 2008 (EDT)


But what is the reviewer saying here?

  1. That Stein is right, except for the passage of time?
  2. That Stein is wrong?

Evolution says that life came out of the "primordial soup" gradually. The Leader's Guide points out that ID questions how this could ever have happened.

Some evolutionists say that "biological evolution" only addresses the issue of how the first living cell gave rise to other forms of life - but others insist that "evolution" includes the origin of life as well. Anyway, ID addresses both issues scientifically, and that's what "the academy" refuses to address - expelling ID advocates rather than discussing their theory that life is too complex to have evolved - either (1) out of the soup originally or (2) from the first cell to humans. --Ed Poor Talk 22:27, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

My reply to "TakeTwo" and his socks:

Your account should be blocked. I've repeatedly addressed your point and you repeatedly decline to address mine. The review makes a false statement, regardless of what Stein said. We don't post false or misleading statements, regardless of the accuracy of the quote. This separates us from Wikipedia, which does post falsehoods if they can be found in printed publications. We do not.--Aschlafly 23:11, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
We don't post false or misleading statements, regardless of the accuracy of the quote.
This is a good quote. I have a feeling you and I will be seeing a LOT of it in the future. --Gulik5 00:02, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

Leader's Guide

I noticed that the article references a "Leader's Guide" accompanying the movie "Expelled". May I add an external link to this document? Feebasfactor 00:51, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

What is the external link? HenryS 01:07, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
Here, I believe. Appropriate? It raises a lot of interesting general points. Feebasfactor 01:38, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

Variety... Liberal???

The article calls Variety Magazine liberal. Are they talking about the entertainment industry magazine with the famous slang headlines?

It' an industry business magazine, more like "Steel Makers Today" than "Entertainment Weekly." While its movie or TV reviews probably show biases one way or the other, the magazine itself, the majority of its content, shows no actual bias other than being PRO-business. It simply logs the activities and business dealings of the entertainment business, including those of the very conservative Rupert Murdoch. Chances are, the magazine is as likely to give a positive spin on stories about media consolidation or tax breaks for American media production, not real liberal positions.

I know this site has point of view but not every other media source has to be sifted into "conservative" or "liberal."

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by TrevorAlan (talk)

Yes, Variety is a liberal magazine, to appeal to its very liberal audience/industry. You won't find a pro-life piece in there or any other conservative information, because thousands would cancel their subscriptions and advertisers would pull their ads if that ever happened, and the publisher knows it.--Aschlafly 14:53, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
While you won't find a pro-life piece in there you wouldn't find a pro-choice (or anti-life if you will) it is a industry publication not a newspaper. The only news and opinon it would deal with is movie industry related news and opinon. The bad review this movie recieved will not be read by people outside the industry, although this will impact theature managers decision and they may not show it. Although it looks like the movie is being panned everywhere so this probably won't hurt it much. DaBoss3 20:14, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
"DaBoss3", either you're clueless or you're in liberal denial. The readership of and advertisers for the rag "Variety" are overwhelmingly liberal, and you can bet the publisher caters to its customers.--Aschlafly 21:50, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
The advertising on their website is all "we'll help you break into the industry for money" stuff. It is mostly articles and blogs on the industry. It has a small readership because it has a small target, people intimately connected with the movie industry. It probably does meet your "hollywood values" stuff, but it is not a left wing paper on the level of the New York Times which wants to influence opinon. DaBoss3 00:04, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Also as a later sidenote I would care if you did not make fun of my name. I used to get teased at school for having the first name Da. I asked my parents why they called me this and said because your father and grandfather's name. I thought someone call Aschlafly would understand. DaBoss3 00:38, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Is your last name "Boss" also? Deliberate ignorance or persistent clinging to a falsehood, such as your claim that Variety magazine is not liberal, unfortunately invites poking fun of your claim to be "Da Boss". Why is it that liberals pick such names?--Aschlafly 09:32, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes my surname is Boss. What is yours Aschlafly? Also I find you claim that my parents were (your American version) liberals offensive. That are staunch Liberal Party of Australia voters.
Also you called me deliberatly ignorant. Did you look at the website link I gave you? The paper is nothing but fluff and industry news, its kind of hard to call that liberal (although I suppose you would). I and anyone who hasn't divided the world in to red and blue would call it apolitical. (I notice you don't even have an article on it so I will help you). DaBoss3 19:27, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Your name looks like a pseudonym, so the burden of proof is on you. Try to be more polite, too.
As to whether Variety is liberal, if you can show that it is neutral or conservative, I'd love to see evidence for it in our article about it, whenever someone gets around to writing it. --Ed Poor Talk 07:51, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Don't want to overstep my bounds here, but let's review Aschlafly's argument

1 Claims "Variety" is liberal backed by the fact that it does not have a pro-life article in it. Lack of support for one argument does not imply support for the other side. Also insinuates that the readers of "Variety" are liberal and that the magazine would offer appeal to those readers, both statements not supported by an ounce of evidence in this forum.

2 Proceeds to invoke an ad hominem attack on DaBoss3, claiming that he is "clueless" or "in liberal denial," an issue that has yet to be proven by Aschlafly.

3 DaBoss3 takes a ridiculous detour (this I'll acknowledge), which Aschlafly quickly jumps on to circumvent the issue, and combines 2 logical fallacies into one, an ad hominem attack of calling DaBoss3 ignorant and then begging the question, using that claim of ignorance to then assume that he is wrong on the issue of Variety's bias, which is an example of his ignorance.

One final note, addressed to the much more reasonable Ed Poor, shouldn't the default status of a publication be apolitical, with the burden of proof (and no, I am not referring to your comment on the burden of proof, I am aware that is a different issue) lying on the person claiming it has bias? --SeanF 01:15, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I just wanted to mention that I deleted the part about Variety having less subscribers than Conservapedia's daily page views. It has no relevance to any sort of argument being presented. --GeorgeF 18:12, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Film Reviews

I felt that the movie reviews section was clearer when was divided into positive and negative sections--GabharGneasach 15:12, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

I want to take my kids to this tonight, and it would be really useful for us, and probably for the movie itself, if you could include one of those movie sites here - if you could put back the RottenTomatoes link, people can go there and find their local theaters, buy tickets, see showtimes,etc. I know the reviews for the film from those stupid liberal sites and papers may not be good, but that doesn't bother any of us as we know what we want to see. (And, in fairness to them, they work technically very well indeed!) I always use rottentomatoes.com to get an quick overview of opinions on a movie before I bring my kids to it, and I think we all knew Expelled was going to be attacked by liberal movie reviewers, so I'm not bothered by it. So I think it would be a good idea to have that link there. SpiritualLife 15:55, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
If you can't figure out how to google stuff like that, I'm not even going to accuse you of being a liberal plant. --Ed Poor Talk 15:57, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
I think we should all be doing everything we can to help promote this movie, and I simply thought it would help towards that end. You say I wouldn't know how to Google it, but I do - and you end up at Rottentomatoes.com! It's the #1 listed movie review site. I've used it for a few years now. Wouldn't you want to have that on the article? I think it would help. SpiritualLife 16:11, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
SL, there is a link on our main page to movie theater sites, which I will repeat here just for your benefit. [1]. BrianCo 16:30, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
Oh, OK, yes, I suppose that will work fine, thank you Brian. Shouldn't it be in the article rather than only on the Main page? I wasn't aware of it. SpiritualLife 16:37, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
As this is essentially an encyclopedia, it should not be expected to reflect fast changing items like football league standings. The fast changing stuff is posted on our front page and links to movie showings are more appropriately placed there. BrianCo 17:27, 18 April 2008 (EDT)

I was going to see the movie yesterday, but work intervened. And today I gotta do something for church. I might not even see the film till Monday evening.

I plan to see it in the most liberal section of New York City, the Upper West Side. I wonder if Stein will get booed by the audience. --Ed Poor Talk 10:18, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

If you watched the movie...

If you watched the movie, add your comments to this section. If you didn't watch the movie or try to turn this section into a debate session, your comments will be removed.

I watched the premier last night and I enjoyed this movie. Ben Stein did a great job exposing the scientific community's censorship of Intelligent Design. Ben also explained the difference between creationism and Intelligent Design. Ben also was successful in demonstrating the link between atheism and the theory of evolution.

I personally believe in creationism and I feel that not allowing the teaching of Intelligent Design is liberal censorship. I applaud Ben for exposing this liberal censorship. I applaud Conservapedia from promoting this great documentary. --Crocoite 10:39, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for the positive review, Crocoite. I hope to see the movie this weekend.--Aschlafly 10:42, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

I watched it last night. I theater hopped so I didn't have to pay Stein for the ticket; I advise you all to do the same, as it's not worth your real money. The movie is a travesty. It's basically clips of Stein talking interspersed, in an amateurish way, with clips of the Holocaust. He doesn't try to make an argument as much as shock you with unaffiliated images. -Seb 10:51, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

Typical ... liberal advice. I'm not convinced you even saw the movie, and your advice to rip Stein off is not going to remain on this site. Give us a good reason why your account should not be blocked, if you can.--Aschlafly 10:57, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Excuse me? Assuming you were serious, isn't that an example of "guilty until proven innocent"? Not to mention a (sadly) somewhat typical double standard.--Frey 13:05, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Since when is a conservapedia account a civil right? --Ben Talk 13:45, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Good point, although I'm thinking more of Conservapedia's image.--Frey 16:15, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for that clarification. ;) I happen to agree that it is usually better for conservapedia not to block people until they have directly broken the commandmnts, but I can't feel that we've wronged anyone who's been blocked for lesser reasons (though I don't do so myself). Nor can we harm anyone (except perhaps ourselves) by having a double standard. --Ben Talk 18:28, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

I took my family to see Expelled last night, and I was surprised at how liberal and obscene it was. They don't mention anything about how Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and they include secular music from "The Killers" (how could you allow a band with that name to be included in a Christian movie?) and John Lennon. I thought I would not have to cover my kids eyes and ears for once in a movie theater, but I was proved wrong with this one. I guess the next time a documentary comes out exposing the evil of evolution, I will stay home with my family and watch Passion of the Christ instead. At least that movie has a strong Christian message. -Nathan

I don't think Expelled was meant to be a Christian movie. I just saw it on saturday and I got the impression that the movie was not trying to support the Christian six-day creation, nor did it put forward Christianity in any way-- it merely exposes the intolerant attitude atheist evolutionists have towards intelligent design. In fact labeling the ID movement as "Christian" and "Extremist" is one of the ways that evoltionists try to discredit the science behind intelligent design. --Ben Talk 13:45, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Odd reaction, Nathan. I haven't heard that reaction from any Christians I know. Do you shield your kids' eyes and ears when they are in public school also, or when they watch television??? Consider me skeptical about your comment.--Aschlafly 12:29, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
Aschlafly, my kids attend a private Christian school, and I only allow them to watch Christian shows and movies on television (and only Godtube and Conservapedia online). Consider me skeptical of your true faith in Christianity for thinking that a movie full of secular music and absent of the Lord's message is good. Actually, you stated that you haven't even seen the movie yet, but you're still on here causing controversy; it clearly states at the top that this forum is for people who have seen the movie. It is not for people who want to debate something that they haven't even seen. -Nathan --john1989 19:00, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

I have seen the movie, and though I am a Christian I thought it was an exellent movie that did stand up for truth. I have trouble being sceptical about anyone's faith just because they liked a movie that wasn't explicitly Christian. There is a fine line between prudence and legalism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BenjaminS (talk)

Unfortunately, there is no news of a theatre release in the UK. I may have to buy it on DVD in order to see it. A disappointment, because watching a significant event in the company of others is more uplifting than watching it on ones own. :( BrianCo 12:22, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

Could any of you who have seen the movie comment on whether or not the Time review misrepresented Stein? The article here specifically claims it does (saying Time put words into Stein's mouth, misquoting him, and indulging in character assassination), and it was the cause of much debate here on the Talk pages a few days ago. The Time review certainly says that "[Stein...asks], for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup". Is that a true representation of what Stein says? Does he actually pose that question, or have Time deliberately misquoted him? It would be a rather serious offense if they had, and worth contacting them about. Billabong 14:20, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

I thought the movie was interesting and thought-provoking. My wife came to the profound realization that domesticated species (in which man controls the genetics of the creatures) are in many ways inferior to wild species. Compare the wild turkey or wild cow to the domesticated turkey and domesticated cow and you have an example of what happens when Man controls the gene pool.
At any rate, I think Stein did a masterful job of presenting the case but he revealed to me the fundamental question of ID as a science (rather than as a belief). Five hundred years ago science banished spells, fairies, ghosts or anything unseen from science. This line of thinking has brought us to our present day point of understanding. We're now ready for a paradigm shift that is just as profound as when spiritualism was separated from science. Science is ready for the skeptical inclusion of spiritualism as part of science. We've matured enough to consider the possibility that God may be in the machine. Even the most ardent skeptic has to agree that it only makes sense to examine the possibility, because we can not prove either side with any certainty.
I highly recommend this movie and would contribute to a fund to pay for high school students to attend this film. Everwill 07:05, 20 April 2008 (EDT)


I saw the film last night for an article I am writing on the distinctions between British and American Conservatism -- much of it focusing on the two G's: Guns and God -- and I found the piece reasonably well made but utterly fallacious and unconvincingly hysterical. None of the scientific arguments hold up and the suggestions of a witch hunt are feeble beyond belief. Oh and the comments from "Nathan" above are clearly part of a hoax by somebody taking the mickey out of Conservapedia's core readership. It's quite funny, but there's no way it's genuine. KeithJoseph 14:25, 20 April 2008 (GMT)
Everwill, thanks much for your comment and your suggestion of a fund for teenagers to see the movie is a great idea. I'd like to take my class of 40 to see it. KeithJoseph, the second half of your posting makes sense but your first half gives no reasons and does not make sense. "Unconvincingly hysterical"??? That's a new expression that I find incoherent.--Aschlafly 09:29, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

I simply mean that, despite the force of its hysteria, it fails to convince. I don't pretend that the phrase os worthy of Wittgenstein, but it does, I think, make sense (even if you disagree). KeithJoseph 14:40, 20 April 2008 (GMT)

Evolutionists are calling the movie "hysterical", but it's obvious that they are not amused by it. Now you seem to be giving a less obvious meaning to "hysterical", but your new meaning is inconsistent with your adjective "unconvincingly". Perhaps you also found the movie to be "irrationally rational"??? Godspeed.--Aschlafly 10:12, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Aschlafly, don't you mean adverb? The word unconvincingly, in this context, is an adverb; if we are to nitpick about grammar, then maybe you should be more careful in your own editing process.--Claypool 13:36, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Erm? I don't really want to get too caught up in semantics, but you seem to be assuming that I was using "hysterical" in the informal sense, meaning amusing, whereas I meant that Stein exhibits -- to quote the Oxford English Dictionary's definition of hysteria -- "exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement". I really, really wish I had used a different phrase now. Can we pretend I said "unconvincing in its scaremongering" and leave it at that? Good grief! To quote Monty Python, I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition. Mind you NOBODY expects ... KeithJoseph 15:26, 20 April 2008 (GMT)

Your phrase "unconvincingly hysterical" is so absurd that I'm skeptical you even saw the movie. If you did, I doubt you saw it with an open mind if that is your analysis. Your phrase is too ridiculous to be genuine, in my opinion.--Aschlafly 13:40, 20 April 2008 (EDT)


I am utterly dumbfounded. I offer a brief review -- admittedly negative -- and, for my troubles, I receive a stream of abuse concerning some supposed grammatical infelicity and I am then called a liar. How, exactly, did your puzzling objections to that phrase lead you to suppose I hadn't seen the film? (Not a rhetorical question.) I saw the film in New York City, which I am visiting for a press junket, and will happily answer any questions on it to prove my honesty. I am happy to say that, to this point, most American conservatives I've encountered have been very civil. You are, happily, not representative in that respect. KeithJoseph 19:55, 20 April 2008 (GMT)
There is nothing uncivil about my remarks. Your phrase about the movie is so absurd that it suggested to me a lack of being a genuine review. If you did see the movie, then I'm convinced you didn't see it with an open mind, and nothing in your "review" suggests otherwise to me.--Aschlafly 20:27, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

While I am aware that I have just come off a block and I also am also totally focused on making more substantial edits I still must say that, Aschlafly, your critique of the above gentlemans grammatical use is slightly childish. We are all adults here and KeithJoseph had a legitimate point. AdenJ 05:56, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

I must concur that Aschlafly's comments seem a bit uncivil ... at first blush. But, there is a certain incivility to calling a bluff in any forum. I cannot remember how many times I sat and politely listened to bold-faced lies. I knew there was no point in letting the braggart or liar know how/why I knew his statements were false so I let them float. In this case, after a bit of thinking, I tend to agree with Aschlafly's assertion that KeithJoseph did not actually watch the movie.
In Expelled, the camera work is at times annoying and dizzying, with far too many cuts and angle changes. KeithJoseph describes the movie as "reasonably well-made". I would describe it as poorly-made and obvious low budget. This tends to support Aschlafly's theory about KeithJoseph.
Secondly, KeithJoseph then goes on to describe the piece as "hysterically unconvincing". I have to admit that I heard some young girls laughing in the theatre, but the timing of the laughter seemed to indicate that they agreed with Stein's thesis as the girls laughed early on at some of the most ridiculous atheistic statements in the movie.
I heard ZERO laughter when Stein was touring the concentration camps and examining where the logic of "natural selection" leads. A reasonable person could disagree with the movie for a number of reasons, but the movie never approached "hysterical" on any level or in any sense of the word. Thus, I tend to agree that KeithJoseph has not actually seen the film.
This is not to say that reasonable people cannot criticize or disagree with the movie's premise. (For example, I think it was poorly made.) But the criticism should be accurate and reasonable to be taken seriously. For example, a perfectly reasonable comparison which I have read elsewhere is the comparison to Michael Moore's films. (Isn't it odd that Stein is now lumped in with Michael Moore by the same folks who agreed with Michael Moore?)
At any rate, I have not watched any of Michael Moore's films because I don't want to fund a premise which I categorically reject. Therefore I will stand corrected if my assumptions about the content of Michael Moore's movies are wrong. It is my understanding Michael Moore uses his films to assert a particular point of view. Stein's film is much less ambitious.
Expelled does not attempt to prove that God exists or that Evolution is wrong. Stein focuses on freedom---the right of all Americans. He documents how scientists are being prevented from examining certain possibilities. Even if these scientists are "wrong" why can't they do research and examine theory? Any rational person must admit that it is possible that an intelligence designed the universe.
Expelled asks only this question: if ID is a possibility then why can't free scientists explore this possibility? That alone seems perfectly reasonable, and not hysterically unconvincing. Everwill 07:34, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Couldn't have said it better myself. If you don't mind, I'm going to copy what you said into the body of the article. --Ed Poor Talk 07:46, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
I am just speeding out the door and will have to wait until tonight to respond to the -- reasonably stated -- comments by Everwill above, but I must just come back to the, by now, very overworked, debate on my use of the word "hysterical". This may involve a distinction between British (or in my case, Irish) English and American English, but when I see the word "hysterical" my first instinct is that the writer is using it in its formal sense. In this case I was suggesting that Stein, despite his sang froid, was panicking unduly about a supposed threat to free speech. He was, in my view, being "hysterical". I never intended to make a comment on whether the film was funny or not and I am really amazed that everyone seems to have taken "hysterical" to mean "hysterically funny". I am even more amazed that so much attention has been focussed on one stray word. Is Bill Clinton editing this page? "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is". KeithJoseph 14:07, 21 April 2008 (GMT)
It's really not important what you want to parse hysterical into meaning. It means what it means. But I can accept your rephrasing at face-value and still find your statements do not jive with my understanding of reality.
If by "hysterical" you meant "very", well you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Perhaps the reason I found Mr. Stein's arguments so ... er ... hysterically convincing, is because I have witnessed that Wall of Oppression first hand. I know that it exists because I have encountered those people who want to crush the idea of Intelligent Design. They have a blood-thirsty religious fanaticism propelling their point of view and they stand upon opinion as if it were fact.
As an aside, I am no Young Earth Creationist. At times, in my life I'm not even sure I believed in a god, as I am forever repulsed by single-minded irrational attachment to dogma. As I learn more, I adjust my world view to accommodate additional facts. I see the YEC crowd as unbending and as unrealistic as the anti-ID atheists. I for one am in favor of letting the facts stand as they are, whether they support the Bible, Anton Levay or the atheist's manifesto. Facts are facts. I think that Stein has done a public service by uncovering the damaging effects of money and bias upon Big Science. Everwill 10:48, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

And on it goes. The phrase I used was "unconvincingly hysterical" not "hysterically unconvincing". So it hardly seems likely that I meant it to mean "very". If you are going to pull my words apart then please pull apart the correct words. KeithJoseph 16:09, 21 April 2008 (GMT)

I watched the movie last night. It was a well-made movie; anyone who thinks otherwise is letting their world view and prejudice get in the way of their thinking. Ben Stein made the movie interesting and inspiring. I think the best argument put forth in the movie was not that ID is undeniable fact, but rather that we should have the freedom to express both sides of the argument. If the best Darwinists have is the idea that life came in on the backs of crystals or aliens made us, is this really too much to ask? And they're the ones calling the Bible a bunch of fairy tales XD. It just seems that they'll take anything BUT the Bible. I don't know what you think, but I think that's bad science and a little disturbing. --David Rtalk 11:37, 21 April 2008 (EDT)


I have been following this movie's development and was very excited to see that it was given such a widespread release being a documentary. This movie was a much needed work to expose the widespread censorship by evolutionist of any notion of intelligent design. I've found a lot of people have no idea of the level that evolutionist will go to keep their theory "safe" from competing ideas and ultimately reality. In the interviews this movie did a good job of exposing the heart of the issue for those on the persecuting side. While some such as Dawkins are willing to accept the possibility of completely unfounded ideas such as aliens being responsible for creating life, they are unwilling to accept the most obvious of answers that we were created by God. The true issues is not about science, it's about their unwillingness to allow God into their atheistic world view. To quote Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." The irrationality of the atheistic can be clearly seen even by those who have hardened their hearts against any notion of God. This is why they are so adamant against any idea of God as the creator. Once that idea is allowed, they fear their greatest mental stronghold will be demolished. It's no wonder they hold so strongly to their position of power within the scientific and academic community. One thing I have observed in the public arena is that once you question evolution atheistic evolutionist rush to the defense through everything from argument to ridicule. Just look at the films ratings on IMDB's Expelled Page It's interesting to note how many have rated this film 1 without even seeing it, offended by the very premise of the movie. The first day there was an initial rush of 1 votes by those that gave this movie a poor rating as soon as they were given the chance. One of issues Stein brought to light in this film was media censorship and ridicule of the intelligent design by the media. Liberal movie critics jumped at the chance to misrepresent this film, and lambasting it's very premise with comments such as an attempt to deceive audiences and (an) obvious propaganda piece It's apparent one needn't go far to prove that point. I strongly feel this film is a must see for anyone. To comment on the quality of the production, Ben Stein did an excellent job of producing a documentary that is both entertaining and informative. DanCon 01:23, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Oh my gosh Nathan! I've grown up my whole life in a Christian missionary home... and I don't mind decent secular music! Besides, the film wasn't a Christian film. It existed to point out a wrong in the scientific community, not to evangalize! My goodness your kids are over sheltered if this movie offended you! Saksjn 17:30, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

I watched the movie at its premiere, but was blocked and haven't had a chance to add my comments here (per the request above) until now. I was even interviewed for television about it, although because it was a Christian media company, I doubt they will air my comments.

It was a pretty bizarre film. Literally five seconds into it, they begin interspersing scenes with old film clips of Stalin's USSR, the Berlin Wall, and Nazi Germany, without any explanation. It isn't until much later that you find out the actual "meaning" behind these scenes.

The film also adopted a strange tactic... it spent the first hour arguing for freedom and how no idea could be dangerous, but that academic inquiry demanded all possibilities be open. And then it spent the second hour insinuating that evolution by means of natural selection was a dangerous idea because it "led" to Nazi ideals. This would seem to be contradictory, at least on its face.

The three or four examples provided by Stein were not very conclusive, especially after one becomes familiar with them. Richard Sternberg martyrs himself in the movie, implying that he was fired from his position and he lost his office because of intelligent design, but even ID advocates admit that neither fact is true. He was already scheduled to leave the journal in which he published the ID paper, and it was his last issue to edit. And the office change at the Smithsonian just moved him to a different office, which he then relocated voluntarily. The rest of the examples are about of the same calibre, and no statistics or other data is provided to suggest that there are others (aside from shadowy anonymous people, but the movie lacks the credibility to believe that).

I couldn't help but notice that they made a number of propaganda-style moves in the film. For example, they only refer to the theory of evolution by natural selection as "Darwinism," perhaps to imply it is some sort of cult of personality. But it would be absurd to suggest that modern evolutionary theory relies primarily on Darwin's works. The basic premise he suggested holds true and has been found to be accurate inasmuch as we can tell in science, but that is a very different thing. No one calls relativity "Einsteinism" for the same reason. Another ideological move was to cherry-pick interviewees, selecting only rabidly atheist or terminally-ill insane Texans to represent the evolution side of the debate. Without balancing out this presentation, it just makes it hilariously biased. A comparable move would be a pro-science (evolution) movie which only interviewed Kevin Hovind and his ilk through prison bars. Interestingly and on a side note, the movie equated ID with creationism throughout. I guess the Discovery Institute forgot to remind them to pretend there was a distinction.

Most particularly, the movie used the Holocaust to try to make their ideological point, and didn't even do so well. Berlinski and Stein discuss in the movie how "Darwinism" was a "necessary but not sufficient" cause for Nazism and the Holocaust, yet the movie proceeds to dwell on that tragedy overlong nonetheless. Even if you believe evolution was "necessary but not sufficient," why would you then use that incredible emotional manipulation on the audience to suggest that evolution was the cause? By traveling to the camp (Dachau, I think?) and then discussing at length what went on there, it implies that evolution is at fault, even after they just had to admit that it was not. It's rather insulting.

Stylistically, it borrowed a lot of Michael Moore's techniques, as others have pointed out. Having Dawkins sit in darkness on a stage and Stein travel in a taxicab to "confront" him paints the same sort of (absurd) hero shot that Moore uses (such as in Moore's Roger and Me, when he "confronts" the CEO of Ford Motors). Things like that were fairly common, and the movie actually got pretty boring about two-thirds of the way through. The "shucks I'm just here finding out the truth" schtick got old very quickly... I don't see how anyone couldn't see that the whole approach was staged, and that he had this agenda from the beginning.

So overall, not a very good movie in general, and ludicrously ineffective in establishing its point. Two thumbs way down.--TomMoore 14:22, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

ID and science

Physical science has self-imposed limits. ID says that limiting the search for explanations is a silly way to account for the appearance of design. Are criminology and archaeology sciences? Is Stonehenge properly considered to be ancient ruins, or must we look to physical causes like erosion. Okay, then how about crop circles? Caused by strange wind patterns, or more likely to be a hoax?

If there is the appearance of design, there must be a designer. Why should this eliminate design as a consideration? Is science judged on its implications? Its adherents don't do that, when it comes to Social Darwinism and the Nazi Holocaust. "You can't blame us theoreticians for the conclusions that others draw," they say? Then why should ID be any different?

Anyone who has a double standard has something to hide or an axe to grind, but scientific theories should stand up to scrutiny. Dismissing or expelling critics are illegitimate means of avoiding a debate over whether materialistic theories are sufficient to explain "apparent evolution". That's all the producers are saying, and every review which changes the subject proves their point. Putting words in Stein's mouth, telling us how "we already addressed this", etc., are all great debating tactics when you're on stage trying to fool the general public. But science should be above shoddy political tricks. --Ed Poor Talk 10:05, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

Science limits itself to things that are falsifiable.       Even science teachers and the scientific press get this wrong sometimes, but science's answer to "might there be an intelligent designer?" is not "no", it's "science doesn't have the tools to evaluate the answer to that question". It's not specific to ID either... if you asked science "is there an invisible incorporeal dragon in my garage?", the answer would be "on a purely scientific basis, our tools aren't able to evaluate that question".
The thing is, other fields in education are able to evaluate questions like that, so they're worth bringing up in the classroom. (science classrooms too, as long as there's an implicit understanding that the discussion is an interdisciplinary one, or that it's about the limits of science) --Interiot 13:50, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Finally, a voice of reason ... welcome back, Interiot! :-) --Ed Poor Talk 21:35, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Science is supposed to limit itself to things that are falsifiable, but so often doesn't. The question that ID poses is not "might there be an intelligent designer?" so much as "is there evidence of intelligent design?". Forensic science, archaeology, the SETI program, etc., all ask that question, so why can't ID ask it? Philip J. Rayment 03:49, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
Interiot deserves credit for raising the question of the limits of science, which needs to be covered better in Philosophy of science. The idea that God may choose to act in predictable ways is a hypothesis (or assumption), just as viable as our age-old assumption that physical laws are invariant. For example, things that feel heavy always fall when dropped. The stars go around the sky every night, but some of those little lights move with respect to the others (these wanderers are called planets).
It's up to us to figure out what the rules are - of physical phenomena and anything else we can study.
What are the laws governing the human mind? Thought, emotion, will - are these purely manifestations of biochemistry in our brains, or what? I don't think Physical science has a monopoly on the study of Psychology and Sociology, but these are still sciences, aren't they?
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ed Poor (talk)
Those "age-old assumption that physical laws are invariant" are not age-old, but are specifically Christian-based assumptions. See Natural science#Beginnings for some details. Philip J. Rayment 06:36, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

Biblical position

I added a comment that, from a Christian point of view, ID is as a false as evolution. Mr Rayment has just told me - in answer to a question about why the Gap theory is not given "equal time" here Quote:

but really, the YEC view is the only one that actually fits what the Bible says, so this encyclopedia is not going to treat other views as though they have equal validity.

Why, then, was my comment about ID being as false as evolution removed? It is obvious that ID has no validity, why not say so?Tolerance 11:22, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

What part of ID is false (from a Christian point of view)? Surely not the part which says life is to complex to have come into being by natural forces and physical laws alone? If there's a Christian (or any other kind of Creationist) who disagreed, you would have named him. So your comment is not constructive - and is in fact unrelated to discussion about how to improve this article. --Ed Poor Talk 21:07, 19 April 2008 (EDT)
The excellent "Answers in Genesis" website criticizes ID here and here. Some quotes are
"Acceptance of ID thinking en masse could just as easily lead to New-Age or Hindu-like notions of creation, as well as weird alien sci-fi notions.3 In such instances, a Christian might well see that the metaphorical exorcism of one socio-philosophical demon would have achieved merely its replacement by others, possibly worse."
and
Proponents of ID fail to understand that a belief in long ages for the earth formed the foundation of Darwinism.5 If God’s Word is not true concerning the age of the earth, then maybe it’s not true concerning other events of the Creation Week; and maybe God was not a necessary part of the equation for life after all."Tolerance 11:04, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Answers in Genesis is a resource, not the standard we measure against in our articles. ID, in its pure form, says nothing about specific theology. It simply states that when we take all of the evidence from our world and the universe around us, that it appears we were designed as the 'finished product' of life on our planet would not be what we see today in a solely naturalistic system without outside influence. This would agree with Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, or theistic evolution. Learn together 15:07, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, but Behe, the most well known proponent of ID, is certainly a supporter of, for example, Common Descent. He is one of the people mentioned (I believe) in the film. Presumably you would agree with me that he is wrong? And as wrong as the evolutionists?Tolerance 15:11, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Behe is probably the most famous ID proponent in modern times and the man most responsible for seeing Intelligent Design brought to the forefront. That being said, his personal views beyond the idea that there is a design have no importance in Intelligent Design itself. Learn together 15:19, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
OK Your Mr Poor challenged me to find a Christian and or creationist source which criticized ID. Answers in Genesis is probably the most respected creationist source on the web. I have provided a couple of illustrative quotes which show their point of view. (There are many others that could be found, click the links and read the articles.) If ID only said that there is evidence of design then I would have no problem with it. But it says a lot more than that. It says long timescales and it says common descent. At least that is what the scientific version says. And, as far as I can tell, that is the version this film is about. The "scientific" one.Tolerance 15:41, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
  • (Interjecting) Your comment is off-topic. This article is not about ID as much as it as about attempts to silence people who talk about it in academia. Science has nothing to fear from false ideas; rather, it is the antidote to falsehood, error and superstition. If you are saying that one of the excuses the anti-ID camp use to silence their critics is simply to brand it as having "no validity", then *that* can go in the article. Do you have any info about that? --Ed Poor Talk 07:03, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Again, ID, in its pure form, does not make those claims. You can have different versions within ID, but it's not fair to attribute any particular version as Intelligent Design while disregarding the views of others who also believe in Intelligent Design, but not as you have specified it. Within the secular/atheistic community, the complaint against ID is that it is Young Earth Creationism, just not specifically claiming 6000 years - which is very different from how you define it above. Learn together 15:49, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

I can do not better than quote from that magnificent resource Answers in Genesis:

"the major problem with the ID movement is a divorce of the Creator from creation. The Creator and His creation cannot be separated; they reflect on each other."

and

"Ironically, despite already drawing the fire aimed at Genesis, the Bible and Christianity, many other prominent figures in the IDM reject or are hostile to Biblical creation, especially the notion of the recent creation of a good world, ruined by man’s Fall into sin. For tactical reasons, they have been urged (especially by their coolest and wisest head, Phil Johnson, who does not himself share that hostility) not to publicly condemn their Genesis-believing fellow travelers, although this simmering opposition has burst forth from time to time."

Surely it is obvious that there is a problem with ID?Tolerance 16:14, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

I'm not sure you're listening. Intelligent Design is the idea that the evidence in the world and cosmos shows shows that we are designed. Of course different people under that umbrella aren't going to agree with each other. So? Learn together 17:28, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
If you'd like to mention in the Intelligent Design article the fact that it has been criticized by some elements within Christianity, I look forward to seeing that. Be sure, however, not to misrepresent this POV as a "standard view".
Conservatives have varied opinions. Christians have varied opinions. We agree to disagree, rather than to claim that one view is held by all. (Aside from the basics, such as "God exists", of course! :-) --Ed Poor Talk 21:33, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

ID is a scientific approach that finds fault with evolution and says that a creator must be present because nature has signs of design in it. What's un-Christian about that? Saksjn 17:34, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Long timescales and common descent is theistic evolution, not ID. ID does not take a stance on whether the earth is young or old... stop putting words in it's mouth! Saksjn 17:36, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Who are you talking to? If you want to debate, we should have several Debate Topics related to this issue - and you are free to create another page. But this "talk page" is only for discussion of ways to improve the article. --Ed Poor Talk 17:40, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm new here, but I find this a moat interesting question. Could you tell me which debate pages specifically address the question of timescale within ID? Thanks. Albertdock 16:58, 24 April 2008 (EDT)

Eugenics

We discuss the impact in Nazi Germany, but it didn't stop there. The United States had its own program to sterilize inferiors prior to World War II with some at the time even complaining that the Nazis were pulling ahead of us. The impact of evolutionary thought was taking hold across all Western culture. Thankfully that ended when the horrors of the Holocaust were seen, but it was certainly a striking time in our own history as well - and one that is usually ignored so as not to show the path we went down with "survival of the fittest" even in our own country. Learn together 11:18, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

Right. Fortunately, America had people who stood up to the movement and objected, like William Jennings Bryan.--Aschlafly 13:41, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
The film mentions the connection between Darwinism and eugenics - IIRC it says how many people the U.S. sterilized. --Ed Poor Talk 20:24, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

"Racial Hygiene" is, and was, no more an evolutionary concept than genocide has ever been a christian concept. Both have been tagged as such in specific circumstances and neither of the broader terms deserved to be associated with the narrower. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Scholl (talk)

Your comment is absurd. Evolution teaches "survival of the fittest," and that the fittest races will survive. Christianity rejects that nonsense.--Aschlafly 09:39, 8 May 2008 (EDT)

Imposing your view point

Walton One, you are the one actually trying to impose your view point. This is a conservative encyclopedia and we cannot treat it like your personal propoganda. Please do not impose a liberal point of view. It is conservapedia not liberalpedia. --Heffalump 14:27, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

While you may not agree with Walton One's changes, work with him constructively. Our goal is truth. We happen to believe it is found in Conservative ideals, but it is not our intention to cut off the dialogue of a user who has been around for some time and contributed articles to our site in the past that were thorough and educational. Learn together 15:05, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
(To Heffalump) I am a conservative not a liberal, and I don't have a strong personal opinion about the film or about ID. I am trying to ensure the article is neutral and factual, by removing personal opinion and speculation, as per point 5 of the Conservapedia Commandments: Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry. Opinions can be posted on Talk:pages or on debate or discussion pages. I am not imposing any viewpoint on the article. I realise it is difficult to strike the right balance on such a controversial topic, but we can at least try to be even-handed. Walton One 15:06, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Theistic evolution

This is mentioned in the film, but very briefly. I wish I had a transcript as my notes are incomplete.

One of the men they interviewed said that evolution is incompatible with creationism, despite attempts by Darwinists to enlist liberal Christians. --Ed Poor Talk 20:32, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Full rewrite needed

Now that I've seen the film, I'm entirely dissatisfied with the article (except the intro and some of the external links).

Basically, the existing version of this article is centered on the POV of ID opponents, rather than being based on the film. While it is okay to voice criticism of the film, first the article should summarize the film and then go into detail about the narrative, composition, look and feel, and especially the points it makes.

If there are any rebuttals to its points, that should come next.

Peripheral points, such as general evolution vs. ID debate, should be minimal. Like a brief summary and then a link to one of our Debate Topics. --Ed Poor Talk 20:36, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Make your voice heard

If your contribution or comment has been reverted, and you think this is just as bad as what the Darwinists have been doing to their opponents, come to Conservapedia:Censorship and voice your opinion. --Ed Poor Talk 06:57, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Eugenics and the Holocaust

A major complaint about the film is its exposure of the ideological linkage between Darwinism's "survival of the fittest" idea, and the Social Darwinism based on it. Critics insinuate (or state outright?) that the film unfairly blames the theory of evolution for what demagogues and despots did with it.

However, the film mentions at least twice that no one is blaming all evolutionists for sterilizations and mass murder. But it does point out the precise way in which Hitler used Darwin's ideas to support Nazi ideology.

This needs to be explained better in the article. We should not print a unsubstantiated accusations here; critics can make their false accusations on their own websites - even if that is an abuse of the freedom of speech - because there should be no censorship in academic debate.

But a trustworthy encyclopedia is not a newspaper; there is no rush to be first to "break a story". Contributors should watch the movie and write about what the remember seeing and hearing. --Ed Poor Talk 07:38, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

  • I suspected before watching the film that critics were misrepresenting it, in terms of its presentation of the links between Darwinism, Eugenics and the Holocaust. The typical screed went, "How dare they say evolution is responsible for Nazi genocide?"
  • As I watched the film, I made notes of the places where the film makers took pains to make precisely the opposite point of what those critics had said. So I think I was justified in removing their "reviews" on the grounds of simply not being trustworthy. --Ed Poor Talk 18:45, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I am of the belief that most of our 'reviews' and viewpoints of individuals detracts from the article, which should be about the movie itself. The article comes across as a back and forth pull of reviews. It doesn't flow. In other words it's sounding a bit like WP. Learn together 03:35, 23 April 2008 (EDT)
No, it's sounding precisely like Associated Press, the cream of liberal news media.
Here's a nice review or summary:
  • “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” is a feature-length documentary film about researchers, professors, and academics who claim to have been marginalized, silenced, or threatened with academic expulsion because of their challenges to some or all parts of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Makers of the documentary said the movie doesn't seek to champion intelligent design as the sole truth but calls for more academic freedom, where challenges to any scientific theory including Darwinism would be fairly considered. [2]
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ed Poor (talk)

They keep having to lock the WP article

It's just a regular comedy of errors over there. Sometimes it's a full lock and sometimes it's a block of anonymous users. Is it any wonder WP is garbage? Exactly how people think it's a reliable source for anything but the most basic, non-controversial things is beyond me. Jinxmchue 15:13, 23 April 2008 (EDT)

Very well put, Jinxmchue. I find Wikipedia to be worthless for anything of real interest. How Wikipedia is handling Expelled is just one of over 100 Examples of Bias in Wikipedia.--Aschlafly 15:42, 23 April 2008 (EDT)
I finally took at a look at their version, and now I see where all the changes are coming from to our version, which I have been reverting. They are simply plagiarizing WP - ironic, in view of the media flap over the animation Premise Media allegedly plagiarized from Harvard. --Ed Poor Talk 16:37, 23 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm not trying to be rude... but why is it that when Wikipedia locks an article, it's liberal bias. But one of our own admins he consdered locking it because he assumed there would be vandalsim, which is fine. Also, Jinxmchue mocks the blocking of anon. users, but doesn't acknowledge that this site doesn't even allow anon. edits (not that I don't understand why) and for some time, it was common practice to block entire ranges of IP addresses to prevent vandals. Doctor CBThe Doctor is In 23:48, 23 April 2008 (EDT)
Wikipedia tends to lock articles which liberals on the site have deemed to "own." If you look at the edit history of the WP article, it is obvious which group controls it (and with such concrete reasoning such as "So what?" for removing relevant material that doesn't trash the movie). And WP prides itself on being open to edits by anyone and everyone, anonymous or not. CP makes no such claim. Jinxmchue 01:29, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
In all fairness there are several articles here which seem to be "owned" not by a group of editors but by a single person. In the case of Wikipedia there has been clear edit warring which would, by the rules, require a degree of protection (I would personally favour a blanket protection for a few days and no edits to see if some of the issues can be settled on the talk page). Here the articles have received less edit warring or vandalism, and appear to be presently locked for the sake of it. StatsMsn!~
Normally, I'm not one to give much credence to the "bias in Wikipedia" charge, but I have to admit, in this case, it is appropriate. A lot of a quotations are inappropriate for the sections they're in, and it's obvious that parts of it are meant to steer the reader towards a certain opinion. The article is coming down on one side of the issue, and a good encyclopedia shouldn't do that.--Frey 09:35, 24 April 2008 (EDT)
The WP article is now over 100KB in length (and has a warning about that), with well over half of it devoted to criticisms notable or not. Jinxmchue 01:33, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Definition of criticism

Saying that they quoted Darwin is not a criticism. Complaining that they took Darwin out of context would be a criticism, but the section I deleted does not do that. Is there anyone who feels that the points the film made about Darwinism and Eugenics were incorrect? Okay, but first quote the film accurately.

What did the film say about the connection between the writings of Charles Darwin and the beginnings of Eugenics? Or what did Eugenics advocates, such as Hitler, say which sounds reminiscent of Darwin? And who in the movie blames Darwin?

In one or two places in the movie Stein (and maybe someone else) specifically says they are not blaming Darwin for the social implications of his theory - nor are they saying that modern evolutionists are justifying the Holocaust. So what's the criticism?

Sounds like the usual silliness, like:

  1. The film has Wells in it
  2. He's a creationist
  3. Therefore the film endorses creationism
  4. Believing in creationism makes you untrustworthy
  5. Therefore the film should not be trusted

That's silly because it also has an atheist in it. Does that mean the film endorses atheism? No, it explores the intersection between atheism and other ideas, and the way academia censors any opposing POV and vilifies its critics.

If anyone vilifies the movie, we can name them and even describe their arguments. Like, "Mr. A said the movie is dishonest because the trailer showed Ben Stein in short pants while in the movie he always wore long pants." --Ed Poor Talk 16:30, 24 April 2008 (EDT)

Scientific American

The SciAm rebuttal makes six points. Most are irrelevant or nonsensical. Take for example their admission that science does reject design out of hand. They reason they give is identical to one of the arguments for atheism. This comes right after claiming that mainstream science's rejection of design is unrelated to atheism.

I'd rather not quote SciAm uncritically. If they want to make an argument, fine. But we needn't give it credence. --Ed Poor Talk 16:39, 24 April 2008 (EDT)

Whoa, isn't the point of Expelled about the unfairness if people finding a 'scientific' viewpoint lacking in credibility suppressing its open discussion? If you want ID to be treated credibly, then why not give Scientific American's rebuttal a place in the article and let it stand or fall on it's merit? Otherwise, you wind up using the same tactics you criticize as unfair. --JC 20:59, 24 April 2008 (EDT)
Not exactly. The film points out the unfairness of suppressing a viewpoint - period. Don't be obtuse: no one suppresses viewpoints which lack credibility; no one has to suppress the flat earth theory, the very act of considering it makes it obvious to you that it's false.
The trouble with ID is that considering gives it credibility. The idea that design comes from a designer usually makes sense to people, and so does the idea that life shows signs of having been designed. Only someone who has a non-scientific motive for suppressing design theory would be scared of letting it be described in a science journal or university class. --Ed Poor Talk 19:27, 27 April 2008 (EDT)
Science doesn't reject design out of hand as much as it asserts that saying something has a supernatural cause is not valid science, because it can't be proved or disproved by the scientific method. The proposal that there's an intelligent designer behind reality belongs should be studied as philosophy and/or religion, and if it can ever be tested under the scientific method, then as science.

By the way, your first comment mentioned that "Most are irrelevant or nonsensical." Which ones do you consider to be be the valid points, and why weren't they left in the article? --DinsdaleP 10:55, 1 May 2008 (EDT)
ID does not claim that the designer is supernatural. It leaves that question open, probably specifically on the grounds that you mention. However, that's not the same thing as saying that science is unable to detect evidence of design. Science frequently does that, so you are incorrect to claim that the proposal that there's an intelligent designer behind life (which is all that ID claims, I think) should not be studied by science. Philip J. Rayment 06:40, 2 May 2008 (EDT)
You're right about the nature of the designer - I've heard ID proponents claim that it could be mystical, extraterrestrial or something completely different in nature - the unifying idea being that there's a designer, period.

I don't have a problem at all with science exploring the origins of life or the universe. When you see the arrangement of rocks in Stonehenge you can assume they're the result of chance, but it doesn't take much scientific investigation to conclude that there was design involved, and therefore a designer. Where life is concerned it gets trickier, though. You can recreate in a lab the conditions that cause chemicals to combine and form amino acids on their own, and you can examine single-celled creatures to how amino acids compose part of a living thing. You can also study viruses, which are not alive in their own sense, but contain the RNA components to affect living things to reproduce themselves, and sit somewhere on a complexity scale between amino acids and a living amoeba. ID looks at the middle and end-points (viruses and amoeba), and states that these are too complex to exist without a designer, but that seems to fall short to me. There are many things we don't understand yet (and maybe never will), but ID is more like taking a shortcut to a simple answer instead of taking the time (maybe lifetimes) to probe further through the scientific method. (The paradox of "Who designed the Designer, then?" tells me that it's a shortcut)

When you look at man's understanding of science and the universe in 1908 and compare it to 2008 the progress is greater than in all of recorded history. I'd have to believe that there will be progress between now and 2108 that will resolve may of ID's questions without a designer needing to be involved. Maybe not, but it sure seems more likely.--DinsdaleP 20:14, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
One problem with your argument is that it's basically expressing faith that naturalism will one day account for life. Okay, you can have that faith if you choose, but that faith is not grounds for saying that ID is not science. The evidence at this stage is that naturalism cannot account for life. Hence ID is science.
Your argument about amino acids, viruses, and amoeba seems to be saying that there is a sequence there, rather than a clear break. But that "sequence" is not really a sequence at all. Rather it is (a) three points with clear breaks between them, and (b) not even three points on a line. Some scientists have proposed, because of their relative simplicity, that viruses came before the first living cell. The problem with that is that viruses can only exist by hijacking the reproductive equipment of living cells, so could not have preceded them. So the "sequence" if there is one, is amino acids, living cells, viruses.
Further, reproducing the "natural" process of creating amino acids actually works against your argument. This is because life requires that all the amino acids be of a single chirality, whereas the "natural" processes creating them produce a mixture of left and right-handed forms, which will not work for life. So now your sequence is amino-acids-that-can't-produce-life, living cell, virus. The idea that they were intelligently designed is looking better all the time!
By the way, the reason that I put "natural" in quotes above is because the Urey-Miller experiments did not actually replicate natural conditions. Apart from using an oxygen-free "atmosphere" which is now known to be wrong, they had a very non-natural trap to remove the created amino acids from their "environment" before they could be broken down again.
I don't think it's fair to describe ID as stating that living things "are too complex to exist without a designer". Rather, I think it would be fairer to state that ID says that various aspects of living things could not have occurred naturally. Enormous complexity is a major reason why they could not have occurred naturally, but the ability to occur naturally (i.e. without design) is the pertinent point. To compare with Stonehenge, Stonehenge is not especially complex, but clearly would not have occurred naturally.
Philip J. Rayment 22:56, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Liberal reception

I am going to remove the 'Liberal reception' bit. What is the relevance? I am sure some conservatives dont like the movie either while I am sure some liberals are ID supporters. Unless someone can show why this needs to stay I will think of another way to phrase it AdenJ 19:28, 24 April 2008 (EDT)

WP versus the Good Guys

I made the mistake of glancing at Wikipedia's horrendous article about this movie. It's not so much an article about the movie as a point-by-point counter argument against the movie together with a long list of links to bad reviews of the movie. There are some devastating comments about the fairness of the article as compared to how other films were treated. The best part is that they have clearly revealed themselves as what they are: incredibly, wildly biased and totalitarian.

That said, I want to make sure that we safeguard against being Wikipedia's mirror image. I urge other editors to stay within bounds and maintain fairness rather than stepping over into advocacy. This article should not become a "proof" for ID. This article should remain an accurate representation of the movie's theme and ideas.

All that aside, I augmented and edited. Criticism and improvements are welcomed. Everwill 09:51, 27 April 2008 (EDT)

You speak as though Wikipedia has only just revealed their bias! Yet you and I both know that this is nothing new for them. Thanks for your edits. Although I had a few minor quibbles (and have made changes accordingly), your edits have improved the article. I only wish I could see the movie for myself to better judge the accuracy of the article. Philip J. Rayment 10:49, 27 April 2008 (EDT)
I would think eliminating advocacy could be served by removing the following things:
  • The "Find a Theatre Near You" box, which is outright advocacy.
  • The politicized reception sections, which classify all negative criticism as liberal.
  • The Roebuck quote, which is unencyclopedic and does not touch on the actual movie at all.
  • Large sections of the intro, which abandon the movie and simply argue ID.--TomMoore 13:54, 27 April 2008 (EDT)
I've made some changes following your comments.
The "Find a theatre" box is not advocacy, except perhaps to advocates seeing the movie. I had previously removed it from the main body of the text on the grounds of being unencyclopedic, which I think is a reasonable compromise.
I've changed the headings of the reception/review sections, but not removed the sections as you suggest: I couldn't see the point in removing them. This change actually solved a problem that I'd previously noticed, that Carl Wieland's comments were, as far as I know, not actually a review, he having not seen the movie, I would think.
I've removed the Roebuck quote on the grounds that it is about ID, not about the movie.
From a quick look, I can't see "large sections of the intro" arguing ID.
Philip J. Rayment 19:19, 27 April 2008 (EDT)
Well, I think this is some improvement. I still think that having the theatre box is clear advocacy to see the movie, which implies partisanship and high bias, considering how there is no such box for any other movie (to the best of my knowledge). But perhaps my view of the intro to the article (or rather, I see that I really mean the summary, sorry) is askew, but it still seems to me to be arguing the point rather than summarizing the movie. Thank you for the changes, though.--TomMoore 23:52, 27 April 2008 (EDT)
How many other movies do we have articles on, and how many of them are currently in theatres?
Well, it was the introduction that I checked, not the summary! But looking at the Summary now, I still can't see that it is arguing ID rather than simply describing what the movie is about.
Philip J. Rayment 02:28, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

Who here also edits expelled article at WP?

I spend ten times as much time their, but check in over here every once in a while. I have the same user name there if anyone wants to contact me. Who else edits both places? Saksjn 20:05, 27 April 2008 (EDT)

I would edit, but I'd probably be "banned" from it because it relates to ID - and I'm on probation there. They think that 'neutrality' and 'balance' are tendentious. --Ed Poor Talk 22:39, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

I tried editing it, but it's more stress than it's worth. I think it may be impossible to build a truly neutral and balanced article about this topic, at least through the conventional wiki process. Walton One 12:52, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

I've learned that to try to edit anything over there that has to do with evolution, Creationism or Intelligent Design, you usually run afoul of the system-gaming pro-evolution groupies. You can find most of their names on the list of WP's WikiProject: Intelligent Design, ironically enough. Any pro-Creationism, pro-ID or anti-evolution edits with references will be reverted or twisted by them and you will be hypocritically smeared as a "POV warrior." Wikipedia officially claims "there really is no cabal," but the truth is much different. Edit any article that has to do with evolution, Creationism or ID and at least one person from the above WikiProject will show up. Usually more so they can undermine WP's three revert rule. Jinxmchue 15:44, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Sadly, their admins will also try to lead you over a cliff. Knowing the three revert rule themselves, they will run right up to the edge, and then block you when you follow and fall over. In other words rather than attempt to be helpful, they attempt to take advantage of people who don't know as much as they do so they can have them removed or push them out. Learn together 12:59, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, and not only that, but at least two of the pro-evolutionist participants in the WikiProject: Intelligent Design are admins who, unsurprisingly, watch and defend each others' admin actions. If you try to complain about one's admin actions, the other quickly jumps in to handle the complaint. You'd think Wikipedia would prevent that from occurring. Or maybe you wouldn't think that, I guess. Jinxmchue 13:38, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
These are good criticisms of Wikipedia. Does any of this happen here? Sysops using reverting questions and then banning users trying to work out what the proper content should be on a talk page? Or complaints being handled only by sympathetic sysops who defend the actions of the other or have the complaints ignored altogether? It would seem that these types of behaviors are common to all wikis - and maybe even could be applied to groups of people and wikis are just one instance of it being shown. --Rutm 14:04, 21 May 2008 (EDT)

List under here (add comments above this line)


Saksjn 20:05, 27 April 2008 (EDT)


I found that article at wikipedia to be too biased, which is what brought me here. I'm glad to see some place is giving it a fair shake. DonaldG 20:01, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

moving find a theater box to the end

I'm going to move to the end as a link, we don't need to advocate a movie.Saksjn 09:52, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

Controversy

The article needs a controversy section, if we're going to tag it as "controversial" in the first sentence. What is the controversy? Is anyone saying the opposite of what the movie asserts?

Please list the 3 top sources who claim that ID is given equal time in the classroom.

Name any editor or college president who says that scientists are given complete academic freedom regarding ID throughout the English-speaking world.

It's not a controversy if the people accused of bullying and censorship issue denials. It's a controversy if there are two sides, presenting arguments. NCSE at least makes a case - even though their arguments are self-contradictory and focus on word games. --Ed Poor Talk 15:47, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

Are you saying that the film is not controversial? Simply on the grounds that its opponents aren't making a case? If the people accused of bullying and censorship issue denials, why doesn't this constitute there being two sides? Philip J. Rayment 10:36, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Oh, okay. Let's summarize the two sides then.

By the way, you said that someone confused intelligent design with creationism. I don't think that linkage was made out of actual confusion. The NCSE (among others) has specifically and repeatedly claimed that ID is an an aspect of creationism - although I'm not sure whether they meant YEC or OEC. If it's the former, than their claim is nonsense because YEC entails the faith-based proposition that God created every living thing less than 10,000 years ago. ID is neutral on "who the intelligent designer is" and "when it all began". But stop me if I'm veering off topic.

On the other hand, maybe this is one of the key points of the topic. ID opponents see the claims of Intelligent Design as contradicting the claims of Evolution. And the only alternative to evolution the opponents can think of is Creationism. We might summarize their argument as follows:

  1. Either evolution is true, or Creationism is true.
  2. If ID is true, evolution is false.
  3. Therefore, ID implies Creationism.

It's a pretty impressive theological argument, but it betrays their pretense of not having any religious preconceptions of their own. In fact, I think their chief objection to ID is that it undermines support for atheism.

Of course, they're "not supposed to admit that" so the only other thing they can do is expel ID and its proponents from the academy. --Ed Poor Talk 12:32, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Actually, I'm pretty sure one of the cheif objection here is that Inteligent Design turns the scientific method on its head by starting with a conclusion (God created us) and digging for evidence (Or, rather, a lack of evidence, as shown by the frequent objections on this wiki by creationists which go something like "Unless you have a perfect evolutionary path for every animal where every single step was fossilized, you're clearly wrong.") to support the conclusion. IndianaJ 01:59, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

But the Scientific Method starts with the presupposition that there is no God, or at least not a God that interfere with the world. It assumes that everything can be explained through naturalistic causes, which by definition precludes God from the start. Ultimahero 02:02, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Apples and oranges. The goal of science is to figure out how the world works and why it work the way it does. The goal of ID's research, if it can be called that (Really, can sifting through other research then throwing your hands up and saying "I dunno, God did it" be called research?) is to prove that life was designed by God. IndianaJ 02:10, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

It's not apples and oranges. You can't say ID starts off with one assumption and criticize it, then shrug it off when it's pointed out that the scientific method also starts out with an assumption. And ID is not "giving up". It's seeing what appears to be order and design and concluding that it was designed. Ultimahero 02:14, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Alright, I guess you're right. I shouldn't just shrug that off. However, if we're going through a list of things science does not assume exists, should you not logically criticise it for not accounting for the existence of Eris, Asherah, Loki, Enki, Thor, Zeus, Ra, Odin, Eostre, Mithras, Wiskedejak, Spiderman, or other such figures? Furthermore, wouldn't assuming God exists be, well, an assumption?
Yeah, like I said. Seeing what appears to be order and saying "Well, I guess God made it like that." instead of figuring out a plausible explanation for /why/ it's like that. IndianaJ 02:19, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

But then your saying that God is not a plausible explanation. Why not? In the ID movie, Richard Dawkins admitted to what appeared to be intelligent design, but claimed it might have been aliens who put the life there long ago. So, in all honesty, are aliens more plausible that God? Ultimahero 02:22, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Is a form of extra-terrestrial life form seeding the planet with lifeforms many millions of years ago more plausible than a supernatural entity creating the entire universe six thousand years ago and not allowing mutations to stack and change the species?
In all honesty, yeah. They're both rather unlikely, yes, but I'll put my chips on the aliens explanation over the supernatural one. IndianaJ 02:28, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Ed, perhaps I should have said "conflated intelligent design with creationism". Also, it depends on how one defines the terms. ID is creationism only in the broadest sense of the word, not in how it is normally used. Creationism doesn't for example, normally include the idea that we were created by aliens, whereas ID doesn't say who the designer is, so doesn't exclude the possibility of aliens.
IndianaJ, ID is a argument that the scientific evidence points to a designer. Now the proponents of ID might (or might not) have a religious motive, just like proponents of evolution might have a religious (atheistic) motive, but the latter keep telling us that their motive and their science are distinct, so why the double-standard with ID?
UltimateHero, it's not the scientific method that starts with the presupposition that there is no god, but naturalistic science.
IndianaJ, nobody is seriously proposing the existence of those characters you mentioned, but many people, including many scientists, do propose that the God of the Bible exists. Simply ruling that claim out on the grounds that it's an assumption is just as illogical as ruling it in on the grounds that it's possible.
Also, you grossly misrepresent the arguments that ID proponents and creationists make. Perhaps that's because (a) you can't criticise the argument that they actually do make, or (b) you have no idea what arguments they actually make.
Further, the problem with the aliens explanation is that it simply removes the question one step: who created the aliens? Claiming that God is the creator doesn't have this problem, because there's no need to ask who created an uncreated Being.
Philip J. Rayment 10:51, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
You're honestly telling me that no Native Americans believe in Wiskadejak?
Furthermore, perhaps you should inform me about what these arguments are, instead of simply telling me that I don't understand them.
You're right, PJR, there's no need to ask who created something that doesn't exist.
And finally, re: Motive. The goal of science is not to prove atheism right, but the goal of ID proponents is to prove ID right by circumventing the scientific method by starting with a conclusion. If you seriously don't think that's how it's happening, you're clueless. IndianaJ 12:34, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

No, it's opposite of how you stated it. ID looks at the evidence then concludes God. There is no basic assumption. It's secular science that starts out by assuming that everything can be explained by naturalistic principles, and thereby define God out of the equation from the start. It's secular science that assumes, not ID. Ultimahero 17:19, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

A common misunderstanding, and likely a deliberate misreading!
ID looks at the evidence then concludes design. Opponents see "design" and get upset because design implies a "designer", which (for atheists) certainly can't be God. They then attack ID using the following reasoning:
  1. ID replaces unguided evolution with design (all sides agree)
  2. If there is design, there must be a designer (going beyond physical science into philosophy or religion)
  3. The designer must be advanced space aliens (like the Spaghetti Monster?), or else God
But all ID is saying is #1. Physical science has no business going beyond that.
We need to write an article about the campaign to suppress ID. This article needs to expose the faulty arguments being used. It needs to distinguish between what ID actually does say, and what ID opponents claim it says (or implies). --Ed Poor Talk 14:28, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
By definition, ID has to also be asserting #2 as well though - there can't be design without a designer. I agree that ID doesn't try to directly address the nature of the designer, but by definition it tends to be supernatural. That's because as a "science", ID needs to follow a consistent logic: so if there is design within the physical universe, there is an implied physical designer. Being physical, that designer must have a designer, and so on, until you either have a scientific impossibility or a supernatural designer at some point.
I may have gotten this wrong, but that's why ID is questioned as valid science - it relies on the impossible (an unending recursion of designers), or the supernatural. --DinsdaleP 15:05, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
Your analysis is shrewd, but mistaken. It reveals the extra things that ID opponents tack on, but tying a carrot onto a woman's face or placing a conical black hat on her head does not turn her into a witch (with apologies to Monty Python); it doesn't even mean she thinks she's a witch. It's a dishonest way of getting her in trouble.
Opponents (and we should name them) insist that #1 implies #2. But is it really true that ID *is* asserting the existence of a designer? No more true, I'm sure than Evolution is *denying* the existence of a designer.
The unending recursion issue is metaphysics, not physical science. Likewise, the appearance of life (out of the primordial "soup") - with no explanation for how it has the appearance of design - is also metaphysics. Perhaps our Origin of life article can list the various physical means proposed; see The Miller/Urey Experiment.
A famous philosopher recently said what you assert above about a physical designer. Perhaps we should quote him, i.e., Richard Dawkins and the "space aliens" theory he told Ben Stein in the movie. But this goes outside the realm of physical science. It ventures into the area of Philosophy of science, where there are disagreements about things such as Methodological naturalism.
Your last point is, I take it, your own opinion? Or perhaps you had in mind a particular scholar in the field of philosophy of science. Is there a physical scientist who thinks that ID relies on the supernatural, or is that a legal opinion, or what? I thought ID merely said (1) unguided evolution couldn't be true, and (2) life shows signs of having been designed. Where do you get supernatural causation? (And who agrees with you whom we can quote?) --Ed Poor Talk 15:25, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
Why is the designer supernatural "by definition?" The only people I ever see applying such a definition are critics of ID. By their definition of what does or does not constitute the supernatural, then theories of how the universe came to be also involve the supernatural (i.e. beyond the natural universe, which didn't exist before the theorized Big Bang) and are thus invalid in the scientific realm. Additionally, many of the theories about the universe also rely upon an unending recursion of universes that conversely expand from and contract to and a singularity in a process with no beginning or end. Yet these things are wholeheartedly accepted as perfectly good science. Jinxmchue 15:49, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm no expert on ID (and I don't play one on TV, either), which is why I admit I may be wrong. I just don't see how a scientific conclusion that there is an inherent design behind things would not by logic require a designer - how is that "tacking on"?. If designed things can exist without a designer then "design" is the wrong word to be using in the first place.
To Ed Poor's statements about what ID "merely states": if life shows signs of having been designed, then it is either from the actions of a designer, or the observation itself is an error of interpretation. If I pour bowl after bowl of alphabet soup and find words in the arrangement of the letters, was there a designer at work or am I just interpreting reality from the perspective of someone who understands a certain written language?
Ray Comfort talks about looking at a Coke can or a house and reaching the obvious conclusion that there was a designer. So we deduce the designer, man, and then find that he's so complex biologically that design is the only plausible explanation for his existence. Living in the physical world, then, man has to have a physical designer (even one we can't detect/define yet), or the designer exists beyond the natural existence our senses are limited to perceiving (which is why I used the word "supernatural").
To Jinxmchue, I agree that theories like the big bang hit the same wall in term of being unable to answer where the energy came from before the event - it just describes what happened after it started. I'm not out to bash ID, but I do question its treatment as science until it can hold up to fair and reasonable using the scientific method. --DinsdaleP 16:24, 21 May 2008 (EDT)

To Dinsdale:

  • I just don't see how a scientific conclusion that there is an inherent design behind things would not by logic require a designer
    You might have overlooked what I said about this above, so I'll repeat it: Is it really true that ID *is* asserting the existence of a designer? No more true, I'm sure than Evolution is *denying* the existence of a designer.
  • If I pour bowl after bowl of alphabet soup and find words in the arrangement of the letters, was there a designer at work or am I just interpreting reality from the perspective of someone who understands a certain written language?
    If the letters are all in the Roman alphabet (as opposed to, say, Japanese kana), it might tell you something about the designer. But it certainly shows that the cereal was designed. The shapes of the cereal particles have too much correlation with letters to have occured without design.
  • if life shows signs of having been designed, then it is either from the actions of a designer, or the observation itself is an error of interpretation
    What does this have to do with Evolution and naturalism? Your conclusions are in the field of the philosophy of science, as I said before. We might just as well argue that if unguided evolution is true, it is possible for human beings to have come into being without God. Is this what evolution is arguing? If so, it has departed from the realm of physical science and entered the field of metaphysics and philosophy.
  • Living in the physical world, then, man has to have a physical designer (even one we can't detect/define yet), or the designer exists beyond the natural existence our senses are limited to perceiving (which is why I used the word "supernatural").
    Thank you for clarifying the metaphysical issues here. As we leave the realm of physical science, we are free to speculate philosophically or religiously. Atheists will assume that the big bang had a physical cause, that life had a physical cause, and that unguided evolution can account for the appearance of phyla and human beings without God. None of these assumptions are part of "science" as confined by methodological naturalism. Equally, none of the questions about the identity or character of life's designer are within the province of physical science.
    However, just as archaeologists seeing ancient ruins will hypothesize a designer, biologists seeing a the "appearance of design" in the structure and function of a bacterium or a human cell may hypothesize that random causes are insufficient. This points to design. However, it would be an additional step (beyond physical science) to attempt any description about the designer.
All of this really boils down to a question about the Philosophy of science. Should science study only physical causes? Adherents of methodological naturalism (and atheists) say yes. Let's stop debating here and get back to the discussion of the movie article - or at least start planning the improvement of articles related to the movie. --Ed Poor Talk 16:46, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
Hey, I want to add my two bob's worth!
I liked Ed's first recent post (14:28, 21 May), but disagree with his three points. Here's my version:
  1. Scientists observe what appears to be design.
  2. Atheistic scientists try and explain this apparent design as not actual design. ID proponent claim that it is actual design.
  3. Quoting Ed, "If there is [actual] design, there must be a designer". If the design is actual, not merely apparent, then design necessarily requires a designer. Both sides agree on this, and it is not philosophy, but science, as in archaeology, forensic science, and the SETI program.
  4. Quoting Ed again (but with my numbering), "The designer must be (i) advanced space aliens (like the Spaghetti Monster?), or else (ii) God". But this is the point where we say (quoting again), "(going beyond physical science into philosophy or religion)"
ID goes as far as point 3, but its critics accuse it of going to point 4 (ii). It does not do this.
As for writing an article about suppressing ID, we already have one (Suppression of alternatives to evolution), although it has an approach perhaps a bit different to Ed's suggestion.
I partly disagree with PDinsdale's point that accepting a designer necessarily means that the designer must have a designer which must have a designer and so forth until the ultimate designer was supernatural. Actually, I agree with that argument, but not with the idea that this is only true if one accepts the first designer. If one is prepared to accept that evolution can produce life, then, in principle, one could accept that terrestrial life was designed by an alien, which itself evolved. Yes, it would be special pleading, but my point is that ID claims the apparent design in terrestrial life (the only life available to examine) to be actual design, and that design indicates a designer, but not that the designer, if an alien, was also designed. So the reason that ID is rejected is not because it necessarily requires a supernatural designer, but simply because it makes the case for a supernatural designer so much stronger. And thus the objection is philosophical/religious, not scientific.
Philip J. Rayment 23:15, 21 May 2008 (EDT)
I think Philip clarified the point Ed was trying to get across, so let me try to recap. ID's premise is that there is evidence of underlying design in our physical world, and while design requires a designer, it does not seek to research the nature of the designer(s). That much I had already gotten, and what I'm seeing now is that ID has a "hard stop" at that point, and does not seek to explain whether the designer(s) of what was being observed in nature were designed themselves. Did I get this right? --DinsdaleP 11:13, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, that's correct (I believe), because there is no way of explaining whether or not the designer was designed itself without explaining something about that designer, which it doesn't do. To reinforce that point, ID is about a scientific investigation, and whilst it is perfectly reasonable to scientifically conclude (i.e. from the evidence) that there is design (and therefore a designer), it is not reasonable (scientifically) to say whether the designer was designed without having some evidence to investigate.
Creationism, by contrast (and this is one reason ID and creationism are not the same thing), will identify the designer, although not from scientific evidence, but from literary evidence (the Bible).
It's also important to distinguish the scientific argument of ID from the opinions of ID promoters and supports, many of whom would readily identify the designer as God, and therefore would be creationists. In this regard it's also instructive to realise that creationists have been using arguments from design before there was an ID movement as such.
Philip J. Rayment 11:26, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, that helps because it clarifies why ID proponents believe that its critics are attaching premises to ID and attacking them, when they're not really part of "core" ID. This still leaves me questioning whether ID can be considered a valid scientific theory, though. The reason is that it requires a constrained scope - it shows evidence for design, but stops at asking about the nature of the designer, the source of the components used in the design, and a set of rules or theories to define what may (organisms) or may not (basic elements and molecules) have been designed. It also doesn't have any predictive properties (i.e. there's no set of rules to say which of the following three things were designed or not - a human, a rock found in nature, a rock reshaped by a man, the sun). Other areas of science are open to investigation as to how they interact with each other (chemistry, physics, & astronomy for example), but I don't see this with ID (although I'm open to learning more about it). In the end, it just seems like ID takes a shortcut to a conclusion (this looks like it was designed) instead of letting science find other explanations over time that fit in better with the scientific method. We have many gaps in our understanding, and each discovery raises as many questions as it answers, but when you look at the progress of the last 200 years how can we not assume that our understanding of the universe and our origins will be many times greater than today in 2058, let alone 2208? --DinsdaleP 12:23, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

I agree that there is a requirement for a constrained scope, but I'm not so sure that it is ID opponents alone who advocate this requirement. I thought rather that it was adherents of methodological naturalism who insist that only physical causes should be considered.

By the way, not all scientists are willing to stay within their self-imposed bounds. I recently read Carl Sagan's definition of evolution, which specifically states that God had nothing to do with it. This is not the same as ignoring the supernatural (as in, "if miracles have taken place it's no business of ours") but rather denying that it has any power, desire (or even existence). This kind of denial is metaphysical or religious and therefore goes outside of the realm of physical science.

ID wants to be allowed to play by the same rules as Evolution. Either both sides can talk about the metaphysical implications of physical science, or neither side can. Getting back to the movie (which I frankly thought impossible at this point ;-) the producers are arguing that Big Science employs a double standard when it expels ID from the academy. Sagan is allowed to mention God, Dawkins is allowed to promote his brand of atheism, but anything that implies (or supports) Creationism is banned.

All of this is a big distraction from the issue which ID raises: i.e., that life shows signs of having been designed. Indeed, biologists speak of body plans and designs (at least as a kind of verbal convenience). The question at hand is whether random events, tempered by a purely physical principle (natural selection), can create new phyla and novel organs. ID is an argument that the last couple decades of research show that there are too many missing links and too much "information" for that.

ID wants biologists to concede that "life might have been designed" and to stop insisting that "it could only have evolved naturally". But the elephant in the room is the philosophical assumption nearly all evolution advocates make: that there is no God and no supernatural forces. So they begin with the assumption that there is no Designer; then they conclude (quite rationally) that the appearance of design is spurious. --Ed Poor Talk 14:09, 22 May 2008 (EDT)


DinsdaleP, Ed Poor is correct in pointing out that naturalism imposes a constraint, and I would reject that ID does, in any sense that really matters. That is, naturalism imposes a constraint in rejecting a possible explanation from consideration, whereas ID's "constraint" is not to reject a possible explanation from consideration, but to limit the area of investigation. It's not really any different to saying that an archaeologist is going to limit his scope to archaeology and not get into astronomy.

When I wrote previously that ID couldn't determine whether the designer was designed, implying that ID can't tell anything about the designer, I did actually wonder whether I should mention that it is possible, in principle, to determine some things about the designer. For example, one could deduce that the designer is himself orderly, judging by the amount of order he has in his designs. One could also deduce (if there was evidence of this, I'm being hypothetical now) that the designer had a preference for green over red. So it is true that ID could draw some conclusions about the designer. But given the flak that they cop for supposedly identifying the designer as God when they don't, it is quite understandable that they'd want to stay totally away from drawing any conclusions about the designer.

It's not true that ID has no criteria to determine the existence of design. Although I don't understand the finer details of it, that's what "specified complexity" and information theory is all about.

Also, keep in mind that ID as a field of research is very young, and is struggling to be accepted at all, let alone actually have research funds granted to it, so criticising it for not having a wider scope is rather unfair.

Philip J. Rayment 23:01, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Those are interesting insights - thanks. --DinsdaleP 10:29, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Use of full versus edited quotes

I'm not looking to start an edit war, so I want to explain why I restored the full quote in the Negative Comments section. The quote was originally cut down and edited because it was considered to be "wrong", and I restored it because it was a quote and should have been left in its full, original context because the edits were so sever it was no longer representative of the original statement - if someone considers the statement to be wrong but it's captured accurately asa quote, then a counter-example should be presented instead of pulling the quote through excessive editing.

The quote was then re-edited down, based on the premise that quotes can be edited down and still be considered quotes. I restored it again, because when you compare the before-and-after, there's a significant difference between the versions. The cut-down "quote" removes the mention of the Kitzmiller trial and the ruling that the compulsory teaching of ID was unconstitutional. That's not a minor edit - it was removing a key fact (that was the ruling, whether one considers it right or wrong). That section of the quote is also key to the supposed motivation of people looking to get ID into schools - when a court says you can't do it one way, people sought to find other ways.

I'm not weighing in on the movie or the trial, only that if this is going to be a Trustworthy Encyclopedia, we need to present cited quotes as close to the original as possible when they support a point, and not edit them surgically so they represent something different because editors don't agree with the original content. --DinsdaleP 15:05, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Well, I guess I wasted my time on the comments above because the entire paragraph got removed. Considering that the entry was in a section called "Negative Reception", it was not going to be supportive of the film. Since it was a review, in other words an opinion, it seems like an overreaction to pull it from the article on the basis of being inaccurate. Are all references to reviews or the quotes of people going to be removed from Conservapedia because the are "wrong" or "inaccurate" in accordance with the conservative viewpoint? What happened to not being afraid of giving dissenting views a fair presentation, and letting the strength of the conservative perspective speak for itself? --DinsdaleP 15:11, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I reverted the original quote because it would have required pointing out that the court case mentioned only had local jurisdiction, and was therefore misleading. In that form recording the quote, and the needed explanation to follow, would only stray from the article itself. We want to stay focused on the movie. Learn together 15:17, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I see that I may have caused a problem here when I included the full quote. I am not sure, however, that I understand Learn together's objection to the full quote. Why must the court's jurisdiction be explained? --HHCrippen 18:25, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Reviews quoted should be about the movie. If they put words into the narrator's mouth, then they are not about the movie per se, but are volleys being lobbed at parties to the issue being examined. They would be relevant to an article about the production company, perhaps:

  • angered by a hard-hitting documentary which exposed them, the establishment retaliated in the following ways ...

Other comments about merits of ID itself should go in the Intelligent design controversy article. Any reviews which ignore what the movie said but make tangential points about ID can go there.

Ironic, isn't it, that nearly every review which our liberal friends have inserted on this page fall into the same category that the movie speaks of. It's life imitating art, I guess. And it's only going to hurt the scientific materialism's attempt to ride the Evolution issue. Truth will out. --Ed Poor Talk 07:38, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Charles Darwin Quote

The movie contains a "quote" from Charles Darwin, which is supposedly to have inspired Nazism. But, they did not state the whole quote in the movie. Here is what Ben Stein read:

"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed."

However, here is the whole quote (stuff in italics was ommitted in the previous statement), as is stated in Charles Darwin's The Decent Of Man:

"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rocky (talk)

While I personally would not have made the same choice to voice the quote the way the movie did, Darwin's writings do not necessarily cause one to agree with his conclusions after reading the points he makes. In other words he swings around almost 180 degrees from where it appears he is going, but others reading it may have taken his statements and applied their own logical conclusions that didn't include the need for human sentimentality. Even before World War II, the eugenics programs in both Nazi Germany and the United States to sterilize those considered to be unfit were alive and well. Learn together 21:37, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
Its a clear case of quote mining sure some people may read in to it what it initially seems to say, but that doesn't indicate that you should cut out the parts that redeem it. Surely Ben Stein knew what that next paragraph meant, he can't be stupid enough to have missed it. --Brendanw 09:36, 14 November 2008 (EST)

If advocates of Eugenics are guilty of quote mining, then we should point this out. Having done so, what bearing would it have on Ben Stein's point? --Ed Poor Talk 09:43, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Has it been shown that advocates of eugenics have been quote mining? Ben Stein showed that Darwin could be quote mined to support eugenics, but if you actually read what Darwin wrote you will see that anyone who realized that humans could be bread like animals would come to the same conclusion, namely that humans traits you do not like can be bred out of existence just like cow traits you do not like, or pigeon traits you do not like. Darwin did not invent genocide, and on top of that the Nazi's weren't quoting jack diddly from Darwin, they banned his books, they burnt his books, they did not like Darwin for precisely the parts that Ben Stein left out. Now if he found a Nazi document that quoted that from Darwin that would change anything, but nothing changes the fact that what darwin wrote was not proeugenics and what Ben stein said that Darwin wrote was proeugenics, I.E. Ben Stein Lied, or bore false witness if you prefer (the 9th commandment is my favorite). --Brendanw 10:56, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Eugenics was rooted in the social Darwinism of the late 19th century, a period in which notions of fitness, competition, and biological rationalizations of inequality were popular. At the time, a growing number of theorists introduced Darwinian analogies of "survival of the fittest" into social argument. [3]

I'm quoting liberal TV network PBS as my authority: "a growing number of theorists" did the quote-mining or the drawing of conclusions.

The point is, if you've seen the movie (and I'm sorry I don't have transcript), that Darwin's ideas led to other ideas. Or other thinkers used his ideas. Either way, there's a link. That's all Stein was saying.

Perhaps you missed the part in the film where it specifically denies the view that Darwin himself had supported eugenics? I might be able to find a clip for you. --Ed Poor Talk 11:05, 14 November 2008 (EST)

His point in the movie and elsewhere was that Darwins ideas lead to the Holocaust (although I suspect that he may have just been playing to the idea for support from more hardline elements; especially considering that he called the idea brilliant for its time, which if you diagram his whole argument, pretty much leads to him saying that the Holocaust was a good idea at the time, which I highly suspect he disagrees with) anyways his argument was not the Darwin worded things in such a way that it lead to the holocaust, it was that Darwin's idea of evolution along with Malthuses idea of limited resources combined lead to the holocaust. In the movie Ben Stein essentially said that Darwin didn't follow his theory to its logical conclusion. --Brendanw 11:30, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Don't rely on your memory. Here's a film clip: Expelled - Implications of Neo-Darwinism (4:15)

  • I would never want to indict a scientific theory for the way someone might misuse it.
That was not Ben Stein saying that, Ben Steins argument was that the theory inevitably lead to those abuses, not that it was mistakenly misused, but that it was rightly used as the foundation. --Brendanw 13:23, 14 November 2008 (EST)

IMDB rating

"Removing the almost obligatory '1' ratings that detractors of the film give even if they haven't seen it, 1600 voters on the IMDB website gave it a 8.5 rating on a scale from 1 to 10."

What about ratings of 1 given by those who have seen it, or ratings higher than 1 that have been given by those who haven't seen it? Wandering 21:46, 29 May 2008 (EDT)

Documentaries have a tendency to be well received as it is the audience that has an interest that shows up. Likewise if someone has a strong desire to see a film, then they do so. It's the negative end of the scale that gets the most 'phony play'. Unfortunately that is a part of life and we have to accept it, but we certainly don't have to report it. If you look at films generally on the IMDB website, you'll see that 1 ratings are generally reported less than 5% of the time, unless of course the movie is religious or not PC. I guess I could have just included 5% 1 ratings, but I didn't. For those of us on this site, we also have another advantage. Most of the sysops have seen the movie, and we were able to see the audience response first hand. We also know a number of people who have seen the movie and talked with them. The response is very positive, with a few disappointments, about in line with the 8.5 that is calculated. Learn together 22:12, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
So if your personal observations are more important than the IDMB observations, why not just simply not remove the latter instead of cooking the numbers? Wandering 22:23, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
We use the IMDB numbers. Personal observation of multiple people in multiple theaters across the country merely confirms it. Give yourself a little test. Go to the IMDB site and look up some bad movies that are rated low, but not the type that people would get riled about and purposely dog. See the distribution of values for 2 through 10? Does it look anything like Expelled? The distribution curve for Expelled removing the 1 values is for a movie that was well received; the 1 values are an attempt to purposely dog it. We prefer reality. Learn together 01:13, 30 May 2008 (EDT)
I would just like to say about the comment about PC films, not all of the time are PC films given 1's. For instance, the film "Triumph of the Wills", often considered to be the best propoganda film ever made (in fact, a lot of people consider Expelled to be propoganda) has only 5.1% of the people rating the film a 1 (although, and I know this will get brought up, 5.1 is bigger than 5, I know). This film is very un-PC because of it's glorification of the Nazi party.
Also, what is funny (although I really should not put it in this section), is how much this reminds me of "Ferenheight 9/11". This is because, both films are done from one person's point of view, not showing both sides. Both films are, in their own way, propoganda films (although not as bad as "Triumph" was) because they both premote their own point of views and do not mention (at least from what I have heard), the other point of view in a positive light. Therefore, they promote only one point of view and try to get people to surrender to those points of views. --Rocky
Ignoring that solely removing the '1' votes without any further manipulation of the stats to remove the bias that would create (my crude method would be to remove the '10' votes too, but I have no advanced stats training). I'm very interested to see the calculations used for this assertion, particularly since you can't remove the '1' votes and then claim it to have an '8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10') - I hope that much is obvious. As to how to transpose the stats onto a 2 to 10 scale, well I admit that will take a better stats brain than my own (since I'd guess at multiplying by 9/10, but I have no idea) --J00ni 20:19, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

About the viewer reception

I would like to raise some questions about the entry on the page about the Internet movie database in the viewer reception section.

I understand that it's a good idea to omit the reviews given without seeing the movie. I, being an online musician on a music rating site, happen to know that not all votes are submitted by peoplewho have witnessed the actual subject.

However, it says that removing the 1 ratings given without seeing the movie raises the score to 8.5.

It also says there were 1600 such reviews.

Did somebody actually check all of the reviews on that site and look for evidence that they didn't see the movie, or did the person who wrote that just assume that every single 1 rating given to the movie was because they didn't see it?

If it's the former, I salute that person. If it's the latter, we should probably remove it, since it's highly possible to greatly dislike ANY movie after seeing it.

We should get our facts straight about this.--JackSmith 15:29, 7 June 2008 (EDT)

This is already being discussed in the previous section. Jinxmchue 23:51, 7 June 2008 (EDT)
Before another edit war starts, why can't J00ni's last revision to the ratings section stand? He made a fair and accurate comment backed up by the evidence - that movies of this nature lead to polarized reviews, so it's hard to tell the actual averaged review score from people who slam or praise it without being evenhanded. It's misleading to throw out all of the "1" votes based on the assumption that they're all invalid, while leaving all the "10" votes based on the opposite assumption. The trustworthy action is to show the full distribution of all scores so the proportion of each is clear, or to leave web-based review scores out. --DinsdaleP 19:16, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
Also, the fact that the film opened on 36 screens in Canada and managed to earn only $24,374.00 nationwide says it's being regarded a lot more like a movie rated at 3.7 and not 8.5. --DinsdaleP 19:33, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
I think the latest edit by DenningMR is good, as removing the 1 and 10 scores is a fairish way of getting a pretty accurate assessment of the rating. And Denning's edit is much more succinct than my rambling effort (which happened as I was trying to be as even handed as possible). What I have a problem with is another editor (ie LearnTogether) just reverting my edits without a response or explanation in the talk section, though I don't want to start any arguements if everyone is happy with the current article. But if LT wants to instigate changes, if he/she could dicuss it first please --J00ni 10:06, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
If you had intended to make changes, you should have discussed your intention first. Don't try to throw the ball back in my court. The reasons stated above are still valid. I haven't seen you give any counter examples. Learn together 12:19, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
LearnTogether, there really is no need for a counter-example because the premise of your omitting all the "1" reviews is invalid. You have no way of knowing how many of those "1" reviews came from people who saw the film or not, and you have no way of knowing how many are the result of people genuinely disliking the film that much versus slamming it for ideological reasons. Since none of us can tell what portion of those votes are legitimate or not, then it's improper for any one of use to decide that all of them are invalid. Either all of the numbers have to be included, or none, otherwise the validity of the statistics has been compromised. --DinsdaleP 13:11, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
"...If you look at films generally on the IMDB website, you'll see that 1 ratings are generally reported less than 5% of the time, unless of course the movie is religious or not PC. I guess I could have just included 5% 1 ratings, but I didn't..." Learn together 13:19, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

(unindent)

LT, I don't dispute that the rating has been skewed by disproportionate 1 (and 10) votes. I am as sure as you are that many of these will have been awarded by people who have never seen the movie. What I have an issue with is somebody taking their own preconceived ideas, and altering the statistics to fit their hypothesis without so much as even a rudimentary statistical analysis. Since it would be nigh on impossible to take the IMDB data and pick out just the votes from those who have seen the film, you have to either use it in its entirity, or not at all. The only way you could get accurate stats is to find data based on a sort of exit poll (and even this would be skewed heavily by people's preconceptions before seeing the film - because it is so polarising.

All I was doing was highlighting the fraudulent voting and trying to give a brief explanation as to what this inferred (ie that the film is polarising due to its content), and to remove spurious statistical analysis. And whilst I may not have exactly spelled out what I was going to change, the concerns about the paragraph had been raised by myself and numerous others previously, with no counterarguement as to why the statistical analysis was valid --J00ni 17:57, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

Oh and for the record, I just had a brief look at some other IMDB ratings pages for some films with low ratings, and almost without exception they had a high proportion of 1 votes, irrespective of the film's subject matter. Also, and again this was irrespective of the film subject, there were a disproportionate number of 10 votes for even the worst-rated films. I don't really know what this proves, other than that IMDB average ratings shouldn't be used to accurately guage a film's quality --J00ni 18:13, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
"...Go to the IMDB site and look up some bad movies that are rated low, but not the type that people would get riled about and purposely dog. See the distribution of values for 2 through 10? Does it look anything like Expelled? The distribution curve for Expelled removing the 1 values is for a movie that was well received; the 1 values are an attempt to purposely dog it. We prefer reality..." Learn together 18:18, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
See my above statement, I did briefly do so. The distribution curve, ignoring the upper and lower values is roughly U-shaped, which does not fit with most top-rated films I looked at (however if you want to give specific examples...).
However, if you read my previous posts, I am not trying to disagree with your point that the actual rating has been skewed down. What I have issue with, is taking your preconcieved idea (that the film is deserving of about 8.5), and making the statistics fit that (at least without doing any valid analysis anyways - since statistics can alledgedly be used to prove anything if you know how to work them) --J00ni 18:44, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
I am pointing out that removing the 1's gives it an 8.5 rating. I make no other claim. If you wish, I am open to putting in an extra sentence or two that makes refence that with the usual 1 rating of about 5%, that would correspond to an 8.1 rating although I felt this starts to get into overkill. The shape of values 2 through 9, which I believe averaged 6.3, corresponded with a good movie. It's not going to match 'The GodFather' for instance, but it certainly showed no similarities for what we be expected from a 3.7 movie. Learn together 12:58, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Learn Together--shouldn't you be deleting the 10 votes as well? Those are people who agree with the theory of the movie or are upset about the down-ratings, and so decide to up-rate it and give it a 10. Do they all think it is a 10 movie? I doubt it. And in fact, we can't just remove votes and adjust, because IMDB doesn't use a straight rating system, but specifically state they have a weighted average in order to mediate such 10/1 voting situations. --Jareddr 21:04, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Most people who see movies do so because they want to. A high percentage of 10's is common across the IMDB site. I'm not using IMDB's rating, as it is altered. I am using the straight numerical data. Learn together 12:58, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Your first point isn't really valid, sure people will often go to see films because they want to, but this doesn't mean they will enjoy said films (in addition, the amount of pap i've had to sit through because I was coerced constitutes most of my low ratings given). If your implication were true, there would be no low-rated films on IMDB
Also, many of the badly-received films have a high percentage of 10's too - and it is a bit of a stretch to say that there is tactical voting in all cases - it seems to represent the fact that some people will enjoy what others detest, and also that a number of people on IMDB vote as either 1 or 10 (ie 'hate it' or 'love it'), hence the weighted average. And saying you are using the "straight numerical data" is not true, as you omit all 1 votes, and you cannot just ignore sections of a set of numerical data as you please - without valid proof that all the data you omit is invalid
What you have done with the statistics, in my opinion, is misleading in it's current incarnation. And as I have said represents no kind of valid statistical manipulation, in oreder for them to fit your preconceptions --J00ni 12:00, 30 July 2008 (EDT)
Except this was not a badly-received film. The 2 through 9 ratings showed that. And since this is the third time I have repeated that, unless there is new information that you wish to bring up, then it is time to accept this conversation as closed. Learn together 02:47, 1 August 2008 (EDT)

I have never been comfortable with that paragraph about the IMBD ratings. I was going to say that I thought that DenningMR's edit was a good one, but I've changed my mind on that (although I accept that it was an honest attempt to improve things). Everyone seems to agree that many of the 1 ratings are bogus, from people who have not seen the film. Also, everyone seems to agree that many of both the 1 and 10 ratings are based more on ideology than the quality of the film. I consider it likely that a significantly higher proportion of 1 ratings than 10 ratings would be from people who have not seen the film (ideologically-opposed people would much more likely not want to see it that ideologically-supportive people), so if removal of votes is done on the basis of being made by presumed non-viewers, then many more 1 votes than 10 votes should be removed. It is for this reason that I don't think DenningMR's edit is good.

However, although I understand the reasoning for the paragraph that Learn together inserted and is reverting to, his analysis is far too blunt an instrument to derive a meaningful figure from the data. Rather, the better approach, I believe, is to simply point out that the voting is skewed. This was my purpose in including the following paragraph about Box Office Mojo votes. I would reject both versions/analyses of the IMDB voting.

Philip J. Rayment 11:32, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

Good points, Philip. I'd suggest stating that online reviews of controversial films are unreliable because there's no way to accurately filter out the ideologically-driven votes of non-viewers from viewers, and leave it at that. The more meaningful measure in cases like this are the box office receipts and DVD sales, which are more objective and correlate with interest/demand. --DinsdaleP 12:03, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
I think that the figures provide some idea of what people think, so I'd prefer to include the figures (with warnings about them being skewed), but leave the analysis of them up to the reader. Your point about the box office and DVD receipts is valid. Of course, we already have that in the article, but perhaps we should combine the Box Office Reception and Viewer Reception sections into one (simply by changing the first heading and removing the second) so that the voting part is read in the context of the box office part. (This is not to suggest that we don't also modify the paragraph about the IMBD votes.) Philip J. Rayment 20:37, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

Gentlemen, we do not reward people's efforts to trash a movie by accepting their trashing and only reporting that the numbers are skewed. We seek to report how people who saw the movie viewed it. Philip, I would suggest familiarizing yourself with rating trends on the IMDB site. You may wish to look below at Jinxmchue's findings of ongoing 'ballot box' stuffing as we speak. That we are seeking a 'compromise' in this area to find a way to allow any of it to stand is very distasteful. Learn together 21:06, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

I believe we have common goals, and just have to agree on meaningful measures. Since people can vote on IMDB whether they've seen a movie or not, and there's no way to precisely know which reviews saw a movie and which ones didn't, it's not a trustworthy source for an encyclopedia article (unless the purpose is to show how polarized the opinions were). We should drop the IMDB rating altogether from this article. The box office numbers are better because they are not subject to interpretation - people may have hated the film and walked out, but they had enough interest to buy a ticket and show up. --DinsdaleP 21:42, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Learn together, I agree that we should not reward people's efforts to trash a movie that they are ideologically opposed to, but the problem is with how we do that. I referred to your efforts above as "too blunt an instrument" to do this. That is, we have very little idea of how many people voted '1' for ideological reasons. Clearly not everyone who voted '1' would do so for ideological reasons. So how many '1' votes are genuine? You suggested allowing for 5%, but where does that figure come from? I expect that it's no more than a gut feeling. Yes, allowing 5% is probably closer than allowing 0%, but we simply don't know what the correct figure is, so are not able to come up with a meaningful figure from the data. Similarly, some of the '10' votes would be for ideological reasons, and we ought to discount them also, but again, how many? We really have no idea at all. This is why I think that part of the text should be removed.
And I don't see what's "distasteful" about discussing the merits of the paragraph.
Philip J. Rayment 22:38, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
The key is to report what people thought when they saw the movie. The distribution curve of the 2 to 9 figures shows a film that was well thought of, although not top of the line. The idea that we have to remove people because they may have enjoyed it for ideological reasons instead of movie making quality is inconsequential. If someone enjoys the film then they enjoy the film -- the reason is unimportant. Learn together 11:22, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
That raises the issue of just what they are supposed to be voting on; whether they personally enjoyed it (which is of no consequence to others, so the votes are meaningless), whether they enjoyed it and therefore others are likely to (which ignores the ideological aspect), whether they thought the film was a quality one, or etc. So depending on what the reason for voting should be, the reason may indeed be important.
Even taking the first of those options (that they simply personally enjoyed it), there will be some (but I couldn't say how many) who (a) didn't see it but voted '10' anyway (e.g. they were unable to see it for some reason, but wanted it to do well so voted anyway), or who thought that the quality was poor, the arguments were not well-put, or whatever, but still wanted to show support for it for ideological reasons. So there will still be some favourable skewing (albeit, I believe with confidence, much less than the unfavourable skewing).
Philip J. Rayment 11:32, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Dinsdale makes a strong point. Given that everyone seems to be in agreement that the IMDB ratings are neither reliable nor honest, why cite them at all? Better, I think, to link to some actual reviews (one would hope that a reviewer has at least viewed the film.) --Benp 22:43, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
They are only dishonest when someone games the system as has been done in this case. As far as reviewers being honest, did you even read what was written below? Learn together 11:22, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
I think Ben was referring to professional movie reviews in newspapers and the like. The Amazon reviews-by-internet-vote have the same flaw as the IMDB ratings, and should not be used as a reference in an encyclopedia article. --DinsdaleP 11:58, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
I suggest we have some external arbitration from the other sysops to try and work out wording which is acceptable to both sides, as we seem to be going round in circles so far --J00ni 17:07, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

IMDB, RottenTomatoes.com, Amazon.com and other ratings/review gathering sites are worthless because they rely on user submissions and can be skewed by people with a lot of free time on their hands (much like the way online polls are often skewed). IMDB and Amazon both have user-based ratings/reviews and Rotten Tomatoes has user-submitted ratings/reviews by other people who may or may not be well-known. I mean, on RT, they have ratings/reviews by such household names as Ken Hanke of the Mountain Xpress in Asheville, NC, and Fred Topel of Can Magazine (I've been in a lot of bookstores and libraries and I can say I've never seen Can Magazine - which sounds like a magazine which needs to be placed in a special obscuring bag on the top shelf), among others. Jinxmchue 00:28, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Whilst I agree with much of that, your comments about Can Magazine, based solely on your ignorance of it and its name, is inappropriate. It appears to be a legitimate magazine. Philip J. Rayment 09:45, 28 August 2008 (EDT)
Dinsdale's more-or-less on the money. LT, the problem is that people do game the system, and on a site like Amazon or IMDB, there's no accountability. At least with professional reviewers, you can ascertain their biases based on their record of reviews, and filter what they say accordingly; when Joe Blow from Passaic puts up a rating, there's no way of knowing for sure whether it's an honest rating or motivated by political bias. --Benp 14:47, 29 August 2008 (EDT)

Expelled now on Amazon. PZ gets his fans to flood item with phony 1-star reviews.

Amazon page is here.

Before PZ's post [4], there were just a few 1-star reviews and over a dozen 5-star reviews. Then literally overnight, the 1-stars reviews (most by people who obviously have not even seen the film) skyrocketed to over 70 and have now climbed to 82. Jinxmchue 12:19, 30 July 2008 (EDT)

It's up to 119 one-star reviews now, vs. 52 five-stars. One person can only give one review, but I hope people that liked the movie are making their opinions known in the comments sections.--Frey 14:23, 28 August 2008 (EDT)
I saw it and would give it 1 star, its a really bad movie full of slander and factual errors and dishonest editing. When I saw it I was one of 10 people in the theater and they all booed at it during the movie, these were people I didn't go with. PZ never asked anyone to lie in there review he asked people who have seen the movie to give it an honest review, if he was intent on crashing it he would have asked for it and there would be a few thousand 1 stars by the end of the day. --Brendanw 12:53, 3 November 2008 (EST)

I wouldn't worry about the phone reviews. Most of the important conservative books are victims of ballot-stuffing. It doesn't really sway anybody.

That's why people come here to find out what's really going on. --Ed Poor Talk 13:09, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Is it really ballot stuffing? Liberal books get the same thing, its negative reviews, thats what reviews are for, to represent the opinions of other people. --Brendanw 16:59, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Public relations strategy of ID opponents

We need a new section (or we need to fix up the old section) on PR strategies.

ID opponents have been trying to dismiss criticism of evolutionary theory and censor any suggestions of alternatives for decades now. The film documents this, and ironically the response to the film is of the same ilk.

Rather than saying there was a scientific flaw in the film's account of the cell's intricacy, opponents resorted to mounting a legal attack on the film (claiming it violated copyright or something). The attack failed on legal grounds, but it did succeed in drawing attention away from the film's point, i.e., that the cell is so intricate that it could not have self-assembled: it needed a designer.

Rather than commenting on the point made by the use of the "Imagine" melody, ID opponents tried an Internet write-in campaign to the composer's widow. This failed even faster, and the film maintained its First Amendment freedom to use artistic irony: comparing the atheistic and materialistic 'idealism' of John Lennon's song with the pro-atheistic tilt and blatant pro-materialist bias of modern biology.

There's more, but that's off the top of my head. I gotta watch the movie again. --Ed Poor Talk 13:17, 3 November 2008 (EST)

I do hope that we will see the other side of the argument about dishonesty

Like the fact that they were shopping the film to evolution experts like Dawkins and Meyers and Scott as crossroads after they had registered the domain ExpelledtheMovie.com , or the fact that they created a subsidiary in order to make this new film and disconnected in every measurable way from their parent company, obfuscating the history of films that they had been producing. Some people think that that sort of behavior is fair in documentary film making, going in under cover, obviously Scott and Meyers did not since they refused to be interviewed a second time. Who exactly does Rampart blame for the wrongdoings that they are supposed to have uncovered? --Brendanw 13:27, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Yes, that is the evolutionist propaganda about the name change, but the truth is that it is not uncommon for movies to change their names during production. People who make these accusations are only trying to poison the well, since they can't directly address the topics in the film. Jinxmchue 16:33, 13 February 2009 (EST)

ID vs. Evolution

While the film is not strictly about ID vs. evolution, the comparison does come up. Strictly speaking, evolution covers only the transition from one-celled organisms to higher forms of life. It does not explain how those one-celled organisms came into being in the first place, right?

One of ID's claims to superiority over evolution is that it addresses the origin of life question.

There aren't that many rational approaches:

  1. Just say we don't know where life came from
  2. Report that it seems to have been designed - because it's so complex
  3. Assert that it must have been designed, because of our a priori ideological assumption (i.e., religious faith)
  4. Deny that it could have been designed, due to our a priori ideological assumption (i.e., materialism and/or atheism)

Pick one. --Ed Poor Talk 14:22, 14 November 2008 (EST)

You are correct that evolution does not claim that (although it might stretch back to what we wouldn't call a cell)
Of those options I choose number one, its the clear answer; we just don't know yet. We have some ideas (and probably the first organism wasn't that complex, everything we see today is the result of billions of years of evolution) and some evidence that looks fairly inviting (miller-urey)but we just don't know and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise doesn't have the scientific community behind them. One of the other charges against expelled is that Ben Stein asked various scientists to tell him about some of the hypotheses for abiogenesis and then he portrayed them as what these scientists accepted as verified fact rather than as the educated guesses that they are. --Brendanw 15:08, 14 November 2008 (EST)
From my observation, most would go for options 1 and 4. And that includes much of the scientific community.[5],[6] Philip J. Rayment 08:03, 15 November 2008 (EST)
Do you people read references before you post them? Both of those quotes are talking about methodological naturalism. The Divine hypothesis accommodate every single bit of evidence imaginable, and because of that we got very little science done because people were happy saying that God did it, but once we gave that up and choose to look for only natural causes to things science accelerated. In the first quote he talks about science not meeting its promises and just so stories, the not meeting there promises part is about us not having teleporters and androids and power too cheap to meter. The just so stories are possible explanations for how something might logically have evolved, since evolution is driven by every little thing in there surroundings and a bit of chance (its not completely random, but like everything chance is involved) and we really have no chance to figure that stuff out yet. The God hypothesis is a science stopper, once you accept that you stop learning, we have seen it again and again and the DI's inability to produce any new science is even more proof of it. --Brendanw 13:27, 15 November 2008 (EST)
"Do you people read references before you post them?": Yes.
"Both of those quotes are talking about methodological naturalism.": Really?
"The Divine hypothesis accommodate every single bit of evidence imaginable...": Wrong. Evolution seems pretty good at that, though.
"...and because of that we got very little science done because people were happy saying that God did it...The God hypothesis is a science stopper...": Absolutely wrong. Most of the founders of modern science were creationists and were scientists because they were creationists. Rather than it hindering their science, it was responsible for modern science.
Philip J. Rayment 07:21, 16 November 2008 (EST)
Can you list one possible observable anything that is inconsistent with the "divine hypothesis?" is there anything at all that it cannot encompass? Modern Evolution could not account for a snail with more genetic similarities to a human than to another snail, or a layer of fossils on top of younger fossils, or a number of other aberrations from the evidence. Given enough time I could probably generate a list of 1000 ways to test evolution, to test naturalism, can you think of one single way to test "God-did-it"? And yes the early scientists were all creationists, no other option existed, and oddly enough when there science left off they always wrote in "god-did-it" at the end, Newton figured out gravity but couldn't figure out how the different planets interacted, so at the end he wrote in that god steps in and realigns things every few hundred years, sadly that is counterevidence to your claim that scientists made progress because they assumes that God set up steady laws. I would stop this argument if you could show me the places in there papers where they write that they are assuming the laws of the physical world are constant because God Makes them that way, all I have seen to date are christians applying their own feeling to how the early scientists felt to the early scientists and claiming it as proof. I am open to the idea, but until that point I'm going to use Ockams razor and say that [1 scientists believes in god, 2 scientist assumes (for no apparent reason) God makes the laws stable, 3 scientists assumes that the laws are stable] introduces an extra and unneeded step and there for isn't as good as [Scientists assumes the laws are stable]. And yes clearly those are two quotes about a commitment to naturalism, because as I have said before, we cannot study the supernatural, we cannot test it there for we cannot develop testable hypothesis. It is possible that the entire universe was created only last thursday, but we cannot test it so we a priory assume that not to be the case, its a science stopper. --Brendanw 08:52, 16 November 2008 (EST)Thats right, you are absolutely wrong
The "Divine hypothesis" that Bible believers follow is not an airy-fairy view that there might be some supreme being who does whatever he wants on a whim and therefore everything can be attributed to him. Rather, it is a much-more-specific hypothesis that the Creator God of the Bible did things the way that He told us He did them in the Bible. That includes, for example, creating living things in separate, non-interfertile, groups (which the Bible refers to as "kinds" and modern creationists refer to as "baramin"). This concept can be tested, and it is indeed found that not all creatures are interfertile, just as the "Divine hypothesis" says.
I didn't claim that evolution can account for every possible observation, so being able to suggest some examples of things it can't explain does not disprove my assertion. So I'll skip the snail one (although I suspect that I could come up with a similar example, but probably not close enough to convince you). However, evolution (or, more accurately, the naturalistic view) can explain "older" fossils over "younger" fossils. It's referred to as an "overthrust", often despite there being no (other) evidence of there being an overthrust.
I've no doubt that you could come up with many tests for various details of evolution, but not of evolution itself.
Most of the early scientists were creationists, but not all, which disproves your rebuttal that no other choice existed.
That some scientists may have said "God did it" at times does not refute that their science was based on their Christianity.
If all you have seen so far is Christians "applying their own feeling to how the early scientists felt", then you have clearly not read the link I gave you to Natural science#beginnings.
Your Ockham’s razor point 2 is not correct. Scientists didn't assume that the laws are stable "for no apparent reason". They believed it because that's what the Bible indicates. So really the contrast is between these two:
  • Scientists believe the laws are stable because they were created by a consistent God who made a stable creation
  • Scientists assume the laws are stable for no apparent reason.
It is simply not true that an inability to test and (scientifically) study the supernatural means that we cannot develop testable hypotheses on that basis. On the contrary, this is what those scientists did, and some continue to do. For example, Dr. Russell Humphreys, on the basis of the biblical account, made testable predictions about the magnetic fields of Neptune and Uranus, and those predictions, when tested, were confirmed.
I reject that the world was made last Thursday because I have a well-supported and consistent belief that God created the world 6,000 years ago, not because it's a "science stopper". I can't scientifically prove (an oxymoron anyway) that it wasn't created last Thursday, but I don't reject it on the grounds that it negates science. You, on the other hand, are essentially arguing that the idea that God created the world is wrong simply on the grounds of supposedly not being able to test it. That is not grounds for declaring something to be wrong.
Philip J. Rayment 21:27, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Scholarly cooperation

What's interesting to me is that a Jewish man is documenting the atheist persecution of objective scientists. And one of the scientists is a Unification Church member: Jonathan Wells. Journalist Larry Witham, also a Unificationist, is also interviewed for the film.

Amazing, for a church that has less than 6,000 adult members in America, that 2 of its members are in this film. They call us brainwashed imbeciles, but as the Three Stooges said, "You're a smart imbecile!"

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ed Poor (talk)

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