This is pretty much a placeholder for a huge developing story. PZ Myers of Pharyngula went to an advance screening of “Expelled”, only to be spotted by a producer and disinvited, via armed security guards, on the spot. Richard Dawkins was there as PZ’s guest and was not challenged at the entry. At the question and answer period, Dawkins and “Expelled” producer Mark Mathis had a bit of an exchange, though it sounds like Mathis used his control of the venue to ridicule Dawkins yet again.
Kristine has a first-person report of the incident.
I hope to have more time to write about this tomorrow. Basically, the behavior of the “Expelled” producers and promoters demonstrates exactly the sort of behavior they putatively argue against. There is rampant hypocrisy in outright lying about your project to attract prominent people to interview, then exclude those people from an advance showing of the film they are featured in. This is simply disgusting behavior on the part of Premise Media. I find it hard to put it any other way.
Enough for now, good night.
Update: PZ had a second blog post giving some new information. Unsurprisingly, the reaction on the IDC cheerleading side was to quickly try to href=”http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/msg/a51817a1226de2f2?dmode=source”>squink their way out of the mess.
The line from producer Mark Mathis that PZ was not “invited” to the screening because he didn’t have a ticket and was thus a gatecrasher is a transparent piece of flimflam. The “Expelled” RSVP website offers a place at a screening, and the email response says that no ticket is needed for admission. I RSVP’d at one of the “Expelled” showings myself this morning, and here is the email response I got:
Dear Wesley Elsberry,
This is a confirmation of your RSVP for the free “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” movie screening. Venue information is below.
Number of seats reserved: 1
YOUR NAME WILL BE ON A LIST AT THE DOOR. NO TICKET IS NEEDED. IDs WILL BE CHECKED.
NO BAGS, CELL PHONES OR RECORDING DEVICES WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE THEATER. PLEASE LEAVE THEM IN YOUR CAR.
More information about “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” can be found at http://expelledthemovie.com; http://g\
If you need to cancel or make an important change to an existing RSVP, please email email@example.com. Be sure to reference the screening city, date, and time in your email.
I plan to carry a printout of this email with me, plus a bill for my travel expenses if I am refused admission at the door.
Then there is the issue raised by Kristine concerning the bait-and-switch used by Mathis to secure prominent people’s permission to interview them for the film. Mathis’ original requests for interviews described the movie project as being titled “Crossroads” and neglected to mention the sort of confrontational approach that marks “Expelled”. At the Q&A last night, Mathis is reported as saying the following in response to a question about “Crossroads” and making good-faith requests:
I asked Mathis to give (as his film does not) a concise definition of intelligent design and to tell us about some little film called “Crossroads.” Mathis did finally get ID right (irreducible complexity, Dembki’s improbabilities, blah, blah) and then launches in with “And if you know anything about filmmaking, there’s something called a working title…” Yeah, I do know, thanks. I’ve been in films. One of them even won an award (ifilm.com) and filled a few theatres. Without your police state shenanigans I might add, Mark Mathis.
There is a fundamental problem with Mathis’ reply: it is contradicted by the facts.
Fact 1: “expelledthemovie.com” domain was registered on 2007/03/01.
Fact 2: “crossroadsthemovie.*” and “crossroads-the-movie.*” domains are not registered by anyone. (“crossroadsmovie.com” is registered, but has been so since 2001 and obviously refers to an unrelated project.)
Fact 3: Mathis’ requests for interviews are dated after the purchase of the “expelledthemovie.com” domain.
Winston Churchill famously called this sort of thing “terminological inexactitude”. I am not speaking to Parliament, and I can call Mathis’ ruse for what it is, a lie deliberately, willfully, and maliciously told. I plan to bring printouts of the “whois” information and all the interview request emails I can gather to the screening and make this my question to Mathis at the Q&A.
That’s all for the moment.
Update: The “Expelled” producers have employed a contact-hiding service to expunge most data from “whois” lookups on their domain. But the Tucows registration date still shows early 2007 as the domain’s creation date.
Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 16-Feb-2008.
Record expires on 02-Mar-2009.
Record created on 02-Mar-2007.
Did I just hear a distant, “Curses! Foiled again!” ?
Note: The Bad Idea blog covered the domain name registration discrepancy and a number of other clues that the “Expelled” producers were not on the up-and-up several months ago.