Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

4 thoughts on ““Expelled” Exposed Website

  • 2008/03/09 at 11:48 am

    It should be noted for the official record that…every allegation made on EXPELLED EXPOSED is entirely incorrect.

    It isn’t “opinion”…it is “falsehood.”

    Fortunately, the film EXPELLED will be its own refutation…and the “EXPOSED” site will serve as proof-positive of the depths to which Big Science will sink.


  • 2008/03/09 at 7:54 pm

    Let’s see… there are three reviews and three other links so far.

    First review by Dan Whipple says:

    “Expelled” trots out several martyrs to the Darwinist inquisition. The poster boy is Richard Sternberg, whom the movie says was ousted from his position at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and from his editorship of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington when he published in that publication a peer-reviewed article of scientific evidence that supports intelligent design. There is some dramatic if unfocused footage of Ben Stein being denied admission to the upper floors of the Smithsonian by a security guard when he tries to grill muckety-mucks at the museum about these injustices.

    This repression of scientific thought, we can all agree, is horrible if true. But it isn’t true.

    This is a dispute among academics. Faults on both sides, I’m sure. Perhaps because there is so little at stake in these fights, they are among the most vicious known to political man. A lot of cyber-ink was spilled over the Steinberg tussle long before Ben Stein got around to it. You can read Sternberg’s version of his persecution here and a non-ID rebuttal here. It’s even made Wikipedia, which has got to be the high water mark for a bureaucratic pissing match.

    The allegations made in “Expelled” are wrong. Sternberg never worked for the Smithsonian, so the Smithsonian couldn’t threaten his job there. He was a visiting scholar with research privileges, assigned an office. He still has both the office and the research privileges. He wasn’t deprived of his editorship. His term as editor had expired so he was stepping down anyway in favor of another editor when the controversial ID article was published.

    In short, contrary to the assertions in “Expelled,” Sternberg suffered no harm whatever from the dustup. Which is not to say that he wasn’t criticized. He was. Harshly, rudely and sometimes childishly by fellow scientists. But rough and tumble argument is part of the world of science, whether you’re studying intelligent design, string theory or evolutionary biology.

    “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” may be the first volley in the next battle by creationists to give their movement intellectual weight. But its cartoon version of evolutionary theory, Its remarkable lack of evidence for its case, its unbalanced and hysterical portrayal of the “martyrs,” its dismal and depressing musical score, and its lack of genuine humor will persuade only the already persuaded.

    The first review is right, and “Expelled” is wrong. We can check the various claims made about Sternberg, and “Expelled” gets things wrong.

    The second review by Roger Moore is substantially weaker overall, but still says this about “Expelled”:

    Expelled makes good points about academic freedom and the ways unpopular ideas are shouted down in academia, the press and the culture. But not offering evidence to back your side, where the burden of proof lies, makes the movie every bit as meaningless and silly as that transcendental metaphysical hooey of a couple of years back, What the Bleep Do We Know?

    The third review by Leonard Pierce, like the second, doesn’t engage the movie on the details, but does say:

    Since any legitimate confrontation between Intelligent Design and actual science would end badly for ID, the movie focuses on making ID’s opponents look like censors (as if the teaching of science was a democratic practice, where all possible ideas are presented and then people vote on which one they like the best) or anti-Christian bigots or wordy, incomprehensible windbags.

    It’s a pure hatchet job, plain and simple, without any scientific merit and very little artistic merit. Worse still, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a fundamentally dishonest film: it’s funded by right-wing think tanks, its marketing materials urge the formation of politically-motivated ‘street teams’ to push for screenings of the movie before they’ve even seen it (a tactic likely motivated by the fact that no one would book the thing based on its qualities as a film), and hosted by a political hack for either mercenary or ideological reasons. Stein does deliver a few amusing moments with his deadpan delivery, but it’s nothing you couldn’t get in equal amounts from one of his Clear Eyes commercials in less than thirty seconds and without the added burden of vast, pseudoscientific nonsense.

    The other three links take up other issues.

    Cornelia Dean’s article examines the dodgy tactics used to obtain interviews with scientists for the movie. Basically, the producers said that the movie was of a different title and had a different topic. This is true stuff, and even the “Expelled” producers have not tried to deny that this is how they roped in Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, and PZ Myers for their movie.

    There’s also the bit from one of the producers where Dean had the temerity to check with someone named in a claim:

    Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief” (Simon & Schuster, 2006), explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line,” Mr. Ruloff said.

    That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.

    Looks like Collins says the “Expelled” team got it wrong… I’m not surprised.

    The second link takes up the promotional tactics for the “Expelled” movie, where Aaron Elias notes:

    Every so often, a group will try to promote its cause and give itself the proverbial rake in the face. The pointy end of the rake came up when the makers of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” started bribing fundamentalist schools to organize mandatory field trips forcing students to watch the film. Bribery? Great publicity move! That garners about as much credibility as a Republican politician in a bathroom stall.

    I’ve written about this myself. The article is right. “Expelled” is being promoted via a kickback scheme, and one that is likely to leave a lot of dissatisfaction in its wake.

    The Robert McHenry article delves into the poor logic and scholarship in Ben Stein’s claims about history and Darwin.

    And for these horrors Ben Stein wishes to blame the theory of evolution by natural selection. He produces a shambles of an essay in the course of which he manages to malign the name of Darwin by association with both Communism and Naziism, a remarkable day’s work after which any civilized man would knock off early and call for cocktails. But not Ben. No, Ben toils on. By the time he’s through, every kook and monster who ever used the word “evolution” has become the satanic spawn of Charles Darwin. This sort of thing is doubtless effective in a sermonette at the Discovery Institute, but as a contribution to the public discourse it is simply shameful.

    I think that the criticisms of “Expelled” seen on the “Expelled Exposed” site are easily seen to be supported by the available evidence.

  • 2008/03/28 at 3:52 am

    Exposed is mainly about censorship, the idea of questioning Darwinism without having one’s career ruined. Not surprisingly, it has opened the door for public debate on the matter.

    The film hasn’t even come out yet, a selected few has seen a private showing, but yet there is a website about exposing it. Some liberal groups have tried to put pressure on theaters not to show it. Do you know why there so much stir among hardcore Darwinists about this film? There are afraid it will encourage skepticism of the dogma of Evolution.

    Now I take it, most Evolutionists would shun or even laugh at the idea of a person who claimed to create a ball of energy out of nothing, correct? After all, it sounds more like magic than science, right? But Evolutionists take it even further, they claim the Universe was created out of nothing by chance, and it’s not witchcraft, it’s not God who was able to do that, but chance they say so it makes it science…lol

    In all do respect, anything that is able to be created out of nothing is supernatural whether it’s chance or harry potter, or God, it’s supernatural. Because it defies the laws of physics. This concept ought to be questioned, this sort of debate ought to be publish in science magazines without having the fear of loosing their jobs or instead of going on witch hunts by putting pressure on theaters not to show anything that may favor creationism. Or worry about a film exposing censorship.

    What I just proposed against Evolution is more scientific than the theory of something that can be created out of nothing. Perhaps Darwinists are unable to explain that is perhaps why they focus on other things…

    Defines energy as a mass which cannot be created out of nothing, and can be changed from one form to another but the total amount remains the same.

    All systems will tend toward the most mathematically probable state, and eventually become totally random and disorganized. Albert Einstein said this law would be impossible to eliminate.

  • 2008/03/28 at 5:12 am

    Do you know why there so much stir among hardcore Darwinists about this film?

    I think people interested in countering misinformation are stirred up because even in the snippets released broadly so far one can find an abundance of mendacious material in the “Expelled” stuff.

    That said, I am not one who advocates trying to block distribution of the film.

    There seems to be some confusion in antievolution circles… well, there’s a lot of confusion there, but one confused point that’s relevant in this context is that evolutionary science and cosmology are not the same thing. What Michael “proposed” is an instance of this confusion.

    So, Michael, what exactly is the point of listing laws that aren’t any issue at all for the theories of evolutionary science? Does Michael has some notion that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution? That would be yet another deployment of a tired old bogus long-rebutted antievolution argument.

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