Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why hasn't Uwe Boll thought of this?

Worried that your movie is going to tank in the wake of unavoidable, relentless mockery and abuse? Just pay people to see it anyway!

The latest news making the rounds of science blogs is the remarkable revelation that the producers of Expelled, the farcical ID faux-documentary soon to be released and hosted by the foolish Ben Stein, have come up with a campaign essentially to bribe Christian schools to take entire classes on "mandatory field trips" to see this hokum. Let us marvel at religion's great contribution to science education in America: pulling a bunch of kids out of classes, filling their little heads with disinformation, and raking in the bucks.

You really have to read all about this stunning campaign here. It means this movie is less likely to be profitable than it already was — the idea is these Christian schools send in the ticket stubs, paid for by the students, and the more stubs they send in the more money gets donated to the school, up to $5000 for 500 stubs. That's $10 per ticket stub, which is right around the full ticket price for a movie in a lot of big cities, and far more for the average ticket in the kinds of Bible Belt small towns where this movie is likely to be well received. (My parents go to the movies in Marshall, TX, population about 25,000; they pay $3 to see movies at the one theater there.)

What's also hilarious is the way this movie is openly defying the Discovery Institute mantra that ID is not religious, no ma'am! Seems to me the next Dover trial ought to be even easier, since the record of this online campaign will be right out there in the open, calling attention to itself like a streaker at a football game, for the pro-science side to destroy them with. It's even better than Barbara Forrest's brilliant tracking down of the absurdist publishing history of Of Pandas and People, which gave us all that masterpiece of Christian copy editing, "cdesign proponentsists."

Frankly, the more bullshit like this the anti-evolutionists pull, the better things are in terms of exposing their mendacity and dishonesty. Come on, these people really think they're morally superior? The lack of moral integrity in their every action is repugnant and depressing. When it isn't merely hilarious.


  1. the trailer for this is laughable. I kept asking myself, "is Ben Stein doing shtick or what?" Sadly, he wasn't. The sad thing is that the "ID" movement will probably dog us for through the mid-century. Hopefully it'll be weeded out each successive generation. We can hope, right?

  2. One minor correction Martin.

    It should be "pulling a bunch of kids out of class", not "kinds".

  3. Thank goodness that the creationist sleaze-merchants don't have such a powerful grip on the collective Australian psyche as they do on the American. Whenever I hear about this sort of thing, my head just swells up and spins.

  4. Well spotted, Tommy. Correction done.

  5. Apparently Dawkins was bamboozled into providing an interview for the movie. He doesn't normally debate creationists or them interviews, because it gives the impression that there is an even playing field or a genuine scientific controversy. He prefers to starve them of the oxygen of respectability they so desperately crave. In an appearance on the Minnesota Atheists radio show (you can have a listen here), he said that when Ben Stein was interviewing him in London, he started to have suspicions because of Stein's hostile tone. These suspicions, of course, were later vindicated. Something similar happened in 1997, when Australian creationists asked Dawkins to "give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process that which can be seen to increase the information in the genome", a question that only a creationist could ask in that way. Dawkins ordered them to leave, realising that he had been tricked into providing an interview to religious fundamentalists, but he relented when they pleaded with him that they had flown all the way from Australia. His answer was later edited out to give the impression that he was incapable of answering the question. This is one of the most popular creationist videos on YouTube, where it is posted under such titles as "Dawkins stumped by creationist question. No hoax". Their dishonesty is truly nauseating. They don't hesitate to lie, cheat and distort whenever it suites their purposes. Note to all: if any of you become evolutionary biologists, please do not grant interviews to these cretins. The only thing they're interested in is propaganda.


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