Monday, March 24, 2008

Thanks, Eugenie!

Following up my post about the Facebook group "Protest Ben Stein's Expelled", I got this blush-inducing celebrity endorsement from no less than Eugenie Scott!

Martin Wagner, you have your head on very, very straight.

If we raise a fuss for Expelled, we increase the publicity and the gate. We play directly into their frame.

Why would we want to do that?

Okay, take a minute to chuckle at the visual of me putting on my "aw shucks" face. Anyway, Eugenie goes on to point out that while Expelled is sure to be a huge hit in "church basements," — har! — the general public isn't exactly awaiting it with bated breath the way they are, say, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Launching some massive protest campaign against the movie will simply play into their hands by validating their false message that "Big Science" wants to shut down open debate. She goes on to recommend the NCSE's newly launched site Expelled Exposed. It's new and fairly spartan at the moment, but it's been launched both as a one-stop shop for all of the news surrounding the movie's release and publicity (such as the PZ fiasco), and will go on to be a resource for refuting the false claims in the movie itself. Go on over and bookmark it.

Incidentally, if you're a member of the Facebook group, you'll see that one guy who's responded, one Barrett Cune, is doing a great job making my case for me, by presenting himself as exactly the kind of histrionic assclown we don't want responding to the movie. In a couple of ALL CAPS harangues, he wails about the need to "hit the streets" and attacks imaginary people who "just want to whine about the Earth and her problems.. you dont actually want to do anything to help.. you want your fucking parents to do it for you." If old Barrett can't tell the difference between coming up with ways to counter the movie effectively and productively, and thinking no one wants to do anything simply because we think parading the streets like some kind of I.R.A. rally would backfire, he clearly needs to grow the fuck up. I can understand and sympathize with his passion, but not his immaturity. The idea is that we're smarter and more rational than the IDiots who do things like make movies comparing scientists to Hitler as a way of concealing the fact they have no science backing up their own position. Acting even stupider than they do is not how to turn the generally indifferent public off to their message.


  1. I have wondered if the Expelled movie is just some brilliant scheme to make money. Think about it - create a movie that will inflame atheists, and cause the IDers to rally behind it and then launch it with much controversy. People from both sides flock to see it, and the filmmakers make big bucks. We may just be playing right into their hands, while they laugh all the way to the bank, not really caring one bit about the ID-evolution debate.

  2. On Eugenie's page there's a link to a Popular Science article about it:
    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

    Want to make your head spin? Read the comments, supposedly from people interested enough in science to read a science magazine. My favorite:

    Don't you know on his death bed Darwin ADMITTED to forging fossils to prove his theory.

    That's great - he took two Creationist statements of misfact, and blended them into one super-concentrate!

  3. I just connect protest of media so much with Xian protests that want to ban or stifle expression. Even if that wasn't my goal, I can't imagine too many Xians not seeing it that way if they saw me with a sign outside the theatre.

    I'm really happy to hear about the NCSE's response though.


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