Monday, June 02, 2008

Judge lifts injunction against Expelled

In an interesting development, U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein (no relation to "Evolution Doesn't Explain Gravity!" Ben) has ruled that Expelled can use the 15-second clip of John Lennon's "Imagine" under the fair use doctrine. Over at PT, commenters are pointing out that this isn't an end to the lawsuit, but it may be moot at this point. I disagree with the decision — I think it could open the gates to all manner of dodgy copyright infringement — but at this point it really has no impact either way for Expelled, which is already out of theaters in the US after tanking with a pitiful $7.5 million haul after six weeks. The movie simply wasn't the takedown of science its producers were hoping for. But since they've created a nice little insulated world to live in, only exposing themselves to tightly controlled pre-release screenings to which the scientifically-illiterate choir were exclusively admitted, they'll never know that. So it's on to the church-basement DVD circuit, where it was going to end up anyway — while, off in the real world, science marches on and people with brains are actually learning new things.

I did find this part of the MSNBC article enlightening.

At a hearing last month, Falzone had argued that the segment of the song in the film — "nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too" — was central to the movie because "it represents the most popular and persuasive embodiment of this viewpoint that the world is better off without religion."

The film, he said, is "asking if John Lennon was right and it's concluding he was wrong."

It's a nice admission that religionists wouldn't think the world a happy place unless they had absurd ideologies and irrational beliefs to kill and die for.


  1. Church basement fodder aside, I really think it is too bad that the deluded faithful may simply end up knowing less about science than they already do because of this.

  2. Not just knowing less about science, but developing an open hostility to science. This, of course, despite the fact that there is literally nothing whatsoever that they do in their day to day lives — including living in a house, eating food (the product of agriculture), driving cars, and not dying of polio and smallpox — that is not the product of science. The immorality of this film is really too despicable to stomach. Mark Mathis and Ben Stein have a lot to answer for. Meanwhile, Europe and China will be laughing their asses off as they bypass the US in virtually scientific advance the 21st century sees. The downfall of America, whenever it comes, will be laid directly at the feet of evangelical Christianity and its rabid anti-science campaigning.

  3. That's what always strikes me, Martin. It's not the lack of knowledge, it's the hostility and zealotry they employ to make sure no one else gets the knowledge either. It's not enough that they're uneducated: to maintain control they have to make sure everyone else is under-educated, too. I can't help but wonder what will happen in, say, ten years when all of these Jesus Camp/Fundy Christian homeschool kids hit the real world?

  4. "Meanwhile, Europe and China will be laughing their asses off as they bypass the US in virtually scientific advance the 21st century sees."

    Perhaps creationism is actually part of a Chinese and French conspiracy.

    What do you think of that, Rhology and Marvin?

  5. What's worse, 'Atheist in Minivan," I think the bigger battle in the future will be the so-called "academic freedom" bills that are being pushed. One can only hope that common sense would prevail, but when it comes to the Christians, sense isn't so common. :-(


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