Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Expelled from Expelled: PZ story goes global

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I was delighted to read that PZ Myers' expulsion from a screening of pro-ID documentary Expelled has been the biggest story in the blogosphere over the past few days. You'll see that the press release is actually from the makers of Expelled, trying to twist the publicity their own way, but it's still great news, and a look at BlogPulse, which tracks the popularity of items in the blogosphere, shows that PZ's original post on the matter is currently the fourth most popular blog post in the world.

In keeping with this theme, I thought I'd share this blog post I found on New Scientist. One of their writers went to see Expelled in the States and in addition to panning the film itself – "The film was just silly, with virtually zero scientific content" – they describe a post-showing Q&A session with producer Mark Mathis. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the planted questions in the audience and attempts to silence challenging questioners.

While I don't doubt that some of the millions who must have been reading about this are backing the makers of Expelled, I think it's fair to say that many more people will now be aware of the double standards exhibited by the producers of a piece of creationist propaganda which is being widely panned by critics. Some are taking the 'all publicity is good publicity' line on this, but it seems far more likely that the terrible response this film is receiving, generally from individuals with far more credibility than its producers, will serve to further damage its already negligible reputation.

So, as we often like to do, we thought we'd set up an opinion poll on the matter. Do you think all this publicity could end up working in favour of Expelled? Place your vote at the top right of this page.