Thursday, 17 September 2009

Watching Expelled: a live blog

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This may seem a little old to American readers, but Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein's widely ridiculed pro-ID documentary, never made it to these shores. So I'm only just watching it this afternoon in preparation for a debate on science and film that we're hosting at the Cambridge Film Festival on Sunday. For added entertainment, I've decided to blog my thoughts as I watch, so here we go...

Final verdict - Just read some of what I've written below. I don't think any kind of summary is needed. It's the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I can only thank, err, God that the 97mins of my life just used up by Ben Stein were part of a working day, and not my own free time.

THE END

1:36:35 - They can take your jobs, they can send you nasty emails, but they can never take your FREEEEDOOOM!

1:36:02 - Now the Wall's coming down to the sound of The Killers. It's glorious, it's triumphant, believe in ID people, BELIEVE!

1:35:35 - Ben says "no lie can live forever"...

1:34:50 - Footage of the Berlin Wall coming down. Watch out evolution...

1:33:49 - Back to Ben's lecture on how freedom has been removed from science, interspersed with a Reagan speech in front of the Berlin Wall.

1:33:21 - We could find God through science, if we had the freedom to go there. Unfortunately people like Dawkins won't let us...

1:32:42 - Ben asks Dawkins if he believes in "any God, anywhere". When Dawkins says no, Ben seems to take this as having won the whole argument...

1:31:26 - Dawkins offers an explanation for what Intelligent Design could plausibly mean. Ben says this is Dawkins legitimising ID...

1:30:28 - Dawkins doesn't know where the first self-replicating molecule came from. Therefore God exists...

1:28:40 - Finally Dawkins's true crime is revealed - he's "spoiling it" for people by saying God doesn't exist...

1:27:09 - As Dawkins sits having make-up applied, our hero Ben makes his way slowly towards his lair in a black cab for the final showdown...

1:23:50 - There's that Berlin Wall analogy again...

1:22:36 - The Smithsonian Institution wouldn't let Ben Stein and a bunch of people with cameras barge in unannounced. Therefore it is part of a massive Darwinian conspiracy to destroy free speech and the American Dream...

1:21:49 - The "Darwinian establishment" is massive and entrenched. Like the Soviet Union was...

1:21:30 - Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is under threat from Darwinists. By expelling ID, they are destroying freedom, destroying the American dream...

1:20::30 - The Berlin Wall again. It was erected to keep ideas out...

1:19:58 - Now Ben's at the Natural History Museum staring Darwin's statue in the face. Darwin, how could you do this to the world?

1:17:17 - It's all getting too much for our hero Ben. He needs "time to think". So he flies to England and visits Down House...

1:16:22 - Yep, now we're on to euthanasia and abortion. It's all because of Darwin...

1:15:46 - Darwinism led to Nazism, and will lead to similar things again. In fact, it's already happening. Just look at euthanasia and abortion...

1:14:53 - Hitler thought he was doing good. Because of Darwin...

1:14:42 - There is good, and there is evil, and evil can be rationalised as science...

1:14:12 - Hitler wasn't insane. He had "imbibed some very wrong ideas". Any guesses which ideas those were?

1:11:06: Here's historian Richard Weikhart telling us how Darwin caused Hitler. No mention of his Discovery Institute connections...

1:10:16 - Still with the Nazis...

1:08:43 - Being shown around a Nazi eugenics facility. Shred your copy of On the Origin of Species right now...

1:07:00 - The Nazis practised eugenics. Therefore Intelligent Design should be taught in school...

1:06:25 - You don't have to be a Nazi to be a Darwinist, but you have to be a Darwinist to be a Nazi...

1:05:47 - Hitler time! "The correspondence between Darwinian ideas and Nazi ideas leap from the page" in Mein Kampf...

1:05:13 - Ben tries to imagine a world without religion. All he sees is Stalin waving.

1:04:59 - PZ dreams of a world without religion. Just like... you guessed it... the Soviets! Or are they the Nazis...

1:03:04 - So, Darwinism does lead to atheism, and anyone who says it doesn't is a liar...

1:02:42 - And Dawkins's.

1:02:21 - Science also eroded PZ's faith. Damn you, science...

1:02:07 - Darwinism is tragic. Dr Will Provine, historian of science at Cornell University, has a brain tumour, but because of evolution he doesn't believe in life after death.

1:00:53 - If you believe evolution, you can't believe in human free will...

59:41 - "A disturbing glimpse into where Darwinism can lead..." says Stein, in a scary voice...

59:15 - Darwinism leads to atheism leads to no meaning leads to no ethics

58:57 - Shot of Nazis burning stuff...

58:09 - And here's Steve Fuller - didn't we let Grayling loose on him too?

57:26 - Here's John Polkinghorne now - didn't we let Grayling loose on him once?

56:35 - Dawkins is a "smart guy" but "a bit of a reptile"....

55:41 - McGrath talking about Dawkins, over the top of a shot of Stalin...

55:32 - But now he's in Oxford talking to Alister McGrath. Turns out there's no conflict between religion and science...

54:24 - Shots of marching soldiers. Could be Nazis, could be Soviets. Evolutionists have turned the fight against ID into a religious war...

51:23 - A shot of Checkpoint Charlie, for some reason...

49:37 - Even journos are conspiring against ID'ers...

48:05 - Evolutionists want to trick mainstream Christians into thinking there is no incompatibility between science and religion. But look, Dawkins says there is an incompatibility. It's a trap!....

45:50 - Scientists are afraid of any aspect of evolution being questioned, for fear that it will all unravel. Which makes them just like the Wizard of Oz...

45:20 - You can't question the paradigm, yeah...

43:21 - Oops, confused them with Soviets again. Because they forbade East Germans to think for themselves. Scientists have erected an intellectual Berlin Wall to keep out ID. Strang verboten...

43:01 - Mentioning ID is described as strang verboten - and here are the Nazis, right on cue...

40:54 - Long and detailed animation about how complex cells are... clearly means they need a designer...

39:05 - Turns out cells are more complicated than Darwin knew them to be in the 1850s. Come on Ben, we want Nazis, not cells. Where are all the Nazis?

37:23 - Take a theory like Directed Panspermia, talk about it over some dodgy '50s sci-fi footage, and you've demolished evolutionary theory in seconds...

35:26 - It's "inconceivable" that life could have emerged "in some step by step way"....

33:29 - Primordial soup looks like a bubbling pot of mud...

33:12 - It says so in some documentary, so clearly it's what all Darwinists think

33:00 - Darwinists think life was created by lightening...

32:02 - Darwin should have written a book called Species Change Over Time. That would have been fine...

30:50 - Here's that Dawkins fella again. Did you know he's an atheist? That's right, an atheist...

23:59 - Ben doesn't want to see any credibility in ID, he thinks it's "reheated creationism"....

22:37 - At a "scientific meeting" after "3 or 4 beers", most scientists will admit there are problems with evolution

20:16 - The Discovery Institute is in no way religious. Honest...

18:39 - Found the offices. Their staff look surprised to see cameras. Ben seems surprised by how small their offices are. He was expecting the Pentagon, apparently... (from the NH office, their offices look pretty big)

18:40 -
New York now - seems no one knows where the Discovery Institute's offices are...

15:53 - Oh, here are Dawkins, PZ and Dennett again. They think ID is silly, don't you know?

15:33 - Intelligent Design is being "suppressed in a systematic and ruthless fashion"

14.57 - Some pro-ID scientists are afraid to show their faces, for fear of reprisals. So they're shown only in silhouette, like victims on Crimewatch....

13:08 - Oh look, here's that scene from Planet of the Apes where they hose down Heston. Do you see what Darwinism leads to? Well, do you? You damn dirty apes...

12:26 - No, seriously, no one is safe...

11:22 - No one is safe from the "Darwinist wrath".

10:12 - It's an academic witch-hunt - mention ID and you're out...

7:37 - Speaking out in support of ID is viewed in the same light as terrorism. You are treated as an "intellectual terrorist".

7:12 - Scientists complaining about ID is the same as Khrushchev disrupting the UN in 1960...

6:32 - Free speech = the right to publish pseudoscience in a scientific journal....

5:02 - If we'd had Dawkins et al in the 60s, there would have been no moon landings, no civil rights movement....

4:32 - Why's he involving Martin Luther King?

4:06 - Here's Ben Stein - he's delivering a lecture that could save the world. He's fighting for free speech, the future of America, I feel like I'm watching Independence Day...

3:05 - Sinister black and white footage of the Berlin Wall cuts straight to Dawkins, Dennett and PZ denouncing ID.... scientific orthodoxy collapsing before my very eyes....

1:45 - Sorry, my mistake, they're Soviets building the Berlin Wall...

0:40 - Oh look, some Nazis, doing sinister Nazi things...

6 comments:

Interested said...

So what do you think...now that you've seen it?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this film appears to have grossed over $7.5m.

Paul Sims said...

Read such figures with scepticism - I recall them basically paying people to see it when it was released:

http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2008/03/expelled-make-it-free-they-still-wont.html

http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2008/01/creators-of-intelligent-design-movie.html

Greg P said...

Thought I recalled the name. This was the movie PZ Myers was...err expelled from...

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2389,Discussion-on-PZ-Myers-being-expelled-from-Expelled,Richard-Dawkins-PZ-Myers

Thanks for taking the bullet Paul, safe to say I'll avoid this film.

Paul Sims said...

Yep, it all goes way back to the beginning of last year Greg. But it never made it to the UK - only finally got hold of a copy here because of the event we're doing at the Camb Film Fest.

Clare said...

Thanks for the commentary. It was highly amusing. :)