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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New York Times: "No Admission for Evolutionary Biologist at Creationist Film"

Scott Hatfield, mmmmmwah! The latest dirt, and on my birthday, too!

They are removing screenings of the film now! *gasp* Well, it's their choice. I cannot see how this ongoing tyrannical behavior helps their persecuted stance one bit.

They may as well release this thing on Torrent and be done with it. It hasn't even been transferred to 35mm anyway.

UPDATED: I can't keep up! According to Pharyngula ("Still Straining to Find an Excuse"), the story is also at Salon and at Richard Dawkins' website. And Skatje has written a review of the film.

The New York Times article is up (requires login). Guess what - they interviewed Mark Mathis.

Two evolutionary biologists — P. Z. Myers of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and Richard Dawkins of Oxford — tried to go to the movies at the Mall of America in Minneapolis Thursday evening. Dr. Dawkins got in. Dr. Myers did not.

On those facts, everybody agrees. After that, things break down.

The movie the two scientists wanted to see was “Expelled,” whose online trailer asserts that people in academia who see evidence of supernatural intelligence in biological processes — an idea called “intelligent design” — have unfairly lost their jobs, been denied tenure or suffered other penalties as part of a scientific conspiracy to keep God out of the nation’s laboratories and classrooms.

Dr. Myers asserts that he was unfairly barred from the film, in which both he and Dr. Dawkins appear, and that Dr. Dawkins would have been, too, if people running the screening had realized who he was — a world leader in the field of evolutionary biology. But Walt Ruloff, a partner in Premise Media, the film’s producer, said the screening was one of a series the producers have organized for the film, which opens April 18, in hopes of building favorable word-of-mouth among people likely to be sympathetic to its message. People like Dr. Myers and Dr. Dawkins would not have been invited, he said.

Mark Mathis, a producer of the film who attended the screening, said that “of course” he had recognized Dr. Dawkins, but allowed him to attend because “he has handled himself fairly honorably, he is a guest in our country and I had to presume he had flown a long way to see the film.”

Actually, Dr. Myers and Dr. Dawkins said in interviews that they had long planned to be in Minneapolis this week to attend a convention of atheists. Dr. Dawkins, an vocal critic of religion, is on the convention program.

Yeah, nice going, Mr. Mathis. Maybe if you ever stuck your nose into the real world long enough to figure out what's going on with all of these "enemies" whose coattails you hope to ride to fame with this clumsy, inartful "documentary," you'd have figured out why Dawkins was here. Great research skills, man, for someone purportedly informing the public about "science."

I repeat that the cop, and the staff member named "Jared," confronted PZ right in front of me, folks. They said nothing about "creating a disturbance" - PZ wasn't invited and he didn't have a ticket, they said. I did not have a ticket to this screening - my e-mail confirmation stated that no tickets were required - nor did I have a ticket to any other movie in the theatre. I was not invited, other than to sign up via the aforementioned website advertisement. PZ followed the same procedure I did. This was the most ham-handed example of "damage control" after the most unfortunate scheduling of an apparently top-secret "private screening" that I have ever seen!

Mr. Mathis, good luck in April. Maybe the fate of Expelled is at a "Crossroads"? Anyone? Anyone? Ben?

(Photo courtesy of midwifetoad at AtBC, where, ahem, they have another announcement...)

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Blogger Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

You would think that a guy in Fresno wouldn't have anything to add to this, but, as Bill Nye liked to say, "please consider the following."

March 22, 2008 2:25 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Are you kidding? I think you have plenty to say!

It's shaping up to be quite a weekend.

March 22, 2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous RWA said...

Thank you for properly crediting MidwifeToad with the Expelled photoshop. Kevin Miller swiped it and posted it on the Expelled website without crediting him properly. Not that we expect him to be honest or anything...

We're having fun discussing this over at the Darwin Central forums, if you want to take a look, you're more than welcome. Be warned, though: we're rabid Republicans, so make sure you can handle the cognitive dissonance!

March 22, 2008 11:37 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, I'm a Republican magnet. Let me get through this convention this weekend, and I'll take a peek.

March 23, 2008 1:41 AM  
Blogger The Science Pundit said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

March 23, 2008 6:41 AM  
Blogger The Science Pundit said...

As I commented over on Monkey Trials, methinks that they're removing screenings because Harvard has threatened legal action over their use of the Cell animation.

March 23, 2008 7:03 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thanks, Javier!

I wasn't sure if that animation was the same one as the one Dembski lifted from Harvard - if it is, that's just another example of their cloddishness, isn't it?

Just unbelieveable. Oh, and I stomped out of a debate today - not because the theist claimed that we were all in fear, or needed God to have ethics - but because he then started insulting little girls who played with trucks, and Jackson Pollock's art! This has been quite a weekend, I must say.

I didn't know that jazz and Jackson Pollock, like evolutionary theory, was equivalent to Stalin! Wow.

When one of the organizers of this conference asked my opinion on the debate, I suggested that they get some credible theologians who are culturally educated. I'm done with hoity-toity snobs who don't know anything about music or art.

March 23, 2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous RWA said...

Well, if it makes you feel any safer, we're more Matt Ridley conservatives than Chris Hitchens types!

March 23, 2008 10:55 PM  
Blogger Lui said...

What absolutely disgusting lying these ID cretins have stooped to.

March 24, 2008 1:21 AM  

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