Saturday, May 10, 2008

Miller on Expelled

As Expelled dies on the vine, falling far short of the goals set for it by its makers, Ken Miller offers his views, and given that he is one of the 40% of religious scientists that provide absolute refutation to Expelled's lies, his deserves to be the final word:

"The movie also uses interviews with avowed atheists like Richard Dawkins, author of 'The God Delusion,' to argue that scientific establishment is vehemently anti-God. Never mind that 40 percent of the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science profess belief in a personal God. Stein, avoiding these 50,000 people, tells viewers that 'Darwinists' don't allow scientists to even think of God.

Puzzled, the editors of Scientific American asked Mark Mathis, the film's co-producer, why he and Stein didn't interview such people, like Francis Collins (head of the Human Genome Project), Francisco Ayala, or myself. Mathis cited me by name, saying 'Ken Miller would have confused the film unnecessarily.' In other words, showing a scientist who accepts both God and evolution would have confused their story line.

'Expelled' is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself. Stein is doing nothing less than helping turn a generation of American youth away from science. If we actually come to believe that science leads to murder, then we deserve to lose world leadership in science. In that sense, the word 'expelled' may have a different and more tragic connotation for our country than Stein intended."

Amen Ken. Expelled now languishes at 60% of its opening screens, averaging an anemic $120 per screen, with total revenues around $7M. Compare this to the goals of the producers of some $12-$15M just on opening weekend. Consider also that the recent spate of "academic freedom" bills, which were clearly intended to ride Expelled's coattails, failed to become law in Alabama, and Florida.

Expelled was a flop scientifically, politically, and financially. Hopefully it will end what was left of Ben Stein's career, and serve to expose the ID movement for the con game it is.


alex said...

My last comment here, the one that said that Expelled is eighth overall in documentaries -- making it NOT a financial flop -- was deleted. Why? Because it shows that your comment is more wishful thinking than factual? Yeah, that must be it.

ScienceAvenger said...

It was deleted because you have a bad habit of making half-assed bullshit arguments defending liars and propogandists and I only have so much time to spend swatting flies.

But just to show the deletion wasn't arbitrary, in this case, Expelled is arguably not a documentary at all, and even if it is, ranking 8th in documentaries in unadjusted-for-inflation figures is next to meaningless, and even if it wasn't, Expelled spent far more on marketing and other expenses than do typical documentaries, and showed on many more screens, making the comparison even more bogus. Add to that that Expelled failed to meet any of the predictions or goals of its producers, and likely lost money, and it becomes clear that Expelled was a monumental flop. Finally, the ultimate goal of Expelled was to promote this notion that ID supporters are unfairly ostracized, which hasn't seemed to get any traction at all.

So take your "wishful thinking" accusations and shove them up your hypocritical ass Alex.