PZ Myers posted Entry 3284 on August 22, 2007 03:56 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3270

Last April, I received this nice letter from Mark Mathis.

Hello Mr. Myers,

My name is Mark Mathis. I am a Producer for Rampant Films. We are currently in production of the documentary film, "Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion."

At your convenience I would like to discuss our project with you and to see if we might be able to schedule an interview with you for the film. The interview would take no more than 90 minutes total, including set up and break down of our equipment.

We are interested in asking you a number of questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.

Please let me know what time would be convenient for me to reach you at your office. Also, could you please let me know if you charge a fee for interviews and if so, what that fee would be for 90 minutes of your time.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Mark Mathis
Rampant Films
4414 Woodman Ave. #203
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
www.rampantfilms.com

I looked up Rampant Films. Yes, they are doing a movie called Crossroads, and it has perfectly reasonable blurb.

crossroads.gif

So I said, sure, I'd be happy to talk with you, and as long as any travel expenses are covered, I'm willing to do it gratis (academic, you know…we aren't used to charging big fees to explain things to people). They came out to Morris, set up cameras and gear in my lab, and we did an interview for a few hours. I got paid (woo hoo!). They left. I figured that, as a fairly minor figure in this argument, I might well get cut out altogether — they talked about also interviewing Dawkins and Eugenie Scott and Pennock and various other people — and that was OK.

Now we've got this new ID creationist movie, Expelled, coming out, and there's a press release with this claim:

Unlike some other documentary films, Expelled doesn't just talk to people representing one side of the story. The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. The creators of Expelled crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions.

What? I didn't do any interviews for pro-creation films, and I certainly haven't said that "freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry" aren't part of the university. There must be some mistake.

But then I noticed in the credits for the movie that a certain familiar name is the associate producer, or ass-prod, as I'll henceforth consider him.

assprod.gif

Denyse O'Leary also ties Mathis of Rampant Films to this movie, and this page from Expelled uses the same graphic that Rampant Films used for Crossroads. The case is closed: Ben Stein's propaganda film for ID is the one I was interviewed for.

Well. I guess I didn't end up on the cutting room floor after all, although I'm sure a select set of my words did. Unless, that is, the whole movie is me sitting in my lab, talking. It's real. I'm going to be featured in a big-time movie with second-tier character actor and game-show host Ben Stein. I bet my whole family is going to go out to the moving-picture theatre to see me on the big screen … and since my family lives near Seattle and the Discovery Institute is so happy about it, they'll probably have the opportunity.

I do have a few questions, though.

I'm wondering why the Discovery Institute would be so enthused about this movie. It lays it's premise on the line: science is flawed because it excludes god and the supernatural. It's one big promo for religion — which means it's going to further undercut Intelligent Design creationism's claims to be a secular idea.

Randy Olson points out that this is clearly a well-funded movie. It's slick, they're paying Ben Stein, they had to have shelled out a good chunk of money for the rights for the "Bad to the Bone" theme. Randy's probably wondering why he couldn't get that kind of money for Flock of Dodos.

So who is funding the movie? Some people with deep pockets are throwing quite a bit of cash at this thing, and I can assure you that it didn't end up in my hands. I think I was paid something like $1200. I should have asked for much more!

Isn't it a little ironic that a fairly expensive production like this is billing itself as representing the ordinary people, and is pretending to be the "rebel"? There's a bit of the no-expenses-will-be-spared (except in the case of their evilutionist dupes!) glitz about it — it really doesn't look like the work of some brave independent film-maker living hand-to-mouth while making his artistic vision manifest.

Why were they so dishonest about it? If Mathis had said outright that he wants to interview an atheist and outspoken critic of Intelligent Design for a film he was making about how ID is unfairly excluded from academe, I would have said, "bring it on!" We would have had a good, pugnacious argument on tape that directly addresses the claims of his movie, and it would have been a better (at least, more honest and more relevant) sequence. He would have also been more likely to get that good ol' wild-haired, bulgy-eyed furious John Brown of the Godless vision than the usual mild-mannered professor that he did tape. And I probably would have been more aggressive with a plainly stated disagreement between us.

I mean, seriously, not telling one of the sides in a debate about what the subject might be and then leading him around randomly to various topics, with the intent of later editing it down to the parts that just make the points you want, is the video version of quote-mining and is fundamentally dishonest.

I don't mind sharing my views with creationists, and do so all the time. By filming under false pretenses, much like the example of the case of Richard Dawkins' infamous "pause", they've undercut their own credibility … not that that will matter. I suspect their audience will not question whatever mangling of the video that they carry out, and the subterfuges used to make it will not be brought up.

Oh, well. I have two warnings for the creationists.

One, I will go see this movie, and I will cheer loudly at my 30 seconds or whatever on the screen, and I will certainly disembowel its arguments here and in any print venue that wants me. That's going to be fun.

Two, next time I'm asked to be recorded for a creationist propaganda film, I will demand more money, and a flight and a limousine to the premiere. They can pay for my tuxedo rental, too. And my hotel room will have a jacuzzi and a bowl of M&Ms — green ones only.

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Comment #198559

Posted by Steve Reuland on August 22, 2007 4:09 PM (e)

From the press release:

The incredible thing about Expelled is that we don’t resort to manipulating our interviews for the purpose of achieving the ‘shock effect,’ something that has become common in documentary film these days,” said Walt Ruloff, co-founder of Premise Media and co-Executive Producer.

Well, it looks like we know what level of honesty to expect from the film.

Comment #198560

Posted by Matt J on August 22, 2007 4:14 PM (e)

Well done on your big break. With this and the lawsuit, you’re becoming quite the household name.

Comment #198562

Posted by Eugenie C. Scott on August 22, 2007 4:36 PM (e)

Well, PZ, looks like you had the same experience I had. I also am willing to appear in productions that take a different side of an issue than I do, but I expect candor. My release says they can use “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads…and/or any other production….”

It’s the “and any other production” that I am sure they will call attention to. Yet there is evidence that this documentary was in the offing for over a year – possibly even a year and a half – and they didn’t know that the topic of the movie would be entirely different from Crossroads? Changing a title is one thing, but to change the whole subject of the movie from a general c/e theme to one of scientific persecution of those poor (but brave and noble)ID proponents against the Godless and dogmatic Darwinists, is quite a change.

One would have thought that by February or so of this year they might have figured out the theme. And then been a bit more honest with the subjects of the movie.

BTW, NCSE got a lot less $ for this program than you did! You must really be important! (Note to reader: it is rare to be compensated for being filmed for a documentary: I can count on one hand the number of times it has happened to me in 20 years, and still have fingers left over). (Further note: all my honoraria go to NCSE.)

Comment #198565

Posted by PZ Myers on August 22, 2007 4:53 PM (e)

My honorarium went directly to the University of Wisconsin Madison to pay a small part of my son’s tuition.

Comment #198566

Posted by Doc Bill on August 22, 2007 4:54 PM (e)

It gets even worse, PZ.

Sal is the audio editor.

Sal also did the editing for “The Lost Dutchman’s Quote Mine,” “Yours, Quote Mine and Ours,” and “That Old Gang of Quote Mine.”

Comment #198568

Posted by guppy on August 22, 2007 5:17 PM (e)

Anticlimax! I thought you were going to sue them for 15 mill.

Comment #198570

Posted by Louise Van Court on August 22, 2007 5:36 PM (e)

The tactics and pretenses used to secure the interviews certainly sound underhanded. I’m concerned that the movie/documentary will worsen the culture war and make good honest dialogue between the sides even more difficult. I guess time will tell.

Comment #198572

Posted by mplavcan on August 22, 2007 5:40 PM (e)

Perhaps from now on, folks should demand a contract placing the entire interview in the public domain, and giving a complete copy to the interviewee, so that a copy of the tapes can be posted to show exactly what was deleted and what was selected. It wouldn’t stop them, but it would make for some entertaining video shorts corresponding to the classic “here’s what they quoted and here’s what they said.”

Comment #198573

Posted by doctorgoo on August 22, 2007 5:44 PM (e)

This reminds me of those college kids who tried to sue Borat for showing their racist comments in his movie. Since they signed a contract, there wasn’t anything they could do about it. I just hope that PZ didn’t make any comments that he might learn to regret (like some random pro-atheist comment that they could twist into saying that all ‘evilutionists’ think all religion should be ended).

As for bringing up Dawkins’ infamous “pause”, as PZ put it… the reason why it’s so infamous isn’t because they doctored the tape, but because he actually DID pause for an awkward, extended time. Here’s Brayton’s post from several years ago where he discusses looking at the original tape: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2004/02/the_r…

Tying this back to PZ’s interview… If they quote-mine or doctor the interview, then by all means slam them for it, and slam them HARD. But if they take something that was said and use it, in context, to make PZ (and by extension all who are pro-evolution) look hateful towards those who are religious, then you really cannot blame them for doing so. After all, they really don’t care about facts, just faith.

And I sincerely hope that PZ talked only about evolution and not atheism… because right now I’m imagining that Dembski, Behe and the others are licking their chops at the idea of being able to claim “proof” for the dichotomy that Christians must either choose faith or science. Simply put: Given this either/or choice, even the well-educated, moderate Christians will tend to put their faith above reason.

Comment #198574

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2007 5:55 PM (e)

I just hope that PZ didn’t make any comments that he might learn to regret (like some random pro-atheist comment that they could twist into saying that all ‘evilutionists’ think all religion should be ended).

Doesn’t matter. If no such comments were made, they’ll create one in editing.

Comment #198575

Posted by doctorgoo on August 22, 2007 5:57 PM (e)

If they quote-mine or doctor the tape, Coin, then by all means… let’s slam them HARD for doing so, and not let them get away with it.

Comment #198577

Posted by ERV on August 22, 2007 6:05 PM (e)

PZ– They came out to Morris, set up cameras and gear in my lab, and we did an interview for a few hours.

Average Joe would not be allowed to enter a research laboratory without some kind of approval (at least my laboratory where we’re working with pathogens and radioactivity). I really find it hard to believe that entering a laboratory under false pretenses wouldnt be against the law.

But Im just in a litigatious mood right now.

Comment #198578

Posted by Karen on August 22, 2007 6:05 PM (e)

So who is funding the movie?

Someone who is not interested in funding scientific research.

Comment #198582

Posted by Phatty on August 22, 2007 6:13 PM (e)

The only time as a producer that you are ever allowed to be dishonest about your intentions regarding an interview is for purposes of a comedy (think the Daily Show or Borat), never for a straight-up documentary. I was disgusted to hear about this level of deceit.

PZ, did you get the feeling during the interview that there was any kind of slant to the questioning?

Comment #198583

Posted by doctorgoo on August 22, 2007 6:19 PM (e)

Phatty, IANAL, but if PZ’s release form was similar to Eugenie Scotts, then that part that goes “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads… and/or any other production….” means that from a legal standpoint, they WERE being honest… in that PZ knew (or should have known) that they had the right to use the interview for something that he wasn’t anticipating.

Comment #198584

Posted by Steve Reuland on August 22, 2007 6:22 PM (e)

doctorgoo wrote:

Tying this back to PZ’s interview… If they quote-mine or doctor the interview, then by all means slam them for it, and slam them HARD. But if they take something that was said and use it, in context, to make PZ (and by extension all who are pro-evolution) look hateful towards those who are religious, then you really cannot blame them for doing so.

I think we can blame them for fundamentally misrepresenting who they were and what kind of film they were trying to make. The audience will interpret the words of PZ et al, whatever the questions asked, within the context of the film’s theme. If the interviewees don’t know what the theme is, they have no way of knowing how certain answers are likely to be interpreted. That’s not to say they would have changed their answers, only that they would have emphasized certain points and clarified certain issues that were relevant to the actual movie that was being made, rather than the movie they thought was being made. For instance, had they known the true purpose of the film, I’m sure they would have made it clear that they do not condone persecuting the poor, abused ID advocates (not that anyone else does either – the whole thing is a giant farce). But given that they were led to believe that this was not the subject of the film, they probably made no such disclaimers, thus making it easier for the filmmakers to portray them in a negative light. The film’s promotional material suggests that PZ et al hold beliefs that they clearly do not hold.

In general, this is a really inauspicious beginning for a film whose fundamental premise is dishonest to begin with. It underscores the extreme mendacity of the filmmakers.

Comment #198586

Posted by Albion on August 22, 2007 6:29 PM (e)

Well, PZ, looks like you had the same experience I had. I also am willing to appear in productions that take a different side of an issue than I do, but I expect candor. My release says they can use “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads…and/or any other production….”

It’s the “and any other production” that I am sure they will call attention to. Yet there is evidence that this documentary was in the offing for over a year – possibly even a year and a half – and they didn’t know that the topic of the movie would be entirely different from Crossroads? Changing a title is one thing, but to change the whole subject of the movie from a general c/e theme to one of scientific persecution of those poor (but brave and noble)ID proponents against the Godless and dogmatic Darwinists, is quite a change.

One would have thought that by February or so of this year they might have figured out the theme. And then been a bit more honest with the subjects of the movie.

This is the sort of experience which makes me really annoyed when I see the sorts of “Christians never lie, why would we lie? God doesn’t like liars, it’s atheists who lie because they have no moral foundations” arguments all over creationism-evolution discussions. There was one on the BBC board today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213235?thr…

and little issues like the lies told by defendants at Dover and this sort of deception apparently don’t count. Watching them jump through hoops to defend quote mining would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic. And no doubt it’ll be everybody’s fault but theirs that the pro-evolution contributors to this movie were misled about the intentions of the people who made it.

Comment #198587

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2007 6:30 PM (e)

The only time as a producer that you are ever allowed to be dishonest about your intentions regarding an interview is for purposes of a comedy (think the Daily Show or Borat), never for a straight-up documentary. I was disgusted to hear about this level of deceit.

I believe Bill Maher was doing the exact same thing just a couple months ago for some sort of Dawkins knockoff documentary for HBO, actually. Though as far as I’m aware he didn’t set up anywhere near so many layers of deceit.

Comment #198588

Posted by ERV on August 22, 2007 6:32 PM (e)

…and/or any other production…

Whats on either side of that quote is important. ‘Production’ such as promotional materials for the movie (commercials, trailers, internet media) is very different from putting you in a movie you did not agree to be in.

That phrase cannot be a carte blanche to put anyones likeness in a production without explicit consent. To be extreme, what if this was a movie supporting child pornography?

“We’re filming you for Movie X. We might want to put you in Movie Y in the future. You must sign an agreement for Movie Y if we ever do it.” would make sense. “We’re going to put you in any movie any way we want until the end of time” does not make sense.

Comment #198592

Posted by secondclass on August 22, 2007 6:41 PM (e)

Albion wrote:

This is the sort of experience which makes me really annoyed when I see the sorts of “Christians never lie, why would we lie? God doesn’t like liars, it’s atheists who lie because they have no moral foundations” arguments all over creationism-evolution discussions. There was one on the BBC board today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213235?thr…

There must have been a sale on bigotry today. From Uncommon Descent:

Why would a non-theist be moral and remain a non-theist anyway?

Comment #198593

Posted by doctorgoo on August 22, 2007 6:42 PM (e)

Re: this whole “and/or any other production” issue… Any lawyers (preferably entertainment lawyers) out there who can clarify what this means?

Either way… this is just another example of why people should read and understand any contract they sign before they sign it.

Comment #198598

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2007 7:23 PM (e)

If they quote-mine or doctor the tape, Coin, then by all means… let’s slam them HARD for doing so, and not let them get away with it.

Well, to be frank, how can we prevent them from getting away with it? It is of course right and necessary to “slam them” by whatever means available for what they’re going to do, but this doesn’t mean that said slamming is going to be sufficient to keep them from achieving their goals. “Not letting them get away with it”, in this context, means that once this movie is out, somewhere there is going to be a website refuting its statements and pointing out the places where it is dishonest. This is necessary, but from the creationists’ perspective is it really a loss? The film’s audience might well not find or want to find the website with the refutation, or might be shown the website but just rationalize it away as more evolutionist lies. A skeptical viewer would of course want to research the claims of the film to see if they are true, and so would quickly find and understand the bloggers or whoever dissecting the film. But such a viewer isn’t really the intended mark of a creationist documentary, is it?

I mean, I know there are websites out there exhaustively documenting the problems with The Great Global Warming Swindle, or whatever that September 11 Troof movie was that was getting passed around. But I still with decent regularity run across people who saw those films as real eye-opening experiences that everyone else would understand too if they just watched, naysaying bloggers be darned. These people “got away with it”; as what sounds like a relatively well-financed production I’m pretty sure “expelled” will as well.

It just seems to me that if one were the type to be particularly bothered by the existence of a website somewhere exhaustively demonstrating everything one says to be lies, then one probably wouldn’t have chosen to go into the field of promoting creationism in the first place.

Comment #198599

Posted by Michael J on August 22, 2007 7:23 PM (e)

No doubt the filmmakers wont care they’ll make their money. But I don’t know that the people like the denizens of UD are crowing about. One thing that seems to come through with many ex-fundie stories is that it was the dishonesty that hastened the deconversion. Every time a lie is put out there by the ID/Creationist crowd, it is seriously debunked by the reality police. This in turn makes it easier for fundies that are interested in the truth (and I think the majority of people are fair dinkum) to find the truth. This would be especially the case the media thinks it would make an interesting story.

Comment #198600

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on August 22, 2007 7:24 PM (e)

According to some of the coverage that I’ve seen about the screening or promotion of this “documentary” at the DI recently, the film does claim that atheism provides no moral foundation for humanity, only God can do that.

It is funny how the producers have to lie and act so unethically in order to make a movie that claims that only people like them have morals.

Comment #198606

Posted by steve s on August 22, 2007 8:00 PM (e)

Too bad we don’t have a reference copy of the interview to check for manipulations in editing.

Comment #198610

Posted by Mark Isaak on August 22, 2007 8:20 PM (e)

Another phrase for such false pretenses is “bearing false witness,” and it is the phrase which seems most appropriate in this case. (I suspect Mark Mathis will claim that he did not, ultra-technically, lie.) No matter how anti-religious the producers make PZ look, it should be trivial to support the case that the producers are far more anti-religious themselves.

Comment #198611

Posted by Dave Carlson on August 22, 2007 8:22 PM (e)

I’m sure that the Discovery Institute, honest and respectable scientific organization that it is, will be quick to repudiate the dishonesty involved in the production of this film.
Right?

RIGHT?

Comment #198612

Posted by Science nut on August 22, 2007 8:24 PM (e)

Ben Stein has an introductory remark at the “EXPELLED” Ben’s Blog website:

http://expelledthemovie.com/blog/2007/08/21/bens…

It says in part:

“This includes the ability to inquire whether a higher power, a being greater than man, is involved with how the universe operates. This has always been basic to science. ALWAYS.
Some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Galileo, Newton, Einstein, operated under the hypothesis that their work was to understand the principles and phenomena as designed by a creator.”

Yes I do believe that Newton ascribed some unexplained motion of the planets to God and then God was knocked out of the explanation by Einstein. Ben went on to add:

“Operating under that hypothesis, they discovered the most important laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, relativity, and even economics.

Now, I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed.
Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. Do you realize that some of the leading lights of “anti-intelligent design” would not allow a scientist who merely believed in the possibility of an intelligent designer/creator to work for him… EVEN IF HE NEVER MENTIONED the possibility of intelligent design in the universe? EVEN FOR HIS VERY THOUGHTS… HE WOULD BE BANNED.

In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.

They cannot even mention the possibility that–as Newton or Galileo believed–these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off.”

Sorry Ben, can you explain why Einstein operated within a framework not unlike today’s America where he did study, receive grants and publish? And Ben, wasn’t Galileo imprisoned by the church because he had to work in a world dominated by a theistic worldview? Might he not have fared better in today’s America?

Can anyone even verify that the Brilliant Ben Stein even wrote and signed this feeble reasoning?

Oi vey!

Comment #198614

Posted by ERV on August 22, 2007 8:27 PM (e)

Reed– According to some of the coverage that I’ve seen about the screening or promotion of this “documentary” at the DI recently, the film does claim that atheism provides no moral foundation for humanity, only God can do that.

It is funny how the producers have to lie and act so unethically in order to make a movie that claims that only people like them have morals.

Reason #93864872365 I love my job: Yes, Creationists, PLEASE bring up ‘morals’ in conversation with me. PLEASE tell me, a life-long atheist doing cancer and HIV research to save your scummy radical theistic skins, about morals. PLEASE tell me about morals, while professional Creationists are sexualy assaulting kids, stealing from the US, the ‘moralest’ can only ‘contribute’ to humanity through pooping out a book every 10 years, oh prize pigs of morality. Yes, PLEASE talk to me about morality.

I want to hear everything they have to say.

Comment #198618

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2007 8:56 PM (e)

Can anyone even verify that the Brilliant Ben Stein even wrote and signed this feeble reasoning?

Well, remember, he was part of the Nixon Administration.

Comment #198629

Posted by mike on August 22, 2007 9:34 PM (e)

Obviously they’re lining up notable scientist/educators who are also atheists so that they can be seen stating that evolution proves God doesn’t exist, Q.E.D. Obviously they’re dishonest enough to doctor Dr. Scott’s interview to make it appear she’s stating that. It wouldn’t take too much doctoring for Dawkin’s to say it, and it seems PZ would pay them for a chance to state it outright, in context, as aggressively as possible, while implicitly representing the entire scientific community. Bet Ken Miller (either one), or Francis Collins will not be interviewed. It would appear that they believe that PZ is at least as useful to them as anyone on their side. They ain’t so dumb.

Comment #198634

Posted by theo on August 22, 2007 9:39 PM (e)

The Ramtha cultists who produced the awful documentary “What the Bleep do we know” took similar advantage of their interviewees. Religious maniacs can justify almost any means to an end.

Rampant Films HQ is in Sherman Oaks in the Valley…PZ should consider himself lucky if his footage only ends up in a boring Ben Stein creationist vehicle and not…something more hardcore.

Comment #198635

Posted by PZ Myers on August 22, 2007 9:41 PM (e)

That’s a rather stupid thing to say, since I do not think nor do I say that evolution proves god cannot exist; if you’d read Dawkins’ book, you know he doesn’t claim that either.

Comment #198638

Posted by Crudely Wrott on August 22, 2007 10:00 PM (e)

Ever and again it all comes down to the same old thing: Honesty.

A Billy Joel song comes to mind …

Comment #198644

Posted by Rieux on August 22, 2007 10:24 PM (e)

A Billy Joel song comes to mind …

“Uptown Girl”?

Comment #198650

Posted by Shawn Wilkinson on August 22, 2007 11:26 PM (e)

If everyone interviewed can show doucmentation that they were interviewed under false pretenses, I am pretty sure the average citizen would not be able to justify deceit for the gain the movie is attempting to obtain.

Comment #198674

Posted by Christian on August 23, 2007 1:00 AM (e)

secondclass wrote:

There must have been a sale on bigotry today. From Uncommon Descent:

Why would a non-theist be moral and remain a non-theist anyway?

Hah! The author of that line is… Tribune7. Quelle surprise!

Nah, not really.

Although selling bigotry to this guy makes as much sense as selling coal to Newcastle in its heyday.

Comment #198680

Posted by Alan Grey on August 23, 2007 1:40 AM (e)

I am a YEC. I have to say I think it was wrong to gain interviews under false pretenses.

Not all creationists are dishonest, just as not all atheists are nutcases.

Comment #198691

Posted by Darth Robo on August 23, 2007 4:20 AM (e)

Yes, but all YEC’s are (puts hand over mouth) NUMFMMFMF!

Comment #198702

Posted by Rolf Aalberg on August 23, 2007 4:56 AM (e)

At your convenience I would like to discuss our project with you

How did the discussion about the project involving the “controversy” and ID go?

Comment #198705

Posted by Frank J on August 23, 2007 5:02 AM (e)

Alan Grey wrote:

Not all creationists are dishonest, just as not all atheists are nutcases.

Most rank & file YECs are probably just honest and misled. The only one I ever spoke to at length about it eventually admitted that the evidence would not support YEC (or anything other than evolution). Nevertheless he clung to YEC “on faith.” IOW he was more an “Omphalos” creationist than a “true” YEC.

Some YEC leaders may be scammers, but many of them might just be just operating under Morton’s Demon. Same for OECs. But it’s a stretch to think that ID leaders are anything but scammers, who probably don’t personally believe anything remotley like the YEC or OEC that most audiences infer from their arguments against “Darwinism.”

How about you? Have you ever debated OECs? What do you think of ID, with it’s refusal to commit to a YEC or OEC timeline (though most individual IDers admit OEC) and its refusal to rule out common descent?

Comment #198706

Posted by Frank J on August 23, 2007 5:10 AM (e)

PZ Myers wrote:

So who is funding the movie? Some people with deep pockets are throwing quite a bit of cash at this thing, and I can assure you that it didn’t end up in my hands.

It has been nearly 2 years, and I don’t have a straight answer. But I’ll keep trying:

Does anyone know whether any of those “deep pockets” paid Dover’s legal bills?

Comment #198723

Posted by sparc on August 23, 2007 7:25 AM (e)

Expelled?
Behe, Lönnig, Sternberg, Gonzalez and Crocker?

You may want to find out where they ended up after being expelled. A German special on Lönnig’s life as an expelled scientist can be seen here.

Comment #198725

Posted by sparc on August 23, 2007 7:29 AM (e)

Sorry if a comment from me should appear several times, but I got an Moveable Type Error message repeatedly so I tried to post it again and again

Comment #198736

Posted by Edwin Hensley on August 23, 2007 9:09 AM (e)

Ben Stein’s email address: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]
I linked to expelled yesterday from the Pandas Thumb post on PZ’s lawsuit. Actually, I linked first to the website from Rev. Paul T. Hipple. Go to Hipple’s website and you will find a link to expelled (and a whole lot of stupidity). I got so pissed off, I emailed Ben Stein last night warning him of creationist dishonesty. This was before I read this post today. I know it probably did not do any good, but I felt better. I also reminded him of the Clergy Letter Project, that many republicans (such as George Will) know evolution is true, and that the entire Dover school board went from Republican to Democrat in a Republican dominated voting district. He might not even read the emails, but I find it is totally ironic that such deception was used by those claiming to be of high moral values. http://www.benstein.com/email.html

Comment #198741

Posted by mark on August 23, 2007 9:44 AM (e)

And consider that Stein is (or was) a contributor to Penthouse magazine (which has pictures of nekkid people!) I thought God’s chosen holy folks didn’t like such things.

Comment #198742

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 9:48 AM (e)

Ben Stein is a moron. Not in the insult sense but in the literal sense. He is dumb.

A year or two ago, there was an essay online about something financial related that was so vapid and idiotic that I made a special point of looking up the author. It was someone unknown to me at the time called Ben Stein. Life is short and there is no point reading nonsense by dummies more than once.

It is a small world that he shows up now in connection with the IDists. In view of my now validated judgement of his intelligence it isn’t at all surprising.

Comment #198746

Posted by Charles Good on August 23, 2007 10:14 AM (e)

This is another example of the fact that you cannot trust the “Christian” media. I know this personally. Many years ago in Lima Ohio I was recruited to be the evolutionist in a debate with Duane Gish. I let the debate organizers know that I would have some projection slides to illustrate my presentation. When I arrived I was informed that the local Christian radio station would record our debate and later rebroadcast the whole thing. “No problem,” I said. When the rebroadcast occurred, everything Dr. Gish said (he had no visuals) was included, but half of my presentation was edited out. They deleted everything I said while a projection slide was being shown to the audience, because the radio audience couldn’t see the slides.

A few years later I participated in another debate with a local member of the Creation Research Society, this time on my campus. The local Lima Ohio, Christian TV station phoned me and asked if they could come and video the debate for later broadcast. Having been stung once by the Christian media I said, “Sure, as long as you agree to either broadcast our debate unedited or to give me a veto over any editing you want to do.” The TV station immediately rejected my terms, so I told them they could not come to campus and video my debate.

Comment #198747

Posted by Ian on August 23, 2007 10:32 AM (e)

Tell ‘em your fee is $15 million!

Comment #198755

Posted by Frank J on August 23, 2007 11:11 AM (e)

Edwin,

Thanks for actually trying to help Ben. Pointing out the clergy and conservatives who accept good science was a nice touch (one I use often). I hope that he notices yours among the deluge of other emails dismissing him as a “fundie” or “right-winger” (or worse).

These relentless scam artists have been able to temporarily fool Al Gore and Ted Kennedy, so it should not be hard to con a nonscientist who is more likely to be in the company of those who peddle anti-evolution sound bites.

I do have to wonder, though, if his role of a very dull and nerdy science teacher in “The Wonder Years” was in part driven by a personal disrespect of science. I for one would have turned down the role because of the stereotype that it promotes.

Comment #198756

Posted by James McGrath on August 23, 2007 11:16 AM (e)

I’ll be watching the editing of the clips carefully. In order to get you to say “Evolution is…only…a theory. It…didn’t happen”, they just need to carefully edit you saying “Evolution is not “only a theory”. It is a theory in the scientific sense, one that has been tested and proven itself, and has made predictions and had them confirmed. If that didn’t happen it wouldn’t have the universal support of biologists everywhere” :)

For videos of some of the worst arguments against evolution ever formulated (as well as entertaining responses to them), check out my most recent blog entry at http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2007/08/b… I hope the clips there provide a bit of levity at what could be a stressful time.

Comment #198757

Posted by Frank J on August 23, 2007 11:16 AM (e)

Matt J wrote:

Well done on your big break. With this and the lawsuit, you’re becoming quite the household name.

To add insult to injury he can expect to be called “Meyer” more than ever.

Comment #198758

Posted by Paul Burnett on August 23, 2007 11:19 AM (e)

Take a look at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/08/hollywood_g…. The Discovery Institute is quite pleased about the movie: “Hollywood Gets the Message About Suppression of Intelligent Design.”

Comment #198760

Posted by James McGrath on August 23, 2007 11:24 AM (e)

I’ll be watching the editing of the clips carefully. In order to get you to say “Evolution is…only…a theory. It…didn’t happen”, they just need to carefully edit you saying “Evolution is not “only a theory”. It is a theory in the scientific sense, one that has been tested and proven itself, and has made predictions and had them confirmed. If that didn’t happen it wouldn’t have the universal support of biologists everywhere” :)

For videos of some of the worst arguments against evolution ever formulated (as well as entertaining responses to them), check out my most recent blog entry at http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2007/08/b… I hope the clips there provide a bit of levity at what could be a stressful time.

Comment #198761

Posted by harold on August 23, 2007 11:42 AM (e)

I think this film needs to be taken very seriously.

I’ve repeatedly pointed out that my problem is with efforts to teach sectarian pseudoscience in public schools, or otherwise use it to influence public policy. I don’t care about the personal beliefs of others, least of all those of Ben Stein.

But the clear effort of this film is to spread lies about mainstream science, in order to advance the cause of creationism/ID in public education and public policy.

This is a very slick propaganda job. This is, unfortunately, not some Ken Ham travesty that we can safely laugh at.

Probably the very best way to respond would be to get cracking and expose the lies in venues that are as public and “glamorous” as the film itself.

I would honestly suggest that some serious, commercially successful film-makers need to step up to the plate and get started on a “counter-film”.

Catching people in lies and holding them up to ridicule (NOT ridiculing them, but catching them making themselves ridiculous) is what is needed.

We may be able to count on the Daily Show to ridicule this thing, but it must be getting to be a strain for a comedy show to be forced to single-handedly save American Civilization over and over again.

On the plus side, this is very close to being a desperate last ditch effort by ID. If this film ends up being perceived as ridiculous or lying by the public at large, that may honestly be the stake that makes ID (using that particular name and cast of characters) stop rising from the grave. (Sure it will be reincarnated with a different name, in an even more watered down version, later, but that’s another day’s problem.)

This is both a serious offensive by ID, and a potentially fatal defeat. This may, irony of ironies, be their “Waterloo”.

Comment #198762

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 11:58 AM (e)

>Why were they so dishonest about it?

You mean like the NCSE editing at wikipedia? COI Likely

Of course, they did apologize: NCSE apology

And were instructed to remember to use accounts to mask their use of wikipedia to promote evolution.

BTW, Do you edit at wikipedia on evolution related articles?

Comment #198763

Posted by PvM on August 23, 2007 12:04 PM (e)

he staff list is still inaccurate. –[[User:Wesley R. Elsberry|Wesley R. Elsberry]] 06:50, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

== NCSE edit of the article ==

On August 9, 2007, the article was anonymously edited from NCSE’s dotted quad. Although the edit was minor and factual, updating the lists of NCSE’s staff and supporters, it might conceivably be regarded as a violation of Wikipedia policies, such as WP:AUTO. Hence NCSE staff members have been instructed not to edit any Wikipedia entries anonymously, and to familiarize themselves with and observe all applicable policies while editing Wikipedia. [[User:Glenn Branch|Glenn Branch]] 21:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

That’s it… Wesley pointing out that the staff list is still inaccurate..

Wow that surely sounds like dishonest behavior to me ….

Comment #198765

Posted by PvM on August 23, 2007 12:10 PM (e)

and

Please, please, please don’t post a report on this noticeboard unless there is actually a problem with tendentious editing. Uncontroversial edits that improve and update our articles are not a problem. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:51, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Comment #198768

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 12:25 PM (e)

Harold:

But the clear effort of this film is to spread lies about mainstream science, in order to advance the cause of creationism/ID in public education and public policy.

This is a very slick propaganda job. This is, unfortunately, not some Ken Ham travesty that we can safely laugh at.

We need to see the film first to conclude that it is another creo lie festival. None of us are that clairvoyant as to know what is in it.

That being said, my best guess is that it is undoubtedly a massive pack of lies that Joseph Goebbels would be proud of. To take one example, they are claiming the Einstein and Galileo were discriminated against by science for being religious. Total lies. Galileo was almost burnt at the stake by the Catholic church for claiming that the earth orbited the sun. Grigorio Bruno wasn’t so lucky. He was actually burnt at the stake for making the same claim.

We all know the routine. Let the film come out. Catalogue the lies and tell the truth. A cultish version of a religion that depends on an endless stream of lies isn’t much of a religion. A good thing they tossed out the two commandments against lying and killing, so that the 10 commandments are now 8. Otherwise they would look even more hypocritical.

Comment #198769

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 12:39 PM (e)

This movie theme is a Big Lie all by itself. One of the Big Lies that the fundie cultist leadership repeats to the rank and file over and over, is that “Christians are a persecuted minority.” Any day now Moslems or Atheists or Vampires or somebody is going to take over the USA and do something horrible like teach science to children in public schools.

The truth as usual is 180 degrees the opposite. Xians self identified make up 82% of the US population. (Source Gallup, GSS poll). The fundies controlled the US congress up until 2006, own the president, and almost have a majority of the supreme court. The US has been sliding into theocracy steadily for a decade now. There is a persecuted minority in this situation and it is anybody but the cult Xians.

Comment #198785

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on August 23, 2007 1:30 PM (e)

The News links on the “Expelled” website are an interesting collection. In addition to their own press release, there are two from Discovery.org, two from reputable newspapers that actually contain anti-ID material, one from BeliefNet that admits to the overtly Christian nature of the film (unlike the websites for the film and the production company), and one quasi-scholarly tome on good things that were initially rejected and ridiculed (that lists Darwinism as one such idea). Either they didn’t vet these articles very carefully, or the film may turn out to be a self-parody (not that it’s possible to always tell the difference, or whether that’s the intention of these folks).

Comment #198786

Posted by Coin on August 23, 2007 1:33 PM (e)

We need to see the film first to conclude that it is another creo lie festival. None of us are that clairvoyant as to know what is in it.

I think we can expect the movie’s web site to be a reasonable indicator of the movie’s contents.

Comment #198793

Posted by harold on August 23, 2007 1:57 PM (e)

Raven -

We need to see the film first to conclude that it is another creo lie festival. None of us are that clairvoyant as to know what is in it.

Well, you kind of made my next point already, but…

I have absolutely no clairvoyant powers whatsoever. :-)

Yet I will say, based on my past objective observations (plus some prior knowledge of Ben Stein’s politics), that it is extraordinarily improbable that this is going to be anything other than a creo lie festival.

Comment #198799

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 2:35 PM (e)

>They are interviewing Richard Sternberg and Guillermo Gonzalez. Sternberg’s claims during the peer-review controversy and Gonzalez’ claims during the tenure controversy have already been debunked.

Where was Sternberg’s claim debunked? He followed the peer review process, and refused to disclose (quite rightly) the identities of the peer reviewers (protecting them, no doubt, from retaliation).

Intelligent Design and academic freedom(Or lack there of). From NPR. I am surprised you guys haven’t lynched Barbara Hagerty yet. Get a rope.

Comment #198802

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 23, 2007 2:39 PM (e)

What’s the big deal? This isn’t the first film produced by the Liars-for-Jesus movement and it won’t be the last. Are people worried about the credibility offered by a guy who played a science teacher?

Reminds me of the Simpson’s episode: “Here’s an actor playing a scientist. Let’s hear what he has to say about [the three eyed fish].”

Or, yet another Simpsons episode: “Just ask this scientician.”

Comment #198803

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 2:43 PM (e)

>Further note: all my honoraria go to NCSE.

That is, my dear, because the NCSE is your church.

Comment #198807

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on August 23, 2007 3:10 PM (e)

You go PZ !!!!!!! It would have been a much better interview if they had just come up front and let you know their intent. Man that would have been the kind of interview we all like to see…..

Comment #198808

Posted by 386sx on August 23, 2007 3:11 PM (e)

That is, my dear, because the NCSE is your church.

Depends on how you define church. For instance if I define my hat as my church, then indeed my hat would be my church. Thanks for playing.

Comment #198814

Posted by Coin on August 23, 2007 3:16 PM (e)

My church it has three corners,
Three corners has my church…

Comment #198817

Posted by Peter Henderson on August 23, 2007 3:17 PM (e)

I don’t mind sharing my views with creationists, and do so all the time. By filming under false pretenses, much like the example of the case of Richard Dawkins’ infamous “pause”, they’ve undercut their own credibility … not that that will matter. I suspect their audience will not question whatever mangling of the video that they carry out, and the subterfuges used to make it will not be brought up.

Are you definitely sure they haven’t done anything to the footage PZ ? After the “from a frog to a prince” fiasco I’d be very wary of appearing in a creationist/ID film. If they have edited anything to show you in a bad light, what are the libel laws in the US should such a situation arise ?

Comment #198818

Posted by meme on August 23, 2007 3:18 PM (e)

“That being said, my best guess is that it is undoubtedly a massive pack of lies that Joseph Goebbels would be proud of. To take one example, they are claiming the Einstein and Galileo were discriminated against by science for being religious. Total lies. Galileo was almost burnt at the stake by the Catholic church for claiming that the earth orbited the sun. Grigorio Bruno wasn’t so lucky. He was actually burnt at the stake for making the same claim.”

Oh puhleaze! The only lies are yours.

“they are claiming the Einstein and Galileo were discriminated against by science for being religious”

No. They claim no such thing. You lied.

“Galileo was almost burnt at the stake by the Catholic church for claiming that the earth orbited the sun. Grigorio Bruno wasn’t so lucky. He was actually burnt at the stake for making the same claim.”

There is no evidence that Giordano (not “Grigorio”) Bruno was burnt for “making the same claim”. You lied.

Comment #198830

Posted by Coin on August 23, 2007 3:49 PM (e)

meme wrote:

“they are claiming the Einstein and Galileo were discriminated against by science for being religious”

No. They claim no such thing. You lied.

Well, Here’s specifically what Ben Stein said on the movie site’s blog:

In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.

They cannot even mention the possibility that–as Newton or Galileo believed–these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.

So what he says is that Galileo or Einstein would have been discriminated against by science had they been publishing today, but luckily they lived in the heady days of intellectual freedom of the 16th and early 20th centuries. Not quite what Raven said, so Raven does appear to have made a mistake here, but is what Stein actually said particularly any better?

“Galileo was almost burnt at the stake by the Catholic church for claiming that the earth orbited the sun. Grigorio Bruno wasn’t so lucky. He was actually burnt at the stake for making the same claim.”

There is no evidence that Giordano (not “Grigorio”) Bruno was burnt for “making the same claim”. You lied.

Wikipedia cites Luigi Firpo as listing, in his book on the subject, eight different points of heresy for which Bruno was tried and eventually executed; one of the eight was “Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.” I’ve not looked into this closely but it appears quite clear there is evidence for the idea Bruno was burnt at the stake for his ideas on cosmology, though it does not appear it would be at all accurate to claim this was the only reason why. Does it make a significant difference in some way whether Bruno was executed for saying the sun was just another star, or whether he was executed for saying this and also for denying the divinity of the Virgin Mary, etc?

Comment #198836

Posted by Zarquon on August 23, 2007 4:04 PM (e)

Where was Sternberg’s claim debunked? He followed the peer review process

Prove it. Where are the reviewer reports? Why did he bypass the other editors, as was required by the journal? Why have no reviewers come forward? There is no problem with disclosing the reviewers after publication so why wasn’t this done?

Comment #198837

Posted by Darth Robo on August 23, 2007 4:13 PM (e)

“QuestionAndBeSkeptical”

Legion?

Comment #198840

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 4:21 PM (e)

>>He followed the peer review process

>Prove it.

Nice try. You prove he did not.

>Why did he bypass the other editors, as was required by the journal?

But this is too easy to resist.

“Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor;”

Do you know where that came from?Typical editorial practices” is not a synonym for “required editorial practices”. Excluding a junior associate editor does not thwart the peer review process (though it might hurt a junior POV pusher’s feelings). Failing to have an article peer reviewed would be quite a different matter, and though such allegations are bandied about, no *proof* has been forthcoming.

Comment #198842

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 4:26 PM (e)

Wrong again troll. Don’t you ever get tired of being a crazy idiot? There is absolutely no doubt that Galileo was persecuted by the Catholic church. They have even apologized for it several times. Giordano was burnt at the stake, a fact. The exact reason(s) are murky but inasmuch as “heliocentric ideas” were considered formally heretical and he was torched for heresy, that is undoubtedly part of his so called crimes.

Wikipedia:
With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:

Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as “formally heretical.” However, while there is no doubt that Pope Urban VIII and the vast majority of Church officials did not believe in heliocentrism, Catholic doctrine is defined by the pope when he speaks ex cathedra (from the Chair of Saint Peter) in matters of faith and morals. While Church officials did condemn Galileo, heliocentrism was never formally or officially condemned by the Catholic Church, except insofar as it held (for instance, in the formal condemnation of Galileo) that “The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures”, and the converse as to the Sun’s not revolving around the Earth.[21]
He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.[22]

In Praise of Folly from wwww.weirdload.com:
Giordano Bruno and the Magical Reformation
A remarkable thinker, burned at the stake, whose vision of the cosmos may yet be proved correct
***deleted for space and copyright

On February 17, in the year of grace 1600, near the very spot where Julius Caesar was murdered, the Roman Inquisition put to the flames with all due ceremony the mystical philosopher and visionary, Giordano Bruno, as an obstinate heretic.
****DELETED for space
His cosmological theories, hard for his contemporaries to understand, are almost incomprehensible today. They embraced ancient Hermetic wisdom as well as the most recent discoveries of science. Long before Galileo, Bruno outspokenly supported the Copernican theory of the Earth’s motion around the Sun. He is chiefly remembered today for his belief, so prophetically far ahead of his time, of the infinite number of living and populated worlds. And it was probably the example of his horrible fate that wisely persuaded Galileo more than anything else to recant the pernicious error of heliocentrism.

Though Pope John Paul II formally removed the taint of heresy from Galileo, there has been no indication that Bruno would ever be rehabilitated, even during the Pope’s so-called “apology” for the sins of the Church. Interestingly, the precise reasons for Bruno’s burning remain secret to this day.Continues

Comment #198843

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 4:26 PM (e)

>>He followed the peer review process

>Prove it.

Nice try. You prove he did not.

>Why did he bypass the other editors, as was required by the journal?

But this is too easy to resist.

“Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without
review by any associate editor;”

Do you know where that came from?Typical editorial practices” is not a synonym for “required editorial practices”. Excluding a junior associate editor does not thwart the peer review process (though it might hurt a junior POV pusher’s
feelings). Failing to have an article peer reviewed would be quite a different matter, and though such allegations are bandied about, no *proof* has been forthcoming.

Comment #198846

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 23, 2007 4:33 PM (e)

Interesting. Somebody removed my comment about “COI Likely” in the linked Wikipedia page mentioned above:

That IP address is the NCSE office IP address. They’ve been apprised as of 2007/08/17 of the WP:COI and WP:AUTO policies, and have publicly apologized for any appearance of impropriety, and have implemented an organizational policy upholding Wikipedia policies and integrity. Beyond that, if one looks at the content of the edits made from that IP, one does not find any pattern of egregious POV changes to articles.

The “Daisey cutter” user, on the other hand, has a specific agenda in trying to denigrate NCSE, and is using Wikipedia procedures to try to falsely impugn their actions and, apparently, put articles about NCSE at risk of major change or deletion. A perusal of “Daisey cutter”’s contributions shows that NCSE-related editing comes close to be the only thing on Wikipedia that user has been interested in. –Wesley R. Elsberry 11:00, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I think that we may be graced with a visit from “Daisey cutter” in this thread. “Daisey cutter” was, BTW, indefinitely blocked from Wikipedia for disruptive edits, sockpuppetry, and violation of Wikipedia point-of-view rules.

Comment #198847

Posted by harold on August 23, 2007 4:37 PM (e)

Meme -

I’d just like to add to what Coin has written.

Your post showed a very classic pattern of what I will generously call illogic.

Essentially - a) Your side makes an outrageous and dishonest claim b) the claim is criticized and c) you offer a nitpicking of the valid critique, as if this somehow addressed the fact that the original claim was dishonest and outrageous.

In this case, Ben Stein has publicly made the following grossly indefensible statement.

In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.

They cannot even mention the possibility that–as Newton or Galileo believed–these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.

This is unbelievable. I have personally worked with grant-receiving scientists who held private religious beliefs.

Perhaps if Stein had left Einstein off the list, we could offer the strained defense that, yes, a scientist who behaved exactly the same way as Newton and Gallileo did in the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century would have trouble, despite brilliance. In my opinion, a scientist of Newton’s intellect would get grants, even if he insisted on wearing a perriwig and bathing once a month, in a twenty-first century context. But the inclusion of Einstein proves Stein to be lying or delusional. Einstein merely held spiritual opinions, he did not promote them excessively or make them a subject of his technical works. Therefore Stein’s claim is clearly that any scientist who publicly admits any spiritual view will be unable to get grants. This is trivially disproven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins

Collins even makes some statements - in the context of discussing his private spiritual views - that I feel are logically incorrect and teleologic. No-one is denying him grants, and I certainly wouldn’t support denying him grants.

Your nitpicking of trivialities in Raven’s post does nothing to address the eggregiousness of Ben Stein’s statement.

Do you understand that attacking the details of fundamentally valid critiques of a position is not the same thing as defending the position?

Are you willing to defend Stein’s position? Are scientists denied grants and tenure for being “as religious as Albert Einstein”?

Comment #198848

Posted by Henry J on August 23, 2007 4:39 PM (e)

Re “Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as “formally heretical.””

The sun isn’t stationary - it orbits within the galaxy. ;)

Henry

Comment #198849

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 4:42 PM (e)

Ben Stein???:

In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.

They cannot even mention the possibility that–as Newton or Galileo believed–these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.

So what he says is that Galileo or Einstein would have been discriminated against by science had they been publishing today, but luckily they lived in the heady days of intellectual freedom of the 16th and early 20th centuries. Not quite what Raven said, so Raven does appear to have made a mistake here, but is what Stein actually said particularly any better?

I was going by what someone else posted about the movie’s content. They may have got it garbled a bit. Wasn’t in the mood to ruin lunch by watching Ben Stein lie. He is BTW, lying outrageously by his quote. Scientists are of all faiths and none. Some such as Conway Morris, Francis Collins, Ken Miller and many others are prominent, well respected, and powerful biologists who work in evolutionarily related fields. It isn’t even legal much less done to even ask someone what their religion is in a grant application or to discriminate against someone on the basis of religion. For real scientists it is simply irrelevant and of no interest or consequence.

You can tell Ben Stein knows zero about science or scientists or he wouldn’t be making such ludicrous, false, and bizarre nonsense up. Yes, we have our first outrageous lie to deconstruct and it is a biggie. I’m sure there will be many, many more.

Comment #198855

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 5:05 PM (e)

>It isn’t even legal much less done to even ask someone what their religion is in a grant application or to discriminate against someone on the basis of religion.

Hmn. Wasn’t Sterberg subjected to such questions?

>For real scientists it is simply irrelevant and of no interest or consequence.

Ah, the ideal world….but it sounds more like a No true Scotsman fallacy.

Comment #198880

Posted by Zarquon on August 23, 2007 6:05 PM (e)

>>He followed the peer review process

>Prove it.

Nice try. You prove he did not.

Nice dodge. You made a claim. If you had any honesty, you could back it up.

Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without
review by any associate editor;”

Do you know where that came from? “Typical editorial practices” is not a synonym for “required editorial practices”. Excluding a junior associate editor does not thwart the peer review process (though it might hurt a junior POV pusher’s
feelings). Failing to have an article peer reviewed would be quite a different matter, and though such allegations are bandied about, no *proof* has been forthcoming.

Ah, clearly you have no clue. Associate editors are not “junior” editors - they are associates of the journal, not employees. Furthermore, as Sternberg was publishing a controversial article he should, if he wished to demonstrate the integrity of the paper, have followed the usual practice unless he had an honest reason not to do so.

Also if Sternberg and others want to claim the authority of ‘peer review’ for whatsisname’s paper, they have to be able to demonstrate that fact. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

That you don’t understand (or don’t want to understand) how unethical Sternberg behaved is symptomatic of the dishonesty of creationists such as the producers of this movie and its supporters.

Comment #198886

Posted by Frank J on August 23, 2007 6:22 PM (e)

My suspicion is that “Expelled,” like most anti-evolution activists antics these days, will be more for the purpose of baiting critics to shoot themselves in the foot, than to reinforce any misconceptions that most people already have (remember that 60-70% of the people favor “teach the controversy,” including ~20% that accepts evolution).

I urge you all to take Eugenie Scott’s warning to “diffuse the religion issue,” and her recommendation to get IDers to say exactly “what happened when” in biological history. Get them to show how they evade the hard questions, instead of definding evolution against “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Finally, let’s stop keeping it such a secret who really advocates censorship.

Comment #198906

Posted by FL on August 23, 2007 6:56 PM (e)

But if they take something that was said and use it, in context, to make PZ (and by extension all who are pro-evolution) look hateful towards those who are religious, then you really cannot blame them for doing so.

Sounds good to me!
We shall see!

Comment #198920

Posted by JennyP on August 23, 2007 8:21 PM (e)

Instead of demanding to get a copy of their videotape of the interview, you can simply set up your own camcorder & film the event yourself. Then, if it turns out you’ve been set up, post your copy of the interview in full. It’s your independently-shot tape of the event, hence your copyright, no?

Comment #198921

Posted by Altabin on August 23, 2007 8:25 PM (e)

Just to be pedantic about Bruno: there is little evidence that he was condemned for his heliocentrism. The Copernican theory was only declared formally heretical in 1613 (?I think?) in direct reaction to the writings of Galileo and some of his supporters, concerning the interpretation of some biblical passages (the sun standing still for Joshua, etc.) The issue was more about the license to interpret biblical passages according to one’s own lights, something that had been specifically condemned by the Council of Trent as dangerously Protestant.

In the 1590s, there was no concern within the upper hierarchy of the Church about heliocentrism. There was some philosophical resistance to the idea, sure; but it just hadn’t crossed the radar of the Inquisition or the Index. There were also, it must be stressed, many strong supporters of the theory who were well-placed in the church. Many of Galileo’s intellectual circle, who wrote on his behalf, were monks and priests. Bruno, on the other hand, was condemned for his Lucretian atomism, into which materialism he mixed a heady dose of vitalism: the resulting cocktail was a gorgeous pantheism of dizzying, cosmic infinities.

A sign of the difference between the cases of Bruno and Galileo: Bruno’s Ash Wednesday Supper (Cena delle Ceneri) describes an evening in London, at the home of Sir Fulke Greville, in which Bruno humiliated some stuffy Oxford dons with his knowledge of Copernicus, earning the applause of the cream of the London intelligentsia. The Inquisition grilled Bruno about this, but had little interest in the Copernicanism. In fact, they refused to accept that he sat around all evening gabbing about astronomy. Surely religious matters must have been discussed with these Protestant heretics? And when Bruno wrote that they had wine together - did that mean that he participated in a heretical Eucharist? (In the end, Bruno lamely had to admit that the meeting really took place at the French embassy where he was lodging, and the bit about all the smart Englishmen being humiliated/amazed by his learning was pure fantasy).

I recently spent some time in Rome, and paid my respects as I always do at the statue of Giordano Bruno, erected in the Campo de’ Fiori at the spot that he was burnt. I read this poem, which always gets me choked up.

Comment #198944

Posted by Ed Darrell on August 23, 2007 9:02 PM (e)

Phatty, IANAL, but if PZ’s release form was similar to Eugenie Scotts, then that part that goes “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads… and/or any other production….” means that from a legal standpoint, they WERE being honest… in that PZ knew (or should have known) that they had the right to use the interview for something that he wasn’t anticipating.

It’s probably legal so long as they claim they were doing parody.

Ooooh, there we go again: How can one tell the difference between real creationism and parody?

Comment #198956

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 9:32 PM (e)

Altabin:

Just to be pedantic about Bruno: there is little evidence that he was condemned for his heliocentrism.

To be pedantic, an important source disagrees with you. This is the from the records of the Catholic Church at the Vatican. It is actually records of the Galileo trial conducted by the same Cardinal Bellarmino that tortured Bruno to death on a pile of burning sticks. For some odd reason, most of the records of the Bruno atrocity have gone missing.

Religious people in general have a history of faking documents to tone down or hide unpleasant truths, i.e. lying. I post one such below. Hitler claimed over and over to be a good Christian Catholic. The Catholic church had an arrangement with the Nazis that doesn’t bear looking at too close. They may even have had their reasons, we all know the Nazis were quick to murder anyone who even looked like they might be a problem and second guessing from 2007 isn’t going to be worth much. At any rate, after the war, documents appeared that seem to indicate that he was really a secret atheist. It is now known that these lines were forged by a Xian trying to rewrite history, lying for Jesus.

So did the Vatican accidentally lose Bruno’s files? This was not an obscure case even then and Bruno has been famous ever since. As you note, there is an old statute of him in Rome. Or was there a deliberate Watergate style file purge? Got me, who knows what happened in the last 400 years. Maybe a mouse got in them. It does look a little strange though.

This is a side issue from this thread which is about the current rewriting of history by Ben Stein and the DI. What is for sure is that Bruno was torched for his ideas, some of which were scientific theories not in accord with a religious view of the times.

Wikipedia:
However, the page of the Vatican Secret Archives about Bruno’s trial provides a different perspective: “In the same rooms where Giordano Bruno was questioned, for the same important reasons of the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle’s philosophy, sixteen years later, Cardinal Bellarmino, who then contested Bruno’s heretical theses, summoned Galileo Galilei, who also faced a famous inquisitorial trial, which, luckily for him, ended with a simple abjuration.” [9]

Freethought Today Vol 19, #9 Was Catholic Hitler “anti-christian” On the trail of bogus quotes: Richard Carrier Excerp:

“Surveying Hitler’s remarks on religion in the Table Talk, Jochmann remarks that “Hitler was by no means unreligious.” It is the Genoud-Trevor-Roper text that distorts this picture far beyond that, painting Hitler as a quasi-atheistic anti-Christian. It is clear that Picker and Jochmann have the correct text and Trevor-Roper’s is entirely untrustworthy. Hitler was no more anti-Christian than your run-of-the-mill Protestant bigot. His Christianity was odd, surely, but so is that of many die-hard believers today.”

Comment #198959

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 9:41 PM (e)

Zarquon wrote:

Nice dodge. You made a claim.

Nice dodge back at you. Paradox made the claim.

Paradox wrote:

Sternberg’s claims during the peer-review controversy…have already been debunked.

I challenged the evolutionist myth that peer review was not done.

Zarquon wrote:

Also if Sternberg and others want to claim the authority of ‘peer review’ for whatsisname’s paper, they have to be able to demonstrate that fact. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Stephen Meyer?

I think it is you who do not understand. Peer reviewers are typically anonymous. (Hey, there is that word, typical.

When Sternberg does not do what the is professed to be typical at the PBSW, by excluding an associate editor, this is an unforgivable sin to the Culte de la Raison

And when Sternberg protects the ananimity of the peer reviewers, as is in fact typical, this too is an unforgivable sin.

I really am not surprised at this contradiction; evolutionists will resort to duplicity to win an argument.

This is no doubt why evolutionists are averse to intellectually defend their ideas in formal public debates with ID proponents and creationists. (It is much easier to post insinuating remarks an blog whose claim to fame is that it is infested with devout evolutionists). (Prove me wrong, PZ Meyers, agree to a debate with Michael Behe or some other articulate ID proponent this fall on campus. Ah, wait, good for his resume, not for yours. Got it. Yeah, I read the talking points.)

In the case of the peer reviewers, wouldn’t those who attacked Sternberg (and who were defended with Eugenie Scott’s “You know, what’s his complaint? People weren’t nice to him. Well, life is not fair”), dance in the Moloch grove if tonight if the identity of the peer reviewers were disclosed.

Comment #198960

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 9:49 PM (e)

Zarquon wrote:

Nice dodge. You made a claim.

Nice dodge back at you. Paradox made the claim.

Paradox wrote:

Sternberg’s claims during the peer-review controversy…have already been debunked.

I challenged the evolutionist myth that peer review was not done.

Zarquon wrote:

Also if Sternberg and others want to claim the authority of ‘peer review’ for whatsisname’s paper, they have to be able to demonstrate that fact. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Stephen Meyer?

I think it is you who do not understand. Peer reviewers are typically anonymous. (Hey, there is that word, typical.

When Sternberg does not do what the is professed to be typical at the PBSW, by excluding an associate editor, this is an unforgivable sin to the Culte de la Raison

And when Sternberg protects the anonymity of the peer reviewers, as is in fact typical, this too is an unforgivable sin.

I really am not surprised at this contradiction; evolutionists will resort to duplicity to win an argument.

This is no doubt why evolutionists are averse to intellectually defend their ideas in formal public debates with ID proponents and creationists. (It is much easier to post insinuating remarks an blog whose claim to fame is that it is infested with devout evolutionists). (Prove me wrong, PZ Meyers, agree to a debate with Michael Behe or some other articulate ID proponent this fall on campus. Ah, wait, good for his resume, not for yours. Got it. Yeah, I read the talking points.)

In the case of the peer reviewers, wouldn’t those who attacked Sternberg (and who were defended with Eugenie Scott’s “You know, what’s his complaint? People weren’t nice to him. Well, life is not fair”), dance in the Moloch grove if tonight if the identity of the peer reviewers were disclosed.

Comment #198961

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 23, 2007 9:51 PM (e)

Zarquon wrote:

Nice dodge. You made a claim.

Nice dodge back at you. Paradox made the claim.

Paradox wrote:

Sternberg’s claims during the peer-review controversy…have already been debunked.

I challenged the evolutionist myth that peer review was not done.

Zarquon wrote:

Also if Sternberg and others want to claim the authority of ‘peer review’ for whatsisname’s paper, they have to be able to demonstrate that fact. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Stephen Meyer?

I think it is you who do not understand. Peer reviewers are typically anonymous. (Hey, there is that word, typical.

When Sternberg does not do what is professed to be typical at the PBSW, by excluding an associate editor, this is an unforgivable sin to the Culte de la Raison

And when Sternberg protects the anonymity of the peer reviewers, as is in fact typical, this too is an unforgivable sin.

I really am not surprised at this contradiction; evolutionists will resort to duplicity to win an argument.

This is no doubt why evolutionists are averse to intellectually defend their ideas in formal public debates with ID proponents and creationists. (It is much easier to post insinuating remarks an blog whose claim to fame is that it is infested with devout evolutionists). (Prove me wrong, PZ Meyers, agree to a debate with Michael Behe or some other articulate ID proponent this fall on campus. Ah, wait, good for his resume, not for yours. Got it. Yeah, I read the talking points.)

In the case of the peer reviewers, wouldn’t those who attacked Sternberg (and who were defended with Eugenie Scott’s “You know, what’s his complaint? People weren’t nice to him. Well, life is not fair”), dance in the Moloch grove if tonight if the identity of the peer reviewers were disclosed.

Comment #198964

Posted by raven on August 23, 2007 10:08 PM (e)

Well here is what the Vatican has to say about their document on the Bruno trial. The quote from Wikipedia in my above post is actually from the Vatican summary of Bruno’s trial. According to the Vatican itself, heliocentrism was in fact, an important reason why Bruno was burned at the stake. Read it yourself, it is on the Vatican site in English translation.

from the Secret Vatican Archives
SUMMARY OF THE TRIAL AGAINST GIORDANO BRUNO
Rome, 1597

Paper volume, 320x240mm, ff. 429 (ancient, partly wrong numbering and not inclusive of many white folios), bound in parchment; on the back: VARIA. Censurae.
ASV, Misc., Arm. X, 205, ff. 230v?231r

In one of the volumes of the fond “Miscellanea Armadi” (Arm. X, 205), maybe made up of the collection of different documents by the famous canonist Francisco Peña, Auditor and then Dean of the Rota (he died in 1612), there is a precious document, searched for a long time, then kept secret for a long time and finally found on the 15th November 1940 in the Pius IX fond after 15 years of unsuccessful investigation by the Prefect of the Vatican Archives, Angelo Mercati: the summary of the trial against Giordano Bruno. Thanks to Angelo Mercati, the summary was published, with a long and sound introduction issued in 1942.

Since the volume or the volumes of the Roman trial against Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), once kept in the archives of the Holy Office, were irremediably lost, this document, which derives from the originals (on the margins of the document you often find citations of the pages of the lost trial), is the most precious testimonies we have to understand the long and troublesome inquisitorial event the famous Dominican friar underwent. Some abstracts of Giordano Bruno’s works, his interrogations, some of the records of the Venetian trial in 1592 against the famous preacher and some other documents copied from the original trial converged in the summary, which was probably used by the Assessor of the Holy Office of that period.

The humane vicissitudes of Giordano Bruno ended with the Roman trial (1593-1600) and with the sentence of proven heresy, which, due to his resolute and extreme statement of not being guilty, changed into capital punishment, executed at Campo de’ Fiori on the 17th February 1600. In one of the last interrogations before the execution of the sentence (maybe in April 1599), the Dominican friar was questioned by the judges of the Holy Office on his cosmogony conception, supported above all in the “La cena delle Ceneri”(Ash-Wednesday Dinner) and in the “De l’infinito universo et mundi”. Even then, he defended his theories as scientifically founded and by no means against the Holy Scriptures (left side, from the first line: Circa motum terrae, f. 287, sic dicit: Prima generalmente dico ch’il mo*t*o et la cosa del moto della terra e della immobilità del firmamento o cielo sono da me prodotte con le sue raggioni et autorità le quali sono certe, e non pregiudicano all’autorità della divina scrittura […]. Quanto al sole dico che niente manco nasce e tramonta, né lo vedemo nascere e tramontare, perché la terra se gira circa il proprio centro, che s’intenda nascere e tramontare [… ]). (Circa motum terrae, f. 287, sic dicit: Firstly, I say that the theories on the movement of the earth and on the immobility of the firmament or sky are by me produced on a reasoned and sure basis, which doesn’t undermine the authority of the Holy Sciptures […]. With regard to the sun, I say that it doesn’t rise or set, nor do we see it rise or set, because, if the earth rotates on his axis, what do we mean by rising and setting[…]).

In the same rooms where Giordano Bruno was questioned, for the same important reasons of the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle’s philosophy, sixteen years later, Cardinal Bellarmino, who then contested Bruno’s heretical theses, summoned Galileo Galilei, who also faced a famous inquisitorial trial, which, luckily for him, ended with a simple abjuration.

Comment #198992

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 24, 2007 12:26 AM (e)

My apologies for misspelling Dr. Myers’ last name, the multiple re-posts, and failure to sufficiently copy edit in general.

Comment #198996

Posted by PvM on August 24, 2007 12:46 AM (e)

My apologies for misspelling Dr. Myers’ last name, the multiple re-posts, and failure to sufficiently copy edit in general.

Not to mention your silly accusations :-)
Oh well, nice to have Daisy Cutter join us here.

So what drives your fascination with the NCSE?

Comment #199009

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 24, 2007 1:20 AM (e)

QuestionAndBeSkeptical: He followed the peer review process

Zarquon: Prove it.

QuestionAndBeSkeptical: Nice try. You prove he did not.

Zarquon: Nice dodge. You made a claim

QuestionAndBeSkeptical: Nice dodge back at you. Paradox made the claim.

Pathetic stupid liar. How is it that you people don’t get that every time you open your mouths, you undermine your cause?

Comment #199013

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 24, 2007 1:29 AM (e)

As for bringing up Dawkins’ infamous “pause”, as PZ put it… the reason why it’s so infamous isn’t because they doctored the tape, but because he actually DID pause for an awkward, extended time. Here’s Brayton’s post from several years ago where he discusses looking at the original tape

Reading Brayton on Dawkins is a bit like reading Dembski on Darwin.

Comment #199015

Posted by Zarquon on August 24, 2007 2:05 AM (e)

I think it is you who do not understand. Peer reviewers are typically anonymous. (Hey, there is that word, typical.

When Sternberg does not do what is professed to be typical at the PBSW, by excluding an associate editor, this is an unforgivable sin to the Culte de la Raison

And when Sternberg protects the anonymity of the peer reviewers, as is in fact typical, this too is an unforgivable sin.

L’affaire Sternberg has nothing to do with what is “typical”, it has to do with what is ethical. Sternberg had a professional responsibility to show the paper to the associate editor, as the Society’s publication rules required. Anonymity is a red herring, if there was peer review there should be evidence: reviewer’s reports, at least. Furthermore as the Biological Society of Washington has repudiated the paper, the reviewers should step forward to defend the integrity of their reviews.

Comment #199086

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 24, 2007 5:49 AM (e)

Something that used to be typical for the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington was publishing annually the list of names of peer reviewers lending their services to the journal.

That didn’t happen for 2004’s peer reviewers.

If the Biological Society of Washington does decide to publish the 2004 list of peer reviewers, I imagine “Daisey cutter” and other sockpuppets will have a huge hissy fit.

Comment #199134

Posted by ERV on August 24, 2007 8:14 AM (e)

Prove me wrong, PZ Meyers, agree to a debate with Michael Behe or some other articulate ID proponent this fall on campus.

*WAVES HAND VIGOROUSLY* Ill ‘debate’ Behe! He will even have a sympathetic audience in Oklahoma! Oh wait, he cant even respond to me when hes got Google available for a resource– why would he agree to an in person conversation?

Aw snap!

Comment #199136

Posted by Raging Bee on August 24, 2007 8:34 AM (e)

I challenged the evolutionist myth that peer review was not done.

The best way to “challenge” us is by showing us the peer-reviewed paper(s) that disprove evolution or support ID. In fact, it’s the only way to back up an assertion that such peer-reviewed work exists; anyone who wants us to believe such an assertion MUST prove it, by showing us the work, or at least a URL where we can find it. Your failure to do so proves your assertion is false. Period. Now go back to bed.

Comment #199139

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 24, 2007 8:51 AM (e)

Re: Sternberg.

The PBSW editorial board has confirmed that the paper was indeed reviewed, and that the reviewers, with some caveats apparently, agreed with publication. That’s not an issue. What we don’t know is whether Sternberg selected ID-friendly reviewers to ensure acceptance.

Several factors strongly suggest that the entire submission and publication process was to a large extent pre-arranged:
- PBSW is an obscure journal that Meyer was very unlikely to ever have heard of, if it wasn’t for Sternberg, and normally does not publish material related to the topic of Meyer’s review (information and origin of phyla);
- PBSW happened to be, only for a short time window, under editorship of an ID-friendly editor when Meyer submitted his paper;
- Meyer and the DI had extensive previous contacts with Sternberg, even inviting him to a closed-door ID meeting;
- Sternberg was slated to attend an ID conference in Finland with another DI fellow shortly after the paper publication process, to which once can surmise he was invited because of his DI connections (he certainly wasn’t a household name in ID/Creationism before this all affair broke out);
- Sternberg conducted the editorship process with unusual secrecy and lack of transparency, an especially unwise choice considering that he must have understood that the paper was controversial, that the DI was going to trumpet it as some sort of seminal achievement, and that it presented obvious issues of conflict of interest and professional credibility with regard to his interactions with Meyer, the DI and other Creationist organizations;
- PBSW had very qualified editors (much more so than Sternberg himself) who could have easily overseen the review process for or with Sternberg, but whom Sternberg never even alerted of the submission.

These, and the fact that Sternberg seemed less than forthcoming after the predictable brouhaha erupted, do not inspire confidence in his handling the manuscript without cherry-picking ID-friendly reviewers. This is also heightened by the fact that not even one of the reviewers has spontaneously come forward to take ownership of their professional judgment of Meyer’s paper (which is something I would have strongly expected). Furthermore, to my knowledge Sternberg has never denied that ID-friendly attitude played a role in his selection of reviewers, and in fact indirectly admitted as much by saying that he thought professional ethics required him “to find peer reviewers who are not prejudiced or hostile to a particular author or his/her ideas”. The latter is nonsense, btw - an editor should select reviewers based primarily on specific competence, and blindly to opinions. Of course, an author can explicitly ask that a few colleagues, usually direct competitors, are excluded from review (and even journals that allow this do not guarantee it), but one cannot exclude an entire category of reviewers, and only ask to select from a small pool of “friendlies”, nor should an editor make that choice for the author.

That said, PBSW is protecting reviewer anonimity, and correctly so in my opinion. But while it’s unlikely that we will know the truth any time soon, it is perfectly reasonable to suspect that the review process was somehow rigged.

Comment #199140

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 24, 2007 8:55 AM (e)

Hmm. This was an obvious way to solve the ID problem of flagging religious donations. But as Randy “DoDo” Olson knows, “documentaries” will not always net.

ERV wrote:

why would he agree to an in person conversation?

What was that you said, ‘conversion’? [I swear that this is how I read it at first. And it would be appropriate too, considering ID’s religious background.]

More to the point, QABS paints it as it would be problems with biology that makes scientists abstain from debating creationists. The shoe is on the other foot - why can’t creationists respond to simple questions about their criticism of current science, or better yet present some results of their own?

My own suspicion is that it is simpler to shoot some interviews under pretenses to make a documentary, and then “cut mine” them for effect.

Comment #199170

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 24, 2007 10:16 AM (e)

These, and the fact that Sternberg seemed less than forthcoming after the predictable brouhaha erupted, do not inspire confidence in his handling the manuscript without cherry-picking ID-friendly reviewers.

Good points. I haven’t read the paper thoroughly, but isn’t it true as well that there’s nothing in it which would actually merit publication in a research journal, however marginal the journal might be? I only skimmed it, primarily because nothing in it appeared to be new or interesting, just a rehash of old YEC/ID claims about the Cambrian explosion and a few other PRATTs.

That always struck me as one of the major evidences that the “review process” was rigged. I like Sternberg’s statement where he’s all concerned about “bias” in the reviewers even more, however. What do you suppose the odds are that Jonathan Wells was one of the “reviewers”, more properly, patsies?

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #199175

Posted by raven on August 24, 2007 10:40 AM (e)

Wikipedia:

Sternberg has repeatedly refused to identify the “four well-qualified biologists”, citing personal concerns over professional repercussions for them. Identifying the reviewers would have allowed the journal’s board to validate Sternberg’s claim to objectivity in having the article considered meritorious for publication. The reviewers of Sternberg’s own published paper[8] were Sternberg’s fellow Baraminology Study Group peer Todd Wodd, and prominent intelligent design proponents Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells[9][10] both of whom are Fellows of the Discovery Institute,[11] hub of the intelligent design movement.

Another unethical, dishonest action from the Xian Dominionist, I mean Discovery Institute disreputable cultists. One would expect better of self described Xians but it never seems to happen.

1. The criteria for peer reviewers is best qualified experts for a given paper, usually someone who has done similar work.

2. Peer reviewers are usually anonymous. But they are anonymous to the author, not the journal, journal editors, publishers, board, and other relevant parties. The fact that Sternberg won’t disclose these identities in a questionable case is a major ethical lapse and indicates he deliberately violated professional norms and standards and is trying to cover up his disreputable activities. For this alone, he deserves whatever happened to him.

wikipedia:

Further examination of the article revealed that it was substantially similar to previously published articles.[12]

This is a common tactic and a seriously unethical activity, publishing the same paper with minor changes in multiple journals to puff up someone’s CV list. In some cases, they will publish in two or three languages and count on no one in the field understanding, for example, Urdu and English, and reading those journals. When caught, the journal usually makes a note of this and the authors are usually banned for life or some period of time from publishing papers in that journal.

Anyone who behaved like Meyers and Sternberg at any journal for any reason and not just to promote Xian Dominionist pseudoscience and who got caught would be fired and a retraction published.

Comment #199178

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 24, 2007 10:49 AM (e)

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

That said, PBSW is protecting reviewer anonimity, and correctly so in my opinion. But while it’s unlikely that we will know the truth any time soon, it is perfectly reasonable to suspect that the review process was somehow rigged.

Andrea Bottaro, I compliment you on your intellectual honesty and what seems to me to be a fair portrayal of events as compared to the mythological accounts I am accustomed to hearing from staunch evolutionist sources.

I also agree that it is reasonable from my perspective to have suspicions in this case; there is enough to raise the eyebrows of the anti-ID crowd (but not enough to lynch, in my opinion).

I do want to emphasize that in my view Sternberg was unfairly targeted because, while anti-ID scientists were reasonable to suspect cherry picking of peer reviewers and the like, nothing could be proven, and so punishment took a petty and vitriolic course. This is how mobs operate, and the affair demonstrates that mobs can form, even among venerated scientists.

I agree with another contributor who stated that those who wish to intellectually defend the Theory of Evolution should avoid pejorative inquiries and insinuations when dealing with the skeptical. Evolutionary apologists should also tone down their own zealous fervor and pious announcements of tithing to the NCSE if they want to be taken seriously and not raise suspicions of their own motivations. Many of the evolutionary apologists appear to me to be a modern incarnation of the Culte de la Raison.

Comment #199192

Posted by raven on August 24, 2007 11:22 AM (e)

Andrea Botarro:

That said, PBSW is protecting reviewer anonimity, and correctly so in my opinion.

Wikipedia:

Sternberg has repeatedly refused to identify the “four well-qualified biologists”, citing personal concerns over professional repercussions for them.

Seems to be a contradiction here. AB says that the journal PBSW is protecting reviewer anonymity.

Wikipedia says that they don’t even know because Sternberg won’t tell them.

The expectation of anonymity is between authors and reviewers. There is absolutely no expectation that the reviewers won’t be known to the journal, journal editors, board, publishers, and any other interested and relevant party. In fact the expectation is the exact opposite for reasons of quality control and transparency.

Sternberg is acting guilty as hell and acting like he is trying to cover up serious ethical lapses.

Why have a flaky editor who is pursuing a personal agenda in a blatantly unethical manner while destroying the reputation of the journal, when there are thousands of real scientists just interested in doing a routine job to professional standards?

Comment #199197

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 24, 2007 11:38 AM (e)

I also agree that it is reasonable from my perspective to have suspicions in this case; there is enough to raise the eyebrows of the anti-ID crowd (but not enough to lynch, in my opinion).

He wasn’t lynched, dullard. He was treated with the sort of respect that a facilitator of pseudoscience deserves.

I do want to emphasize that in my view Sternberg was unfairly targeted because, while anti-ID scientists were reasonable to suspect cherry picking of peer reviewers and the like, nothing could be proven,

Targeted for what? What happened to him that wouldn’t happen to some other dolt who helped to get some rubbish published? He didn’t lose his job, he just lost respect, and yes, because of that he should not look forward to choice prospects. One needs respect as a scientist, for peer review is what weeds out the fakes and charlatans. Being the latter, Sternberg will pay. Why don’t you stick up for John A. Davison, an equal crank who was eased out of his scientific pulpit for being a crank like Sternberg?

and so punishment took a petty and vitriolic course.

You’re such a dishonest jerk. He wasn’t punished, except in the manner that cannot be very well controlled by government, by social means. Then you IDiots go whining to the government to complain about a natural social evolution, namely the dissing of one who sympathizes with pseudoscience.

This is how mobs operate, and the affair demonstrates that mobs can form, even among venerated scientists.

To the extent that any “mob” formed, it’s just a part of the process. You want to change human nature (and the way in which science must operate, by the respect of one’s peers, which Sternberg destroyed by his actions), just as you want to change the facts in science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #199198

Posted by PvM on August 24, 2007 11:41 AM (e)

Nobody has to be apologetic about evolutionary theory, it is the best explanation of the data we have so far.
As far as Sternberg is concerned, while ID activists have made a lot about what happened to him, the simple fact is that the evidence stands for itself even though the republican majority at that time decided to give it its ‘spin’. The emails in the appendix of the document clearly show the whole story.

But then again martyrdom is all that is left for ID since it obviously has failed to reach even a minimal level of scientific relevance let alone respectability.

Comment #199199

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 24, 2007 11:41 AM (e)

I also agree that it is reasonable from my perspective to have suspicions in this case; there is enough to raise the eyebrows of the anti-ID crowd (but not enough to lynch, in my opinion).

He wasn’t lynched, dullard. He was treated with the sort of respect that a facilitator of pseudoscience deserves.

I do want to emphasize that in my view Sternberg was unfairly targeted because, while anti-ID scientists were reasonable to suspect cherry picking of peer reviewers and the like, nothing could be proven,

Targeted for what? What happened to him that wouldn’t happen to some other dolt who helped to get some rubbish published? He didn’t lose his job, he just lost respect, and yes, because of that he should not look forward to choice prospects. One needs respect as a scientist, for peer review is what weeds out the fakes and charlatans. Being the latter, Sternberg will pay. Why don’t you stick up for John A. Davison, an equal crank who was eased out of his scientific pulpit for being a crank like Sternberg?

and so punishment took a petty and vitriolic course.

You’re such a dishonest jerk. He wasn’t punished, except in the manner that cannot be very well controlled by government, by social means. Then you IDiots go whining to the government to complain about a natural social evolution, namely the dissing of one who sympathizes with pseudoscience.

This is how mobs operate, and the affair demonstrates that mobs can form, even among venerated scientists.

To the extent that any “mob” formed, it’s just a part of the process. You want to change human nature (and the way in which science must operate, by the respect of one’s peers, which Sternberg destroyed by his actions), just as you want to change the facts in science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #199202

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 24, 2007 11:46 AM (e)

I also agree that it is reasonable from my perspective to have suspicions in this case; there is enough to raise the eyebrows of the anti-ID crowd (but not enough to lynch, in my opinion).

He wasn’t lynched, dullard. He was treated with the sort of respect that a facilitator of pseudoscience deserves.

I do want to emphasize that in my view Sternberg was unfairly targeted because, while anti-ID scientists were reasonable to suspect cherry picking of peer reviewers and the like, nothing could be proven,

Targeted for what? What happened to him that wouldn’t happen to some other dolt who helped to get some rubbish published? He didn’t lose his job, he just lost respect, and yes, because of that he should not look forward to choice prospects. One needs respect as a scientist, for peer review is what weeds out the fakes and charlatans. Being the latter, Sternberg will pay. Why don’t you stick up for John A. Davison, an equal crank who was eased out of his scientific pulpit for being a crank like Sternberg?

and so punishment took a petty and vitriolic course.

You’re such a dishonest jerk. He wasn’t punished, except in the manner that cannot be very well controlled by government, by social means. Then you IDiots go whining to the government to complain about a natural social evolution, namely the dissing of one who sympathizes with pseudoscience.

This is how mobs operate, and the affair demonstrates that mobs can form, even among venerated scientists.

To the extent that any “mob” formed, it’s just a part of the process. You want to change human nature (and the way in which science must operate, by the respect of one’s peers, which Sternberg destroyed by his actions), just as you want to change the facts in science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #199213

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 24, 2007 12:06 PM (e)

Sorry about the multiple posts. It seems that now the page where it says that your comments are being held for one’s being a first time poster means something different than the odd meanings it has gathered in the past, like that they are in fact being posted.

And so it goes with PT’s random server.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #199216

Posted by trrll on August 24, 2007 12:08 PM (e)

What, and you didn’t even get to argue with Ben Stein himself? Now that would have been fun! What a rip-off…

Comment #199223

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 24, 2007 12:35 PM (e)

raven:
The expectation of anonymity is between authors and reviewers. There is absolutely no expectation that the reviewers won’t be known to the journal, journal editors, board, publishers, and any other interested and relevant party. In fact the expectation is the exact opposite for reasons of quality control and transparency.

It is my understanding that the PBSW editors are aware of who the reviewers are, since they looked at the files and agreed that a) the reviews were genuine, and b) they overall favored publication.

QUABS:
I also agree that it is reasonable from my perspective to have suspicions in this case; there is enough to raise the eyebrows of the anti-ID crowd (but not enough to lynch, in my opinion).

I do want to emphasize that in my view Sternberg was unfairly targeted because, while anti-ID scientists were reasonable to suspect cherry picking of peer reviewers and the like, nothing could be proven, and so punishment took a petty and vitriolic course. This is how mobs operate, and the affair demonstrates that mobs can form, even among venerated scientists.

No lynching occurred. Two independent highly partisan inquiries occurred, one from the OSC and one from Congress, and although they both paid lip service to the martyrdom myth pushed by the DI’s professional propagandists, neither one could identify a single instance of bona fide malfeasance, and all the accusations of professional repercussions by Sternberg and the DI were in fact shown to be uncorroborated claims and/or fabrications (e.g. loss of access to collections, suggestions that he be fired from NIH), or the result of misunderstandings (e.g the office transfer was an organizational issue, and the return of master key was because he shouldn’t have had one in the first place). All the relevant materials are now available, and everyone who looks at them objectively can verify that no act of retaliation against Sternberg by either the SI or NIH occurred.

What remained was the personal shunning of Sternberg by his colleagues. But considering that he (by shockingly poor judgment or misconduct, we don’t know) allowed an objectively crappy piece of pseudoscience to be published under the banner of PBSW, that he was found to have consorted with and supported the most ridiculous species of Creationists, and that when called to account for his actions about the Meyer paper he turned on his colleagues, helping the Creationists PR machine smear the name of the Smithsonian as well as respected scientists on national media, shunning was frankly guaranteed and very much justified. No one can or should be forced to be polite to someone who they think is at the very least incompetent, and quite likely dishonest.

Comment #199248

Posted by raven on August 24, 2007 1:31 PM (e)

Andrea Bottaro:

It is my understanding that the PBSW editors are aware of who the reviewers are, since they looked at the files and agreed that a) the reviews were genuine, and b) they overall favored publication.

OK, looks like Wikipedia might have got it wrong. It would have been outrageous if there wasn’t a paper trail.

It still doesn’t address the question of who the reviewers were and how and why they were picked. I could get any sort of nonsense published with a colluding editor and hand picked friendly reviewers.

The other issue raised by Wikipedia was that the paper was substantially identical to other published papers. This in itself is a violation of any journal’s guidelines and cause for a pointed reprimand in print and banning for a lengthy or indefinite period.

Given Sternberg’s apparent close association with Meyers and the creos, he should have known that already and as an editor rejected the paper at the start. Meyers certainly knew it.

According to wikipedia, Sternberg is a baraminologist, a pseudoscientific field involved with enumerating the numbers of “kinds” mentioned in the Big Boat story.

Inasmuch as 99% of the animals who supposedly got on the Big Boat died on the Boat or shortly afterwards and are now extinct, this is going to be difficult. A better question is, who dropped the ball? When did they know, how much did they know, and who was responsible? This is a major scandal in creo mythology that has been covered up for 4,000 years. About time for Watergating IMO. :>) LOL

Comment #199280

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 24, 2007 2:42 PM (e)

QABS:

QABS wrote:

evolutionary apologists

Trolling on, I see. Explain how biologists “defend” science instead of doing science.

Comment #199281

Posted by Paul Burnett on August 24, 2007 2:45 PM (e)

There is an interesting review of the “Smithsonian-Sternberg affair” at http://www.conservapedia.com/Smithsonian-Sternbe….

(For your second chuckle of the day, check out the Conservapedia article on “Kangaroos” at http://www.conservapedia.com/Kangaroo. The latter part of the article is particularly enlightening.)

Comment #199289

Posted by Henry J on August 24, 2007 3:02 PM (e)

Re “Inasmuch as 99% of the animals who supposedly got on the Big Boat died on the Boat or shortly afterwards and are now extinct, this is going to be difficult. “

Yeah, they needed a bigger boat. ;)

Comment #199302

Posted by Henry J on August 24, 2007 3:39 PM (e)

Re “Nobody has to be apologetic about evolutionary theory, it is the best explanation of the data we have so far.”

Yep. All one has to do is describe the relevant patterns in the evidence (nested hierarchy, etc.), and how those patterns are expected if the theory is correct, and where contradictory evidence could have been found if it were wrong.

(IOW - philosophy and world-views are irrelevant.)

Henry

Comment #199434

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 24, 2007 10:00 PM (e)

OK, looks like Wikipedia might have got it wrong.

Mmmm… unless it was just changed, I don’t see the Wikipedia entry claiming that the editorial board was not informed of who the reviewers were.

The other issue raised by Wikipedia was that the paper was substantially identical to other published papers. This in itself is a violation of any journal’s guidelines and cause for a pointed reprimand in print and banning for a lengthy or indefinite period.

Given Sternberg’s apparent close association with Meyers and the creos, he should have known that already and as an editor rejected the paper at the start. Meyers certainly knew it.

Sternberg may or may not have known that, we don’t know. But it’s certainly true that Meyer committed what is sometimes called “self-plagiarism” (in fact, multiple self-plagiarism), although whether/in what circumstances the practice constitutes serious misconduct is debated. Still, to me this denotes an unscholarly and lazy scientific attitude on Meyer’s side, but we knew that already.

According to wikipedia, Sternberg is a baraminologist, a pseudoscientific field involved with enumerating the numbers of “kinds” mentioned in the Big Boat story.

This too is not certain. For a rundown of Sternberg’s Creationist flirtations see this post and related thread. The long and the short of it is that we can’t be sure that Sternberg is a Creationist of some sort (most likely an OEC or ID Creationist), and he has denied it, but he has also given abundant reasons to suspect it. Everyone can make up their own mind.

Comment #199512

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 25, 2007 12:52 AM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists is because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument (used to censor high school science teachers from disclosing the existence of intelligent design). Chemists would not be throwing such hissy fits if an alchemist managed to sneak a alchemy paper through a peer review process.

I now leave Panda’s thumb to their normally scheduled evolutionist apologetics.

Comment #199519

Posted by Henry J on August 25, 2007 1:32 AM (e)

because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument

ID isn’t science because its supporters haven’t described a recurring pattern of evidence that could be explained by the concept of life* being deliberately engineered by some agency.

Lack of peer reviewed material is a symptom, not a primary argument.

*outside of recent human involvement, that is.

Henry

Comment #199522

Posted by PvM on August 25, 2007 1:38 AM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists is because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument (used to censor high school science teachers from disclosing the existence of intelligent design). Chemists would not be throwing such hissy fits if an alchemist managed to sneak a alchemy paper through a peer review process.

ID and alchemy, quite appropriate comparisons indeed. But ID is not a science because it is vacuous as the few publications have shown.

Scientists are upset because a substandard apologetics was allowed to be published under circumstances some have found wanting.

The ‘Smithsonian’ Affair, is mostly a figment of ID’ers imagination. I makes for good fundraining though.

Comment #199531

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 25, 2007 2:29 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

I[t] makes for good fundraising though.”

Not as good as being duped by a documentarian. Which reminds me.

It is no coincidence that the same persons (PZ Myers and E.C. Scott) who claim to be too stupid to understand the meaning of release contracts also credulously believe in the theory of evolution.

I can’t wait for Larson to write about the Smithsonian affair, and do to it what he did to the other notable evolutionist myth (the Scopes trial). Who knows, he might even win another Pulitzer.

Comment #199562

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:02 AM (e)

the other notable evolutionist myth (the Scopes trial).

now the delusional are saying the Scopes trial was a myth?

that’s a new one.

how’s that one go, if you’d care to share the details?

It’s likely a good story for the IOCC.

Comment #199563

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:04 AM (e)

…oh, and btw, when you use credulity to describe anything other than what creationists live on, you do a disservice to the term.

Comment #199564

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:06 AM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists…

so much projection, so little time.

Comment #199568

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:16 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #199569

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:18 AM (e)

I agree with another contributor who stated that those who wish to intellectually defend the Theory of Evolution should feel free to add avoid pejorative inquiries and insinuations when dealing with the skeptical willfully ignorant.

Comment #199594

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 25, 2007 6:04 AM (e)

QABS:

QABS wrote:

their normally scheduled evolutionist apologetics.

Has anyone noticed how fast trolls undercuts their own argument by repeating unsupported (or even invalidated) claims in the face of criticism? You can time those kneejerk guys by the loop time between spinal cord and foot-in-mouth reflex - no brain involved.

Comment #199614

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 25, 2007 7:39 AM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists is because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument (used to censor high school science teachers from disclosing the existence of intelligent design). Chemists would not be throwing such hissy fits if an alchemist managed to sneak a alchemy paper through a peer review process.

That’s patently not true: Mike Behe has published a paper in a much better journal than PBSW, and no one has attacked the editors there, or demanded it be retracted. The paper was criticized on the merits, and its interpretation shown to be mistaken (most amusingly, by Behe himself at the Kitzmiller trial). The reason why “evolutionists” became upset at Meyer’s paper was because there was very strong indication, as you agreed,that it was published by dishonest means. As a rule, science can tolerate fools, but not liars.

Comment #199637

Posted by Alexander on August 25, 2007 8:29 AM (e)

Being controversial I’m going to mention the film again. PZ was asking about the backers. I wrote about this film on TO a while ago after following up a link from O’Leary. The thrust from Denyse seemed to suggest that it wasn’t even about anything presented to PZ by Mathis. Instead it was more a case that the film was to focus on the Sternberg, Gonzalez ‘exclusion’ from the academic world. I doubt we’ll see much discussion about the actual validity of ID - not that there’s much to discuss anyway.

TO thread is here:
http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/brow…

Comment #199699

Posted by raven on August 25, 2007 10:33 AM (e)

Andrew, the wikipedia entries I copied are still there. Recopied. There are two articles on Richard Sternberg, the one I read is “Sternberg Peer Review Controversy”. Whether it is correct or not, it claims that Sternberg is a member of the Baraminology study group.

Sternberg Peer Review Controversy, Wikipedia:

Sternberg has repeatedly refused to identify the “four well-qualified biologists”, citing personal concerns over professional repercussions for them. Identifying the reviewers would have allowed the journal’s board to validate Sternberg’s claim to objectivity in having the article considered meritorious for publication. The reviewers of Sternberg’s own published paper[8] were Sternberg’s fellow Baraminology Study Group peer Todd Wodd, and prominent intelligent design proponents Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells[9][10] both of whom are Fellows of the Discovery Institute,[11] hub of the intelligent design movement.

Comment #199721

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 25, 2007 11:14 AM (e)

raven:
I see, I was only looking at the main “Richard Sternberg” entry.

The passage you highlight in the quote is also problematic, unfortunately. Those 3 people listed as “reviewers” were not actual peer-reviewers on Sternberg’s ANYAS paper, they were just people Sternberg himself thanked in the paper’s Acknowledgments section for critically reading the pre-submission manuscript and presumably making suggestions for its improvement (or not, in this specific case - haha). That is standard practice in science papers, and of course pre-publication reviewers tend to be friends/associates of the authors (after all, you are asking someone to spend their precious time helping you for no return whatsoever). Sternberg is free to choose any dolt he wants as a critical reader of his manuscripts. The actual peer-reviewers for Sternberg’s paper where selected by the ANYAS volume editors, and their names are confidential (indeed, it is generally considered inappropriate to assign as peer-reviewers people who are listed in a manuscript’s Acknowledgements, because of potential conflicts of interest, so we can in fact be fairly sure that those 3 people did not peer-review Sternberg’s ANYAS paper).

Bottom line, you cant necessarily trust Wiki on everything. It’s not peer-reviewed, you know.

Comment #199870

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 25, 2007 3:17 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

now the delusional are saying the Scopes trial was a myth?

Such temerity; such arrogant ignorance. See Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion and compare to film Inherit the Wind (a film that fills Oliver Stone with envy). Until Larson’s book, Scopes trial lore was something out of the Ministry for Public Enlightenment.

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

Bottom line, you cant necessarily trust Wiki on everything. It’s not peer-reviewed, you know.

Wikipedia cites panda’s thumb as a source, which is scary considering the number of times panda’s thumb regulars have been wrong on this page alone.

It is a mutual citation scheme. Panda’s thumb cites wikipedia, wikipedia cites panda’s thumb, and when NPR tells the truth on Sternberg, the Smithsonian affair is deemed a minor tempest in a teapot.

But at least wikipedia in general has the integrity to deem its own articles as an unreliable source for use in other wikipedia articles (wikipedia’s poor value as a source is something high schools, colleges, and at least one panda’s thumb contributor are just now figuring out).

Henry J wrote:

ID isn’t science because…

One monkey’s science is another man’s metaphysics. (See Karl Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959).

Andrea Bottaro wrote:

The reason why “evolutionists” became upset at Meyer’s paper was because there was very strong indication, as you agreed, that it was published by dishonest means. As a rule, science can tolerate fools, but not liars.

I agreed empathetically that it was reasonable on the part of evolutionists to question the means. But the fact that the mob gossiped and lynched based on mere understandable skepticism (as opposed to proof) does make those scientists and their defenders appear petty niggling.

Regarding science and liars: And Dr. Kaushik Deb seems to be doing well as a principal scientist despite this.

No–Sternberg’s sin was not against science; it was against the church of evolutionism.

Comment #199900

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 25, 2007 4:32 PM (e)

Such temerity; such arrogant ignorance. See Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion and compare to film Inherit the Wind (a film that fills Oliver Stone with envy). Until Larson’s book, Scopes trial lore was something out of the Ministry for Public Enlightenment.

temerity? ignorance? LOL.

more projection. do you know what projection means? need me to define it for you, or are your internet skills sufficient to be able to look it up yourself?

which one of your “examples” shows us how evolutionary biologists are perpetrating a myth with the scopes trial again? you haven’t gone into detail as how YOU see it, only referenced a couple of fictional works.

regardless, seriously, you’re completely confused about what an evolutionary biologist actually DOES.

the energy and publicity surrounding “americas debate” over science and religion is really only being generated by idiotic dolts such as yourself. Withing the realm of science, there is investigation, and testing new hypotheses. Your preoccupation with creato/religious doctrine simply doesn’t exist. Really, working scientists don’t spend more than a casual glance at the issues you find so energizing. We don’t spend time inventing conspiracies to flumox the religious. You folks do that all on your own, then project your idiocy onto everything you see.

all the ignorance is on your end, pal.

Comment #199923

Posted by Henry J on August 25, 2007 5:00 PM (e)

ID isn’t science because its supporters haven’t described a recurring pattern of evidence that could be explained by the concept of life* being deliberately engineered by some agency.

Ignorning what I said doesn’t even address it, let alone refute it.

Henry

Comment #199941

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 25, 2007 5:25 PM (e)

About the Scopes trial… Ray Ginger’s “Six Days or Forever?” certainly didn’t have any confusion between the real events at Dayton, Tennessee and Hollywood scripts, since the Hollywood scripting hadn’t entered into cultural knowledge when Ginger was researching it. Further, Stephen Jay Gould wrote several essays for Natural History delving into the differences between “Inherit the Wind” and the history of the Scopes trial back in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Comment #199945

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 25, 2007 5:30 PM (e)

Wikipedia cites panda’s thumb as a source, which is scary considering the number of times panda’s thumb regulars have been wrong on this page alone.

As far as I can see, the citations to PT are correct. Whether the comments at PT are correct is irrelevant: I am sure you would not judge Dembski based on the insanity of some of the comments on his blog (and those passed strict censorship, too!).

It is a mutual citation scheme. Panda’s thumb cites wikipedia, wikipedia cites panda’s thumb, and when NPR tells the truth on Sternberg, the Smithsonian affair is deemed a minor tempest in a teapot.

PT did not quote wikipedia as a reliable factual source on Sternberg (or, to my knowledge, on anything else). And NPR did not tell the truth about Sternberg, they presented a very one-sided version of the events and did not address the critical issues of the affair.

I agreed empathetically that it was reasonable on the part of evolutionists to question the means. But the fact that the mob gossiped and lynched based on mere understandable skepticism (as opposed to proof) does make those scientists and their defenders appear petty niggling.

They gossiped about and shunned him - not “lynched” him - based on the plain facts: Sternberg behaved with disregard of normal professional practice, either by showing incredibly poor judgment, or quite possibly by being dishonest. When someone acts like Sternberg did, it is perfectly reasonable to ask why (whether he was a a Creationist and/or a fundamentalist of some sort were not irrelevant questions, in context), and to wonder whether he would do it again (should he have access to other people’s offices, or to precious collections, if he cannot be trusted to properly review a manuscript?). It is also perfectly reasonable to keep such a person at arm’s length, if one feels so inclined.

Imagine that someone with access to an animal vivarium was found to have acted unprofessionally to allow a screed from the Animal Liberation Front containing multiple blatant errors to be published in the literature, and be cited by the ALF as evidence that their claims on animal experimentation are gaining traction among professional scientists. Would it be “lynching” if people wondered whether that person constituted a risk to their research? If they wondered whether he showed any other sign that may suggest that similar actions could repeat themselves (is he a vegan? does he belong to animalist or extreme environmentalist organizations?). That would be perfectly normal and appropriate, in my opinion. I sure would bet that the Wall Street Journal and conservative mags would not utter a peep. (Note for quote-miners: this is just an example, and not meant to equate Sternberg or Creationists in general to ALF terrorists.)

Regarding science and liars: And Dr. Kaushik Deb seems to be doing well as a principal scientist despite this.

Apart from the fact that the case was closed only weeks ago, so we don’t know how it’s going to end for Dr. Deb after all, I wouldn’t say that going from being essentially assured of an academic position and plenty of funding at a major US university to working at the Manipal Institute for Regenerative Medicine “in the rocky hinterland of the picturesque Malabar Coast of Southwest India” could be called “doing well” from a professional standpoint (with all due respect to the MIRM, the picturesque Malabar coast, its rocky hinterland and Southwest India in general).

Comment #200021

Posted by Richard Simons on August 25, 2007 7:39 PM (e)

QuestionAndBeSkeptical:

It is no coincidence that the same persons (PZ Myers and E.C. Scott) who claim to be too stupid to understand the meaning of release contracts also credulously believe in the theory of evolution.

Not stupid. Rather, they are people who act in a moral manner and assume others will too. Or perhaps that equates with stupidity in the circles you move in.

Comment #200148

Posted by jick on August 25, 2007 11:55 PM (e)

After reading this, I couldn’t dispell one question in mind…

What does PZ Mayers intend to do with a jacuzzi filled with green M&Ms?

Comment #200787

Posted by Zarquon on August 26, 2007 10:59 PM (e)

That answer will cost you $15 million.

Comment #200999

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 27, 2007 10:38 AM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists is because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument

That’s only a rule of thumb measurement, moron. Bilge sneaks into even the best science journals all the time, and retractions are not infrequent. X-rays do not in fact stimulate the radiation of gamma rays from hafnium-178, despite the fact that it was reported in either Nature or Science, so that when the government spent altogether too much money on a “hafnium bomb,” the matter of peer review was considered to be moot.

The fact that a completely crappy paper was muscled through the “review process” by Sternberg gets to the most important reason why we oppose ID, which is that it seeks to pervert science so that its pseudoscience can rest comfortably in the sewer that science would become.

(used to censor high school science teachers from disclosing the existence of intelligent design).

What’s the “existence” of ID, imbecile? Its very existence is problematic, other than as an attempt at perverting science, and of course high school teachers can mention it in truthful terms such as those.

Chemists would not be throwing such hissy fits if an alchemist managed to sneak a alchemy paper through a peer review process.

They would complain as loudly if a bunch of lying swine were trying to give equal time to alchemy in schools, along with chemistry. This doesn’t change the fact that alchemy is more scientific (due to a considerable amount of empiricism) than ID has ever been, even when it was far more honest in Paley’s writings.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #201075

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 27, 2007 3:39 PM (e)

Has anyone noticed how fast trolls undercuts their own argument by repeating unsupported (or even invalidated) claims in the face of criticism?

See what I wrote above:

Pathetic stupid liar. How is it that you people don’t get that every time you open your mouths, you undermine your cause?

Comment #201079

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 27, 2007 3:50 PM (e)

The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists is because it thwarts the “intelligent design is not a science because it has not been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal” argument

The point still stands, moron. If Meyer’s crap is the best that ID can show, then ID is clearly not a science.

Chemists would ot be throwing such hissy fits if an alchemist managed to sneak a alchemy paper through a peer review process.

Yes, ID is as much science as alchemy (or astrology) – glad we got that straight. And if an alchemy paper did get published in a peer reviewed chemistry journal, some heads would surely role, cretin. As I’ve noted, you undermine your cause by opening your yap, because when you do, transparently stupid statements come out of it.

Comment #201084

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 27, 2007 4:00 PM (e)

It is no coincidence that the same persons (PZ Myers and E.C. Scott) who claim to be too stupid to understand the meaning of release contracts

Please cite those claims.

also credulously believe in the theory of evolution

Even if the ToE is wrong, they believe it based upon years of indoctrination by the “evolution industry” by way of previously indoctrinated professors and peers, reading article upon article in clique-controlled biology journals, and based upon their own (dishonest and corrupt, presumably) investigations and studies, right? That doesn’t add up to “credulous”.

Over and over you IDiots blatantly, unsubtly, show what incredibly foul dishonest scum you are.

Comment #201085

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 27, 2007 4:03 PM (e)

I am sure you would not judge Dembski based on the insanity of some of the comments on his blog (and those passed strict censorship, too!).

Dembski passively and sometimes actively promotes them so, yes.

Comment #201105

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on August 27, 2007 5:05 PM (e)

To offer an analogy WRT scientific credibility and publication in journals:

Publication in scientific journals is one measure of credibility. The measurement and the actual phenomenon are two different things. Confusing the measurement with the reality is like putting your thumb on the thermometer and claiming that doing so warms the room. It doesn’t warm the room, it cheats the measurement. This is, in effect, what Sternberg has been accused of.

Comment #201118

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 27, 2007 6:59 PM (e)

Excellent, Bill. IDiots like QABS point to Meyer’s paper, and Behe’s paper on bacteria in dirt that demonstrates the opposite of his thesis, as if the mere fact of an IDiot being published in a peer reviewed journal makes IDiocy science. This is a cargo cult – they are vaguely familiar with the form, but have no comprehension of the content or function of science. It is their desperation for that cargo that drives them to make such a big deal about Meyer, or about Guillermo Gonzalez being denied tenure. And when we point out the fabric of lies they weave in that desperation, they try to turn that around and transform it into “The reason that the Smithsonian affair is important to staunch evolutionists” – as if the validity of the ToE in some way depends on “the Smithsonian affair”!

Comment #201189

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 28, 2007 1:41 AM (e)

Glen Davidson, Bill Gascoyne, Popper’s Ghost,

I don’t think ‘cargo-cult’ is the only explanation of the creationists’ fixation on getting into peer-reviewed journals (although I like the term, PG.)
I believe the courts have used publication in peer-reviewed journals as part of a legal definition of science for the purposes of what can be taught in public schools.
In other words, they are trying to confuse the issues, in preparation for their next court battle. It’s so easy to get dragged into their attacks on science and forget that their real target is the constitution of the United States.

Comment #201284

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 28, 2007 8:56 AM (e)

I never said anything about “only”, but I do think it is clear that QABS has a cargo-cult view of science, and I doubt that s/he is personally involved in laying the groundwork for future court battles.

Comment #201286

Posted by Popper's Ghost on August 28, 2007 9:01 AM (e)

Also, some of that cargo is legal qualification, but they (and some on our side as well) have a cargo cult view of the law, too. “the courts have used publication in peer-reviewed journals as part of a legal definition of science” – yes, part of, just as a guy standing on a runway waving batons is part of what it takes for cargo planes to land.

Comment #201312

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 28, 2007 10:31 AM (e)

To address Andrea Bottaro, you raise points worthy of address–I will have to come back to them later, though.

Regarding peer review, it is the evolutionists, in their crusade against anything that appears to “threaten” the public school system (as though it could get much worse–wasn’t Caitlin Upton an honor student at a public high school?):

Attie, Sober, Numbers, et al wrote:

A search through PubMed fails to find evidence of their scholarship within the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Judge Jones wrote:

A final indicator of how ID has failed to demonstrate scientific warrant is the complete absence of peer-reviewed publications supporting the theory.

To my knowledge, the peer review strategy was created by zealous evolutionists and their allies (Ronald Numbers mentioned above being an exception), who provided legal and moral support in the Dover case, and are largely fighting a fervent crusade to keep public schools dedicated to humanism.

It is also my understanding, based on reading reliable secondary sources (e.g., Numbers and Larson), that Popper was first used by the ID and/or creationists against evolutionism, only to have the criteria asymmetrically applied to ID and/or creationism (and not evolutionism). And his supernatural ghost is now honoring PT with his presence (and sullying his good name, I might add).

Popper's Ghost wrote:

I never said anything about “only”, but I do think it is clear that QABS has a cargo-cult view of science

Not that I am interested in continuing to read Popper’s Ghost’s angry harangues, but could you tell me, clairvoyant ghost, what my view of science is?

Comment #201314

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 28, 2007 10:40 AM (e)

Popper’s Ghost–
You and I have a different emphasis, but no real disagreement here, except possibly on whether QABS “is personally involved in laying the groundwork for future court battles.”
So much of that snarky, snide, put-down attitude comes out of the Disco Institute that when I see it I immediately suspect the worst.

Comment #201317

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on August 28, 2007 11:10 AM (e)

I believe the courts have used publication in peer-reviewed journals as part of a legal definition of science for the purposes of what can be taught in public schools.

To continue my analogy, the courts can’t feel the temperature, so they depend upon the thermometer. The room is still no warmer. We need to convince the court to look at multiple thermometers, which thus far has not been too difficult.

Comment #201320

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 28, 2007 11:50 AM (e)

I don’t think ‘cargo-cult’ is the only explanation of the creationists’ fixation on getting into peer-reviewed journals (although I like the term, PG.)
I believe the courts have used publication in peer-reviewed journals as part of a legal definition of science for the purposes of what can be taught in public schools.

Well sure, but no one should make the mistake of thinking that peer review defines science, rather it is simply one necessary condition for judging it to be a working science.

That is to say, if ID has no legitimate peer reviewed articles (and the Meyer’s paper doesn’t count, no matter that it was shepherded through, due to its reliance on the lie that if MET fails, ID wins), then it doesn’t have the first indication that it could be science. If ID did have peer reviewed articles (I mean, purported evidence for ID, not their stupid false dichotomy), that would not indicate that it was science, it would only be the first indication that it might be.

Science typically relies on reproducible results, IOW. Peer review catches the most egregious errors, while in the ideal case every published result would be checked by others, and clearly someone claiming to “design” in organisms ought to be coming up with results that other scientists would try to reproduce. The fact is that ID can’t legitimately pass peer review, let alone pass the real test, which is reproducible results (I know there are exceptions to reproducibility for at least some single events, but basic science like evolutionary theory could not be science without myriad reproducible results).

In other words, they are trying to confuse the issues, in preparation for their next court battle.

Yes, they are. But don’t confuse the necessary conditions of science, namely peer review, with what truly makes science what it is, which is the reproduction of results by other scientists.

It’s so easy to get dragged into their attacks on science and forget that their real target is the constitution of the United States.

Yes, but it’s also easy to get distracted by the fact that they don’t even pass peer review and to suppose that peer review would in fact make ID science. It would not.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #201335

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 28, 2007 1:01 PM (e)

Glen Davidson wrote:

Yes, they are. But don’t confuse the necessary conditions of science, namely peer review, with what truly makes science what it is, which is the reproduction of results by other scientists.

I agree that peer review does not establish science (I don’t think peer review of material before publication is even a necessary condition, though it is often useful to readers of such published material).

But regarding reproducibility, do you mean reproducibility of the story that weaves facts together, or reproducibility of only the facts, and claiming ipso facto ToE is true (akin to a well-composed conspiracy theory), that is, for example, extrapolating observed natural selection as an explanation for fossils. There is a difference, and the difference is science versus metaphysics (did you catch that Popper’s ghost?)

Comment #201339

Posted by Henry J on August 28, 2007 1:16 PM (e)

that is, for example, extrapolating observed natural selection as an explanation for fossils.

Or common ancestry as an explanation for nested hierarchy - try to twist that into “metaphysics”.

Comment #201343

Posted by QuesitonAndBeSkeptical on August 28, 2007 1:36 PM (e)

Or common ancestry as an explanation for nested hierarchy - try to twist that into “metaphysics”.

Or extrapolating natural selection to explain all observed diversity of life.

Comment #201347

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 28, 2007 1:58 PM (e)

But regarding reproducibility, do you mean reproducibility of the story that weaves facts together, or reproducibility of only the facts,

You must only know pseudoscience, since everything you write is so stupid, and devoid of any scientific knowledge. One must reproduce mechanisms, facts, and weave what has evidence into a coherent theory. An IDist understands nothing of mechanisms, facts, or coherent thought, hence they ask the most lame questions.

and claiming ipso facto ToE is true

Little idiot boy, what ToE does is explain with a few mechanisms a whole host of facts, from the variations of Darwin’s finches, to otherwise inexplicable behaviors by animals, to the geological column, to DNA patterns and taxonomy. One must reproduce the observations that evolution explains, but the explanatory ability is obvious to those who are reasonably intelligent and competently educated. Which is why you don’t understand it, lackwit.

(akin to a well-composed conspiracy theory)

Just ad hominems and insults from this shit for brains cretin. And don’t turn around and hurl the same charge at me, I call you stupid and idiot boy and back up my claims with evidence and argumentation. You just write tired old BS as if it weren’t refuted over a hundred years ago, and try to pretend that your idiot beliefs don’t require a conspiracy theory to “explain” why none of the experts can understand your idiot remarks.

that is, for example, extrapolating observed natural selection as an explanation for fossils.

Retarded buffoon, fossils and taxonomy suggested that evolution occurred, and Darwin supplied the explanation for both evolution and a host of details which had never been explained by Lamarckism or Paley, like the evolution of parasites and how poor “designs” are that way because they match what is expected from non-teleological evolution. Theories explain, pseudoscience just rails away at good theories, which explains why you can’t write anything intelligent.

There is a difference, and the difference is science versus metaphysics (did you catch that Popper’s ghost?)

You don’t even discuss what’s at stake in any competent manner, moron. That isn’t the difference between metaphysics and science, it’s just a muddled bunch of nonsense you picked up from the head idiots. You can’t discuss reproducible results, you can’t discuss what makes a theory testable and explanatory, you just make thuddingly dull criticisms of actual discussions of these issues.

Metaphysics is deciding that there is one “alternative” to “naturalism” (itself a metaphysical construct, more or less), and that if you can defeat a real theory that this unevidenced “alternative” is the explanation. Well, tell us how we could do science with your BS, then we might begin to listen to you. Until then, you’re obviously unable to do anything but spout IDiot inanities, with not even a reasonable speculation of what science is existing in your worthless head.

Or extrapolatin

This is exactly how dumb you really are, you’re charging us with doing science by extrapolation, when virtually all science does so. One comes up with competent theories by extrapolation, hence ToE. One comes up with pseudoscientific nonsense by simply assuming that if something isn’t “fully explained”, then God did it. And by the way, that is also how conspiracy theories exist, for instance the twin towers conspiracies, which I guess are the left’s answer to the challenge of the IDiots to produce idiocy where sanity might otherwise prevail (to be fair to the left, their idiocies are less accepted by the left as a whole than the idiocies of the right are accepted by the right as a whole, never mind that many on the right do deny the conspiracies and vacuous claims of ID).

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #201348

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 28, 2007 2:04 PM (e)

But regarding reproducibility, do you mean reproducibility of the story that weaves facts together, or reproducibility of only the facts,

You must only know pseudoscience, since everything you write is so stupid, and devoid of any scientific knowledge. One must reproduce mechanisms, facts, and weave what has evidence into a coherent theory. An IDist understands nothing of mechanisms, facts, or coherent thought, hence they ask the most lame questions.

and claiming ipso facto ToE is true

Little idiot boy, what ToE does is explain with a few mechanisms a whole host of facts, from the variations of Darwin’s finches, to otherwise inexplicable behaviors by animals, to the geological column, to DNA patterns and taxonomy. One must reproduce the observations that evolution explains, but the explanatory ability is obvious to those who are reasonably intelligent and competently educated. Which is why you don’t understand it, lackwit.

(akin to a well-composed conspiracy theory)

Just ad hominems and insults from this shit for brains cretin. And don’t turn around and hurl the same charge at me, I call you stupid and idiot boy and back up my claims with evidence and argumentation. You just write tired old BS as if it weren’t refuted over a hundred years ago, and try to pretend that your idiot beliefs don’t require a conspiracy theory to “explain” why none of the experts can understand your idiot remarks.

that is, for example, extrapolating observed natural selection as an explanation for fossils.

Retarded buffoon, fossils and taxonomy suggested that evolution occurred, and Darwin supplied the explanation for both evolution and a host of details which had never been explained by Lamarckism or Paley, like the evolution of parasites and how poor “designs” are that way because they match what is expected from non-teleological evolution. Theories explain, pseudoscience just rails away at good theories, which explains why you can’t write anything intelligent.

There is a difference, and the difference is science versus metaphysics (did you catch that Popper’s ghost?)

You don’t even discuss what’s at stake in any competent manner, moron. That isn’t the difference between metaphysics and science, it’s just a muddled bunch of nonsense you picked up from the head idiots. You can’t discuss reproducible results, you can’t discuss what makes a theory testable and explanatory, you just make thuddingly dull criticisms of actual discussions of these issues.

Metaphysics is deciding that there is one “alternative” to “naturalism” (itself a metaphysical construct, more or less), and that if you can defeat a real theory that this unevidenced “alternative” is the explanation. Well, tell us how we could do science with your BS, then we might begin to listen to you. Until then, you’re obviously unable to do anything but spout IDiot inanities, with not even a reasonable speculation of what science is existing in your worthless head.

Or extrapolating natural selection to explain all observed diversity of life.

This is exactly how dumb you really are, you’re charging us with doing science by extrapolation, when virtually all science does so. One comes up with competent theories by extrapolation, hence ToE. One comes up with pseudoscientific nonsense by simply assuming that if something isn’t “fully explained”, then God did it. And by the way, that is also how conspiracy theories exist, for instance the twin towers conspiracies, which I guess are the left’s answer to the challenge of the IDiots to produce idiocy where sanity might otherwise prevail (to be fair to the left, their idiocies are less accepted by the left as a whole than the idiocies of the right are accepted by the right as a whole, never mind that many on the right do deny the conspiracies and vacuous claims of ID).

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Comment #201349

Posted by Henry J on August 28, 2007 2:06 PM (e)

Natural selection is one piece of the explanation in the current theory. It’s not the whole explanation by itself.

Comment #201504

Posted by hoary puccoon on August 29, 2007 1:50 AM (e)

Glen Davidson,

You wrote, “don’t confuse the necessary conditions of science, namely peer review, with what truly makes science what it is, which is the reproduction of results by other scientists.”

No, I would never do that. I did a study of a university chemistry department while in grad school in sociology. What I discovered was that replication of results went on obsessively. Researchers ran fleets of identical and almost-identical experiments. And here’s the thing– only a small minority of those replicated experiments were, in QABS’s words, “reproducibility of only the facts.” Most of the replications were slight variations, in order to test “reproducibility of the story that weaves facts together.” Or, as people with more grasp of science than QABS would say, to make sure the data actually supported their hypothesis, not some alternative explanation.

I haven’t studied a biology lab in anything like that detail, but from what I do know about biological research, it has the same– texture, if you will– of endless checks and rechecks, many of them designed specifically to test between alternative theoretical positions.

I think that’s one reason people who aren’t familiar with science think modern evolutionary theory can be knocked down with one, clever counter-point. Like the timespan of the earth, the sheer number of studies and replications runs up against the incapacity of the human brain to visualize very large numbers.

Which is why, to bring this back on topic, the courts have to rely partly on markers like peer-reviewed literature to define what is or isn’t science.

Comment #201511

Posted by Matthew on August 29, 2007 2:41 AM (e)

I want to thank PZ Myers and the posters here for bringing to my attention the less than honest tactics being used to gather information for this movie. As I am a Christian some people among my acquaintances will be hyped up about this movie. I will be sure to let them know that they need to be careful about how much credibility to give this production.

Comment #201580

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 8:12 AM (e)

Wait, so you are saying that you were tricked into taking cheap shots at proponents of ID? Also, the movie’s description in the email sent to you isnt THAT far off: “questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.” Man, I’m sorry, but it really seems to me as if this page itself is guilty of the very things the movie is attempting to expose! The disdain and contempt you show towards this film (a film about the fact that the scientific community looks down on ID proponents with disdain) proves the necessity for this film. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Comment #201595

Posted by David Stanton on August 29, 2007 9:01 AM (e)

AC,

Sounds to me like the movie is guilty of the things it is supposedly trying to expose.

Comment #201606

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 9:45 AM (e)

Mr Stanton,

That is interesting. How so?

Comment #201619

Posted by David Stanton on August 29, 2007 10:21 AM (e)

AC,

If you repeately interview people under false pretenses, deliberately hide your real agenda, edit their responses without feedback and use it against their wishes to exploit innocent people, it seems to me that you should not react incredulously when they ligitimately object to your immoral and dishonest behavior. This seems to be especially true when the movie in question is supposedly an attempt to expose the dishonest behavior of the people you are lying to.

Of course that’t just my opinion, I could be wrong. If you disagree, perhaps you wouldn’t mind being interviewed on your thoughts regarding creationism. I would just ask you to sign a release form first stating that your comments can be edited in any way I choose and used for whatever purpose I desire.

Comment #201620

Posted by QuestionAndBeSkeptical on August 29, 2007 10:28 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #201630

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 11:07 AM (e)

YOWZA! Whats with the animosity? A couple of comments…

1. You must have me mistaken for another AC. I’m just a regular guy who ran accross this board and found it ironic that someone representing the scientific community is showing contempt and even ridiculing a film that claims that the scientific shows contempt and even ridicules anything to do with ID.

2. People on this forum keep claiming that the filmakers of a documentary (about the the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement) are interviewing people under false pretenses. What are the false pretenses? The false pretense is that they are telling the interviewees that the film is about…ughh..hmm..about the the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement. How utterly deceitful!? Seriously, what is the false pretense? The movie title change? The fact that the movie, during the 2 years it was in production, “naturally evolved” from its original premise? Why did it naturally evolve in the specific way that it did? Perhaps it was because they noticed the utter disgust with which Darwinianists view ID proponents? An utter disgust that is clearly evident even in this very forum.

Then you claim that they have edited the interviewees responses without feedback, yet, we havent even seen the movie so we have no idea whether or not they were fair and faitful in their editing.

Comment #201635

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 11:25 AM (e)

Wait a second. I got a question for any Darwinian in general.

If God exists and created this place, are there any possible scientific tests that could reflect this? Or are our scientific methods set up in such a way where they cant possibly ever point to God?

PS: I know that God exists and created all things but for your sake I say ‘If’ :)

Comment #201641

Posted by IanBrown_101 on August 29, 2007 11:51 AM (e)

Quoting AC.

‘Wait a second. I got a question for any Darwinian in general.

If God exists and created this place, are there any possible scientific tests that could reflect this? Or are our scientific methods set up in such a way where they cant possibly ever point to God?

PS: I know that God exists and created all things but for your sake I say ‘If’ :)’

I’m not a scientist, but I’ll give this a go.

There could never be any test for god per se, as god must be supernatural, and science can only test the natural. However, it MIGHT be possible to test for certain actions god does, because by acting upon the natural world the act becomes a natural one. Vis a vis, by forcing something natural to happen, it would automatically qualify as having a natural effect, and therefore the effect, and what preceeded it can be tested.

Prayer, for example, is possible to test, because if prayer works on healing people (which it supposedly does) then it would be possible to test this act. This would not be a test for god, but for the effects of said deity.

A few small points I wish to enquire from you.

Darwinist isn’t really a term, for one, people are not defined by who they agree (in some respects) with in the scientific world, one cannot be a Teslaist, or a Hawkingist. Secondly, Darwin made some errors in his works, but the basic prinicpal, common descent, mutation+NS etc are still agreed upon to be correct, but are not 100% of the theory.

Also, I wonder, you state you KNOW God exists. What leads you to be able to state this with utter certainty?

Comment #201650

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 29, 2007 1:01 PM (e)

QABS:

QABS wrote:

I agree that peer review does not establish science (I don’t think peer review of material before publication is even a necessary condition, though it is often useful to readers of such published material).

This is, deliberately or not, mischaracterizing a scientific tool on a scientific blog.

True, science is more than its peer reviewed material. But this tool is an agreed upon process to help establish quality of material and processes. It helps the authors as well, and it ultimately benefits the science.

hoary puccoon wrote:

Most of the replications were slight variations, in order to test “reproducibility of the story that weaves facts together.” Or, as people with more grasp of science than QABS would say, to make sure the data actually supported their hypothesis, not some alternative explanation.

You see, the fact that observations are theory laden works both ways. But mainly, as described above, predictions are as always used to test a theory. A repeated experiment is valued that much more if it tests that piece of data and theory by arriving at it differently.

AC:

AC wrote:

Seriously, what is the false pretense? The movie title change? The fact that the movie, during the 2 years it was in production, “naturally evolved” from its original premise?

It isn’t simply a movie title change. It is a new movie under a new production company financed by denialists, with mostly different persons and a totally different premise.

If I sell you a car that I state was driven by my grandmother to church at sundays and sold to me the day before because she became to old to drive, and you later found out that I personally owned it the whole time and used it for street racing every night, would that change in “production company”, “personal” and “premise” satisfy your definition of no “false pretence” and would you continue to be happy about a straight deal? Because that is akin to what your undemanding acceptance here looks to me.

Comment #201660

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 1:34 PM (e)

If God created the world then the world itself is an “action God does” which you said MIGHT be possible to test. In which case the whole natural world MIGHT be able to be tested for His fingerprints. No?

As far as prayer, testing it would only be possible if God played along. If for some reason He did not want to be found through the “prayer test” He could simply just not heal those involved in the test (or cause the testers to test those whom He wasnt going to heal anyway). He doesnt heal everyone you know (Paul pleaded for a healing that God didnt grant him). Also, most of the time, God works through what you would called “natural” means. For example, I pray that God provide me my daily bread, and He does! How? By raising up men and women that devote their lives to producing the bread, and bringing it to supermarkets. And by providing me with a job that allows me to make enough money to buy a car so that I can go to the supermarket and pick up a loaf.

I’ll explain what I mean by Darwinist. By Darwinist I am referring to anyone who believes that Albert Einstein, my dog Sonny, a whale shark, a parakeet, and a banana tree (all living things right?) all share a common ancestor… a paramecium (or whatever).

As far as my certainty in God, it must be stated that I was by no means a God-seeker. I had my own ideas on how my life would play out and they did not involve “God” (lest He cramp my lifestyle of women, drugs, drinks, parties, bars etc). Anyhow, about 3 years I found myself in a helpless and hopeless predicament in which my only hope was the possible existence of God. With nowhere to turn I picked up a Bible, for the first time sincerely wanting to know if it was real or not. All I can say is that God revealed Himself to me through the Bible. Through the Bible, I had a personal experience that drastically changed my life. It was Through my reading of the Bible that I was shown that I was a hell-deserving sinner who had sinned against a holy and pure God. I had turned my back on the God who gave me life and went my own way. A way that consisted of adultery, blasphemy, deceit, theft, ungratefulness, and hatred. But it was through the Word, that God revealed to me that although I deserved hell for my sins, Christ came into the world to die the death that I deserve, so that He can present me before God blameless and holy. And that on the third day, He rose again. It was then that I repented and believed on Him for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of everlasting life. I had always had some kind of mental belief in God, but on that day when He saved me, I passed from the realm of belief into the realm of experience. Inow knew, and know, that Christ died for me and that I have eternal life.

I know that my experience with God is not enough to convince you. But I do know that this convincing life changing experience was the direct result of a sincere reading of the Bible. If you ever want to know for yourself you will have to humble yourself and open up that Book! I would suggest you do so soon, because once you die its too late. Once you die, comes the judgment and then eternity in either a blissful heaven or in the flames of hell.

Interesting (not strictly related) thought…

I have an atheist friend who says that he will NEVER EVER believe in anything supernatural. Even if He saw a Buick pop out of thin air, he said that he would know that said “miracle” would have a natural explanation and that someday science would figure out. Yikes! His is not a matter of “lack of evidence”, its a matter of unvillingness to believe (at the heart level). Basically, his presupposition (that only the natural exists) would not allow him to believe in God even if God were standing right in his face. I hope you are not like him.

Comment #201683

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 29, 2007 2:40 PM (e)

As far as prayer, testing it would only be possible if God played along.

You missed the point. The statement “prayer heals people” is testable, as suggested by IanBrown_101, because both the cause (prayer) and effect (healing) are natural.

On the other hand, your statement “Prayer heals people when God plays along” is not testable unless you can come up with some natural way to determine when “God plays along” that is independent of the healing.

Comment #201694

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 3:08 PM (e)

OK. I see what you are saying. Hmm, what about if the cause is natural but the effect supernatural? For example, a biblical prophecy such as Isaiah 53 which was penned by a man named Isaiah in 800 BC? Here is a bit of it:

Isaiah wrote:

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

What is interesting to me is that this is found in the Jewish Scriptures, not the New Testament. As we all know, the Jews do not believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. We also know that the Christians did not put this into the Jewish Scriptures, I mean why would the Jews, who are zealous for their Scriptures, allow the Christians to alter their Scriptures? They wouldnt! So how did this get in there and why is it so specifically detailed? Was there really a Man two thousands years ago that fulfilled this? I know there was such a Man because He has saved my soul, but these are the questions I would be asking myself if I were you!

Hey man, so you really do not think it is possible for us to come up with a scientific way to test for intelligence? Say we explore a deep cave in Mars and in it we find certain patterns on the walls, some more intricate than others. Would there be any way for us to determine whether they were put there by an intelligent being? Or are we just out of luck? (Even though I dont believe in luck)

Comment #201706

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 29, 2007 3:46 PM (e)

AC wrote:

…Isaiah 53…

Not sure what you’re saying. If you’re asking if the divinity of Jesus is testable, then the strict answer is no. It will become testable when you can identify some physical effects of his divinity. For instance:

Was there really a Man two thousands years ago that fulfilled this? I know there was such a Man because He has saved my soul, but these are the questions I would be asking myself if I were you!

Thank you for your concern. And your question is pretty good. If you can identify some physical effect which would follow from Jesus having fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, you would make your faith testable. But so far you haven’t suggested anything.

Hey man, so you really do not think it is possible for us to come up with a scientific way to test for intelligence?

I’ll resist the puerile retort and assume that you’re talking about an intelligence which isn’t human. Yes, I think there are meaningful tests one can perform to test the characteristics of this intelligence.

(Notably, the ID movement does not propose any such tests, as 1. they don’t propose any tests for anything, 2. they don’t like to discuss the characteristics of the designer, and (and because) 3. they put their foot in their mouth when they do.)

Comment #201708

Posted by David Stanton on August 29, 2007 3:47 PM (e)

AC wrote:

“Then you claim that they have edited the interviewees responses without feedback, yet, we havent even seen the movie so we have no idea whether or not they were fair and faitful in their editing.”

If it was a surprise to the people interviewed that they appeared in the movie, then their comments were obviously edited without feedback. Now, what do you suppose the odds are that the people interviewed will actually be happy with the way the editing was done? Why do you suppose they were not told the true agenda aof the project in the first place? If it turns out that they are happy with the editing, I will happily retract my statement. Why do you assume the editing was done fairly? Do you really believe that the process started out unbiased and the evolved into ID propaganda for some good reason?

The animosity displayed towards creationists is almost universally justified. If you have been following the “debate” for very long then you know that the normal operating procedure for creationists is to be as dishonest a possible and then claim the moral high ground. Take for example the testimony of the school board members in the Dover trial. They lied under oath. This is entirely typical. Creationists constantly use discredited arguments, lie about facts and use personal attacks. Why should we not respond appropriately?

Comment #201710

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 3:56 PM (e)

Thank you for your concern. And your question is pretty good. If you can identify some physical effect which would follow from Jesus having fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, you would make your faith testable. But so far you haven’t suggested anything.

What about the existence of the church? Not just the church in modern times, but those first few hundreds of monotheistic Jews who began worshipping a Man joyfully, to the point of death, because of their conviction that they had witnessed His fulfillment of this prophecy?

Yes, I think there are meaningful tests one can perform to test the characteristics of this intelligence.

Such as?

Comment #201717

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 4:24 PM (e)

If it was a surprise to the people interviewed that they appeared in the movie, then their comments were obviously edited without feedback.

I dont want to spend too much time on this particular discussion so this is the last thing I will say and then we will just have to agree to disagree :).

Just because they are surprised of the title change and the direction that the final cut of the movie took DOES NOT mean that their comments where misedited. Whether they thought they were being interviewed for a movie on ID/Darwinianism or they thought the movie was about cupcakes, does their inteview reflect contempt and disgust for ID? If their inteview does reflect this, then putting it in a movie about the scientific communitys contempt and disgust for ID is warranted.

(Unless of course the filmakers said to them, “As a joke: Say the meanest thing you can about ID! I know you wont really mean it, but just as a joke!” and then they flipped it and made it seem as if that have disdain for ID when in reality they dont.)

Why do you assume the editing was done fairly?

You are right, I shouldnt assume anything. I havent even seen the film! For all I know, after they expose the scientific communities snobbery of ID, they will then turn right around and discredit God’s self-disclosed revelation of how He did it (in the Bible)!

Comment #201719

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 29, 2007 4:38 PM (e)

…but those first few hundreds of monotheistic Jews who began worshipping a Man joyfully, to the point of death, because of their conviction that they had witnessed His fulfillment of this prophecy?

That’s pretty good, actually, but you’ll have to explain how that would be a test of “God exists, and he created this place.” As in, do you think that if the early church did not exist it would disprove the existence of God and His Creation?

Comment #201720

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 29, 2007 4:42 PM (e)

AC:

I see you have no answer for how much falsehood goes into “false pretence”.

AC wrote:

If their inteview does reflect this, then putting it in a movie about the scientific communitys contempt and disgust for ID is warranted.

Of course the scientific community has nothing but contempt or disgust for anti-science movements, and for its attempts to peddle religion for science education. That is not the issue here.

The issue is if the scientific process prohibits or even problematize that scientific ideas are presented or tested. But science has a long record of distinguishing between the person and the idea, and between faith and facts. It has also a vested interest in promoting good scientific explanations.

It is socio-political denialist movements that have made up their mind before confronting facts. Those are the ones that assumes that a movie will “expose the scientific communities snobbery of ID”, or assumes that the above described contempt was a preconceived judgment passed on the movement in question instead of a result of its own actions.

Comment #201721

Posted by David Stanton on August 29, 2007 4:45 PM (e)

AC wrote:

“Just because they are surprised of the title change and the direction that the final cut of the movie took DOES NOT mean that their comments where misedited.”

Agreed. It simply means that they were never given the chance to object to the way in which the editing was done. I wonder why?

The point is that if the movie is attempting to show that scientists have contempt for creationists, about the only way they could make this come out in intervierws was to lie to the interviewees about the purpose of the film. Of course they could then take the quotes out of context to show the contempt without showing the justifiable reasons for it. Quote mining and out of contexzt quoting is common place for creationists. So much so that there is an entire section of talk origins devoted to it.

It is true, I do suspect the worst. It is true, I do have contempt for dishonesty. I have had enough experience with creationists to know that those who oppose real science deserve ridicule. If they don’t want our contempt, all they have to do is start behaving honestly, as the Bible commands.

Comment #201722

Posted by AC on August 29, 2007 4:49 PM (e)

I said wrote:

…but those first few hundreds of monotheistic Jews who began worshipping a Man joyfully, to the point of death, because of their conviction that they had witnessed His fulfillment of this prophecy?

That’s pretty good, actually, but you’ll have to explain how that would be a test of “God exists, and he created this place.” As in, do you think that if the early church did not exist it would disprove the existence of God and His Creation?

Well if it were true that Christ fullfilled such a prophecy, a prophecy about His death,burial, and resurrection, then it would obviously prove that Christ is who He said He is, that is God. And if He claimed that the Bible is His Word, and in the Bible He claims to have created the world, then… we should believe Him.

As for your other question, I will have to think on that! Ttyl.

Comment #201757

Posted by IanBrown_101 on August 29, 2007 7:19 PM (e)

Quoting AC.
‘Well if it were true that Christ fullfilled such a prophecy, a prophecy about His death,burial, and resurrection, then it would obviously prove that Christ is who He said He is, that is God. And if He claimed that the Bible is His Word, and in the Bible He claims to have created the world, then… we should believe Him.’

Or alternatively he, or more likely others, fitted his story to fit the prophecies which were easily accessable at the time.

Records of a mans supposed life written well after the fact that could quite easily have been altered to fit old prophecies are evidence of nothing.

Incidentally, the ID movement isn’t reviled by science because it mentions the supernatural, it’s reviled because they try to push their nonsense into science without having any research to back it up.

Comment #201781

Posted by Henry J on August 29, 2007 8:53 PM (e)

Re Isaiah Chapter 53 verses 5 through 10 -

I wonder if those who call that a prophecy about Jesus may have neglected to read chapter 52 of that book?

That looks to me like a case of taking something way out of context.

Henry

Comment #201801

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on August 29, 2007 10:13 PM (e)

Popper’s Ghost:

Sorry for delayed answer.

Popper's Ghost wrote:

See what I wrote above:

Oh, it was a rhetorical question for once, I needed to vent. But thanks for the encouragement.

Comment #202057

Posted by AC on August 30, 2007 4:36 PM (e)

As per Henry J’s request, I will post in their entirety chapters 52 and 53 of the book of the prophet Isaiah which was penned circa 800 BC.

Isaiah wrote:

1 Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Shall no longer come to you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise;
Sit down, O Jerusalem!
Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion!

3 For thus says the LORD:

“ You have sold yourselves for nothing,
And you shall be redeemed without money.”

4 For thus says the Lord GOD:

“ My people went down at first
Into Egypt to dwell there;
Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 Now therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD,

“ That My people are taken away for nothing?
Those who rule over them
Make them wail,” says the LORD,

“ And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
6 Therefore My people shall know My name;
Therefore they shall know in that day
That I am He who speaks:

‘ Behold, it is I.’”
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,

“ Your God reigns!”
8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices,
With their voices they shall sing together;
For they shall see eye to eye
When the LORD brings back Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together,
You waste places of Jerusalem!
For the LORD has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.
11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
Be clean,
You who bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the LORD will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle[b] many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.

and…

Isaiah wrote:

1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b]and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

Comment #202077

Posted by Henry J on August 30, 2007 5:25 PM (e)

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

A man??? Those two chapters are talking about the city of Jerusalem.

Henry

Comment #202088

Posted by AC on August 30, 2007 6:26 PM (e)

I wrote:

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

Henry wrote:

A man??? Those two chapters are talking about the city of Jerusalem.

Isaiah wrote:

3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

In the beginning of chapter 52 God is promising that He will redeem Jerusalem “without money” and “and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” and then in verse 12 He begins talking about how He will accomplish this continuing into Isaiah 53. In my opinion, this is clear. Please dont just write this off! Its your eternal soul that is at stake!

Jesus said, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:23-24

Comment #202125

Posted by GSLamb on August 30, 2007 8:23 PM (e)

AC:

Whether people on this board have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior is immaterial to the matter at hand.

A few points that are:

From Mark Mathis’s initial letter.

We are interested in asking you a number of questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.

The brief summary of Crossroads.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/upload/2007/0…

From the Expelled press release.

The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. The creators of Expelled crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions.

The first selection is a rather neutral wording, asking for Myers’s input on the Evolution/Creation/ID “controversy.” To put this in perspective, imagine if I had written to interview you about the Jewish/Christian/Muslim disconnect regarding Jesus.

Selection two. Not just neutral-seeming, but going out of its way to not use loaded language. Continuing my previous example, you have looked up my documentary and see a description claiming that it looks at Jesus through the eyes of many religions.

Our final selection. No longer asking to discuss, this confronts noted scientists and shows that “freedom of thought has been expelled….” This tosses aside neutrality, fervently embracing one side of the debate. Finishing my example, you stumble across an advert for the documentary film Cross Purposes that “confronts hardline Christians about their dogmatic view of Jesus.” Could you hazard a guess as to how your interview will be portrayed?

Taking Myers at his word, it does not sound as if he was confronted with anything. Having lurked on this forum for several years, I can attest that Myers relishes being confronted by those skeptical of evolution.

Having a neutral interview being touted as “confronting” the interviewee is a deception. Either you are deceiving the public or the person you have interviewed.