Expelled and MySpace: confluence of teh stoopid

By Phil Plait | April 28, 2008 1:30 pm

I’m not a huge fan of MySpace; the layout is awful, the interface nonsensical, the actual social networking capabilities limited*.

Now imagine taking the epic dumbosity that is Expelled, and putting it on MySpace. You might expect a black hole of stoopid would form from the incredible density of nonsense in one place.

You’d be right.

The caretakers of the Expelled MySpace page did something so mind-bogglingly silly that you’d think it had to be a joke; they put up a poll (scroll down a bit), asking the question, "Do you think the theory of Intelligent Design should be taught in our education system?"

Evidently, a little while after the poll went up, unsurprisingly, it was heavily leaning toward "yes". But then PZ noticed, as did many others. You can guess how things went after that:

Heh. Don’t let me stop anyone from piling on, by the way. I suspect eventually the poll will be pulled, once the caretakers of the page figure out which one is the hole in the ground.



* That hasn’t stopped me from using it, of course, but that’s mostly due to legacy. It was one of the first socnets, but that doesn’t stop it from being an interface nightmare.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Cool stuff, Humor, Religion

Comments (86)

  1. hale_bopp

    I love it that “What is it?” is ahead of “yes”.

    I once heard someone say on a podcast (I believe it was Ze Frank) that the only explanation he could come up with for the look of the average Myspace page is that myspace put a button on every page that says “Make Page Ugly” and people repeatedly press the button.

  2. Bill Ringo

    I trieds and got an ‘honest to big red eye’ brick wall. Sponsored by married women who want dates. Classy.

  3. Richard Wolford

    Considering the very low number of ‘yes’ votes, my assumption was that the page simply wasn’t well trafficked. When PZ issued his fatwa, and I, being a loyal Pharyngulite obliged, traffic clearly shot up at least as far as the poll showed. Of course, not the traffic they would want; reading the comments made my head spin. It clearly shows that the atheist-evolutionist-kitten eating conspiracy needs a lot of work :)

  4. Celtic_Evolution

    Has anyone else noticed just how universally panned this movie is getting? Every mainstream movie review outlet that I’ve found has just destroyed this movie. Entertainment Weekly, NY Times, TV Guide, Variety… the list goes on and on…

    A sample quote from the NY Times review:

    Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn “Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.

    “Expelled” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). It has smoking guns and drunken logic.

    Beautiful…

  5. zeb

    Interesting…ID isn’t supposed to be religious (at least according to IDers) but the vast majority of comments seem to have Bible verses in them, or at least mention God/Jesus. Hmmm…

  6. Todd W.

    I can’t find the poll. :-(

  7. Captain Swoop

    It appears to have gone already

  8. Jonathan

    [quote] Interesting…ID isn’t supposed to be religious (at least according to IDers) but the vast majority of comments seem to have Bible verses in them, or at least mention God/Jesus. Hmmm… [/quote]

    If you’re expecting consistency with the DI I’m afraid to say that you may be asking for too much. Despite claiming to be completely secular and scientific the DI has whole heartedly embraced this movie.

    Remember, these are the same guys who claimed that breeding animals by artificial selection is not an example of evolution but of intelligent design. Yet they have no problem claiming that when artificial selection is used on humans it is an example of Darwinism and evil.

  9. It’s such a shame that the poll is pulled already. I was looking forward to submitting my opinion on the matter.

  10. ShavenYak

    It’s also quite ironic (in the Alanis Morisette sense of the word) that Expelled is promoting itself on MySpace, when MySpace is known for having deleted atheist groups. Who’s expelling whom, again?

  11. KC

    I was going to comment that the poll is now gone, but see that others have discovered it, too. This is why Internet polls are dubious in the first place, and amount to little more than which side can generate the most links to it.

    Is putting a poll on Myspace stupid? Not necessarily. Depending on the number of links, they may have succeeded in advertising to people who didn’t know Expelled existed, simultaneously cultivating an us-vs-them level of support. But, since they pulled the poll, that undercuts that effect – assuming the poll went up today.

    Which brings us to quibble time! When ID supporters say Darwinism, they refer to random evolution. Selective breeding is directed evolution (even Young Earth Creationists believe in microevolution). Thus it’s not a case of doubletalk.

    What some have done is latch onto ID because they see it as vindicating Creationism. Yet ID doesn’t rule out directed evolution. That’s not quite the same thing. Technically, the premise of 2001:A Space Odyssey is ID. While that’s a work of fiction, there’s nothing to rule that out in ID. However, I don’t think many Creationists would be comfortable with that aspect.

  12. david D

    There’s a link over at the Skepchick site that will take you to a Christian review of the film–and it’s not what you would think:

    http://filmchatblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/expelled-reviews-up.html

    The review is pretty good and points out the glaring deficiencies in the film, without having to use terms like “stoopid.”

    Refreshing in a way; a well-written criticism of a flawed “documentary” (guess it’s right up there with ‘Loose Change’ and most of the Michael Moore oeuvre)–done without name calling.

  13. “…layout is awful, the interface nonsensical…”

    THANK YOU! Everytime I click on something in My Space it takes me someplace I didn’t intend to go.

    I hate My Space with a passion usually reserved for ex wives.

  14. Henrik

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that, in order to post a comment on the site, you must be “a friend”, meaning the admin of the site must approve of you in the first place. Not much of a fair game. I was going to post a comment and see how long it took for them to delete it, but now I didn’t get the chance… Expelled keeps on expelling people who don’t agree with them…. Ahh, the irony…

  15. JB

    poll is here :)
    [url]http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/256557/[/url]

    (I hope the link commands work) :)

  16. If there was an actual scientific theory of intelligent design, then it should be taught in school. But there isn’t such a scientific theory, so the question is as nonsensical as “do you think pigs should fly?”

  17. Tom Woolf

    The PollDaddy link JB put up works like a charm. One more “NO” tallied (but only because the option of NO FREAKING WAY was not available).

  18. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    the layout is awful, the interface nonsensical

    Oh good. It’s not just me. I thought I was getting dumb in my middle age. I had the misfortune of setting up a minimal profile recently so I could look at some friends’ photos and…wow, that hurt.

  19. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    /me suddenly notices the MySpace page is named “Expelled the Movement”, resists making jokes that will violate the commenting policy

  20. Now we need to get the comments there as heavily weighted as the poll is. Don’t you just *love* unscientific polls? ^_^

  21. The poll is no longer on their myspace page – guess they finally saw the overwhelming no’s to the poll…. I tried leaving a comment (negative..) on their page, but you have to be a friend to leave a comment and I wasn’t interested in calling them a “friend”. – Jim.

  22. aiabx: Please stop using bad words in your comments. That is why I deleted your comments. Please read the comment policy. Thanks.

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/04/26/comment-policy-yet-again/

  23. Richard Wolford

    I just left a nice comment at PollDaddy. Now, how do we get the BA and (the) PZ to link to this poll permanently? Too fun.

  24. Ibeechu

    I hate MySpace,too, BA, so you’re not alone (although, kind of ironic since any time I contact you personally, I use MySpace :P ). It may be even more of a programming debacle than Windows ME. Horrible, horrible.

    But, about the poll: This makes my roflcopter go soi soi soi soi soi soi soi.
    But it does sort of go against my thought that the average MySpace user is an idiot :/ (of course excluding everyone here :P )
    God, I love tongue-smilies. :P

  25. drew terry

    Evidently, a little while after the poll went up, unsurprisingly, it was heavily leaning toward “yes”. But then PZ noticed, as did many others. You can guess how things went after that:

    How scientific of you.

  26. drew terry

    Expelled is not about atheism, or ID, or evolution.

    Of course, anyone who has seen the movie would know that.

    God forbid a scientist would want to see evidence before execution.

  27. Ibeechu

    Yeah, Drew. God forbid Richard Dawkins sees it. I’d say PZ should see it, too, but he’d probably get kicked out or something.

    Oh, wait…

  28. Brouha

    Anybody that is interested in this topic should just see the movie. Since I’m a fan of the BA and a daily reader, and there was absolutely nothing else on this weekend – I decided to go.

    I believe in evolution, I think the Nazi stuff was WAY over the top in the movie, but I sort of feel embarrassed by the name calling and hate mongering on the pro-evolution side (and yeah, on the other side as well!). This movie wasn’t made by “evil people” as the BA and PZ state in their blogs (win the argument with “science” guys….you’re sounding like my kids…;..PZ in particular).

    BA – I own your last book, I’m pre-ordering your next as soon as I can, I dig (and DIGG) this blog mightily – but I’m really put off by your attitude towards this movie (even though I agree with your scientific position – odd!). I really feel creeped out when professors and editors lose jobs when they do fairly trivial things like just mentioning ID in Peer reviewed articles or as a citation in a paper.

    Anyway, again, just hope ideas can be debated, and that people will have access to all sides of the debates (and then be convinced that science has and will continue to provide the answers). Name calling is for…..I shan’t term it…

  29. Michael Lonergan

    I feel like throwing my TV out of my window. I don’t know why I do this, but I just finished watching Glenn Beck. He had an interview with Ben Stein, who, once again, was proclaiming how great this movie was. FYI, Beck will be interviewing Stein for 1 hour on Friday.

  30. Derik N

    Rather than pay to get into it, either get a church group to pay your way or pay your way to another movie and sneak into it

  31. Brango

    A little perspective here please… if you flunked a math test by answering 2 + 2 = hairdryers, and then got mad and made a movie that trashed your educational establishment for being anti-hairdryerist, then you’d be rightfully laughed at for being a sore loser and an idiot!

    This is what Ben Stein did!!

    He’s a sore loser and an idiot… LAUGH AT HIM!!!

  32. Tyler Durden

    Or download the .torrent. There must be a dozen CAM rips by now.

  33. This movie wasn’t made by “evil people” as the BA and PZ state in their blogs (win the argument with “science” guys….you’re sounding like my kids…;..PZ in particular).

    I dunno… I think that deliberately misleading people and deliberately misrepresenting the truth in order to make money and damage the credibility of others is “evil”. The movie is intended to mislead and misrepresents the truth – even if you allow for ID, it still links evolution with Nazism… on the strength of that ALONE it is evil, but since ID supporters refuse to produce evidence it is probably fair to day that ID is bunk. Thus the movie also misrepresents the scientific validity of ID as it compares to evolution. The movie links PZ et al. to Nazism.

    Overall, it seems evil by the measurements I’d use, and that means the people who made it are evil people.

  34. Henrik sez:

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that, in order to post a comment on the site, you must be “a friend”, meaning the admin of the site must approve of you in the first place. Not much of a fair game. I was going to post a comment and see how long it took for them to delete it, but now I didn’t get the chance… Expelled keeps on expelling people who don’t agree with them…. Ahh, the irony…

    Yeah, quite a cute system. Now I get it why MySpace is the favorite SocNet for bad rock bands and such! But I don’t think your comment would have felt very comfortable if you had left and abandoned it among the Hordes of Mordor anyways. Or was it Hordes of Morons. Dang, every time I got Stein-rolled, my brain cells and all have to reboot from scratch.

    ^_^J.

  35. Brouha

    BA – “Doctor Who” is on Top Gear tonight. He’s actually racing a lap (well, already “raced” – I won’t spoil the results for you). If you miss it catch the re-run on bbc.com.

    “Evolving Squid”- I get your point, and I think you make a valid argument, but I respectfully disagree in that the makers of the movie created it to “make money and damage the credibility of others”. Again, I disagree with the science of it, but I respect the fact that it makes an argument that all sides should be represented. And I think, unfortunately, that they presented a much more adult version of an argument than the other side.

    Look, Dawkins, Shermer (who edits one of my favorite mags), and PZ came across as a bitty, um, “unprepared”- and I know there was “some” (wink wink) favorable film editing- but come on-“alien seeding”, “end of religion as the main course to the side dish”, “spaghetti monster”, etc. etc.

    If anybody is hot under the collar about the movie I’d just say maybe try to go see it (even if you have to hold your nose) for yourself.

  36. Brouha

    http://www.expelledexposed.com

    That’s a good website for anybody that wants to see the other side of the Expelled movie (I stole that from the BA’s earlier post). Read all sides, open and honest debate, treat people well, and play nice in the sandbox…..that’s what I vote for.

  37. Again, I disagree with the science of it, but I respect the fact that it makes an argument that all sides should be represented. And I think, unfortunately, that they presented a much more adult version of an argument than the other side.

    The problem, Brouha, is that there is no “other side”. The “side” they present is unsupportable by logic or evidence. There simply is no other side. If there was some other argument supported by evidence, then I would agree with you that making an argument that all sides should be represeted is fair commentary.

    But there is no other side, so the movie makes an argument intended to mislead. That means the film’s makers deliberately intend to mislead the public for their own profit.

    Should another side to the argument appear, I feel confident that today’s scientific community will ensure that the other side gets fair treatment. What the makers of EXPELLED fail to grok, and what ID proponents in general fail to grok, is that right now, today, there is no “other side” to explain the differentiation of species that is supportable by evidence.

    As for abiogenesis (the origin of life, something that has NOTHING to do with evolution I might add, but is erroneously linked with evolution by ID proponents in an attempt to confuse the issue), well that’s a bit fuzzier I suppose, but before anyone can expect that scientists will accept the notion of a magical sky fairy designing life, there has to be evidence to support the hypothesis. Again, there is none.

    No matter how you shake it, there is simply no “other side” from a science point of view. Despite years of asking that those people on the “other side” make a scientific argument, they have been unwilling to do so – probably because they are unable, but certainly they have been unwilling.

    So I stand by my original analysis. The movie is evil, and the people who made it are evil.

  38. Celtic_Evolution

    wow… how surprising… it’s drew terry to come defend “Expelled”, all the while making totally false statements.

    Expelled is not about atheism, or ID, or evolution.

    Yes it is, yes it is, and oh yes, it certainly IS.

    Of course, anyone who has seen the movie would know that.

    I have in fact seen it… if for no other reason than to be able to comment on it intelligently… and based on your statement above, it is clear to me that YOU have not. And believe me, having seen it first hand, I can tell you that it is without a DOUBT the most transparent piece of backhanded, anti-evolution, pro-ID propoganda I have ever seen.

    Every single time, and I mean every time, any discussion of evolution comes up in this movie, it is dispicably interspersed with images of Stalin, Nazi Gas chambers, Krushchev, and even a scene from flippin Planet of the Apes, of all things! So you tell ME, drew terry, how this film, if you’ve SEEN it, is NOT about evolution, ID, or atheism.

    ANYONE who has seen that movie wouldn’t dare make that statement… it’s not even subtle in its method. I was in the small theater where it showed, and I can tell you… most people were either irritated, confused, or amused. Very few seemed genuinely intrerested.

    And if you don’t take MY word for it, please read the reviews I pointed to in my previous post of other people who have “actually seen it” and don’t take all too kindly to the films tactics. I hate to break it to you, drew… but it ain’t just “us science elitists” who are calling this film out for what it is. Read and learn.

  39. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    And I think, unfortunately, that they presented a much more adult version of an argument than the other side.

    “The other side” has 150 years of scholarly journals. Expelled is a piece of propaganda. I don’t think you and I share the same idea of what constitutes “adult”, or for that matter an “argument”.

  40. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Brouha

    I really feel creeped out when professors and editors lose jobs when they do fairly trivial things like just mentioning ID in Peer reviewed articles or as a citation in a paper.

    This is where I take issue with your position, Brouha… it’s puzzling to me, really…

    You make that statement, and then you link to the “expelledexposed” website, where, if you had really taken the time to read through it, you would have noticed that none of these professors or editors lost their jobs. Not one. Not a single one.

    So, I have to say it creeps me out when a movie deliberately twists the facts to garner sympathy. And if the only thing that creeped you out about that movie was the “professors and editors losing their jobs” (which they didn’t), then what exactly creeps you out? The grainy black-and white images of the gas chambers, and the clear correlation the movie was making between evolution and nazism? THAT didn’t creep you out? Were you able to make it through the whole thing?

  41. Mark Hansen

    Brouha,
    Would dishonest or underhanded fit better than evil? If so, what is the religious stance on dishonesty or underhandedness? Something like “For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly”?* Certainly sounds like dishonesty is ranked amongst evil acts.

    *Deuteronomy 25:16, NIV for those who really must know.

  42. Brouha

    Yes “Celtic Evolution” I was able to “make it through the whole thing” (with two Gatorades! horay!- kidding…).

    Again, I agree on the science, so I don’t want to argue there (mostly b/c we would just agree on it- hopefully like adults). I linked to “expelledexposed.com” b/c I’m one of those few people that think that students should be shown all sides of the various issues.

    Of course I have read through the whole site. That’s why I linked to it. I think they did a good job debunking Expelled’s more egregious errors. But honestly, you really think that no editor or professor has ever suffered (and in many documented cases- lost their jobs) from just mentioning ID? What do you think about the specific cases mentioned in the movie?

    This whole thing just reminds me of Rush Limbaugh’s whole “don’t read or listen to anything other than me” attitude. It’s ideologues like him that are afraid of people reading and investigating all sides. He’s afraid of people having the freedom to read all sides.

    Evolutionary Biologists will eventually give us a coherent theory as to how the first living cell came to be (or they better have- given how much money we give them!). In the meantime, they have no consensus (as of now) as to how this came to be (well, unless you believe Dawkin’s “Alien” theory).

    I’m just posting my little thoughts here because I’m sick of the close-minded, lame name calling from both sides. I hope that we can foster intelligent scientific discussion (that might avoid calling people “teh evil…”). People make statements like that when they can’t win on the scientific argument(s).

    Pucker up BA and PZ, win the argument on science (humbly said).

    PS- Dr. Who- (not so good on the lap…)

  43. Mark Hansen

    And a thank you to JB for revealing the poll’s location. What’s the point of them asking a question if they don’t want to know the answer or already know what it will be and don’t like it?

  44. Dave D

    Brouha–

    You will find, my friend, that this is not the friendliest crowd to have a discussion with. I linked to it earlier today, but there is a good review of the movie at filmchatblog (I found it over at Skepchick’s site). If you are looking for a decent review without someone calling someone else evil or “stoopid” you should check it out.

    The level of vitriol and the (sometimes) lack of passionate but reasoned arguments is one of the more disappointing aspects of this otherwise excellent blog.

  45. Brouha

    This is the best science blog out there. I wish I was as funny and as informed as the BA. I wouldn’t really be surprised if he pens a smack down on these posts that is more informed and entertaining than these recent ones out there….But, well, I still think I’m smarter…;) yabba yabba.

    I’m just kidding (badly). But Phil, really, am I out of line for trying to lamely defend “Expelled” after seeing it? Have you seen it? Have you changed your opinion(s) since you have? Even if you completely side with one side on condemning it (like you have thus far) do you think it makes any valid points?

  46. Reed

    Brouha

    ID is isn’t science. It’s proponents have demonstrated neither interest nor ability in actual science. ID is a religiously motivated movement dedicated to suppressing actual science in favor of nonsense, purely to make it compatible with religious dogma. YMMV, but I’d call that evil.

    Evolutionary Biologists will eventually give us a coherent theory as to how the first living cell came to be

    As you have been repeatedly told, evolutionary theory doesn’t claim to explain abiogenesis, and doesn’t depend on any particular theory of abiogenesis. Evolution describes what happens after life appears. Confusing the two issues is classic creationist misdirection.

    What do you think about the specific cases mentioned in the movie?

    You need to go back and read expelled exposed again. Each case is described, and it is quite clear that none of them suffered merely from mentioning ID or holding ID beliefs. The fact that expelled claims they were is a good example of gross dishonesty. If you fear that site might be biased, you are free to look at the sources those accounts were drawn from.

    Pucker up BA and PZ, win the argument on science (humbly said).

    There is no science argument, because ID has no science on it’s side. This is a political argument, and exposing the creators of expelled as liars is both reasonable and worthwhile.

  47. AndyD

    Brouha,

    Check out the youtube series on “Why people laugh at Creationists”. In them you’ll see Ben Stein promoting Expelled and stating unequivocally that “Science leads to killing”.

    If you agree with this then I can understand you being annoyed by science sympathisers. However, if you disagree strongly with this statement then hopefully you can see Stein’s real intent with Expelled and also share some of the concerns of the science sympathisers.

    Now, I don’t doubt that it’s possible to see this movie and come away from it with your own idea of what its saying – just as some people can claim to see a message in a Jackson Pollock paint spill – but Stein has made it clear what his intended message is and if you disagree with him about the intent then you need to take that up with him, not the scientists who condemn his message.

  48. Hoonser

    At this point they may be thinking the best way to get people to watch this movie is to just emphasize how stupid it, and everybody involved with it is. They’re not even interested in spreading intelligent design, they just want to make their money back.

  49. «bønez_brigade»

    @Hoonser,
    After watching Ben Stein’s interview on Craig Ferguson’s show, I didn’t find Stein to be too serious about what he’s pushing (other than to get tickets sold). He cracked a few jokes about watching the movie while high; and I’m sure the supposedly-fired professors mentioned in it would be real happy to know that we might need to be high while hearing about their supposed firings.
    Here’s one quote from Stein (@ ~3min 30sec):
    “Light up your favorite bong […] and see if perhaps we can change your mind.”
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8HRMabkNNZM

  50. Richie

    One really has to wonder. ‘Expelled’ couldn’t of generated a worse rap for itself had they really tried.
    From how I see it, Expelled has shot itself in the foot, repeatedly. Then it’s reloaded the gun and started on the other foot. All the time trying to claim that Science is the one pulling the trigger.

    Are the makers and funders TRYING to qualify for “Worlds Largest Stuff-Ups”? They sure qualify for being “Most out-of-touch with Reality”

  51. StevoR

    Wrote # ShavenYak on 28 Apr 2008 at 2:42 pm :

    “It’s also quite ironic (in the Alanis Morisette sense of the word) that Expelled is promoting itself on MySpace, when MySpace is known for having deleted atheist groups. Who’s expelling whom, again?”

    Haven’t heard about that Myspace expelling athiests. What’s the story there?

    A bit of humour and clever vitriol when directed at the right targets and not just abuse seems fair enough enough to me.

    The only place this South Aussie hears about the ‘Expelled’ motion and its soft & smelly movement is on this website (Well okay – this website & PZ’s) so its probably – make that almost certainly – not coming out in Oz & most other nations and the damage (such little as it may be causing) is again limited to the chumps of your Bible belt and the surrounding coasts. Outside US – indeed even inside it – I’m thinking this deplorable putrid propaganda pice is sinking out of sight with barely a glug.

    I doubt its done much more than confirm the small thoughts of some in the Choir its preaching to & rile up the athiest / scientist minority.

    I’d say forget about ‘Expelled’ [from the bloated bowels of teh Kreationist Klan] its been voided already .. ;-)

    … & just let it rest in well-deserved oblivion. 8)

  52. StevoR

    Incidentally, I _do_ think Creationism / ID(iot)-ism should be taught in science class …

    BUT JUST

    …. as one short lesson and example of what is & isn’t science and why.
    ;-)

    Teach kids some folks think a diety or dieties created the cosmos (eg. Allah, Yahweh, Shiva, Trinity, Matrix creator, Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, Ogga-Bogga The Great Sloth, ad nauseam …) then teach them why science doesn’t adopt this non-theory which isn;t verified or supported by scientific evidence then go on tospend all the other classes exploring the real biology, astronomy, geology, etc ..

    If the ID (iots) mob want to have fully equal time with real boiology to have their case argued though then I’d only agree with the proviso that every Sunday, a science lecture will accompany – and refute the Preist .. After all ‘do unto others’ … ;-)

    BTW. Haven’t done the poll. Such questions are usually too simplistic and lack too many ‘other’ boxes.

  53. Macchivellian

    My assessment is that ‘Expelled’ is directed -mainly – at just two groups who are at opposite extremes of the argument :

    1) Those who already believe in ID/ Creationism & wish to have their beleifs strengthened and reinforced and who will use it to boost their morale & their “case” such as it is.

    &

    2) Atheists and scientists who they wish to provoke and insult. The movie creators hope to create a strong reaction by this group against the movie and its makers /participants which they’ll use for whipping up publicity and for propaganda purposes (ie. The “why are they so angry if they’ve naught to hide” canard) & to claim “censorship” if the sceintists get it blocked from screening anywhere.

    How do we counter this?

    Well Group 1, sadly, are pretty much a lost cause so damage minimisation by perhaps chipping away at them with reality-vased facts and reasonable behaviour (not insults back, all that achieves is further polarisation)

    Group 2 can best respond with failing to take the bait. Directing peoples attention to the flaws in the movies logic and credibility & sites like ‘Expelled Exoposed’ is a good response but best done after the other person has raised the movie and NOT before. So this is one of thsoe rare cases where “Ignore it & it will go away” is for once largely sound advice. ;-)

    Or as someone here put it :

    [Quote] “I’d say forget about ‘Expelled’ [from the bloated bowels of teh Kreationist Klan] its been voided already ..

    … & just let it rest in well-deserved oblivion.” [/Unquote]

  54. bassmanpete

    I’m just posting my little thoughts here because I’m sick of the close-minded, lame name calling from both sides. I hope that we can foster intelligent scientific discussion (that might avoid calling people “teh evil…”). People make statements like that when they can’t win on the scientific argument(s).

    Pucker up BA and PZ, win the argument on science (humbly said).

    The scientific argument is out there in, literally, thousands of books, magazines, and journals. The BA & PZ (plus many commenters here, including myself) are understandably frustrated that creationists just won’t accept the evidence, claim to have an alternative theory, but absolutely refuse to offer one shred of evidence in support of said theory.

    Thanks JB for pointing to the new location of the poll. I’ve voted NO (#420,150) – the YESes haven’t cracked 1,000 yet.

  55. Gavin Flower

    I looked at the Expelled support site, and almost added this comment (but did not want to become part of Facebook):

    “EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED” Seems to sum up the movie very well.

    “Intelligent Design” is a notion rather than a theory. It lacks any kind of model for making predictions that can be tested. Also its adherents seem to lack any kind of understanding of logic. There are are a lot of models for evolution, some that you can run on a computer. Evolution provides the best explanation for the diversity of the species. Intelligent design requires a creator, but such a creator, but by the “logic” of “Intelligent Design” that creator, would need a creator to create it… hence “Intelligent Design” leads to a paradox, without providing any useful kind of explanation.

    I once attended 4 seminars from someone trying to undermine Evolution, but every single argument they presented was deeply flawed – it didn’t help them that they did not have a clue as to what the theory evolution actually was.

    When intelligent people are forcibly barred from watching the movie, it makes people wonder at the motives of the producers.

  56. drew terry

    Michael Lonergan wrote:

    I feel like throwing my TV out of my window.

    That is a great idea.

    Reed wrote:

    ID is isn’t science. It’s proponents have demonstrated neither interest nor ability in actual science. ID is a religiously motivated movement dedicated to suppressing actual science in favor of nonsense, purely to make it compatible with religious dogma.

    I am confused; if this list is in general correct:
    1. ID is NOT science.
    2. IDer’s do not claim ID is science.
    3. IDer’s do not claim to be scientists.
    4. Claims IDer’s make are clearly religious.
    5. IDer’s do not claim religion is scientific.
    6. Science does claim religion is not science.
    7. ID ‘theory’ misrepresents ID as scientific?

    Is the issue with the use of the word ‘theory’?

    I just don’t see what science gets so worked up about?

    Is it because Dawson et. al. were exposed as being hypocritical?

    Seems like science should pay no attention to religion – unless science deems religion a credible threat.

    Science claims religious claims lack merit, yet science is attends to supposedly meritless claims. If the claims are truly meritless, that will be self-evident in time; why waste time now?

    The dishonesty and distortion science employs attacking religion makes me wonder:

    What does science fear about religion?

  57. I am confused; if this list is in general correct:
    1. ID is NOT science.
    2. IDer’s do not claim ID is science.
    3. IDer’s do not claim to be scientists.
    4. Claims IDer’s make are clearly religious.
    5. IDer’s do not claim religion is scientific.
    6. Science does claim religion is not science.
    7. ID ‘theory’ misrepresents ID as scientific?

    1. Correct
    2. Incorrect. IDers do claim ID is science.
    3. Incorrect. IDers do claim to be scientists and/or have the support of untold legions of scientists
    4. Correct
    5. Incorrect
    6. Correct.
    7. Correct.

  58. Dave D

    IF you have any doubts about academics getting “Expelled” for the wrong views, check out today’s news story about Dr. William Gray.

    Look at the negative descriptions of this documentary. Would you apply any of them to “An Inconvenient Truth?”

  59. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    win the argument on science

    Done a century ago. Putting your fingers in your ears and yelling, “Nuh uh, it’s not true you, Nazis” doesn’t change the facts, and that’s what Expelled does.

    Look at the negative descriptions of this documentary. Would you apply any of them to “An Inconvenient Truth?”

    If Al Gore’s thesis was “people who disagree with me are like Nazis, therefore global warming is true”, then I would. I guess I missed that part.

  60. drew terry

    Evolving Squid:

    Thanks for the confirmation; I appreciate it.

    So if I understand correctly:

    2. Incorrect. IDers do claim ID is science.

    2. IDer’s do claim ID is theory but overlook the lack of evidence needed to be considered scientific proof.

    3. Incorrect. IDers do claim to be scientists and/or have the support of untold legions of scientists.

    3. IDer’s claim to be scientists yet lack the credentials needed to be considered scientists.

    Please feel free to comment further as needed. Thanks.

  61. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Brouha

    I linked to “expelledexposed.com” b/c I’m one of those few people that think that students should be shown all sides of the various issues.

    Agreed, and you won’t get an argument from anyone here that all sides of an issue should be discussed, as long as all of those sides are relevant. What ID does is equivilent to asking an American History class to consider teaching that the Chinese actually won the Revolutionary War. It may be an “alternative point of view” technically, but it has no merit, so it doesn’t belong in that class. Again, you can’t bring any idea that jumps into your head into a science class and present it as an “alternative” that NEEDS to be discussed part of the curriculum… there are minimum criteria that must be met and ID just doesn’t fit the bill…

    But honestly, you really think that no editor or professor has ever suffered (and in many documented cases- lost their jobs) from just mentioning ID?

    Well, I don’t know… “suffered” is a very subjective term. HOWEVER, the point is that insofar as this movie is concerned, they are not making the claim that some people simply “suffered” as a result of their mentioning ID… they make the very clear claim that these people were fired, dismissed, or otherwise “Expelled” from their careers, blacklisted and prevented from succeeding or pursuing a career in their chosen fields as a result of the “scientific establishment”. And those are just out and out lies! If you want to have a discussion over people feeling like they are “suffering” because no-one in their peer group wants to listen to their woo-woo fantasies, then fine… I can listen to that debate. But this movie goes WAY beyond that simple claim. It is deceitful, devious and tactless… and that’s why it needs to be rightfully ridiculed, and has been by any reputable reviewer that’s seen it.

  62. Celtic_Evolution

    @ drew terry

    Seems like science should pay no attention to religion – unless science deems religion a credible threat.

    Agreed! And science and the scientific community WOULD pay no attention to religion… up until the point where religion tries to assert itself as science, and then tries to get itself taught as science in science classes.

    Why do you still not get that part of the issue? It is the very heart of the matter… and at the very heart of this movie.

  63. Taz

    Drew Terry – “What does science fear about religion?”Science doesn’t fear religion, science gets pissed when religion tries to dictate scientific conclusions base on religious faith. Science doesn’t insist that its theories be taught from the pulpit, and it feels that religion should not expect its dogma to be taught in science class.

  64. aiabx

    BA: apologies for the bad language. There’s something about this whole Expelled mess that raises my hackles and allows intemperate language to flow.

    What I ought to have said was that I was proud that one of the boots in this poll hiney-kicking was mine.

    I’ll be good now.

  65. Classic I love it.

  66. Kol

    “What does science fear about religion?”

    Hmm.

    Well, there was this guy name Gallileo. Back in 1632, religion didn’t like the fact that his scientific observations contradicted their “theories” so they put him under house arrest for the rest of his life.

    Further back, there was the Library at Alexandria but I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone of that tragic loss to humanity.

    Then there’s the Scopes Monkey Trial. Again, no need to rehash a point to make it.

    For centuries, the question has been:

    “What does religion fear about science?”

    More accurately, what does religion fear about the proliferation of knowledge?

    Well, of course, knowledge is power and if everyone has power, Those in Power are hobbled.

    As it turns out, the ability to reason for ones self is a trait that the vast majority of humans posses. We’ve also reached a time in our history where many of us have chosen to embrace the fact that the powerfully intricate lumps of matter we carry in our skulls are free to scrutinize the teaching of our ancestors and come to conclusions based on evidence we, ourselves discover through experimentation and observation.

    Now, consider me; one individual.

    I think of myself as a scientist in the best way that that term can be applied to a living being. I look deep and I look far. I ask questions and seek their answers. I’m also childlike in that very often, the answers I receive are followed with, “but why?”

    “Because I told you so”, no longer cuts it. Humanity has “evolved” into a society of thinking creatures that are able (if not always willing) to comprehend the complexities of our universe.

    That’s something I’m (picking a word here) frakking proud to realize!

    So, if you ask me if there is a “god”, I’ll tell you that no one who has ever lived has a true definition for that word. Could be that there is only one consciousness and when it got lonely, it dreamed of everything and decided to live each life simultaneously but independently. It’s a space-time thing.

    For us humans facing reality, we don’t really hate or fear religion any more. We’re just tired of being treated like little kids.

    BTW, being a scientist doesn’t mean you’re automatically an “atheist”. It’s just that no one here has it right.

  67. 2. IDer’s do claim ID is theory but overlook the lack of evidence needed to be considered scientific proof.

    Essentially correct. More correctly is that that simply overlook the lack of evidence. A preponderance of verifiable supporting evidence is what promotes a whacked-out hypothesis to the status of theory.

    IDers propose a hypothesis, then make irrational arguments unsupported by any evidence, and use those arguments to claim that the hypothesis is so well supported that it is a theory.

    3. IDer’s claim to be scientists yet lack the credentials needed to be considered scientists.

    IDers claim to be scientists, and some of them even have academic credentials… but having a degree and being a scientist are not the same thing. I have a degree in physics, but I am not a physicist in the sense that my saying that I think protons are really little cubes should be lent any more weight than if some guy on the street says the same thing – indeed if either of us made such a statement, we should be challenged to produce supporting evidence!

    What it DOES mean is that I have been educated to some degree in the scientific method. Consequently, like so many people here, and indeed like so many of the major ID players, I can identify non-science with some degree of accuracy. Make no mistake, those PhDs who support ID know they are doing so very unscientifically. If they truly do not understand why, then they are unworthy of the degrees they have.

  68. What does science fear about religion?

    What do they fear? A round of this:

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

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

    Just ask ol’ Nick Copernicus…

  69. Gary Mcleod

    Seems that creationists have a lot in common with Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe; when the vote turns against them, they just try to bury it.

  70. drew terry

    Evolving Squid:

    Thanks, again, for your comments. Thanks to everyone else as well. This is information I am grateful to understand.

    This is interesting:

    And science and the scientific community WOULD pay no attention to religion… up until the point where religion tries to assert itself as science, and then tries to get itself taught as science in science classes.

    Why do you still not get that part of the issue? It is the very heart of the matter… and at the very heart of this movie.

    I’m working on getting it. I am now aware of what I didn’t get before.

    1a. Why is science afraid of what the Church did centuries ago?

    1b. Why is science afraid of anything – religious, secular, or woo-woo?

    Fear is emotion, and is not subject to rational, logical or reasonable thought, which define the most basic elements of what I think of as forming the foundation for the scientific method.

    When emotional, such as afraid, we react in response. Emotion excludes logic and reason, and vice versa; an emotional response to fear will guard our safety, but will be irrational from a logical perspective.

    A rational response to fear excludes emotion. Typically, we do not have a choice to decide whether feeling afraid is rational or logical; if we did, fear would not keep people safe.

    So the question is now: is science reacting emotionally in the way it responds to perceived threats from religion?

    Thanks again for sincere responses. I hope everyone else is learning as much as I am.

  71. Taz

    So the question is now: is science reacting emotionally in the way it responds to perceived threats from religion?

    Dude, “science” isn’t a living being with emotions. There’s such a thing as carrying an allegory too far. As for individual scientists, I don’t think there are many (if any at all) in the west who are afraid of science. That’s probably not true (with good reason) in other parts of the world.

  72. Taz

    My previous post should have read: “As for individual scientists, I don’t think there are many (if any at all) in the west who are afraid of RELIGION” – sorry about that.

  73. Celtic_Evolution

    @ drew terry

    I’m working on getting it. I am now aware of what I didn’t get before.

    I have to be honest, drew terry, I did not expect this response from you… and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised… and more than a little pleased.

    And you are the reason we continue to make the effort to carry on these conversations, despite the many calls to “just ignore them if they don’t get it”… cause once in a while, they do.

    Thanks for taking the time to actually look at what we are trying to explain, and look at it with a critical mind. :)

    I’d comment on one question you posed:

    So the question is now: is science reacting emotionally in the way it responds to perceived threats from religion?

    Well… I’d say that “science”, the institution, doesn’t react whatsoever to religion, nor does science have any need to perceive “threats from religion”, as religion holds no basis for comparison with science in any way, shape or form. Now… to qualify that, I’d say that “scientists”, the human individuals in the scientific field, they themselves being human, may be prone to emotional response and react emotionally when faced with the insistance that religion be treated on the same plane with science. I know I don’t have all the answers for why this is, outside of people just having certain personality traits that make them handle frustration in different ways.

    Think of it this way… imagine you are a parent… and you have a child that insists he can walk through the sliding glass door because he can clearly see through to the other side. You try to explain to this child why that is not the case… you explain the properties of glass and why it is transparent, but still a solid and must therefor be moved out of the way before proceeding. The child looks blankly at you, and proceeds to walk into the glass door, bloodying his nose. You grin, thinking “lesson learned”. But the child gets up… and proceeds to walk into the glass door again. So you sit down with the child, and again calmly go through the conversation about glass and its properties. Child looks at you blankly, gets up, walks into the glass door again. Now you, the parent, start to get frustrated. You’ve explained this as clearly as you can, yet the child still insists that since he can see through to the other side, he can walk through the glass door. After 3 or 4 more failed attempts at walking through the door, you finally lose your patience, and yell at the child “open the door before walking outside, you moron!” Certainly not a composed response, nor is it all that helpful at this point, obviously… but it becomes difficult to not get frustrated and lose your composure when faced with a person who refuses to see something that seems so obviously clear, at least to you. At least that’s how I feel on occasion when getting into these debates with IDers and Creationists…

  74. Celtic_Evolution

    taking a shot at your other questions:

    “1a. Why is science afraid of what the Church did centuries ago?”

    Replacing “science” with “the science community”… i wouldn’t use the word “afraid”. I would say “wary”. Religion has taken up the cause to undermine science and scientific method more recently than “centuries ago”… that was just one example. And I don’t think the scientific community has an issue with religion, as a whole… just certain aspects where religion tries to impose itself upon science, like with ID and Creationism. If they were allowed an honest moment, any true creationist would admit that they are not interested in getting ID or creationism simply taught on an equal level with evolution, but that they would want evolution thrown right out as herecy. So I think the scientific community is rightfully wary of this aspect of religion.

    “1b. Why is science afraid of anything – religious, secular, or woo-woo?”

    Again, replacing “science” with “the scientific community”… I’d refer to my first answer. It’s not an issue of fear… it’s more a frustration with any part of humanity, at least in the perception of the scientist, actively and knowingly acting in a manner that holds back progress and knowledge with a lack of critical thought or reasoning. But that’s just my opinion, I suppose…

  75. alfaniner

    Well, I couldn’t find the poll on that page, not even with a text search.

    However, I was interested in the phrasing of the question. Perhaps I’m giving the authors more credit for being clever than they deserve, but the content seems designed to elicit positive responses from fair-minded people.

    “Do you think the theory of Intelligent Design should be taught in our education system?”

    As a part of a comparative religion class, or as an example of a blip in the propaganda machine, possibly. But obviously, and this is the intent I think most people were correctly reading it as, NOT in science class.

  76. Why is science afraid of what the Church did centuries ago?

    Why has no presidential candidate ever come out and said “I am a committed atheist”?

    Don’t think for a second that the religious community doesn’t use its influence to harm people who don’t follow their fantasies. Just because the church isn’t burning people at the stake any more doesn’t mean that “heretics” aren’t being persecuted, or that the religious community is not attempting to change laws to favour one religion over another or to require religion to be taught in schools.

    Canada and the US still allow churches to avoid paying taxes, for example… that really harms every taxpayer, but it’s permitted by law. What do you think the reaction would be to the politician who stands up and introduces a bill to end those exemptions? What would happen to his career? What would happen to his life?

    Scientists face the same kind of religious resentment every day, and it is dangerous.

  77. drew terry

    Thanks again, guys, I need some time to digest what you wrote.

    Evolving Squid, sorry I didn’t notice you added ‘scientific community’ in the comment I copied. If I miss anything else, please make me aware of it as needed.

    I’ll have feedback shortly. Thanks for your patience!

  78. drew terry

    Evolving Squid wrote:

    . . . but it becomes difficult to not get frustrated and lose your composure when faced with a person who refuses to see something that seems so obviously clear, at least to you. At least that’s how I feel on occasion when getting into these debates with IDers and Creationists…

    If I understand, you feel they are being obtuse on purpose, perhaps just to upset you? Or is it more like they cannot possibly believe what they say, because the contradictory evidence is so clear and convincing, there is no rational explanation?

    I’ll try to relate this to what I do: I struggled with what I vs. other people see, until about 7 or 8 years ago. I’ve always been in business (I majored in finance at UVM class of 1991). For a long time, I assumed what was obvious to me about business was obvious to most everyone else, especially when I took the time to explain it. I had a hard time being confident in my point of view, because with anything conceptual, nobody else could see my ‘vision.’ No matter how I would try to explain it, they couldn’t see it until it was done, then they would see it.

    I had a chance to buy 267 acres of land adjacent to Bolton Valley ski area in VT, for $89,000, with $50K worth of timber standing, $30K down and the owner would finance the rest. I studied this for months, I figured there has to be something wrong with this deal; otherwise, someone before me would have snapped it up already. This was 10 years ago, I didn’t know and I couldn’t find anything wrong, but I couldn’t find anyone to agree with me, either. So I passed.

    The guy who did buy it, shortly after I passed on it, ended up doing exactly what I planned to do, sold 20 acre lots for $99K each, plus he took the timber, plus he sold a chuck with a rock face to a local climbing group. They formed a non-profit and coughed up $35K for the rock which was my idea. I know the broker told the guy what I was going to do.

    Every time I drive by it I am reminded that not everything is too good to be true. Sometimes it just takes the right person with the right point of view and the willingness to stick his neck out.

    I believe that was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned, because it was enough lost potential that it got my attention, and since what I planned to do was what they actually did, I had proof that my reasons were sound, so it would’ve worked. But it was more valuable to me that I learned the lesson to listen to myself over people who know less than I do.

    Evolving Squid, you said you majored in physics, correct? I am curious the environment in which you now work, if you work (who knows?) and specifically, is it corporate or academia?

    I worked in Boston long enough to know corporate life was not for me, and I’ve always been a teachers pain in the ass, so I am aware but not familiar with the frustrations of both corporate and academia.

    I spent the last few years studying psychology and philosophy, which is why I am focused on perception, awareness of consciousness and awareness of being aware, as further explored below.

    It’s not an issue of fear… it’s more a frustration with any part of humanity, at least in the perception of the scientist, actively and knowingly acting in a manner that holds back progress and knowledge with a lack of critical thought or reasoning. But that’s just my opinion, I suppose…

    The frustration of scientists with humanity is due to humanity:

    1. ‘actively and knowingly acting’
    Do you mean you believe people are aware of the thought process they are using from one moment to the next? Something like ‘DOUBLETHINK’ from ‘1984’ except with more or less conscious self-awareness of their thoughts while they are thinking?

    2. ‘in a manner that holds back progress and knowledge’
    If from #1 humanity is consciously self-aware of their thought processes, the lack of opposition is what ‘holds back progress and knowledge?’

    3. ‘with a lack of critical thought or reasoning.’
    The lack of active opposition is interpreted by the scientific community as passively supporting religious dogma?

    questions to ponder:
    4. What is it about humanity that is so frustrating to the scientific community?
    5. What is the reason the scientific community believes humanity is aware (or unaware) of their behavior?

    Thanks once again.

  79. Celtic_Evolution

    I’ll try to answer these as thoughtfully as I can, drew terry…

    Do you mean you believe people are aware of the thought process they are using from one moment to the next? Something like ‘DOUBLETHINK’ from ‘1984? except with more or less conscious self-awareness of their thoughts while they are thinking?

    hmmm… not sure I simplified it in quite that way, but let me answer this way: I think that there are many people who do not think and are not really aware of their thought process from moment to moment… they simply regard what they are told as truth without question. But, I don’t think it’s those people who become the thorn in the side of the scientist. It is those people who are aware that their thoughts and beliefs are in direct opposition to what they know to be true, and do so to further their own personal goals and agendas. It’s a power thing, I think, and I do think that falls under tha category of “human nature”, unfortunately.

    If from #1 humanity is consciously self-aware of their thought processes, the lack of opposition is what ‘holds back progress and knowledge?’

    Keep in mind that I said ‘parts’ of humanity… not humanity as a whole. And no, not quite… I’m not sure that the willfully ignorant I mention from part 1 of your question are “actually’ holding back progress and knowledge… but it is often their goal to, and it is that goal that is a source of frustration for the scientific community that I refer to.

    The lack of active opposition is interpreted by the scientific community as passively supporting religious dogma?

    Now, what you did here was carry forward a question from your own supposition above that I never stated or intended, and made sound as if it were a point I made. To clarify, I never made the claim that the scientific community has a problem with, or a perception of a “lack of opposition” to religious dogma. The scientific community has no need to actively pursue a course of active opposition to religion. Science only even regards religion at ALL when religion attempts to impose itself onto science. Otherwise it would pay religion no mind whatsoever.

    The problem of contention between science and religion often occurs because science, by its very nature, attempts to explain natural phenomenon that have often already been “explained” by spiritual texts. And through no fault of its own, science often comes to conclusions that either don’t support or completely refute accepted spiritual understandings of the world around us. Science did not go out of its way to attack religion. It simply is a process for understanding using observation and testing. That it conflicts with religion so often is not the fault of science, and science, in a vacuum, could care less. But science, and scientists as an extension, will not accept or tolerate explanations that do not allow for a process by which the assumptions can not be either observed or tested.

    So the frustration is not over the lack of an active opposition to religion, it is over an active campaign of religion trying to force itself into the science curriculum and be treated on the same plane with science. Otherwise, science and the scientific community could give a hoot about religion.

    I’m not sure I can explain it any better than that, and I’m not certain I’ve done all that good a job of it, truthfully… but I made an effort…

    An answer to your question 4 can be found in the paragraph above, as long as you replace “humanity” with “parts of humanity”.

    And as for question 5… well, again, I’d have to point out that I speak of “parts of humanity”… but using Galileo as an example… even after hundreds of years of KNOWING the truth about the solar system, it took the Catholic Church until the 1980’s to finally pardon him. Kowingly turning a blind eye to obvious fact is not a new tactic for parts of humanity… AND, I should point out, is not reserved for religion alone.

  80. Evolving Squid wrote:

    . . . but it becomes difficult to not get frustrated and lose your composure when faced with a person who refuses to see something that seems so obviously clear, at least to you. At least that’s how I feel on occasion when getting into these debates with IDers and Creationists…

    Umm, no Evolving Squid did not write that. I know quote attribution can be difficult in this kind of message thread, but just so it’s clear… That quote was from Celtic Evolution. Evolving, yes, but my evolution is tentacled, his involves warm beer and organ meats :)

    Evolving Squid, you said you majored in physics, correct? I am curious the environment in which you now work, if you work (who knows?) and specifically, is it corporate or academia?

    Corporate. I am a security consultant who does primarily government work. My work occasionally touches on academia, but not often. I’m not really cut out for academia. I find many academics to be frustrating to deal with for a variety of reasons which probably aren’t worth discussing here, but suffice it to say that my personality is more suited to a corporate environment.

  81. As a sort of off-topic, I’ve many times considered going back to school to get a more advanced degree, either (perhaps not surprisingly) Marine Biology, or Astrophysics. I’ve not really managed to dredge up the motivation to go back to school, however… or more correctly, I haven’t managed to dredge up the motivation to spend the money on a degree that would really be just for interest’s sake.

    Interest wise, marine biology has the potential for much study of things that have tentacles. I’m sure there’s a PhD in the study of “behaviour of the California school of humbolt squid when presented with presidential candidates”.

    Astrophysics is just plain ol’ fascinating. Studying how the universe works just doesn’t get any cooler.

  82. Celtic_Evolution

    my evolution is tentacled, his involves warm beer and organ meats

    That just made me spit out my McEwan’s all over my Haggas! Curse you, cephalopod! ;)

  83. Celtic_Evolution

    That should say “Haggis”… of course… and I call myself a Celt!

  84. Buzz Parsec

    Imagine you are a Classical Music lover and some famous conductor claims “The Magic Flute” is incompatible with mechanics (in particular, the theory of levers) and started a movement to force the teaching of his music-based lever theory in physics classes… And for some unaccountable reason, this movement started to gain political traction and had a movie made about it, full of distortions and half-truths (but with a great soundtrack). Science has nothing to do with classical music (though many scientists are also musicians), but this kind of thing would certainly get scientists riled up in opposition to “Intelligent String Theory”.

  85. drew terry

    Celtic Evolution & Evolving Squid

    Re: “Umm, no Evolving Squid did not write that. I know quote attribution can be difficult in this kind of message thread, but just so it’s clear… That quote was from Celtic Evolution.”

    Sorry about that, guys. Thanks for not taking it personally. I got confused.

    Thanks for pointing it out to me. It was a late night.

    Celtic, I’ve got some follow-up to your last response to post later. Thanks for your patience (assuming we continue the discussion).

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