'Expelled' makers go on offensive against 'thought police'

Movie producers seeking court ruling refuting copyright claim


Posted: April 16, 2008
5:43 pm Eastern

A court challenge to the new movie “Expelled: No Intelligence allowed,” by Ben Stein is nothing more than an attempt on the part of the pro-evolution believers in the science community to stifle the free expression and debate of ideas, movie officials say.

“We are not surprised that opponents of our film are attempting to interfere with its important message,” said Executive Producer Logan Craft. “As the movie documents, similar tactics are being used across the country against many of the researchers, scientists, and professors who want to engage in free debate within science but have inadequate resources to challenge the Establishment.”

wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61776

Ah, so they “borrowed” other people’s work, without getting permission? I don’t know, but the court will sort it out.

Easily settled.

  1. Did they do that work, or did someone else?

  2. Did they have permission to present it in their film?

If (1) is “yes”, and (2) is “no”, they are in deep taffy.

Personally, I find it incredible that anyone could be that dumb; this can’t really be true. But their motto is “no intelligence allowed,” so I’ll wait and see.

No… no one could be that dumb. They must have gotten permission. Surely…

I’ve seen the ads on Comedy Central and puzzled over why they give so little information about the movie.

After looking at the reviews at RottenTomatoes.com, I can see why the producers are keeping silent. This looks to be a movie which makes almost all of its money on opening weekend, and then will quickly die by word of mouth.
rottentomatoes.com/m/expelled_no_intelligence_allowed/

Now, it appears that it’s a publicity stunt. But the flap did alert John Lennon’s widow that the moviemakers took Lennon’s song “Imagine” without license. That will cost a chunk of change, unless they have a really good explanation. Ono, who is reportedly pretty unhappy, may take whatever penalties are assessed and donate them to science, just to annoy Stein and Co.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they are calling this “an attack by the thought police;” they don’t think the rules should apply to them.

And they like to imagine they are being persecuted.

It gets even better…

**On April 9, 2008, XVIVO, the animation company which produced an award-winning animation of “The Inner Life of the Cell,” charged producers of a forthcoming “intelligent design” film with copyright infringement. In a letter to Logan Craft, chairman of Premise Media Corp., the producer of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (featuring Ben Stein), XVIVO claimed that a segment of Expelled portraying the complexity of the cell is patterned upon segments of their well-known animation, produced on behalf of Harvard University.

Biologist P. Z. Myers, who was interviewed for the film, has posted a side-by-side comparison of the animations in Expelled with the XVIVO animation, writing, “do notice that they both have roughly the same layout and the same elements in view; this is a remarkable, umm, coincidence, since these are highly edited, selected renderings, with many molecules omitted … and curiously, they’ve both left out the same things.”

In their letter (PDF), XVIVO’s David Bolinsky and Michael Astrachan contended that:

We have obtained promotional material for the “Expelled” film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the “cell segment” the virtual identical depiction of material from the “inner life” video. We particularly refer to the segment of the “Expelled” film purporting to show the “walk in” models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the “Inner Life” video.
XVIVO demanded that Premise Media “remove the infringing segment from all copies of the 'Expelled” film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008."**

NCSE website

Funny thats what half the movie was about - being “expelled” from the debate.

Its almost as if Ben Stein did this to draw attention to the movie. I just got back from the movie.

It was great! I went to the restroom afterwards and a father was explaining to his kids after seeing the movie not to be bamboosled by their school teachers.

I think the movie will inspire many to speak up.

(Producers of “Expelled” turn out to have illegally taken the work of others for their film)

Funny thats what half the movie was about - being “expelled” from the debate.

How does plagiarism enhance “debate?”

Its almost as if Ben Stein did this to draw attention to the movie.

Possibly. His target audience probably doesn’t think copyright violation or plagiarism is anything bad, anyway. But I don’t think they expected the victims to fight back. Apparently, at least one of them is going to sue if they don’t remove the stolen material.

It was great! I went to the restroom afterwards and a father was explaining to his kids after seeing the movie not to be bamboosled by their school teachers.

The sad thing is, many of those kids will eventually grow up and realize that what they were told by daddy cannot be true. And some of them will assume because they weren’t told the truth, Christianity is false.

This is the real evil of ID/creationism. It is a powerful atheist-maker.

I just got home from watching it with my husband and daughter. Wow, what a great movie. Amazing parallels. It inspired great dialog with my daughter. I always ask her what she thinks to find out what she believes and how she sees things. She amazes me sometimes.

You’re right about that. Most of the atheists I know are ex Fundamentalist Catholics or Protestants, who saw through the silly nonsense of their Fundie upbringing, but sadly who couldn’t see through to the profound Christianity beneath that tawdry veneer.

As a Catholic and a theologian, I take seriously the commandment against lying, and lying is just what Premise Media did in making this film. Ben Stein is either a deliberate charlatan, or an ignorant simpleton who has been co-opted to front the creationist message (I don’t know which). This is a sad new low for ID creationism.

It is illegal and should not be done. The movie makers do not agree that they did plagirize, though. That is best decided in a court of law. It is wrong to assume guilt. Unfortunately, Atheistic Evolutionist are habitual assumers. Rather than assume guilt first, why not just wait and see?

This is the real evil of ID/creationism. It is a powerful atheist-maker.

Evil? Isn’t this a literal demonization of an opinion that you disagree with?

I haven’t seen the film yet. What lie was told?

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a complete fraud, made by half-educated simpletons who are also liars and cheaters. They lied about Caroline Crocker, Richard Sternburg, the Darwin-Nazi connectiohn, Michael Egnor, and Robert Marks.

I also know this from direct experience, having been lied to by Mark Mathis of Premise Media in June 2007. He called our department to interview a senior anthropology professor, and lied about what the film would be about. We withdrew from the interview. Whatever your feelings about science – and admittedly, some people do hate science! – lying and cheating are things I doubt Catholics should be supporting.

Petrus

I see. The only thing I gleaned from the above was that Mark Mathis lied to you about the premise of the movie. What did he claim the movie was about? I ask because you made strong accusations including calling Ben Stein either a charlatan or a simpleton. Being familiar as you must be with Catholic theology and truth, you must also know the prohibitions against slander, gossip and calmuny.

BTW, I am not a creationist. Paleotology is not my field, so I will bow out of the whole discussion. What I am always concerned with is justice. To the extent this film deals with creationism, I could care less. To the extent it deals with suppression of speech or free scientific thought, I am interested. So I have one more question of drpmjhess and I will quit bugging you. When you speak of this film as a sham,are you referring to the science behind it, or that there is no discrimination against people who do believe in creationism or ID?

In all honesty, I do give weight to your expert opinion.

The movie makers do not agree that they did plagirize, though.

Of course not. But then, as Petrus noted, they lied a good deal. If they were willing to cheat and mislead people to get their movie made, and use other people’s art without permission, why would they hesitate to plagiarize?

That is best decided in a court of law. It is wrong to assume guilt. Unfortunately, Atheistic Evolutionist are habitual assumers.

Sounds like you’re assuming a lot. Are you telling me you’re an “Atheistic Evolutionist?” We know for a fact that they took John Lennon’s work without permission. We know for a fact that a media company has found they took their work without permission. And they were willing to lie and mislead people to get their movie made. By now, isn’t it clear?

Barbarian observes:
This is the real evil of ID/creationism. It is a powerful atheist-maker.

Evil?

Depends on what you think about losing faith in God I suppose.

Isn’t this a literal demonization of an opinion that you disagree with?

No, it’s what I’ve observed over the decades as an educator. Many, many young people lose their faith because their parents taught them that creationism is Christian belief.

Would you like to see the testimony of some people like that?

What I am always concerned with is justice. To the extent this film deals with creationism, I could care less. To the extent it deals with suppression of speech or free scientific thought, I am interested.

Me too. And here’s a couple of relevant facts:

  1. Arch-Darwinist Stephen Gould freely accepted a YE creationist (Kurt Wise) as a doctoral candidate.

  2. You will never find anyone who disagrees with ID as a fellow in the Discovery Institute, and if you want to go to the ICR graduate school, you must submit a loyalty oath to creationism just to apply.

Nothing better illustrates the difference between ID/creationism and science. Gould cared only that Wise was bright and had great promise as a scholar; creationists/IDers care only for ideological conformity.

What Stein tries to do, is present the failure of ID to gain credibility among scientists as a suppression of free speech.

So I have one more question of drpmjhess and I will quit bugging you. When you speak of this film as a sham,are you referring to the science behind it, or that there is no discrimination against people who do believe in creationism or ID?

There is discrimination against people who advocate geocentrism and flat earth. Anyone who advocates a theory that has been refuted by the evidence will have trouble finding adherents. “Discrimination” is a good thing, when it’s rational. Because the word has been applied to irrational things like judging other kinds of people on appearance, culture, etc., we tend to think of it as wrong. But it’s perfectly OK to not hire a geography teacher who thinks the Earth is flat, or a biology teacher who objects to evolution. There is a Constitutional right to be wrong, but there is no Constitutional right to have others support you in it.

A treat for you and your daughter! (speakers)

Does_evil_exits.pps (1754KB

If you look, there ARE peer-reviewed publications that support Intelligent design. There’s no “suppression” of thought there.

What does happen is when fringe ID extremists try and contradict Nobel-winning, repeatable, and seminal works.

The work of Roderick MacKinnon, Lily Jan, Carol Deutch all demonstrate a simple, yet elegant pattern of sequence homology and molecular evolution of voltage-gated potassium ion channels. Rod MacKinnon won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2003. Lily Jan developed a survival assay based on the expression of potassium ion channels, which provides direct evidence that selective mutation can enhance or inhibit survival.

E.R. Kandel, Paul Greengard, again two Nobel-winning scientists who discovered phosphorylation mediated learning and memory in Aplysia califorincalis. This discovery started the analysis of the kinase enzyme, for which 3% of most genomes code for. Evolution at its finest.

Richard Axel and Linda buck discovered the multigene family of the odor receptors, and their subsequent work demonstrated evidence for pseudogenes, gene-choice patterning, and the evolution of that receptor multigene family. Odor receptors across species display amazing variation, yet have almost totally conserved critical amino acid residues in the transmembrane domains and binding pockets. Buck and Axel won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 2004.

A 2005 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of RNA interference, which demonstrated even mutated genes can produce RNA strands that will hybridize with, and inhibit functioning genes and “silence” them.

It was directly demonstrated that wide genetic variability enhances survival of brine shrimp in high salinity. Also, the injection of a viral vector containing a Hox gene into a chick embryo caused the beak to develop serrated teeth, much like their raptor ancestors.

There is an ENTIRE 3 terabtye web database of protein and DNA sequence that does “cluster” and sequence analysis. You can literally scan through the various protein domains in enzymes of different species, and see the changes that have occurred over time.

Most ID extremists wouldn’t even know these critical works, and selectively cherry pick known gaps in Evolutionary theory to attack. I could go on literally for weeks and weeks. The moral is that when you decide to directly contradict these and other seminal and Nobel-winning works, you had better provide some direct and extremely compelling evidence. When you willy-nilly contradict people who have had their data repeated over and over and over again, it makes you look incompetent, and of course why would you be given tenure?

Pnewton, I did not use the terms “charlatan or a simpleton” lightly. Mathis and Premise Media represented to us in June 2007 that this would be a film called “Crossroads,” about some interesting intersections between religion and science. They never revealed that it was a piece of proaganda for the Intelligent Design movement, and that they would be laying traps for our scientists who would be filmed.

Virtually every aspect of Expelled’s stories about selected martyrs is false. Thus, Mark Mathis – and his chosen spokesperson Ben Stein – who together weave this web of deceit, are either ignorant of the facts in these cases, or deliberately fabricating stories to foment a “culture war” by creating a controversy that is not there.

The story Ben Stein narrates has been referred to as a “manufactroversy” – a manufactured controversy. Within biology there is no controversy about whether evolution happens, however much there might perpetually be lively debates about various aspects and applications of the theory.

That is why I refer to Stein as either a charlatan – which he probably is not – or ignorant about science – which he probably is. Imagine if I made a film about something you know a lot about, and about which I am ignorant. I choose an aspect of the field in which you are an expert, I manufacture some dissenting opinion, and then I pawn this off as a controversy to try to stir up a culture war. I imagine you would be outraged and say that my film is a distortion of the truth, and that I am either ignorant or a charlatan. You would be right!

Petrus

Pnewton, I know that in the case of the martyrs the campaigns of discrimination were fabricated by the makers of Expelled. I recently had to deal with someone (probably a crackpot) who seriously proposed the Jesus never exited as a human being, but was rather the name given to an hallucinogenic mushroom growing in Palestine.

We discriminated against giving him airtime in a conference, because conference time is limited, proposals are large in number, and he offered no substantiation for his theory, and the evidence that Jesus of Nazareth existed (whatever you claim about him theologically) is overwhelming. Was this a campaign of suppression? Was this man expelled from academe under the motto “no intelligence allowed”?

I recently had a conference paper proposal in theology rejected, for the second time. The number of proposals was huge, and they said mine didn’t fit the theme of the session, although I thougt it did. Should I make a whiny film about how I’ve been discriminated against and expeleld from academe? Or should I pick myself up, rethink and recraft the proposal and apply again, perhaps to a difference conference?

The whining of Expelled does not convince.

Petrus

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