Richard Dawkins’ Take on the Expelled Debacle

You’ve already read PZ Myerstake on the Good Friday Fiasco.

Now, Richard Dawkins weighs in:

The blogs are ringing with ridicule. Mark Mathis, duplicitous producer of the much hyped film Expelled, shot himself in the foot so spectacularly that the phrase might have been invented for him. Goals don’t come more own than this. How is it possible that a man who makes his living from partisan propaganda could hand so stunning a propaganda coup to his opponents? Hand it to them on a plate, so ignominiously and so UNNECESSARILY.

The piece includes Dawkins’ views on the film (did he give it 4 stars or 5?!) and the real story of what happened that night as well as during the filming of the movie.


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Larry Huffman

    I find it interestingly amusing to watch the creationist/religious proporters do this kind of thing. In their desperation to keep critics from speaking, they end up doing something that hurts them even more. even the fundies have to see that his expulsion of PZ was far more detrimental to them than if PZ had actually watched the film.

    I suppose the thought process was such: This film is landmark…monumental. It will once and for all swing the viewpoint of the nation to creatist/ID and the atheists will all have to deal with it. We do not want detrators to cause an unruly scene in the Q&A sessions that will minimalize the import of this masterpiece….

    Except…the film is quite obviously a stinker. Which means that in a year, the film’s only following will be those who were already in lock step. But…the lasting memory of the film will be “That creationist/ID piece of garbage whose director expelled PZ from the screening of the movie…even though PZ was in the film and thanked.”

    I am also glad, on a side note, to find that I am not the only one who finds Ben Stein utterly uncompelling. Don;t get me wrong…he was masterful in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…a part that I am sure called for “an actor who can pass as boring and monotone”. Well done Ben. Why anyone thinks those same qualities translate to narrator or MC, I have always been baffled. Leave it to the creationist fools to latch onto such a poor talent (a guy who was a political cog in the Nixon apperatus to boot) to head the project, simply because he was famous (I am sure).

    I love PZ’s account and can just picture him laughing his butt off in the Apple store at both the ignorance and irony of Mr. Mathis’ decision.

    I guess Mr. Mathis et al should be thankful that PZ’s guest was mild-mannered (not meant as an insult) Richard Dawkins…and not Christopher Hitchens.

  • Larry Huffman

    Atheists and theaters.

    I have an interesting anecdote…figure I will share it here.

    I went to see one of the Harry Potter movies at a theater in Phoenix with my family while visiting my in laws. After the movie while I was on my way out, me and my handicapped daughter were knocked back and my daughter over, by a woman rushing headlong through the exit door. She did not even act as thoguh she saw my daughter (who has cerebral palsy) go awkwardly sprawling on the floor of the crowded theater. (she was stepped on by people coming behind us to the exit door). I immediately yelled “Hey…Watch it!” to this woman…as i reacted and tried to help my child. She turned and looked at me, her face registered a flash of disgust, and she told me rudely, as if the whole thing were my fault, that she had to get her cell phone. Now…this made me lose it with her, “I do not give a shit! Nothing gives you the right to enter through an exit and knock over handicapped children, you stupid bitch.” Now…agreed, I maybe could have dropped the bitch…but she squarely deserved it…as she was now acting as though my daughter on the floor and the crowd trying to help her, were just causing her more trouble as she tried to take big giant steps over them.

    My family walked out, where we regrouped and looked at my daughter’s injuries, from having been trampled. I wondered aloud why she seemed to hate me, even though we had never met. It was a feeling that my wife and kids got from her too…then my oldest son pointed out the obvious problem. I was wearing a RUSH t-shirt. The band Rush. Big red pentagram, naked guy standing in front…from the 2112 album cover. I am such a rock fan that I suppose I just take for granted that people understand such a t-shirt is about the musical band. But, there I was looking like a devil worshipper to her.

    As we turned to leave, a pair mall cops approached me as if I had just burgled one of the shops. They wanted to know if I understod that there were steep laws about vulgarity in AZ. I asked if there were laws against adults running over handicapped children…they just looked at me. The woman stomped up, and began railing at me as if I had wronged her. She said at least three times that I was a satanist in her tirade…which I listened to, amused. I am from Los Angeles, and frankly, cops here would consider her a waste of their time. Not so, these dilligent mall cops. They were determined to get to the bottom of me calling this bitch…well, a bitch.

    They looked at my shirt as well. I said “Look…it is a concert t-shirt for the band Rush…it has nothing to do with my religious beliefes. But, what would it matter? If I were a satanist would you consider her in the right to run over my child?” They looked uncomfortable…then she said “Why is a christian wearing such an appaling symbol.” To which I uttered “I am not a christian, I am an atheist.”

    The mall cops snapped their heads around as if I had told them I HAD burgled a shop. They told me they would need me to step away from the crowd so they can issue me a citation and could they have my drivers license, as if me saying I am an atheist made them realize they had to get control of me. I told them no. I told them they were welcome to call the police, at which point I would call my lawyer. They looked sheepish and confused as I gathered my family and walked away. They tried to follow me, making threats of further law enforcement, to which I told them feel free. The woman followed, obviously disturbed that I was ignoring them and getting away…she told them, he is a lawless atheist, he should be arrested.

    My last comment was, “Lady…it was I following the theater rules regarding exit only. It was my handicapped child you knocked over. I called you a bitch then out of reaction…I am calling you one now because you most certainly are one. If you mall-cops feel you want to try to push this…my only offense being calling this bitch a bitch, then you better call a real police officer, who will have to determine if they want to deal with me and my attorney over a name calling incident. I will gladly sit here and wait if you do. And lady, I will most certainly file charges against you for hurting my daughter…a far more serious offense in just about anyone’s book. And…the fact that you have accused me of being a satanist, followed by charges of lawlessness because I am an atheist will give my attorney added fodder agains this theater and mall for my civil suit…which I will surely file if this incident caused by this stupid woman costs me one more minute of my time.”

    I left…the mall cops looked thoroughly done with it anyway…they told me not to drive away. Warned me. Threatened me. All of it without any real conviction. They knew they did not want to go to any extremes over a name calling incident that more and more appeared to be the woman’s fault anyway. And ultimately they just looked relieved as I drove away. I laughed at them, very visibly, as I noticed the stupid woman, big gaudy gold cross around her neck dangling back and forth, as she yelled at them for just letting me leave. I have been to AZ several times since and I am quite sure there are no warrants for my arrest on the charges of calling a bitch a bitch.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Wow, what a story Larry. That deserves its own blog post. People suck.

  • http://www.rekounas.org rekounas

    You should have called he a c*nt. Women hate that word.

    I am surprised that Richard Dawkins gave the movie a 4/5. I read his post a few days ago and he thought the movie was quite boring and the directing was crap. I should read it again.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    I am surprised that Richard Dawkins gave the movie a 4/5.

    I think you just misread Hemant’s joke. (Ie. Hemant was being sarcastic saying 4 stars or (not out of) 5, and Dawkins didn’t rate it with stars anyway.)

  • andX

    I didn’t realize that the Constitution was suspended in AZ.


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