It is worth mentioning again, in case you somehow missed it and care.
Expelled is a film narrated by Ben “Bueller, Bueller” Stein for the Discovery Institute to help convince people that there’s no such thing as evolution and that evil atheists are going to force your children to have gay sex or something.
Well, anyway, it’s a creationist propaganda film which claims things like Darwin -> Atheism -> Nazis. In fact, it’s the central thrust of the film so far as I can see.
PZ Myers is a well-known blogger in the fields of evolution and biology. He runs a little thing called Pharyngula, which I gather is pretty good. He’s also a self-professed “godless liberal” (So, the other kind of liberal from me, and the other kind of godless from Ayn Rand), and not a big fan of that thing that is both bad science and bad theology and is pretending to be both under the name of “Intelligent Design”.
So, the target audience if you’re legitimately trying to have a dialogue about ID and whether it’s a legitimate thing to teach our childen.
Also, not the target audience if you know your claim is bogus and are trying to trick people into supporting you anyway.
So, suppose that you’re putting on a propaganda film about Intelligent Design. Your “science” relies on misquoting people, taking things out of context, and being academically dishonest. PZ Myers has filled out the form to be given an invitation to come see your movie. How should you handle this in a way that won’t make you look bad?
Well, one thing you could do is let him see it, and show photos of him going to see it. Hopefully, he’ll do something childish like throw eggs or something, then you can call him a big baby and make everyone laugh at him.
If he doesn’t oblige you, you could instead just treat the fact that he saw it as a tacit approval of your message: “Hey, even this well-known darwinist saw our movie!”
Of course, if he writes a bad review, that won’t work. Though maybe it won’t hurt so much, since the opinion of PZ Myers doesn’t exactly carry a lot of weight with anyone who is going to support your message to begin with. You could probably just laugh it off: of course the godless liberal hated it. It might even spin for you, you could quote him, citing him as a godless darwinist liberal. It would work the same way that it would work to use “I hated it — Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden” as a review of your movie to trick people into not wanting to hate it to avoid being lumped in with that lot.
Or, if all else fails, just stick a whoopie cushion in his chair. Who will take him seriously when it gets out that he let a big one fly the moment he sat down?
Hey, you know what wouldn’t work though? Kicking him out. You know what would work less? Kicking him out and threatening to have him arrested.
Want to guess which one they chose?
It gets better.
So, having handed their enemies a press coup on a silver platter, the makers of Expelled tried a few different tacks to save the situation.
Attempt 1: Lie: So they said that PZ had tried to sneak in to a by-invitation-only event to which he
had not been invited. I will quote someone on the subject. Who I am quoting is going to be the punch line to this article, so I will not attribute this quote yet. “The way to get into this showing of the film was simply to go on the Internet and apply. This was exactly what PZ did. He went on the Web and put his name down for a place at the showing.” PZ Myers had been invited.
Attempt 2: Spin (at windmills) (And also lie): From a press release: “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”
Yes, because (patriotic music plays) Here in America, you should never be denied the right to see a movie, no matter how sane you are, and you should never be denied a job teaching biology no matter how totally incompetent you are in the field of biology. Because in America, if you show up and pay for your ticket, you have a right to be a college professor.
Oh, and it’s a lie because PZ has, so far as I can tell, never demanded that anyone be blacklisted for anything other than incompetence (Heck, maybe not even that).
Attempt 3: Be Holier than Thou (and also lie): Again, from them: “Recognizing the opportunity to make a point of the inconvenience and pain that they, and others like them, have caused to numerous scientists and educators, the decision was made beforehand to deny Myers access to the film if he actually showed up.”
So, “we banned him to annoy him,” is being used as an excuse? Besides, according to line producer Mark Mathis, “I banned pz because I want him to pay to see it. Nothing more.” (source)
So, they seem to have dug themselves in pretty deep.
It gets better.
Now, PZ Myers brought a guest with him to the screening. The Discovery Institute claims that his guest registered under a false name. This is a lie; the form PZ filled out did not allow him to enter his guests’ names, only the number of them. This guest was not actually asked to show any, ahem, ID. The Discovery Institute has claimed that this guest was a “gate-crasher” who tried to get in uninvited. But, as I mentioned, PZ had filled out the paperwork and registered his guest.
At any rate, this guest was allowed to go see the movie unaccosted. He’s the person who wrote the unattributed quote up there. Who was this guest?
Well, here’s a hint. He’s married to a former Doctor Who companion.
Give up?
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Richard Dawkins.
Pretty much the most famous atheist in the entire world.

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