And they just keep on digging…

Martin Cothran of Evolution News & Views weighs in on the ‘PZ Myers Expelled from Expelled’ Fiasco:

These days I get most of my news via my Google Reader, and about half of it over the last week seems to be about an attempt by biologist P. Z. Myers to sneak into a private viewing of the new movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Ben Stein’s expose of Darwinist thought control in our institutions of higher learning. Myer’s attempt to get into the private screening (which was invitation only) was foiled when he was recognized and told that the private screening was, well, private.

This accusation of “sneaking in” has been dealt with at length in numerous places, yet it is still parroted by the Expelled fans ad nauseum. Myers found a website where you could register to attend a screening with some guests, so he registered. He registered with his real name. Upon arriving at the theatre he was identified and asked to leave immediately, and he did. How is this an attempt to “sneak in”.

From the indignation with which this incident has been received by the anti-ID crowd, one would think that he was beaten with truncheons by big men in steel-toed boots and physically dragged away from the theater.

There has been no indignation whatsoever. The reaction from the anti-ID crowd has been one of amusement. We think it’s hilarious. The irony in this whole affair is just too delicious. To quote PZ directly:

Tell me, are you laughing as hard as I am?

Does that strike one as indignant? Hardly.

But, alas, it is not so. Turns out he was just standing there dumbly in line waiting to get in to see the movie, was recognized, and was then asked by theater security to go away, which he did, according to reports, without a struggle.

“According to reports”? You mean like the report from Myers himself? :

It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.

I went back to my family and talked with them for a while, and then the officer came back with a theater manager, and I was told that not only wasn’t I allowed in, but I had to leave the premises immediately. Like right that instant.

I complied.

But how do the crew at EN&V view things? :

Such is the state of the Darwinist mindset these days that so unimpressive a performance is considered the stuff of heroism. But P. Z. thought it was something, and he has recounted several times now how he bravely endured his confrontation with theater security (and we know their reputation). I mean, what was he supposed to do? They had badges.

Wow, talk about spin. Could Myers’ thoughts about this incident be any more misrepresented? PZ explains that he was asked to leave the theatre and that he did so quietly and without incident, while the hacks at Evolution News & Views claim he is making himself out to be some hero who was roughed up and ejected from the theatre by force after a valiant struggle. The IDists are as good at honesty as they are at science.

In any case, what are we supposed to make of all this hoopla? Well according to the Darwinists, this is an example of the hypocrisy of Intelligent Design advocates, who “throw out” people who disagree with ID from the showing of a movie about how people who disagree with Darwinism are thrown out of the academy.

But is limiting the attendance at the pre-screening of an admittedly partisan movie by its creators to invitees only really the same thing as throwing professors out of their academic jobs for having beliefs at odds with the prevailing orthodoxy in their particular discipline–particularly when the institutions engaging in the heave-ho make so much of their respect for academic freedom?

The “you do it too” defence. Except that upon examining their claims of persecution, the IDists don’t actually have leg to stand on.

Memo to Richard Dawkins, P. Z. Myers, et al.: Go make your own movie and invite only the people you want to come and we promise we won’t whine about it when we’re not on the V.I.P. list. Oh, and if we decide to crash your party, and are so uninspired in the attempt that we can’t even fool a few theater employees, we promise to do the honorable thing and blush in shame.

They weren’t trying to fool the theatre employees you nonce – they registered for the event and turned up at the theatre just like everybody else there.

Hand it to Richard Dawkins: at least he was wily enough to actually succeed in getting in (his passport lists him as “Clinton Richard Dawkins”)–evidence that Dawkins may possess important survivability traits Myers apparently lacks.

Dawkins wasn’t on the list because he was an unnamed guest of PZ Myers, so he didn’t register under the name ‘Clinton’. He had his passport with him as identification just in case – what’s he supposed to do? Scribble out ‘Clinton’ on his passport?

But wait a minute: do we really want them to go away and leave the movie alone? The irony of the sophomoric attempts by the neo-atheist crowd to crash the ID party is that the more they do it–and the more they draw attention to the fact that they did it (or, in P. Z.’s case, tried to do it)–the more public attention they draw to the movie.

According to BlogPulse, which apparently measures such things, “Expelled” was the number one topic of conversation in the blogosphere last Monday.

Not all press is good press. The majority of the coverage focussed on the bungling incompetence of the Expelled crew in keeping PZ Myers out of the theatre while letting in Richard Dawkins. It’s hilarious – I can’t stop smirking.

All we ask is that you don’t embarrass other members of the species by trying to infiltrate the theater with attempts so unimaginative that you can’t even get past theater security. In fact, they created the Darwin Award for just this kind of thing. Wouldn’t it be fitting if it went to a prominent Darwinist?

I’m lost for words. The IDists make one of the most grossly incompetent embarrassing blunders imaginable and become a laughing stock throughout the blogosphere and the press, and EN&V tries to spin it into a loss for their opponents. If they succeed in that well, heck, maybe they can trick us into thinking intelligent design has some scientific merit.

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~ by Sammy Jankis on April 3, 2008.

4 Responses to “And they just keep on digging…”

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I think the whole screening fiasco is deliciously ironic!

    Oh, and he probably “weighs in” instead of “ways in”.. “Martin Cothran of Evolution News & Views ways in”

    Sorry, I’ll go back to my grammar-nazi party now. =)

  2. Oh, and he probably “weighs in” instead of “ways in”.

    Damn. No more writing posts at midnight for me! Cheers.

  3. How is this an attempt to “sneak in”.

    Because PZ Myers should have expected to be refused entry into a screening of film in which he is not only interviewed, but thanked in the credits. 🙂

  4. Shorter Cothran:

    “Hah! – PZ Myers is so stupid he can’t even sneak into a film! Sure, Richard Dawkins did sneak in, but that just proves the sly dishonest trickery of the neo-atheists.”

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