Monday, April 14, 2008

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

OK, so last night I was watching When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth on the Science Channel when a commercial came on.

Now, I normally mute the TV during commercials, so it took me a moment to realize that the commercial was for the Ben Stein creationist crapfest Expelled.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (the subtitle being the only honest part of the entire idiotic mess), for the those who don't know, supposedly documents the global conspiracy to suppress the "new ideas" of creationism within the scientific community. Blah, blah, blah, same old creationist bullshit - "we just want equal time," no actual proof, no adherence to scientific method, nothing but conspiracy theory nonsense, demonstratively defective reasoning, sound bites and cherry picking. Typical creationist persecution-complex garbage.

I mean, who exactly were they trying to reach with this add? People like me, who watch documentaries on dinosaurs, are fairly unlikely to be big Ben Stein fans, just saying. So, I'm more than a little perplexed to see an add for a creationist masturbation fantasy in the middle of a documentary on dinosaurs, on the Science Channel (but then I feel the same way about adds for "feminine itching" products in the middle of Monday night football). I mean seriously, why would the producers of Expelled give money to support the Science Channel, especially if there's a global conspiracy by big science to suppress their ideas? Why would the Science Channel take their money - if there's a big conspiracy to suppress creationism that is?

Unless, of course, there's no conspiracy at all.


  1. I'd assume that they don't have much say of the content of the ads unless they're patently obscene (Note my use of obscene, not offensive).

    My guess is their target audience is pre-teens and those without set opinions who were watching only because dinosaurs are cool.

    But hey, if they wanna waste their money that way...

  2. You know what really tickles me? Expelled ads on the skeptical blogs I frequent such as Skepchick, Neurologica Blog and The Bad Astronomer...all of whom have roundly ridiculed these jerks for lying to get their interviews, lying during the premier and stealing other people's work to include in their movie.

    Because Skeptics will totally pay good money to see these asshats blame the Holocaust on Darmwin's Theory of Evolution.


  3. Bueller.....Bueller....Bueller?

  4. Last night my wife and I were watching a Sir David Attenboro special "Life in Cold Blood" on the Animal Planet Channel, when they kept interrupting the program with commercials for contemporary gospel music collections (I'm not making this up, Time-Life has several collections they're hawking). She asked me why they were advertising on a program that talks about evolution and I replied that they were trying to convert all those heathen proto-evolutionist that were watching.

  5. Ben Stein is a former Nixon speechwriter who is best known for a small role in a movie that came out more than two decades ago, in 1986.

    And you think someone who's interested in Mr. Stein isn't interested in dinosaurs?

  6. And don't forget "Win Ben Stein's Money" and those "get the red out" eye commercials.

    As far as the movie itself, if you have a policy of requiring viewers to sign nondisclosure agreements before viewing a documentary, then I have a real problem taking it seriously. And if you're going to interview people, then treat them fairly in the film, even if you don't like what they're saying. From what I can find, the film makers didn't.

    Based on what I've read, I think these people were trying the Micheal Moore approach to documentary film making. Bad move, in my opinion, as Mr. Moore doesn't always play fair in his documentaries either.

    As a Christian, I continue to be appalled at what lengths others who make the same claim will go to in making personal attacks and twisting both scientific and biblical truth, all in the name of God.

    No wonder Gandhi once said "I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ's Christianity."


  7. And regarding commercials, in college we decided that MTV's Headbangers ball should only have commercials for beer, guns, and hairspray.

  8. As a Christian, I continue to be appalled at what lengths others who make the same claim will go to in making personal attacks and twisting both scientific and biblical truth, all in the name of God

    And that, Vince, is my primary problem with both creationism and fundamentalist Christianity - if the truth is so obvious, and if God is Truth, then why the dissembling? Why the disingenuous editing? Why can't the "Truth" stand on its own? Why don't these people have enough faith in their faith to let it speak without the rest of the nonsense?

    I was just talking to a friend of mine who happens to be a member of the local school board - and she mentioned that they've been dealing with a parent who wants the word 'evolution' completely removed from the school system - in any context (shades of Orwell's 1984 here) - because mere mention of it may give children "ideas" and make them "question their faith." Uh, OK. Can't really be very confident in either your faith, or the power of your God, if mere mention of the word "evolution" makes you question both.

    But, it's just me, I'm sure.

  9. Actually Ben Stein is quite competent in the field of economics, and I used to have some respect for him until this came out.

    Now? None.

    The world is full of idiot savants.

  10. But, it's just me, I'm sure.

    Jim, I'm sure you're right - it's just you.

    And all your subversive buddies.

    Go, Subversion!

  11. Uh, OK. Can't really be very confident in either your faith, or the power of your God, if mere mention of the word "evolution" makes you question both.

    Too true, too true.

  12. I was also going to say that me and most of the black scientists I know are the exact target demographic for the dino show with the gospel recording ads.

    Unfortunately the number of black scientists is very small, and I can probably count the total sample of white scientists who grew up in black churches without taking off my shoes.

  13. John, yeah, I'd say that's a fairly small demographic. :)

  14. John, that's not saying much. I can actually count to quite large quantities withoug taking off my shoes. But I do understand that scientists are more interested in facts than actual, you know, numbers.

    But I remember a blonde who couldn't count to 12 without taking off her shirt. As an accountant, she had quite a large following.


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