Have you been expelled from pro-Expelled media (e.g., blogs)?

I was recently prevented from expressing dissent on a pro-Expelled blog. I know that I am not the first person to have been expelled for disagreeing with IDists, and will surely not the be last. PZ Myers of Pharyngula has been banned from commenting on a number of pro-ID blogs (e.g., Uncommon Dissent) and was prevented from attending a public pre-screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (even though he went through all the right channels to gain admission and was also, y’know, IN THE MOVIE!). Larry Moran of Sandwalk has also been banned by pro-ID blogs like UD. Moreover, Blake Stacey recently chronicled a long list of evolutionists who have been fired, demoted, harassed, threatened, assaulted, and in one case killed for defending evolution and/or publicly dismissing Creationism or Christianity.

Given all of the discussion that is taking place around the Net right now over Expelled, evolution and Intelligent Design Creationism, the purpose of this post is to see who else has been expelled from commenting on pro-Expelled or pro-ID media, such as blogs. A post specifying such censorship (including links to blogs and the blogs of the expelled) will be produced.

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Comments
14 Responses to “Have you been expelled from pro-Expelled media (e.g., blogs)?”
  1. Ian says:

    I was expelled from a Facebook group about “orbs” that appear on camera for trying to bring some science and scepticism to them – I was called hateful and was told they “choose to believe.”

  2. L. Ron Brown says:

    For fuck sakes…. I’m guessing they took down the posts, right? If not, I’d love to see them – and post them!

  3. Matt says:

    I have not been banned from any blogs or such. However, what I do notice is that while Atheist and Evolution based blogs/sites generally have a pretty open comment policy, creationism/ID/Expelled ones usually either have comments closed or simply heavily moderate all comments – usually to the point of not letting any that disagree with them through.

  4. Does being one of the people whose comments about the Nisbet/Mooney handling of expelled prompted them to start moderating comments count?

  5. L. Ron Brown says:

    Hallq: Sounds like it’s definitely worth mention. More details? Link?

  6. Is there a pro-Expelled site that leaves up dissenting views on the movie?

  7. Sirius says:

    Wow.

    Kinda sucks when a freedom is taken away from you, huh?

    Well, if you got past your anti-ID bias, Expelled is essentially about Freedom of Inquiry. You know, following the evidence whereer it leads and not precluding one set of anwers a priori.

    I think it’s an excellent object lesson.

    –Sirius Knott

  8. L. Ron Brown says:

    Sirius:

    Let me guess: You are a devout Christian.

    Expelled is an anti-science religious fundamentalist propaganda film. Period.

    ID is not science. It is unfalsifiable and is based on no evidence. It might as well the intelligent falling theory of gravity, or the invisible expanding and contracting donut theory of universal expansion and contraction.

    Evolution is accepted completely by essentially 100% of scientists – the religious (primarily Christian) fundamentalists that doubt it and support ID are less than 1% of scientists and can’t give a good justification for their belief (i.e., something that does not depend on arguments from ignorance). That evolution happened is widely accepted as a scientific fact. The theory part is in trying to work out the how of evolution. And there is no evidence or good argumentation that justifies calling the ID theory a contributing mechanism for evolution is a supernatural intelligent designer.

    ID has as much place in a science classroom as astrology or homeopathy.

  9. Sirius says:

    Brown,

    Let me guess: You are a devout atheist.

    Excuse me if I don’t hold you as the final authority of whether Expelled is simply “anti-science religious fundamentalist propaganda” since we cannot say that you are un-biased where this subject is concerned.

    Evolution is also unfalsifiable tautology. It is based on evidence, whether you choose to acknowledge such or not. Now, please don’t give me your standard Flying Spaghetti Monster spiel. No one’s proposing any of the intelligent straw men you’ve offered. I’ve already given the Noodly one a good thrashing over at my blog and elsewhere.

    An argument ad populum. How quaint. The majority of the world believes in God and the minority doesn’t, so there. Nice try though. Please skip this sort of propaganda in the future.
    “ID has as much place in a science classroom as astrology or homeopathy.” Were you offering up this sort of soundbyte reason when you were “expelled” from those other blogs? because, Ron, this is hubris.

    Where did you get your figures for this one? Quote me a source.

    Oh, straw man. ID doesn’t say a supenatural intelligent designer is a contributing mechanism for evolution; it says evolution is inadequate to fully account for developments in species which show evidence of intelligent design, therefore a designer is probable.

    It’s not a fact, it’s an unfalsifiable tautology.

    Or maybe it’s just a religion. “There is no science but naturalism and Darwin is its prophet!”

    –Sirius Knott

    Oh, feel free to be a hypocrite and erase this comment.

  10. L. Ron Brown says:

    Sirius:

    Okay. Wow. I’m too tired to respond to your message now, but wow, holy shit that was stupid. That was stupid all the way through. I mean, I’m kind of high right now so I’m finding your level of stupid to be extra mind-blowing. It’s amazing because I’m the high one, and you’re the one who’s talking like you’ve smoked the best stuff on the planet.

    Also, no, I’m not a hypocrite. I have never deleted a SINGLE post from this site aside from spam ads. I have allowed in stupid of all shapes and sizes and your post merely ads to the selection.

  11. Matt says:

    I personally regard Sirius as something of a parody, though I am not sure he’s intended as such. What he says regularly contains little to no coherence and he seems to prefer to throw insults about than actually debate any points.

    ID is not science. It fails the standards of what is science which every field of science has abided by for centuries. It is not falsifiable, it is not based on evidence, it does not follow the scientific method.

    Evolution, on the other hand, is science. It is falsifiable (heck, even Darwin himself wrote down things which would blow it right out of the water if found) and it is based on a whole lot of evidence. It certainly follows the scientific method.

    As for academic freedom? ID has nothing to do with academic freedom and this is for several reasons, a few of which I’ll touch on now;
    * If you allow ID then you’d also have to allow such things as astrology and healing crystals and count them as science.
    * No actual case of discrimination against any ID proponent has actually stood up to any sort of scrutiny.

  12. L. Ron Brown says:

    Sirius:

    Am I a devout atheist? No. I am a committed rationalist. I am committed to intellectual honesty and to going with the evidence. Thus far, it is clear that the only position warranted is agnostic atheism: a lack of belief in God due to a lack of evidence, and a lack of any claim whatsoever as to the origins of everything, again due to lack of conclusive evidence.

    Next, I don’t expect you to view me as a final authority on Expelled. But I would open my ears a little wilder to the essentially 100% unified voice of scientists around the world saying that it is.

    Evolution is absolutely not unfalsifiable. Finding species out of place in the fossil record would falsify it. I should say that finding just one or two species a little bit out of place probably wouldn’t falsify evo right there. Given the amazing amount of evidence, commonsense appeal, and scientific productivity of evolution, scientists’ first move would be to consider new ways of drawing the evolutionary bush (bush, not tree). With all this support for evolution, a differently-drawn bush seems more reasonable than discarding the bush all together. However, if many species were found out of place, evolutionary theory would be obliterated in a snap.

    Another thing that would bring serious consideration against evolution is the finding of complex structures for which a survival benefit cannot be determined. Though, even this sort of consideration would be difficult in that it may not be easy to speculate on all the dynamics of the environment a million years ago.

    The idea of tautology is addressed here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html

    Falisifiability and the philosophy of science is addressed here (it’s a complex labyrinth of thought): http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/falsify.html

    Next, argument ad popularum? No. Not at all. And there is no parallel at all to the general population’s views on God. Scientists are the experts on Science! This is not just a random sample of people off the street. It’s the experts. If you had a child and that a child had a particular affliction and your doctor said “Mr Knott, rigorous study has convinced over 99% of medical experts that the best way to deal with this affliction is to do X”, would you say “well, I don’t know…. I mean, that’s just an argument ad popularum.” Clearly, citing the extremely popular opinion among experts is anything but propaganda here.

    My source on the 99% estimate. Are you familiar with the DI’s Dissenters from Darwinism list? Here’s the link: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?id=660

    Despite having been in existence for a few years now (I think I recall it being around 4-5 now, but am not certain), the list currently contains only around 735 or so signatures. In order for this number to represent no more than 1% of scientists in the world there need only be 73,500 PhD scientists in the world. There are *certainly* way more than that. In order to get a better idea of how many there actually are, I just called up Larry Moran, tenured biochemist at the University of Toronto who blogs at http://sandwalk.blogspot.com. He personally estimates the number of PhD scientists in the world to be roughly 1,000,000. Here’s his thinking:

    * The University of Toronto, a very large public university, has about 500 scientists in the “hard” sciences (e.g., bio, chem, phys, geo, math). Larry estimates that there would be *at least* 10 times this number of hard scientists in Canada (he makes conservative estimates all the way through for the sake of honesty). So that’s 5000 Canadian PhD academic scientists. Academic scientists, he claims, make up only about 1/3 of all PhDs. So he estimates 15,000 PhD scientists in Canada.
    * US Scientists. The conservative estimate would be 10X whatever Canada has, given the population difference of 10X. However, because there are far more universities and far more industry in the US, this would be a great under-estimate. In order to account for under estimations in Canada and the US, Larry rounds the highly conservative totals of 150,000 in US and 15,000 in Canada to be a total of 200,000 in Canada and the US.
    * He estimates that there are at least this many in Europe, then you add in Japan, China, Korea, India, Australia, Russia, and so on, and he estimates that you end up around 1,000,000.

    Now, I haven’t gone into detail on the stats outside of North America because I didn’t need to. All I needed was 73,500 in total and that would mean that the Dissenters list constituted at most 1% of all scientists.

    But it gets better. The dissenters list was extremely liberal in who it allowed to sign. It wasn’t just evolutionary scientists, or even just scientists. Engineers and medical doctors were also allowed to sign. In fact, only 2% of those on the list were trained in evolution: http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/who-are-the-dissenters-from-darwinism. If we also included all of the world’s doctors and engineers, we’d probably be comparing 735 signatures to an 8 figure number!

    Next, does ID say that the designer is a mechanism for evolution? Well, this is sort of semantics. I mean, it does say that naturalistic processes are insufficient so a designer intervenes now and then. So whether you call it a mechanism or not is not that important. The point they’re making is that a designer is probably involved. And that, by the way, is a remarkably weak argument. It’s an argument from ignorance. Hmmm, we haven’t thought of a way for X to have come about. Lets just say that an intelligent creator made it that way! Great! Now we can go home early!

  13. Green Eagle says:

    So, here it is, a couple of weeks later, so I’m not sure anyone will ever see this, but here goes.

    I notice that every thread about this film pretty much petered out about the same time this one did.

    This pathetic, lying piece of propaganda came out, created a minor bit of hoopla, and now has basically disappeared without a trace. Sure, it will be shown for years in the more disreputable sort of church basements (talk about preaching to the choir), but other than that, it’s gone.

    I hope Ben Stein and company aren’t feeling too badly about having devoted so much effort for so meager a result.

  14. L. Ron Brown says:

    Green Eagle: I wouldn’t be so sure, man. The Christian Right communities are probably still very excited about it. To many of them it is a source of validation. They can say “look, Ben Stein, a well-respected person is saying what we’ve been saying all along. And he’s a Jew!”

    In addition to viewing this as a validation, a conversation starter within the “choir”, and a rallying call, the Christian Right has disingenuous ways of framing the backlash from those who oppose them (e.g., secularists, scientists, media, etc.) in ways that minimize the threat to their inane worldview and how they view this particular crocumentary. Instead of viewing the retorts coming from all angles as indicating that this is a propaganda film, many will frame it as “The Darwinists are freaking out! They’re terrified!”.

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