Expelled recap

So this Expelled movie has been out for a couple of weeks now. To my surprise, it's been doing rather well. It's running in about 400 theaters right now, which I guess is a lot (but then I'm from a puny little country so I could be wrong). It's also got an amazing rating of 9 on rotten tomatoes.

Oh, wait. That's not 9 out of 10; that's 9 out of 100. Wow. That's … that's just … wow.

So yeah, this thing is going down so hard it could go straight through the planet. A score of 9%. That should qualify as “Epic Fail” in anyone's book Anyone sane, anyway. As for the theater count, the guys at Panda's Thumb have been tracking the numbers; it started with just over 1000 on April 18th and is now down to 400. It'll probably disappear completely in a week or two.

Away from the silver screen, the producers and Ben Stein have been doing interviews left and right and apparently making complete asses of themselves. I've seen some videos of Stein that are just two-hands facepalmingly stupid. One of the things he's keen on mentioning is how Darwinism doesn't explain the origins of life or gravity or where the universe came from. The theory of evolution is not and will never be about those things, so why this counts as a mark against the theory I don't know. It's like to arguing that metallurgy doesn't explain last week's weather, therefore it's bogus. Simply using this line of reasoning hows that he really doesn't know what he's talking about. That, or he's deliberately misleading everyone, which is also a real possibility.

The real moment of inanity, however, comes from an interview at TBN where he made this immortal statement (emphasis mine):

Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

O_O. Lolwut ?!?

Yes, he actually said that, and in all earnest too, apparently. You can see it (and a response to it) in Thunderfoot's latest Why do people laugh at creationists video. The original interview can be found here as well. This is what as also earned him the dubious virtue of second place for MSNBC's Worst Person in the World.

Right now, I am this close to believing this is actually all part of a massive hoax. With the ever-growing list of stupidities, I find it harder and harder to believe they're serious.

And now for something completely related: the infamous Beware the believers video. This *wonderful* clip was released anonymously in the end of March and has been a favorite in sciency circles since. There has been a lively debate about its origins. Because it clearly is caricaturing the atheists depicted in the clip (“if I was dyslexic, Id even hate dog too”. Hehehehe), one group believed the Expelled group were behind it. On the other hand, it was well done and extremely funny. Since the creationists have a long track record of shoddy craftsmanship and witlessness (the Expelled movie itself is a good example of this), many others felt it could not come from them.

About a month later, the answer came: it was done by Michael Edmondson, as a contract job for the producers of Expelled. So yes, it did come from their camp after all. That said, Edmonson isn't affiliated with them that much. I've read that the producers' intent was for it to be viral advertising for the movie. I don't think that worked out too well, though, what with it being embraced by the atheist side as one of the pieces of Internet Win of this year.

Read the thread on pharyngula for extra details. Edmonson himself also makes an appearance in the comments, so you get it straight from the horse's mouth. Simon Owens also has an interview with him at bloggasm.com, so check that out as well for even more details.

Lastly, to Michael Edmonson and Matt Chandler (who did the lyrics): thank you for the hilarious video. We will watch your career with great interest.