What if you held an on-message conference call to promote your movie, and everybody came?
Well, the producers of Expelled did just that, and amongst everybody was the last person they wanted to hear from: PZ Myers. Myers listened to them go on and on, but when they started claiming that no one had ever “addressed the content of the movie,” he couldn’t let that stand, and he spoke up and jumped all over them.
Now, this sort of thing isn’t quite my MO, but in this case, I’m with Myers all the way. The Expelled producers have been presenting themselves as brave truth-tellers just looking for a debate, but in reality they’ve been hiding in a tightly controlled bubble of evangelical adoration and press releases. They deserve to get called out on this hypocrisy. I’ve been trying to call them out on this cowardice for some time.
Anyone who’s been reading this blog, or nearly ANY science-friendly blog that’s covered this movie has seen countless posts addressing the claims Stein and his cohorts make in this movie. We’ve covered all of their subjects in FAR far more detail than they have. And we’ve seen almost nothing in return. It’s the standard creationist crackup: they throw out a huge list of plausible sounding but ultimately cynically false claims and then can’t be bothered to stick around and seriously defend them. Instead, they just rush on to the next venue and repeat the same stuff all over again as if no one had ever pointed out their duplicity.
For a concrete example, just compare and contrast something for me. Here’s PZ Myers objecting to the film’s Darwin = Hitler hokum and one of Stein’s rambling anti-Darwin blogs. Here’s the response from the producers.
Who is dodging “substance” here? Myers takes their arguments to pieces, specifically and directly. He’s certainly not nice about it, but he doesn’t dodge their claims, he cuts right into them. Their response? Not to address his points. Not to defend their arguments. Instead they spend thousands of words hinting about the “thought police” and making fun of Myers for actually spending time responding to their harmless little posts!
We’ll see how long they can keep up this little game. We’ll see how long they can keep ignoring the arguments of their critics and hopping from one right-wing think-tank ego-strokefest to another. We’re waiting.
Update: Rebecca over at SkepChick has the audio of the conference call in question.