Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lies and Damn Lies

John Wilkins pounces:

Well, he [the producer of Expelled, the anti-science propaganda flick] admits that it was a theist diatribe from the beginning, and not the even handed interaction between science and faith doco he told Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers among others. Always nice to find out that those who assert that only with faith in God can we have morals behave as if morals were an optional extra.
I don't care much about the lie by which these frauds got the likes of Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers to appear in the documentary. They claimed it was a generic evolution-and-religion documentary, when it was actually a ridiculous and slanted assault on evolution, but to me, this is nothing worse than the lies of omission that make any undercover investigation possible.

If we are going to insist that camera crews not only announce their presence but reveal their every ideological prediliction in advance of any on-camera interview, it will make hiding abuses and offenses (of whatever kind) all but impossible to expose. Whereas the very reason undercover exposes are necessary is that the methods of above-board investigation fail so often.

No, the damnable dishonesty of Expelled's producers was that after they had gathered what they wanted based on false and misleading pretenses -- after, that is, collecting the "gotcha moments" they desired -- they did not circle back and allow the affected parties to provide a fuller reply. The equivalent in a courtroom would be to examine the key witnesss and then throw the trial to the jury without allowing cross-examination.

This was part and parcel of the distortion, dishonesty, and abuse of the subject matter that flag Expelled as insipid histrionics rather than genuine investigation.

3 comments:

Bruce Hood said...

Hi Dale,

I am looking various sites and I had a poke around your blog.

I thought you might appreciate looking at this book when it comes out in April.

http://brucemhood.wordpress.com/about-supersense/

No matter whether you are a believer or a skeptic, it has something really important to say from the world of child development about the origins of adult belief.

Best

Bruce

Dale said...

Bruce, it looks like an interesting book. It also sounds like the kind of thing they'd love to discuss on Point of Inquiry -- I hope to hear from you there. Thanks.

bruce said...

Thanks for the tip.. I have passed it onto the marketing dept. Hopefully they schedule something nearer the pub. date.
Cheers again,
Bruce