As Rob Crowther discussed, Cornelia Dean and the New York Times are once-again pushing Darwinism in an article titled “Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life’s Origin.” The article is regarding the documentary film Expelled, starring Ben Stein, that exposes the distressing nationwide pattern of persecution against scientists that question Darwin. The producers apparently interviewed various pro-Darwin scientists for the film, such as Richard Dawkins.
Cornelia Dean now reports that “Dr. Dawkins and other scientists who agreed to be interviewed say they are surprised — and in some cases, angered — to find themselves not in ‘Crossroads’ but in a film with a new name and one that makes the case for intelligent design.” So Dawkins is apparently angry because his interview is being used for a film that supports ID. Is this legitimate anger or just more Darwinist intolerance of intelligent design? One might argue that Dawkins is merely upset because he was allegedly deceived about the nature of the film (a claim that the producers vigorously dispute). In fact this is the angle Eugenie Scott takes in the article, as she claims she was misled (a claim the producers strenuously challenge). But there is good reason to suspect that Dawkins’ anger is simply due to the fact that the film challenges Darwin.
I recently discussed a different Dawkins interview where Dawkins was asked “Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process that can be seen to increase the information in the genome?” What was Dawkins’ emotional state after he was asked this question? You guessed it: in his own words, “anger”: “In my anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop the camera.” So the big news is here that Richard Dawkins (and perhaps “other scientists”) are angry because they were interviewed for a film that supports ID. What has happened here is that a film exposing the intolerance of many Darwinists has made Darwinists angry. Go figure.
It appears that I am not the only person who feels that Dawkins doth protest too much. The U.K.’s The Register has an editorial stating, “we can’t really see that Dawkins has much to complain about” because “we suspect Dawkins and his mates are upset because their participation in the film makes them look a little foolish.” The Register goes on to contend that the producers of Expelled did nothing wrong in obtaining interviews:
According to a letter Dawkins himself has made public, Mark Mathis, a producer for Rampant Films, the firm behind the documentary, sold the idea to one participant, Professor Paul Myers, as follows: “We are in production of the documentary film Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion… we are interested in asking you questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between evolution, creationism, and the intelligent design movement.”
The title of the film changed, but there has been no suggestion from Dawkins that the interview did not proceed along these lines.
Here is a quick media studies lesson: like it or not, journalists don’t have to tell you the full scope of an article or documentary they are working on, and will sometimes try to keep the full picture from you if they think you might be hostile to the story you are trying to tell. … it happens all the time…
The Register concludes by noting that Dawkins is acting hypocritically, as he himself has made films attacking his opponents: “Dawkins, of course, has made programmes himself in which his ‘opponents’ don’t come off looking quite so hot, so perhaps this is a object lesson in karma, eh?” Even the UK Guardian now agrees with this position, stating: “Dawkins, Myers and Scott – all of whom are all familiar with the media and its workings – are unlikely to have been tricked into saying anything in Expelled that they did not actually believe.”
To reiterate, the big story apparently is that Dawkins (and some others) aren’t happy because their interviews are being used in a film that supports ID and exposes the intolerance of ID’s opponents. The Darwinist reaction to this film only further confirms that Expelled‘s basic plotline–the fact that some leading scientists are intolerant of anything that supports ID or challenges Darwin–is accurate.