If for no other reason, Expelled is worth seeing because time and time again we see the same thing:
When the atheists are given the floor they sound so very erudite and self-assured yet, when they are simply asked one little question, “How do you know?” they fall apart and the façade of scientific respectability and or logical viability gives way to a stumbling, fumbling person who is forced to admit “I don’t know.”
Inevitably, the response is that these heroes of science and atheism cannot possibly be as lacking in evidence and logic as they appear. Thus, these instances are always brushed off as selecting editing of the interviews, purposeful manipulation of the videos in order to make it appear as if their proclamations are as unfounded as they appear.
Firstly, when someone asks “How do you know?” and the person admits that they do not, it is pretty clear and not edited. Secondly, this argument from erudite-elite-stunned-silent-embarrassment is a concoction that is meant to excuse ignorance since no one has produced the original interviews and demonstrated how they were self-servingly parsed.
Expelled has been criticized from every possible vantage point from claims of misrepresentation, to selective editing, to whether the use of John Lennon’s atheist anthem Image constituted copyright infringement.
I wrote an article about Bill Maher’s movie Religulous before it even opened. Since the readers of Atheism is Dead seemed privy to Expelled’s every sin I asked them for the dirt, the dirty laundry, on Religulous, I wanted to know it all.
You guessed it, pure silence, not one single particle of dirt. Thus, either Bill Maher and Religulous are pure as the wind driven snow or some of my atheist friends are precisely what I perceived them to be: mere pseudo-skeptics (I requested info at this post Bill Maher’s Cinematic Endeavor).
In this regard, it may be of interest to note what Nathan Schneider reported in his article Agnostic Machinery:
Dean Hamer of American University stated that Bill Maher,
“‘really kept on pushing me to say that science proves religion is wrong,’ Hamer recalls. ‘And I kept on trying to push back and say, ‘Science proves that people have an innate desire for religion.’’ The interview lasted about an hour and a half, Hamer tells us, yet only a two-second clip from their conversation made the final cut…
Andrew Newberg, the University of Pennsylvania neurologist known for his research on religious experience. In the film he and Maher walk and talk at New York City's Grand Central Station. Most of their conversation is muted to make way for Maher's voiceovers, but we do hear Newberg trying to tone Maher down a bit. ‘How we define what is crazy or not crazy about religions is ultimately up to how we define ‘crazy,’’ Newberg explains…
Although Newberg does not regret being in the film, he admits he's disappointed that Maher didn't take his findings more to heart. ‘I think it's a little difficult to write off everybody who has ever been religious as being delusional or psychotic,’ he says. ‘I don't think the data really supports that’…
But in order to keep the battle lines between believers and nonbelievers clear, Bill Maher's Religulous chose to ignore, as Hamer puts it, ‘the basic human biology of why religion is important.’”
Does this seem relevant to anyone? Will anyone make anything of it or look further into the issue involved, anyone? Will a website crop up picking apart every detail related to Religulous, anyone? Anyone?