Biologist, professor and blogger PZ Myers was expelled from a Minnesota theater while trying to attend a screening of the forthcoming pro-intelligent design documentary titled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed featuring Mr. Monotone himself Ben Stein. Myers described his experience as follows:
I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried â€¦ but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird â€” I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.
I went back to my family and talked with them for a while, and then the officer came back with a theater manager, and I was told that not only wasn’t I allowed in, but I had to leave the premises immediately. Like right that instant.â€ Scienceblogs.com
So what’s the big deal? Well for one Myers is in the film he was trying to attend. He and other dissenting scientists (including notorious evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins) were interviewed in the film to present the perspective of â€œBig Science.â€ Call me crazy but if I was interviewed for a film that promotes a doctrine I disagree with, I’d be curious to see just how piecemeal the footage they shot of me is, and Myers apparently is no different. Unfortunately for him, he appears to have been misled from the beginning out the films intentions.
After digging a little deeper I discovered that Myers was originally told the film would be titled “Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion,” seemingly a fair and balanced evaluation of both perspectives. Then, according to Myers blog, he found himself featured in a press release for a separate film titled Expelled, under a different production company, Premise Media, but with the same producer, Mark Mathis, that had arranged his previous interview. Sound a little fishy? Well it is. Myers is not alone. Many other scientists had the same encounter and you can read about them here. Mathis claims that Crossroads was a working title for the film, but domain name registration dates say otherwise.
Should any of this really be surprising? Not really. Take a trip over to expelledexposed.com and you’ll read plenty of reviews that paint a picture of the film more akin to religious propaganda than scientific debate.
For more info check out this clip of a discussion between Myers and Dawkins on the whole Expelled debacle: