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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
P.Z. Myers Crashes Telecon
Believe It Or Not: Can't Stage His Own Event

I’m blogging this live… And in the middle of Motive’s telecon, Myers somehow managed to crash the call… and interject himself into the Q&A with Stein, Ruloff, Logan, and Mathis! And then he invited the press to contact him at his website. Lauer has just very kindly asked Myers’ to hang up, and after he made some accusations of lies and doing the “dishonorable thing,” Myers did ring off after a couple of minutes.

Wow. The chutzpah. I just about fell out of my chair.

A full transcript of this telecon has been promised. I look forward to supplying you all with a full transcript of that exchange, which I did not myself get recorded.

I must say that Lauer and the Expelled crew handled the situation with far more grace than I would have. It’s worth noting that Lauer welcomed Myers to stay on the line and listen, but not to interject himself again. That was pretty generous, all things considered.

Update: Myers blogs about the incident.



13 Responses to “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

  1. Jason  

    Myers has always been a jackass. This incident only goes to prove that fact further.

  2. CleveDan  

    It is astonishing how Mathis and company can call anyone out on their morals or ethical behavior
    This movie is an extended lie meant to trick people who don’t know any better. It attempts to rewrite history. The only reason PZ is even attached to this movie is because of a deliberate calculated lie told to him by the makers of the movie….lying for your Christ is still lying

  3. Greg Wright  

    No argument that lying is lying and wrong no matter the cause. I’ve talked with P.Z. over the phone and will be sharing that interview with him sometime in the next couple of days.

    Everyone deserves the chance to be heard.

    And I’ll be doing my best to call things as I see them, no matter the source.

    And for the record — let’s be done with name-calling, Jason.

  4. Jason  

    But saying “lying for your Christ” is perfectly fine. Ooookay.

  5. Greg Wright  

    Jason, if a Christian lies on behalf of the cause of Christ, it’s wrong. Claiming that lies have been told is not the same thing as calling someone names. I’ve investigated the facts at length, and I was in on the call in question — and there’s no doubt that, on that score at least, facts are clearly misreprented by Paul Lauer, at the very least.

    Without knowing more about why Lauer made the claims he did, I’m hesitant to call it “lying,” which means intentional deception, but I can certainly understand how, in the face of a barrage of such charges, such ill-advised spinning of the facts subjects itself to that charge.

    Sure, it’s business — but Christian business and Christian politics should look different. It should be more transparent and honest, less willing to spin the truth just to score points or gain advantage.

  6. Gina  

    Greg, sorry, I don’t quite see what you’re getting at — what facts has Lauer misrepresented and when? I was in on the call too, for the record, and I heard them say that those interviewed for the film had to read and sign a release. Are you saying that’s not true?

    (Sorry if this comment shows up more than once — the system and I appear to be having a battle of wills here!)

  7. Greg Wright  

    Hi, Gina. Thanks for asking for clarification.

    My full follow-up on the telcon is posted here, and I specifically point out that Lauer’s claim that the Minneapolis incident had made Expelled’s blog “#1 on blogpulse” over the weekend is untrue. Motive’s press release about the Minneapolis screening also spins the truth in that regard. Myers’ site Pharyngula is the site was that ran to the top of the blogosphere, not any of the sites or blogs associated with Expelled.

    Those (the claim in the telecon, and the claim in the press release) are the claims that are false. (That can be called “spin,” I suppose, but it misrepresents the facts.)

    I can’t see that anything else in the telecon was false information, and my follow-up calls Myers on the carpet for his spurious allegations, pointing out where he, in fact, is the one who gets his facts wrong.

    At the same time, there’s a lot of other spin coming out of the Expelled camp that would be best avoided, if they expect to be above reproach. If the facts are strong enough, they don’t need to be spun. And if they’re not… Well, then folks should just shut up.

  8. Gina  

    Thank you for the clarification. I can’t seem to get that hyperlink up there to work, but no worries, I can search the blog for it. I appreciate your getting back to me so quickly!

  9. Greg Wright  

    Got the hyperlink fixed. Oops! Thanks for pointing that out…

  10. Goobster  

    How can you call this “lying for your Christ”? You talk about lies when things are quite questionable, while launching an accusation that is at its root false.
    Ben Stein isn’t supporting Christianity. He isn’t pushing Christianity. He isn’t even a Christian. He is questioning Atheist (don’t forget that’s a religion) teaching. He is admitting that the general public has bought into a belief system, whether they know it or not. Then, he questions whether that belief system is true.
    If you are going to call open-minded individuals who do not accept the full rhetoric of the atheist religion as absolute truth a “Christian”, you must hold Christians in very high standing indeed. I, however, would simply call them rational beings.

  11. Greg Wright  

    Just to be clear, it was CleveDan who used the prase “lying for your Christ.” And he’s talking primarily about Mark Mathis, the film’s Associate Producer, and the other Christians associated with the production. I rather imagine he knows that Stein is Jewish.

    And for the record, Goob, he overstates the case. It’s perfectly reasonable that a person might misrepresent facts without doing so in order to advance a religious cause. The motivation might be political or financial, for instance.

    Expelled is primarily a business venture, not a ministry function.

  12. Mike  

    So are we saying the Myers would have responded differently to questions based on audience? If so, why? Can’t he tell the truth regardless of the consequences, or does he have to reshape it depending upon who he thinks the audience is?

    And academia is now a business venture too like it or not. When big tax dollars are involved, Big Science likes to protect its funding source.

  13. Greg Wright  

    Actually, Mike, Myers has said that he would have replied in exactly the same fashion; and after talking with him myself, I tend to believe him. The only difference, he said, is that he wouldn’t have felt like he’d been the subject of a bait-and-switch.

    That being said… Myers does tend to present himself differently when he knows he’s being watched (or listened to) by a broad audience. His comments at Pharyngula reveal a far more garrulous, vulgar man than he appears in the film or in my interview with him.

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