Veteran creationist watchers will remember how the producers of Expelled used a front to con folks such as Genie Scott, Richard Dawkins, and PZ Myers into getting involved with their little dog and pony show. (See here for details on that). Now it seems Creation Ministries International used a front company and lied (there is no other word for it) to notable historians of science to get them involved in their docu-drama The Voyage That Shook The World, a blockbuster that is scheduled to be shown in churches throughout the US.
The historians in question are well know experts on Darwin (Peter Bowler, Sandra Herbert and Janet Browne) who only learned that they had been contributing to a creationist documentary the month before it was released. Bowler
says he is unhappy to be appearing in what he regards as an “anti-Darwinian” film which offers an historically distorted portrait of Darwin. He claims that the film’s narrative implies that Darwin’s theory led him towards racism, whereas recent historical work by James Moore and Adrian Desmond shows that Darwin’s scientific work was partly motivated by the naturalist’s passionate opposition to racism.
When asked whether their tactic were “deceptive,” Phil Bell replied
“Well, it could be called deceptive. But I think, at the end of the day, I would say that more people are concerned about how we’ve made a documentary, that’s a world-class documentary, clearly with wonderful footage, with excellent interviews, and balanced open discussion.”
No. At the end of the day, people should be concerned that you showed no compunction about deceiving noted historians – who, by the way, have always been nuanced in their discussions of opposition to evolution – so as to be able to better skewer Darwin. You lied, pure and simple.
There is a “study guide” over at the movie website and the study questions (with suggested links) are here. A quick browse of the suggested links will show that it is highly unlikely that Darwin (or modern evolution) will be treated either fairly or accurately.
Welcome to Son of Expelled.
Update (6/27): I respond to CMI’s response here.
Update (6/29): Further thoughts here.