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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Darwinist threat to sue pro-ID filmmakers? Friend of the studio thinks they have no case

I just heard from a friend of the studio who saw my recent post about the anonymous warning that Darwinists might sue the makers of the Ben Stein Expelled film. The film does not flatter them, and perhaps they'd want to at least stop it from opening on Darwin's birthday next February.

Said studio rat writes,
Not only would any lawsuit be a waste of time, but there was nothing unethical about how they obtained interviews from what I've heard. In some cases, namely Richard Dawkins but a number of others as well, the interviewee saw the questions prior to the interview and it was very clear what the subject matter was about. Interviewees were told that the working title was Crossroads, which it was for a while (remember some interviews happened more than a year ago). It's not uncommon for a movie to have one or even a few working titles while it is being produced.

At the end of each interview the interviewees were asked to sign a release form. If they didn't like how the interview had gone it seems that would have been the time to say 'no, I won't sign that' which would have protected them from being included in the film.

Ratsy wonders how likely it is that Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers said anything that they haven't said or written publicly before.

Not likely.

Who besides the Prophet of the Pharyngula is complaining? Funny, I would have thought that the Pharyngulite would be too busy with other legal matters to worry much about this.

Anyway, Ratsy says he was kind of expecting the Darwoids to make these noises because they don't have many other options. The picture ain't pretty, apparently, but it isn't illegal either.

I'm waiting to see if Premise Media wants to issue a "So sue us!" statement. Might clear the air a bit.

Update: Here's a podcast with the executive producer of Expelled, Walt Ruloff.
Ruloff gives a brief overview of Expelled, explains how he came to spend over two years making the film, talks about intelligent design as a disruptive technology compared to dogmatic Darwinian evolution, and tells how the film will show that Darwinian evolution is a science stopper. Rather than get mired in the politics of the debate, Ruloff explains that Expelled gets to "where the rubber meets the road, where the science is being done."

Further update: Here Walt Ruloff denies that trickery or deception were used.

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Calculating God author Rob Sawyer wins top China sci-fi prize

Canadian science fiction writer Rob Sawyer, author of The Calculating God, which explores the idea of intelligent design, has won China's top science fiction prize.
CHENGDU, CHINA, 26 AUGUST 2007: Robert J. Sawyer of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, today won China's top science-fiction award, the Galaxy Award, in the category "Most Popular Foreign Author of the Year." The award, voted on by Chinese readers, was presented at the Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, the largest science-fiction conference ever held in China. (The last international SF&F conference in China was held ten years ago, in 1997.)

Chinese translations of Sawyer's novels are published by Science Fiction World, headquartered in Chengdu, and his short stories have appeared in SCIENCE FICTION WORLD magazine, the world's largest-circulation SF publication; Sawyer is also a past columnist for that magazine.

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The Galaxy Award honors Sawyer's entire oeuvre, rather than a specific book. The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the Chengdu Museum of Science and Technology.

He deserves it. His sci-fi explores serious issues, not just the crises of geekhood. My review of Calculating God is here.

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