After being accused of sneaking into the presentation, a biologist and science writer was removed from a private, invitation-only screening of a movie that examined controversies over evolutionary research.
“Expelled,” a documentary-style movie by the economics and political commentator Ben Stein, claims that academic proponents of Intelligent Design theory are being suppressed due to their doubts about the accuracy of the Darwinian model of evolution.
At a recent screening of “Expelled”, a security guard removed P.Z. Meyers, an outspoken atheist and an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris from the movie theater. Meyers, author of the science blog “Pharyngula,” was interviewed for the movie.
A press release from the filmmakers claimed Meyers has “apparently been asking supporters to sneak into the private screenings,” which are conducted by the marketing company Motive Entertainment.
Myers’ friend Richard Dawkins, a science writer and atheist polemicist, was also at the screening. He asked movie producer Mark Mathis why Meyers had been “expelled” from the screening.
Mathis replied that the producers would let Meyers screen the film only when he paid to see it after its general release.
Writing in a March 21 entry on his blog “Pharyngula,” Meyers said that he, his family, and his friends had followed the proper procedures to acquire seats for the screening. Meyers called one audience member’s account of his removal a “complete fabrication.”
In a press release, Mathis said Dawkins and Meyers “applaud the fact that throughout the nation, professors are fired from their jobs and permanently excluded from their profession for questioning Darwinism.”
"I hope PZ's experience has helped him see the light,” Mathis said. “He's distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn't allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he'll think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin's theory."
“Expelled” will be released to general audiences on April 18.