Sunday, March 23, 2008

Yah, about that cell video in EXPELLED...

PZ has a post up clarifying that the animation in EXPELLED is not Harvard/XVIVOs animation, 'Inner Life of a Cell.'

Hmm-- Now why would PZ, Dawkins, and dozens of EXPELLED viewers that have emailed me recently have been confused about the animation in EXPELLED and 'Inner Life of a Cell'?

September 17, 2007
William Dembski makes a presentation at the University of Oklahoma where he plagiarizes 'Inner Life of a Cell' to describe 'the cell as an automated city.'

November 20, 2007
After Dembski ignored Harvard/XVIVO for two months, I broke the story on my blog.

November 27, 2007
Dembski issues a stock standard notpology, but proclaims:
I continue to this day to think that “The Inner Life of the Cell” is the best animation illustrating cellular activity. But there are other videos that make the same point. From now on, I will no longer use it and instead go back to using a clip from “Unlocking the Mystery of Life.”
This wonderful completely original animation that is currently in EXPELLED appears not to exist, at this point.

December 9, 2007
A professor of theology in Dallas gets invited to a pre-screening of EXPELLED. He makes a note of the animation, and positively identifies it as 'Inner Life of a Cell' without being prompted. Expresses concern that the producers have not obtained the appropriate rights.

December 21, 2007

Dembski brags about his textbook 'Design of Life' being a 'companion text' to EXPELLED.

December 25, 2007
Peter Irons and Afarensis identify footprints in 'Design of Life' where screen-shots of 'Inner Life' were to appear.

January 11, 2008
We are informed that EXPELLED will not be ready for its scheduled February 12 release. Though all accounts of the film thus far describe it as cut/pastes of stock footage, one wonders what the hold up was...

March, 2008
EXPELLED confuses viewers into thinking the animation they are using is 'Inner Life of a Cell', featuring Dembski blithering about 'the cell as an automated city.'

Well I just cant figure out why PZ would have thought EXPELLEDs current animation is at all related to 'Inner Life'.


Jakk said...

It is mystery, is it not?


The more I learn about this movie, the easier it is to treat cdesign proponentists with contempt. It's not just that they're lying hypocrites. It's that they're so pathetic.

It's like they made a boring game mod by cut-and-pasting together other peoples' work, with no talent or hard work of their own. On the scale of intarweb fail, that makes them below counterstrikers.

Mind -> boggling.

Torbjörn said...

I noted the nice going on the main elements of forensic "design detection" over at PZ's; opportunity and motive established. Means would be the Harvard video, producers IDC/YEC $$$ and animator studios with physical modelers.

I suppose a real investigation would next chase the animation studio-producer and producer-IDC-YEC $$$ connections. (Everyone is a CSI wannabe these days... :-P)

Jon said...

I really don't understand these people. I mean, a freshman college student could plagiarize more effectively than these idiots. This is the equivalent of copy and pasting someone else's work and then replacing the big words using a thesaurus.

Is this the free and open-minded academia that the IDiots envision? Frightening.

Olorin said...

Whether or not a purported copy infringes the copyright on the original work depends upon whether the copy uses the same "expression" as the original. Different kinds of works have different ranges of expression. In a novel or a cartoon strip, the range can be very broad---using the same recognizable characters or plot variations can infringe. Works based upon fact have a narrower range, because you can't copyright the underlying facts. Maps, for example have a narrow range.

The range of "Inner Life of a Cell" runs toward the narrow side, because it depicts facts. However, there is a lot of artistic variation in the way that these facts can be presented, which increases the range somewhat. If the "overall impression" of the viewer is the same, there is at least a chance that the copy infringes. The error that an irregular motion is presented as smooth in both the original and the copy is, I think, significant as to whether the expression is the same. (Mapmakers use small deliberate errors, called "house towns," to detect infringement.) A legal opinion would require a detailed review of the entire work.

Of course, you can't infringe a copyright by creating a work independently from the copyrighted work. There muat be "copying." however, access to the original and similarity can create a (rebuttable) presumption that the original was copied.

In this case, the mere possibility of copyright infringement might have a significant effect. Sending the DVD to Harvard and publicizing the similarities might cause the Expelled producers to yank that segment or to modify it again. Anything they do will cost a fair amount of money, and doing nothing will continue to be bad publicity for them---yet another dishonesty.

monado said...

Apparently it's very hard to tell the "new, we made it ourselves" video from the old Harvard video. The new one is possibly a new animation with the same "look and feel." And I think that means that the 'new' video might have plagiaraized the results of the research into molecular shapes and interactions that went into the original and the expression of that research. Just saying.

Bill said...

Clearly the creationists didn't do any of the research that would have led to an simulation of molecular processes and an animation of those processes.

They simply copied, blindly, what Harvard produced.

All they care about is this man-like molecule walking down a tightrope pulling a ball.

Their sheep-like audience will ooh and ahh in appreciation without having a freaking clue what they're looking at.

Brett said...

so basically they made a cheap knockoff to try to get around copyright infringement? classy.

Gary said...

Can't Harward sue them for being excessively stupid?


Chipmunk84 said...

They claim to have worked on the animation in conjunction with cell biologists. Yes, yes, I'm sure they have a team of renowned experts to help them with these kinds of matters. Shame they won't be revealing any names - you know, lest they get "expelled" for contributing to a cdesign proponentsist doG-umentary.

Bill said...

OH, I see!

The creationists worked out the chemistry of the cell using creation science and came up with the EXACT SAME SIMULATION as the atheist cell biology scientists.

Let me guess, that's Jesus pulling the ball. Yes, I can see the robes. It's all clear now.

BW022 said...

Wiki sources a Variety magazine article stating that the sequences were attributed to Light Productions and Out of Our Mind Studios, with Joseph Condeelis as listed as the lead animator.

Neither looks like a company large enough to be simulating cell biology, so it looks pretty clear that they just copied the XVIVO animation.