Monday, April 14, 2008


Well shit.

I was going to save these posts until after EXPELLED was released, but now there is no point in waiting. After the Discovery Institutes blatant theft of a small animation companys work, three out of four of Papa-TARDs remaining functional neurons must have died after working so hard to drip out 'But all deh cells looks dey sames!' as a defense... only to have their massive effort ruined when Megalomania-TARD bravely screamed 'LEEEEEEEEROOOOOOY JENKINS!'-- admitting the DI stole XVIVO/Harvards damn animation.

Right on the internet.

For everyone to read.

Including Harvard law.


But I might as well put this series of posts up so you gentle readers can critique the stolen animation for your friends, if they should still be under the impression that the Discovery Institute Fellows are somehow 'honest' or 'intelligent'.

Actin is one of those pesky proteins Creationists wish didnt exist. You see, humans got several different kinds of actin out of that impossible evolutionary mechanism of gene duplication and divergence. But bad news for Creationists is good news for you! Youve got different kinds of actin that have their own special duties. For instance, you probably remember 'actin' from high school bio, when you talked about muscle contractions-- Actin, myosin, etc. Thats 'alpha' actin.

The actin at the beginning of 'Inner Life' is 'beta' actin. Beta actin forms the cytoskeletal network at the cell membrane surface, and can quickly change shape when a cell wants to move. But this actin network is never static, and it does not change shape by itself. Beebopping around the network are proteins that stabilize the structures, and ones that destabilize it. Here is a short list of the little actin-altering dudes floating around.

Changes within the actin network at the cell membrane surface is an integral part of the 'Inner Life' plot. I mean, the whole story is about how a lymphocyte moves to a site of infection, and the cell wouldnt move at all if it werent for changes in the actin network. But XVIVO chose to omit all of the actin binding proteins for simplicitys sake:
Whats important to note here too, is that in addition to the static actin network structure, in addition to the absence of actin binding proteins, notice how 'Inner Life's actin network forms a nice, pseudo-diamond crystal, horizontal sides differing from the vertical component in size, general shape/structure, and color.

This is what an actin network looks like through a microscope:
Hat tip and thank you to The Daily Transcript for the pic (and go read the rest of that post on actin!).

So, knowing what you know now, gentle readers, can anyone explain the EXPELLED rip-off video as anything other than a rip-off?
Same diamond crystal structure. Same vertical/horizontal component size/structure/color differences. Same absence of same proteins.

Its just a shittier version of 'Inner Life'. The horizontal 'actin' looks like it belongs in 'Two Girls, One Cup', not a fucking professional bioanimation.

More to come.


Robert O'Brien said...

'But all deh cells looks dey sames!' as a defense... only to have their massive effort ruined when Megalomania-TARD bravely screamed 'LEEEEEEEEROOOOOOY JENKINS!'

My unsolicited recommendation is to dial back the geekiness.

Anonymous said...

"The horizontal 'actin' looks like it belongs in 'Two Girls, One Cup', not a fucking professional bioanimation."

As I pickup my jaw from the floor. Wow, just wow. But entirely deserved IMO.FGSFDS.

mcmillan said...

I actually was a little uncertain what this was supposed to be when I watched the Inner Life movie. It really seemed too regular and repeating to make much sense, I figured it was some cytoskeleton protein but whether it was actin or something else was a little unclear.

When I watched the clip from expelled right after reviewing XVIVO's I immediately recognized the similarities to other movie and was laughing. The argument that the similarities are just due to similarities in the actual molecules doesn't hold much water when I can make a connection to the Inner Life movie more clearly than I can to actin.

midwifetoad said...

Expelledexposed has a link to the Variety Magazine review of Expelled. They credit an outfit named Out Of Our Minds with animation. They have a demo here. There's some stuff about a third of the way into the demo that looks like it uses the same animation model as the XVIVO video.

Duae Quartunciae said...

These actin networks, and the close similarity of the Expelled trailers with the Inner Life video, was also a blog post I was considering for after the release. But I would not have handled it nearly so well, or given the electron microscope image. Well done.

ERV said...

Honestly, I dont think 'Out of Our Minds' had any hand in the plagiarism either.

They have pics of their animators with Disney/Pixar folks-- that company and their employees will never work again if it comes out that they stole someone elses work.

That dude might work for them, and he might have used their machines, but I *really* doubt 'Out of Our Minds' wants their name on this.

ERV said...

@ anon-- I want an award for being able to reference 'that video' in a scientific post :P

Sili said...

I didn't pay attention in high school, so I appreciate this story.

Just a minor nitpick: That lattice doesn't look like diamond at all. It's more akin to a simple cubic lattice.

Sorry - failed crystallographer here.

midwifetoad said...

Whether Out Of Our Minds wants to be associated with Expelled or not, if Variety says they are animators for Expelled, they are associated with it.

If they are not guilty, they better speak up before the opening.

Anonymous said...

I award you +10 internets ERV. Spend them wisely.

Anonymous said...

btw I can never get enough of LEEEEROYYYY!

Thomas S. Howard said...

You know, the Variety review is pretty underwhelming in general, and even cites the animation approvingly:

"And an animated illustration of the inner workings of a cell offers a striking visual argument in favor of "irreducible complexity," raising the question of how such harmony of form and function could have developed through spontaneous mutation."

At least it concedes that "it's easier to critique evolution (oddly, the gaps in the fossil record, which even biologists concede, are never addressed) than to mount evidence for intelligent design..."

I like how biologists "concede" gaps in the fossil record, implying that they'd rather not admit to such. Leaving aside the issue that while biologists are certainly are aware of this stunningly obvious fact, it is paleontologists who are the ones dealing with the fossil record as their daily work, there's nothing to concede. The gaps exist. It's well known why they exist. And of course, most importantly, the gaps present no problem at all for evolutionary theory.

I'd like to think that the Expelled people were smart enough to avoid the topic for precisely that reason, but it was probably more due the fact that if they started talking about fossils, they have had to cut out clips of the Nuremberg rallies.

Leeroy Jenkins said...

Let's do this!

celdd said...

Sali said:
"Just a minor nitpick: That lattice doesn't look like diamond at all. It's more akin to a simple cubic lattice."

Uhm, Diamond does have a cubic lattice.

S_A_Wells said...

Diamond has a cubic lattice, but it's not simple cubic. It's Face-centred cubic, FCC.

...yes I did have to teach first-year crystallography once.

Ixian said...

Great post, never thought I'd see some of those quotes made in reference to science. Though I suppose some of it shouldn't surprise me since about the only thing ID people seem to think about is how loud should they scream Leroy Jenkins and how long they should stretch it out. The how, why, when, where, etc all remain beyond their thought process remaining in the "goddidit" area.

I really look forward to what happens when the "LEEEEEROOOY" post gets brought up in any court case that arises from the copyright infringement.

Bill said...

BobOB wrote:

My unsolicited recommendation is to dial back the geekiness.

Geekiness has no dial.

Joshua said...

You know, you may want to add a warning to people who don't know what "Two Girls, One Cup" is not to google it. I could see someone becoming a bit upset by that.

大力 said...


Too late, already googled it. The text on Wikipedia made me think my poor visual imagination can occasionally be a blessing.


Lledowyn said...

Funny... you write a post about how what the producers of Expelled are plagiarizing the XVIVO animation, and you get a bunch of creationists bleating against you. Then when you go ahead and present proof about the obvious plagiarism, you don't even get a peep from them. I don't know why, but I find that somewhat funny.

minimalist said...

So according to the Variety review,

"And an animated illustration of the inner workings of a cell offers a striking visual argument in favor of "irreducible complexity,"..."

So do Mickey Mouse cartoons offer striking visual arguments in favor of talking rats?

I can't say I expect too much sophistication from Variety magazine, but a little awareness that artistic representation != reality might be a good thing to have in a magazine devoted to the freaking entertainment industry.

Up next: a review of the documentary about conflicts in the Middle East, Iron Man!

Xeno said...

Leeroy Jenkins!!!!!!

If I had have been drinking milk when I read that I would have sprayed milk out my nose....

Auribus tenere lupum said...

The challenge that one always encounters when attempting to enter into a debate with the advocates of creationism is that as a scientist how do you argue with articles of faith.

Intelligent Design is pseudo science on a par the crop circle and sensationalist paranormal research. In the end though it is based on the single premise that life is too complicated to have arisen without the guiding hand of God (back to your article of faith).

What is truly worrying is the insidious nature of the attacks being made on the teaching of science. In particular evolutionary biology.

For the record.. I used to make crop circles in my dads fields and then charge a quid a visit to the 'researches' who would showed up with alarming frequency. Still it kept me in beer for several years.

Worse still I was a Biochemist(complete with Ph.D.).. sadly making a living and raising a family have taken me away from science.

So here is my article of faith. Life, actin networks, tyrosine kinase cascades and even the existence alcohol dehydrogenase can, in the end, be explained by thermodynamics and probability theory. It's all just chemistry. Blast better stop teaching that too.. and maybe physics while we are about it!!

Sven DiMilo said...

Sure. I pointed out the other day in the middle of some megathread at Pharyngula that the actin network is the smoking gun here, not so much the kinesin. The Harvard video tells a little story, and the descent through the actin-supported microvillus of the leukocyte is an integral part of that story as we transition from events outside the cell to the inside. The Expectorated version is totally gratuitous, since all they're trying to illustrate is "complexity."

monado said...

Crop circles at least had a proposed mechanism, or two, if you count both "alien force fields from flying saucers" and "guys with ropes and boards trampling the corn." ID has none. Ditto the paranormal, which converged more or less on "noisy information channel, transmissions by mental energy." So it's less of a science.

monado said...

That was a little incoherent. I meant that ID has no mechanism, whereas crop circles and telepathy had vague notions of mechanism. So they are better science.

(Stupid Norton Password Manager is auto-filling the word verification field!)

Wylann said...

"Geekiness has no dial."

Correction: it goes all teh way to eleven.

And yeah, Abbie went there! =)

Wylann aka Worldtraveller