Remember the urban legend about the atheist professor getting shown up over a piece of chalk by a student in class? They are turning it into a movie...

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Summary: There were a variety of urban legends about a student standing up to an atheist professor and shaming said professor in front of a class. An upcoming movie taps into that myth to discuss belief, presumably polemically...

BLOT: (16 Mar 2014 - 01:08:19 PM)

Remember the urban legend about the atheist professor getting shown up over a piece of chalk by a student in class? They are turning it into a movie...

You may have heard the urban legend about the professor who challenges his students to disbelieve in God by saying that if God exists, then God would stop him [the professor] from dropping a piece of chalk, and a student stands up to the professor and the chalk manages to not break and the professor is embarrassed and unable to teach anymore [considering said professor screamed and ran out of the room] so the student converts the whole room to Christianity. It actually pre-dates the internet, but the chalk version1, which seems to be the most prominent, is from pretty early on in the Eternal September, and is still around, as witnessed by a 10mil+ hit Youtube video that is nothing but the text of the legend on a black background as music plays [I'll let you find it if you want].

There are lots of reasons to be irritated by it. It it portrays non-theistic worldviews as horribly shaky and full of angry egotism that simply has never been question. Stuff like the stereotypically evil professor being so distraught he is unable to face his students stinks of anti-intellectualism. And, just think, what if the student stood up and the chalk did break? I guess you could have the smug student run out of the room, the professor be humble and intellectual, and the story wouldn't lose anything. It's that bad of a story, with no place for or in intellectual ombudsmanship.

Oh, and they are, basically, turning it into a movie.

Since my primary dislike of the original legend is that it pretends we live in a world with a reasoned atheist would have his or her stance shattered by a single act of defiance, having a movie with a back and forth is potentially a fix for those complaints. Though, based on the free resources section of the site, they have no care to make it less polemical. It has a metaphorical piece of chalk hanging over its head.

There has to be other urban legends we can turn into movies. [Yes, I mean besides the obvious.] How about the mutant KFC chicken thing (that would likely be a SyFy Original) or that damned silly $250 cookie recipe one.

1: While the student version, above, has the student spends months in torment and prayer, I've heard of versions where the student [as an ex-marine] stood up on the first day, and punches the professor. Though it might be that this is something like a counter-legend, trying to make the original look even worse.


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