Ben Stein roused by suppression in the science versus religion debate

Feb 15, 2008 Full story: www.scientificblogging.com 1,703

Best known as the lovable, deadpan economics teacher in "Ferris Beuller's Day Off," Ben Stein takes his role in the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" very seriously but with perceptible passion.

In the controversial documentary which opens this spring, the former presidential speechwriter, economist and self-described "scold" travels the world speaking with scientists, chemists and philosophers asking, "Were we designed or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning?" Full Story
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“kein Mitleid fur die Mehrheit”

Since: Dec 06

Allen Park, Michigan

#1 Feb 15, 2008
I have lost a lot of respect for Ben. He is making a Mike Moore style movie. Very disappointing.

“blow it out your bagpipes”

Since: Dec 06

Salford, Manchester UK

#2 Feb 16, 2008
While not a fan of Michael Moore, at least he takes responsibility for what garbage he produces.

Ben Stein was just a mouthpiece in this film. He has no accountability for what he espouses. And I'm sure he has been well paid.

“Women (and cats) of WoW unite!”

Since: Jul 07

San Diego, but now: The Woods

#3 Feb 16, 2008
I'm not sure why, but I find Ben Stein kind of hot.

Since: Jan 08

Louisville, KY

#4 Feb 16, 2008
Ben is a genius. It is time that the side of the Christian Scientist is looked at.
jww

Pomona, CA

#5 Feb 16, 2008
Ben Stein is a slime.

“kein Mitleid fur die Mehrheit”

Since: Dec 06

Allen Park, Michigan

#7 Feb 16, 2008
Ediepediethelilweinie wrote:
Ben is a genius. It is time that the side of the Christian Scientist is looked at.
There are many Christian scientists out there. Most are good scientists. When you make a mystical creator the basis for your theory, then you have forgotten what theory and science is. ID is not scientific theory.
Claude Bogardus

Auburn Hills, MI

#8 Feb 16, 2008
Of course Intelligent Design is not a "Scientific Theory." But nor is Darwinism other than a "Brilliant Conjecture." We simply do not know our origin in this magnificent, violent, beautiful Universe. Whatever is observed is taken as proof of the down-market "Darwinism" advocated by the Secularist Random Assembly Crowd. Such an approach may be fulfilling, but it is not SCIENCE, which deserves better Acolytes. Ptolemy, scanning the Heavens in ancient Alexandria, would have been appalled at the surfeit of heat over light in this overblown Controversy. The BIBLE, and other Religious Manuals, offer Parables of Creation creation consistent with the understanding of the Worshippers. The Ancient Peoples knew not Newton and Einstein and Heisenberg, so theywere informed to the limitof their understanding, which allowed them to get back to being herdsmen and peasants. We Modern Folk need to keep looking for answers, while feeding our families and bringing along the next Generation in what comfort we can manage.

I leave you with the words of a Socialist, Atheist, Famous Scientist of a past Century, J.B.S. Haldane: "The Universe is stranger than we know. Perhaps it is stranger than we can know!"
DON

Stewartville, MN

#9 Feb 16, 2008
jww wrote:
Ben Stein is a slime.
"Darwinism" The scum of the earth.

“Rattling for Chemistry”

Since: Dec 06

Deep Swamps of Georgia

#10 Feb 16, 2008
DON wrote:
<quoted text>"Darwinism" The scum of the earth.
Umm....please define Darwinism?
DS in NJ

Watchung, NJ

#11 Feb 16, 2008
Ben Stein is a shrill ReichWing mouth-piece. It's no surprise that Cash would be promoting him.

Since: Jul 07

United States

#12 Feb 16, 2008
dukdodgers wrote:
I have lost a lot of respect for Ben. He is making a Mike Moore style movie. Very disappointing.
If Ben attacks individuals in the movie without giving them a chance to reply, then you can say he is making a michael moore type movie. My guess is that he will not do that. Big difference.

“The Hammer of the Gods”

Since: Jul 07

Duluth, MN

#13 Feb 16, 2008
Intelligent design? Gimme a break. Ben Stein is a fool.
BOBBYB

United States

#14 Feb 16, 2008
oh no not another lenthy stream of bull****
MeToo

Ypsilanti, MI

#15 Feb 16, 2008
TrilbyKat wrote:
I'm not sure why, but I find Ben Stein kind of hot.
I've always been attracted to Ben Stein and I have no idea why! Any ideas?
Ron

United States

#16 Feb 16, 2008
el politico wrote:
<quoted text>
If Ben attacks individuals in the movie without giving them a chance to reply, then you can say he is making a michael moore type movie. My guess is that he will not do that. Big difference.
Michael Moore ALWAYS gives people he criticizes a "chance to reply". But they usually don't, since they know they are WRONG and he is CORRECT! BRAVO, Michael Moore!
Recordo

Miami, FL

#17 Feb 16, 2008
Darwin did NOT try to explain how or from where life began. I'll say that again: Darwin NEVER explained the origin or life nor did he try. His life's study was on the origin of the diversity of species.

The term DARWINISM was invented by Creationists and Fundamentalists looking for a recognizable tail to pin their donkey on.

Those of you who decide which candy bar to eat based on the color of the wrapper are doomed to repeat the same ignorance you have acquired from other dumb people.

Intelligent Design is not a theory, it is a belief just like the audience that believes the magician actually pulled a coin out of someone's ear.

Evolution is a theory, but you must remember that for an idea to become a theory it must present empirical evidence and proof of its validity. The theory that life began spontaneously given the unique conditions present on the earth 3 or 4 billion years ago has problems too. But it's easier to demonstrate that this was possible than to rely on faith in a super-intelligent designer for the same answers to the same questions.

All Stein is doing is saying "Let the evidence lead the way," even if it makes one church or another uncomfortable.
WASA

United States

#18 Feb 16, 2008
If god created the universe in an act of intelligent design, and it did not happen through some form of evolution, why do humans have a vestigial tailbone? Did god err? Since mankind is not knowledgeabe about, and in control of the universe, we long for a "papa" in the sky to serve as our surrogate. Man created god in his own image.
Bearcat

United States

#19 Feb 16, 2008
Ah, I see Dr, Hitchins' disciples and fellows are following his tactic of debate: name calling and labelling. If you read the article through, with an open mind, you would have noted the National Academy of Science's quote about what constitutes an arena of valid scientific inquiry. Both "Darwinism" and "Creationism" are belief systems, hence the strident bias. One says there is no Creator God, the other affirms there is. If there is no Creator God, then there is no personal moral responsibility, and one can live as one chooses, within their own understanding of right and wrong, with no consequences outside of the natural order. If there is a Creator God, then man is a unique creation, subject to God's moral laws, with eternal consequences. Each one finds the other to be anathema.
The scientific inquiry into the theory of evolution has yielded valuable knowledge about earlier life forms, and the history of the earth. By their own admission, scientists have not yet found "the missing link" of an evolved genotype from one species into another, so they keep looking and theorizing.
What Ben Stein is objecting to is the suppression of academic freedom of inquiry in colleges and universities. BTW, "university" comes from "universitas", which embraces the seeking and discussion of ALL fields of knowledge, including religion, culture, literature, science, and technology, and how they are interrelated, for the benefit of mankind.
If you read his words, you will see that the man is interested in preserving an open academic community.
No Jewish person can support persecution of any sort, especially by those who claim to be "liberal", but acting like anarchists. Being Jewish myself, with Biology and Physics degrees, I think Ben is very brave for bringing light to bear on this modern version of intellectual lockstep, that has wrongly pervaded the political sphere, too. Racial darwinism is what brought about Dachau, and the dehumanizing of people of color. Ben is trying to bring this into the open.
Like many other things, religions of all sorts included, people with agendas have seized them and distorted them for the purposes of power, persecution, and domination. They can do this because their followers are uninformed about the very thing thay are espousing. The typical nominal Christian has never read the Bible completely through, never mind studied it laboriously- he depends on others to tell him what it says, a perfect opportunity for bias to creep in. Likewise, a nominal Darwinist has never studied all of Darwin's works- he just likes what he hears from its pundits. "Survival of the fittest" just sounds good- as long as you're one of "the fittest". But the popular interpretation strays from the true scientific inquiry, with tragic historical consequences, just as has happened with many religions. In a sense, "Darwinism" has become a religion, too, complete with its own high priests and inner truths, with humanism at its core.
Just as Scientologists (and many others)do not want their religious beliefs held up to open inquiry, so with institutional Darwinism.
Ben Stein is doing what other brave human beings have done before, often at the cost of their livelihoods: exposing dishonesty and prejudice in the academic temple.
Yes, he is an actor and scholar. But, any one can detect persecution and intolerance, in any field, if one cares for society and other humans. I'm a scientist, but does that disqualify or nullify my observation that gay people are unfairly judged and discriminated against?
Recordo

Miami, FL

#20 Feb 16, 2008
Haven't you ever wagged your hidden tail when your girlfriend offered you a sex-biscuit? Who says that tail is vestigial? I use mine to sweep flies from my hide.
Mike

Lynnwood, WA

#21 Feb 16, 2008
Ad hominem attacks happen when a person/group cannot rationally argue their own point, or challenge an opposing point. Calling Ben Stein a "fool" shows a knee-jerk reaction to the man's debate, just like when a self-righteous pundit says that scientists espousing Darwinism are "damned." Let the words speak, and don't give commands to your God.

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