Ben Stein roused by suppression in the science versus religion debate

Feb 15, 2008 Read more: 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?" Read more

Since: Dec 07

Atlanta

#22 Feb 16, 2008
There is apparently also a kickback scheme being promoted too, if your organization, school, or church gets a certain number of people to see the film, the producers (or marketing company) will make a donation to that organization.

But I love how Ben is complaining that “science” is being suppressed here. When even the leading ID specialist have said that under their definition of science astrology would be considered a science. So the “scientific freedom” they are demanding is really the freedom to redefine science.

This whole thing is also rank with hypocrisy on the ID side.“Teach the controversy,” they all say. O.K. but why just your controversy? If it really is academic freedom they are fighting for, then shouldn’t they also be demanding that the “controversy” over the moon landings be taught to kids too? Lot’s of people think that the landing where fake, and claim to have evidence, if academic freedom was really the ID’ers main goal shouldn’t they be fighting for conspiracy theorist to have the ideas taught in school too. Hell I wonder if Ben Stein would be cool with the holocaust denier’s ideas being taught in history class too, I mean there is a “controversy” over that right? Hell I wonder if Ben also feels that Marxist economic theory should be taught along next to capitalism in our schools too. I mean you can actually find way more economist world wide that follow Marxist theories than scientist who follow ID’s, shouldn’t the ID’ers be demanding that that be taught too, I mean in the name of academic freedom and fairness right.
aahhaa

Cary, NC

#23 Feb 16, 2008
seems like all these comments are originating from uranus..
ThatGuy

Glen Burnie, MD

#24 Feb 16, 2008
Much ado about nothing.
Claude Bogardus

Auburn Hills, MI

#25 Feb 16, 2008
Bearcat of Cumming, Georgia, offers us all a common sense approach toward answering the perennial, child's questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Do I have a goal, a mission? This WASP in Cartersville, who saw (and smelled) in the Spring of 1945, a NAZI labor-death camp of about 4500 dead and dying souls, salutes his neighbor, Bearcat of Cumming, who also knows the inevitable outcome of the dignity solvent that is Lumpen-Darwinism.
Ohlaalaa Lass

United States

#26 Feb 16, 2008
TrilbyKat wrote:
I'm not sure why, but I find Ben Stein kind of hot.
We feel this way because Ben Stein is hot! This debate is a smokescreen -- men wish they were sophisticated yet cuddly like Ben Stein. The answer to the question "Who Wants Ben Stein's Money"... it is not what we want at all.

Sincerely,
Paris Hilton
The Rest of Us

Pleasanton, CA

#27 Feb 16, 2008
WHO CARES!!!
Carl from Canal Fulton

United States

#28 Feb 16, 2008
Have you all forgotten that, first and foremost, Ben Stein is an ACTOR? Just because the film purports to be a documentary, doesn't mean Ben subscribes to the theories presented, nor does it mean he believes either side of the argument to be right or wrong. The questions are scripted, Ben's an actor. Put 2 and 2 together and just might be playing "Devil's Advocate" (pun intended) for money. God knows people won enough of his over the years.:)

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#29 Feb 16, 2008
Those of you believing in Ben Stein and his cry for "academic freedom" might want to read the following article...

http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary...

Quote

Freedom of expression is unseemly at an Expelled press conference. There was no give-and-take, no open marketplace of ideas, in fact, scarcely any questions at all. Ruloff and Stein batted one softball after another out of the park from those posed by Paul Lauer, a representative of the film's public relations firm. Questions from non-employees had to be submitted by email. Lauer (or somebody at his firm) screened them.

...

I've participated in a lot of press conferences in my thirty years as a journalist.(...) Some of my questions were argumentative, but all were thoroughly - if sometimes equally argumentatively -- answered.

Until I got to Ben Stein. Though calling for the rough-and-tumble of openness and debate, Stein didn't have time for questions.

In my earlier review, I dealt with Expelled as a failed and dull attack on evolution. But this "press conference" convinced me that not only is Expelled and the intellectual movement behind it hypocritical in its supposed defense of "freedom of expression," it's an attack on the entire superstructure of science and technology that has created the modern world. Expelled is anti-rational.

End quote

“opposable thumbs rock”

Since: Nov 07

Huntington Beach CA/Tuscon AZ

#30 Feb 16, 2008
Claude Bogardus wrote:
Bearcat of Cumming, Georgia, offers us all a common sense approach toward answering the perennial, child's questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Do I have a goal, a mission? This WASP in Cartersville, who saw (and smelled) in the Spring of 1945, a NAZI labor-death camp of about 4500 dead and dying souls, salutes his neighbor, Bearcat of Cumming, who also knows the inevitable outcome of the dignity solvent that is Lumpen-Darwinism.
My grandmother carried a tattoo number to her grave with her--- big deal you smelt/saw it-- if in fact you actually did---- my family lived it. You are scum to even equate Nazi Germany with The theory of evolution and Charles Darwins Theory of the survival of the fittest-- this is hate speech at its finest.
BTW--- didn't H call himself a good christian.
It should be christianity that is exterminated.
You are d*** right I am pissed- how dare you muddy the memory of those who died and survived the fact of the Holocaust in a lame attempt to say something negative about something you obviously don't understand.

“No Allah: know peace”

Since: Jun 07

A sacred grove in Tujunga, CA

#31 Feb 16, 2008
It is utter nonsense to claim that secularism obviates any sense of personal moral responsibility, any more than to claim that every religious person DOES have one.

Further, why do creationists try to insist that evolution is about abiogenesis? Or the Big Bang? These are separate things. Evolution has been repeated shown to be THE theory that explains life in every test since it's inception. It is backed up with data from dozens of scientific fields.
Rosemary Purcell Litz

Auburn Hills, MI

#32 Feb 16, 2008
Hello, I am responding because I saw your Allen Park, MI address. I was born and raised there and my family was very well known "way back when." Just thought I'd say.hi You make a very good point about theory and science. This subject has been the topic of a recent class at my church. So I will find out more and bring it to the group. Great discussions ensue. Bye
dukdodgers wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
John the Baptist

San Diego, CA

#33 Feb 16, 2008
The Christopher Hitchens - Jay W. Richards "debate" was a strawman effort to create an artificial black/white issue. The issue is NOT between atheism and God; the issue is between modern evolution theory and six-day creationism (belief that the Genesis creation account is literally true). Note that evolution theory does not include abiogenesis--the origin of life from non-life. The fact of the matter is that there are many theistic evolutionists--those who find evolution compatible with their religious beliefs.
A notable example is Kenneth Miller, a Roman Catholic and evolutionist (see his book, "Finding Darwin's God").
Time Traveler

United States

#34 Feb 16, 2008
In the future science and religion will merge and all mystical questions will be answered. Science can and will discover God. Faith will become an anacronism as well as dogma and religious oppression.

There is a glorious future on the horizon.

“opposable thumbs rock”

Since: Nov 07

Huntington Beach CA/Tuscon AZ

#35 Feb 16, 2008
Liam R wrote:
It is utter nonsense to claim that secularism obviates any sense of personal moral responsibility, any more than to claim that every religious person DOES have one.
Further, why do creationists try to insist that evolution is about abiogenesis? Or the Big Bang? These are separate things. Evolution has been repeated shown to be THE theory that explains life in every test since it's inception. It is backed up with data from dozens of scientific fields.
I do so agree-- morality is not a religious mandate but a HUMAN one. Those that try to turn goodness into Godness and a religious mandate attempt to corrupt to their own means what it is to be human.(well besides survival)
male chauvinist

Mechanicsville, VA

#36 Feb 16, 2008
It will probably be emtertaining, but won't change any minds either way.

“Straight, no Chaser (T. Monk)”

Since: Oct 07

Costa Mesa, CA

#37 Feb 16, 2008
Recordo wrote:
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.
Couldn't have said it better...
MICHAEL

Brooklyn, NY

#38 Feb 16, 2008
dukdodgers wrote:
I have lost a lot of respect for Ben. He is making a Mike Moore style movie. Very disappointing.
Mr. Hitchens spoke about the evils of the world, asking "Where is God?" God gave free will to humanity. The evils in the world are the result of man's using his free will to go against God's will.
"Free will" is not license to do anything. We are free to do God's will. Or not.
I have a masters degree

Desert Hot Springs, CA

#39 Feb 16, 2008
So typical. People are always jealous of people who are smarter than they are. Nothing wrong with examining an issue that has been the subject of much debate. Stein is a brilliant man who has built a celebrity on his humor, but he is also a scholar. Let him do what scholars do.
If we continue to live in ignorance, eventually we will disintegrate into the kind of middle ages lifestyle you see in the Mid-East, a place where many believe being a terrorist is the right way to achieve their goals.
saviorself

San Diego, CA

#40 Feb 16, 2008
why does everyone keep dragging hitletr into the equation? and to the poster that said hitler called himself a "good christian", read alittle, kid. Hitler was trying to implement a modified form of Norse/Pagan mythology as a state religion and considered himself a "secular humanist"... you know, Like Thomas Jefferson
John the Baptist

San Diego, CA

#41 Feb 16, 2008
To anyone wants to know what Intelligent Design really is, Google "nova dover trial" for unbiased coverage by NOVA. The bottom line is the trial judge's finding: "The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID [intelligent design] is a religious view, a mere relabeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."

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