Win Ben Stien’s Integrity

Although I disagree with a lot of his positions and ideas, I’ve always liked Ben Stein. His nasal “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller” is now part of our language. He continued the persona as a science teacher in “The Wonder Years,” where he’d drone on about horrible events with no trace of emotion. And “Win Ben Stein’s Money” was great fun.

A few months ago I stumbled on this, and shook my head. Ben’s movie “Expelled” is a documentary that claims teachers, professors, and “scientists” who subscribe to “Intelligent Design” proponents are not with the respect they deserve.

Now that the film is getting close to release a lot of unsavory details are becoming public. Ben misrepresented the theme and intent of the movie to get several prominent biologists to participate.

(Note: I haven’t seen the film yet, so this is all third hand.) The movie documents discrimination against people who pretend to be scientists yet subscribe to creationism/ID. They aren’t promoted, published, or treated wonderfully by the colleagues.

That’s hardly surprising. It is, in fact, a good thing.

Imagine a physics professor claimed that there was no such thing as friction, and so perpetual motion machines were not only possible, but could solve all our energy problems. How about a history teacher that included the evil galactic ruler Xenu in his curriculum? How often would they get promoted? How much respect would they get from their peers?

Approximately none, and that’s exactly how much they deserve. The same goes for anyone insisting on creationism/ID.

Ben is trying to make this a free speech issue and is insistent that real scientists are closed minded because they won’t entertain his superstitions. This is beyond pathetic – it’s just sad. It has nothing to do with free speech. Creationists are free to spew their ignorant spew all they want but no one is obligated to provide them with a platform. It has nothing to do with suppressing ideas; their ideas have been checked and discussed and explored ad nauseum, and none of them have been found to have even a trace of validity. (Unlike real science ideas, they haven’t been tested, because they are not testable.) The only point this movie really makes that that scientists accept reality and reject ridiculous fantasies.

You blew it big time, Ben. You’ve spent a lifetime building a reputation as the smartest guy in the room, and now you’ve blown it all on something really, really stupid.

You’ll find lots of links about this story here. Best article title on the list: Ridiculous Demented Right-Wing Wackaloon Theocratic Douchemonkeys Fuck Up Big Time

2 Comment(s)

  1. I have been tempted to push the teaching of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in my own school system. Maybe now with this movie it will be easier.


    Tom | Mar 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. The FSM is the greatest rhetorical device since the Invisible Pink Unicorn. It was successfully used to dissuade a Florida school district from teaching creationism (masquerading as Intelligent Design, of course).

    Dave Hitt | Mar 26, 2008 | Reply

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