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Saturday, August 25

Ben Stein's Bull Shit/Propaganda Crusade

Ben Stein has a new documentary coming out soon.

It's called EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.

Ben says:

"it is a controversial, soon-to-be-released documentary that chronicles my confrontation with the widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination that is spreading in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms, and that is doing irreparable harm to some of the world’s top scientists, educators, and thinkers."

"Human beings are supposed to live in a state of freedom"

"Freedom is God-given."

"A huge part of this freedom is freedom of inquiry."

"Freedom of inquiry is basic to human advancement. There would be no modern medicine, no antibiotics, no brain surgery, no Internet, no air conditioning, no modern travel, no highways, no knowledge of the human body without freedom of inquiry."

"This includes the ability to inquire whether a higher power, a being greater than man, is involved with how the universe operates."

(oh please Ben)

"This has always been basic to science. ALWAYS."

(STOP ben....)

"Some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Galileo, Newton, Einstein, operated under the hypothesis that their work was to understand the principles and phenomena as designed by a creator."

(Ben - PLEASE stop it)

"Operating under that hypothesis, they discovered the most important laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, relativity, and even economics."

"Now, I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed."


read on - it gets even crazier

My first reaction is that this has to be some kind of joke he is pulling. I have to check into this. I saw another comment that mentioned this also: "There's nothing on the site that fully convinces me this is NOT some gigantic practical joke being pulled on all of us by Mr. Stein. I can see this as a grand social experiment"

EXACTLY I thought! good - the world has not gone completely mad!

So, he sets up this blog about his new "documentary" and has almost 500 comments. Looks like it's open and not moderated. Let's check. HEY look at that! By comment #11 Ben is made to look very foolish. Here are 2 comments from the blog:

"Actually, Einstein did not believe in a personal God and would abhor this sort of political strongarming of religion into the classroom. Take note:

"The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. [Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946]

"I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings. [Albert Einstein, in a letter to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein]

(more good quotes in link)


Sorry Ben, but you’re completely and utterly wrong. The recent legal case in Dover, for example, did NOT deny the teaching of creationism in the schools. It said that there was no evidence for intelligent design and that ID does not meet the criteria to be considered science and therefore should not be taught in school SCIENCE classes.

The judge ruled (correctly) that the only arguments that the ID folks were able to put forth were either “Straw man” fallacies where they misquoted what evolution was in order to shoot it down, or they were “false dichotomy” fallacies. i.e. “If Science can’t explain this (or more likely if the ID proponent’s knowledge of science is not sufficient to explain it) then the alternative must be ‘God did it’”. That’s a false dichotomy. It’s not science.

The judge in the case specifically left open the possibility of ID being taught in a class on religion as a cultural influence or in a class which surveys various religious beliefs. Also, the judge was not a liberal activist judge but a conservative judge appointed by GW Bush himself.

Sorry, but your facts and premise are completely wrong.


I started to read more about the film and found my way over to PZ Myer's blog (Pharyngula).

OMG - it's really real.

It is an actual film and PZ is in it.
Read how he was tricked into an interview for what he thought was a film project by Rampant Films called "Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion."

He looked up Rampant Films, found this crossroads project, and thought O.K.!

THEN, this new ID creationist movie, Expelled, comes out with a press release with this claim:

"Unlike some other documentary films, Expelled doesn't just talk to people representing one side of the story. The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. The creators of Expelled crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions."

PZ learned that Expelled uses the same graphic that Rampant Films used for Crossroads.

Per PZ: "The case is closed -- Ben Stein's propaganda film for ID is the one I was interviewed for."

Oh poor PZ: "I've been trying to recollect what horrible thing I said in that interview with that film crew … what juicy, ghastly, evil comment I might have made that will be plucked out and impaled on a stick and waved to the audience to inflame them.I think I know what's going to be featured in Expelled"

Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

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