Pharyngula

Science leads to killing people

What a vile little man. I sincerely hope that his career is dead now … and that the rest of his life will be spent eking out speaking fees at Christian fundamentalist conventions, before audiences who will cheer him while dreaming of the day the Jews are exterminated or converted, bringing on Armageddon.

(If this isn’t enough punishment for you, the complete, unedited interview on TBN is here.)

Comments

  1. #1 notthedroids
    April 27, 2008

    “Science leads you to killing people”?!?!?!?!?!?

    I had no idea how low Ben Stein could go.

  2. #2 Jeff
    April 27, 2008

    It’s official. Ben Stein now gets the “Biggest Douche in the World” award.

  3. #3 Abbie
    April 27, 2008

    He came to a college near me last friday… and I did a lame little one-person protest. It was fun.

    http://goldmineguttd.livejournal.com/287379.html

  4. #4 sailor
    April 27, 2008

    Thank goodness I have not and will not see “expelled” 9 minutes of Stein on that video was way too long and 8 minutes more than was actually necessary to make him look like a complete idiot. Though the guy who made the video did a good job. Imagine sitting though over an hour of that AAAAHHHHHH!

  5. #5 Etha Williams
    April 27, 2008

    I always enjoy seeing a new addition to Thunderf00t’s “Why do People Laugh at Creationists” series, but this one was one of the few that didn’t even make me laugh. It just made want to smash my fist through my computer screen. I restrained myself from doing that, but still couldn’t keep myself from uttering a string of obscenities directed towards Ben Stein (rather loudly too…I’m sure my neighbors didn’t appreciate it). Stein’s claims here are just utterly vile and morally reprehensible.

    It’s also quite interesting how Stein tailors his claims based on the audience. When interviewed by the mainstream media, he shows some superficial diffidence towards science while simultaneously trying to undermine it by advocating IDiocy; but around the Xian fundies, he has no qualms about claiming that science is basically the work of the devil. (Another example of this is his Christianity Today interview, in which he says, “Anyway, I couldn’t give a [profanity] whether a person calls himself a scientist. It doesn’t earn any extra respect from me, because it’s not as if science has covered itself with glory, morally, in my time. Scientists were the people in Germany telling Hitler that it was a good idea to kill all the Jews. Scientists were telling Stalin it was a good idea to wipe out the middle-class peasants. Scientists were telling Mao Tse-Tung it was fine to kill 50 million people in order to further the revolution.”) He really is nothing more than an opportunistic political hack — and even among opportunistic political hacks, he’s on the low end of the moral spectrum.

    ((BTW, if you are masochistic enough to want to see the full TBN interview, it’s up at the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s page: http://tbn.org/video_portal/ under the April 21st post for “Behind the Scenes.”))

  6. #6 Valhar2000
    April 27, 2008

    How do people get to the point where they hear things like this and are not immediately disgusted? How can this man have any sort of an audience?

  7. #7 Glen Davidson
    April 27, 2008

    What a vile little man. I sincerely hope that his career is dead now … and that the rest of his life will be spent eking out speaking fees at Christian fundamentalist conventions

    Yeah, but that’s the career he wanted, apparently. I mean, he didn’t have much of anything going on, and ID has clearly shown that telling lies to the naive can pay at least for well over a decade.

    It’s a pathetic end to a pretty useless life, but I guess it’s what he wants….

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  8. #8 Bride of Shrek
    April 27, 2008

    He is probably the most boring, monotone, dull-as-dishwater speaker I have ever heard. I got about half way through and then, in an irrefutable act of adaptation for survial my retinas clouded over hence saving my brain from melting down.

  9. #9 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    But science does lead to killing people — look at those nuclear weapons he apparently wants to stockpile “just in case.”

    Of course, those who don’t care for nuclear weapons don’t try to drive home the point by claiming that, therefore, atomic theory is false. The atom can’t be split because there are no atoms. The only reason you’d think there are atoms is if you liked bombs.

    It makes no sense. If all they really wanted was to make an argument that “people need to believe in God to be moral,” then they should have no problem with theistic evolution. Hey, at least it’s got God. But no.

    This really has nothing to do with morality. They’re using morality — and exploiting the Holocaust — in order to try to pinpoint Who’s God God Right. Christians themselves should be disgusted.

  10. #10 Alex
    April 27, 2008

    That video sucked.

  11. #11 Professorchaos
    April 27, 2008

    Stupid guy that Thunderf00t. Doesn’t he know that ‘the love of god’ refers to only the Judeo-Christina God.

    /sarcasm

    Seriously though, I didn’t expect a ‘conservative’ to rail against tax cuts for the rich. Guess Stein can’t be all bad.

  12. #12 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    They give all this lipservice to god, I just once want one of the fundies in the interview to mention Jesus as the one true way to salvation and have Ben Stein correct him and say he doesn’t believe in Jesus. How do you avoid talking about Jesus on fundie talk?

  13. #13 anon
    April 27, 2008

    That’s just disgusting… I too hope he’s done.

  14. #14 Sarah
    April 27, 2008

    My jaw dropped watching today’s Sunday Morning. There was Ben Stein arguing that whatever those crazy FDLS people in Texas were doing–even if it involved raping 13-year-old girls–nothing was worse than separating kids from their parents. Really? Raping little girls and dumping teenage boys on the streets are not that bad in his opinion, I guess. And he’s holding himself up as a leader on morality?

  15. #15 LisaJ
    April 27, 2008

    Wow. I knew this guy was wacko, but I had no idea that he could actually believe and say something so horrendous. What a vile man indeed. He is dangerous.

  16. #16 Cephus
    April 27, 2008

    I’m still waiting for the schism in the creationist/ID camp now that Ben Stein and his stupid movie has undone all the years of Intelligent Design’s “we’re scientific, we’re not religious!” hand-waving. The Discovery Institute must be having a cow right about now, it’s clear from the movie that they’re very unhappy with Stein and his attempts to link ID with religion.

    What’s next, does the Discovery Institute have to do a documentary showing how Expelled is a pack of lies?

  17. #17 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    “Science leads you to killing people.”

    Even after all the nonsense he has babbled, I still can’t believe he said that.

    The lazy, slurred speech, the endless stream of inanities, the endless contradictions, the obvious desire to be contrary as often as possible, in the most grating ways possible–possibly an organic mental defect. (I know it seems exactly like the mindless religiosity indulged in by millions, but the slurred speech and droopy eyes…)

  18. #18 Alex
    April 27, 2008

    What an assclown.

  19. #19 mlw
    April 27, 2008

    In the video, where he’s going through his spiel as to why people should see the film, he keeps talking about what he would like people to believe about humans. Is it really that hard to understand that we don’t simply get to believe whatever we want and call it the truth? Because it’s important to Stein to feel “part of the divine” then ID is valid and science is an evil and leads to killing people? Huh?!? That’s not even an argument. He’s just saying “I want to feel special. You should want to feel special too.”

  20. #20 danley
    April 27, 2008

    I told you about that snotty-faced fucker.

  21. #21 Michael
    April 27, 2008

    I found it amusing the comparison of “Expelled” to a non-documentary film called; “Catwoman”. The undermining practice continues…Who was the one who said, “Expelled” was only going to make 5 million? lol

  22. #22 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    I think the statement that “science leads to killing people” is about as reasonable as the claim that “religion leads to killing people”.

    The truth is that neither religion nor science have “killing people” as any part of their goals, but both are frequently used for precisely that end.

  23. #23 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    Yeah, Michael, you have a point; he was going way too easy on the movie. Comparing it to Catwoman is giving it a break. Comparing it to another documentary would be much more fair/ Bowling for Columbine is at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  24. #24 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    Some new thoughts on this, that go beyond what i wrote above…

    I suspect that Ben Stein is a victim of a typically Dawkins-like confusion. He apparently identifies “science” with “an atheistic/materialistic, and Darwinistic worldview”, just as Dawkins does.

    It is in this latter sense that his statement “science leads to killing people” is to be taken. And if my interpretation is correct, then his statement is not all that inaccurate, after all.

  25. #25 Ryan
    April 27, 2008

    Hey, thanks for the longsword, science!
    Oh no! the sword is controlling my brain! It’s making me kill people with it! Curse you, science!!

  26. #26 James F
    April 27, 2008

    #20 You’re absolutely right. Let’s compare it to other documentaries.

    The Fog of War: 98%
    An Inconvenient Truth: 96%
    Super Size Me: 93%
    Bomb It: 85%

    OK, let’s look at the worst documentaries on Rotten Tomatoes:

    Synthetic Pleasures: 17%
    Condo Painting: 17%
    The War on the War on Drugs: 14%
    Celsius 41.11 12%
    Faces of Death: 11%
    In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War: 11%
    Running with Arnold: 0%

    He’s in great company.

  27. #27 davidlpf
    April 27, 2008

    And no one has ever died in the name of religion.

  28. #28 eewolf
    April 27, 2008

    Michael: I found it amusing the comparison of “Expelled” to a non-documentary film called; “Catwoman”.

    Well I can see your point. There was a great deal more science and realism in Catwoman. And there is a sentence somewhere on the Internet that wants its semicolon back.

  29. #29 henryb
    April 27, 2008

    IDiots: Don’t tell me. Show me.

    If you REALLY REALLY believe that science is bad, then make absolutely no use of it. Get sick? Don’t go to the doctor, don’t take any meds. Just get a prayer group together and let your deity fix you.

    Put your TV on the street. Toss your phones, DVD players, your car, your…. wait! You would have nothing left right down to your very skin. You are a hypocrite if you believe “science is killing people” and retain any use of science in your life.

    Can’t wait to see the expelledthestonetablet.com site.

    It seems BS is on damage control nowadays. The vile, little man will disappear on his own.

  30. #30 azcowboy
    April 27, 2008

    I think I’ll start using this as part of my email signature:

    “Science leads you to killing people.”

    Vile is too endearing a term for the likes of Ben Stein.

  31. #31 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    #23

    If I understand you correctly, you are implying an “atheistic/materialistic” worldview leads to killing. Or are you saying implementing social Darwinism leads to killing. The latter is true and the former is false. I would like to know where you think morality comes from, and what you have to back it up. Again, I may just be misinterpreting you.

  32. #32 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    See, this is the success of Dawkins’ propaganda.

    Dawkins is a mediocre thinker, at best, outside his narrow biological area of specialization.

    But by using the word “science” to refer to his own atheistic and Darwinist philosophy of the world, Dawkins makes it hard to even criticize that worldview, without also attacking “science”.

    Stein has fallen victim to this confusion, and his detractors are now pouncing on it.

    What Stein should have said, and what he must have meant, is that “atheism (or Darwinism) leads to killing people”, and that is defensible.

  33. #33 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore #23 wrote:

    I suspect that Ben Stein is a victim of a typically Dawkins-like confusion. He apparently identifies “science” with “an atheistic/materialistic, and Darwinistic worldview”, just as Dawkins does.

    Richard Dawkins does not equate science with atheism. Science is a method. His argument is that, if the concept of God is considered as a scientific hypothesis, then it is both inconsistent with the discoveries of modern science, and unnecessary.

    The quarrel many people have with Dawkins is not with his views on science. It is that “God” should not be approached as if it were a scientific hypothesis. It should be regarded as being in some other kind of category, and not subject to the same kind of analysis.

    What Stein (and creationists) are doing is
    1.) treating God as if it were a scientific hypothesis (and then doing BAD science)
    2.) arguing that morality depends on believing in God (and therefore, any science theory which does not include God will make you immoral.)

    They argue with Dawkins on the science (evolution), and on the source of morality. They do not really argue that God is “outside of science.”

    Many people who don’t like Dawkins’ approach to God will agree that ethics are not dependent on whether there is a supernatural source.

  34. #34 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore, “It is in this latter sense that his statement “science leads to killing people” is to be taken. And if my interpretation is correct, then his statement is not all that inaccurate, after all.

    Are you translating what Stein believes, or are you making an assertion?

    So it’s not science or religion that proffers the goal of killing people; it’s atheism, materialism, disbelief in the supernatural, and belief in evolution–that leads to killing people?

  35. #35 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore,

    You’re a bored college student killing time by trolling a blog, aren’t you?

  36. #36 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    I am not a victim of Richard Dawkins. He is a very intelligent man. I don’t think its defensible to claim “atheism (or Darwinism) leads to killing people”. Please explain that. I must apologize that, at least for me, the reason I don’t go around killing isn’t God. I just happen to have empathy. It is frightening to think Hell is all that is keeping you moral. Also, I would prefer, if in the future, you would refer to it as evolution, and not “Darwinism”. That is not the proper term around here. If you put up a fuss and insist upon using “Darwinism”, you have already lost.

  37. #37 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    #30,

    I think atheism leads to killing people, in exactly the same sense in which people say “religion leads to killing people”. Not always, not necessarily, but there is a clear causal link here.

    My reasons are that

    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).

    (b) Darwinism, as an account of the origins of man, casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts (this was argued by Darwinist Michael Ruse).

    (c) Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.

  38. #38 bigjohn756
    April 27, 2008

    What a POS Ben Stein is. Pure human garbage. The man apparently has no morals at all.

  39. #39 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    “Richard Dawkins does not equate science with atheism.”

    Not explicitly, but the way he uses the term “science” shows he identifies it with “atheism”. So, for example, he keeps talking about the debate concerning God’s existence as a debate between religion and science. But it is really a debate between two worldviews, both of which try to cite science as evidence.

  40. #40 Bubba Sixpack
    April 27, 2008

    Stein says there were tears among the audience. Considering his movie has one of the lowest ratings, and who their “star” is, perhaps he might consider they were sleep tears.

    Ho hum.

  41. #41 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    #34,

    I’m a bored college student interested in these issues.

  42. #42 afterthought
    April 27, 2008

    What a POS Ben Stein is. Pure human garbage. The man apparently has no morals at all.

    I think BS saw an opportunity to make a buck off the rubes. Not so sure how it works out for the rubes. Care to comment Mr. Kilgore?

  43. #43 Bubba Sixpack
    April 27, 2008

    By the way, I had to fight to stay awake during his appearances in this video. Caffeine helped.

  44. #44 Ted Goas
    April 27, 2008

    I guess this is what you get when two like-minded people who agree on a sensationalist idea get together. It’s frightening that a video like this has an audience at all…

  45. #45 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore sez:I think atheism leads to killing people, in exactly the same sense in which people say “religion leads to killing people”. Not always, not necessarily, but there is a clear causal link here.

    So if atheism leads to killing people in exactly the same sense that religion leads to killing people, we’re kind of stuck, aren’t we?

  46. #46 Janeothejungle
    April 27, 2008

    The asshat will not be going away anytime soon. No doubt he has other asshats willing to back him up, not to mention the shilling. It’s bad enough I have to hear his voice on the radio when I’m too slow switching the dial. Can we protest these guys next?

    http://www.cleareyes.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcH-3d-BZn4

  47. #47 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    (a) Atheism does not depend on evolution. Atheism was around much earlier than 1859. I’d also point out that the Roman Catholic Church also has no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity. However, there are other pseudo-scientific theories such as Lamarckism.

    (b) If evolution does something to take away from current moral absolute, then it has been a good thing. It benefits us greatly to study and examine morals, and to decide what is actually right and just, instead of follow an absolute authority, such as the Bible. A system that can adapt and grow is much superior to ancient sheep herding legends.

    (c) Casting doubt on such gems as hatred of gays, and the subservience of women does not cast doubt on killing. You are trying to make a false slippery slope.

  48. #48 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    “Also, I would prefer, if in the future, you would refer to it as evolution, and not “Darwinism”. That is not the proper term around here. If you put up a fuss and insist upon using “Darwinism”, you have already lost.”

    I used to agree with you here, but the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution comprises a number of different theses. One of these is the the thesis of common descent, and another is a thesis about what explains the process of common descent (chance, variation, random mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and all that kind of stuff). I want to merely say that thesis (2) doesn’t capture the whole story behind common descent. But I don’t reject evolution in the sense of thesis (1). So I need a word to capture what I reject without making it seem as though I reject common descent from a single organism. I can’t think of anything better than “Darwinism”.

  49. #49 dybevick
    April 27, 2008

    1) Science leads to killing people, ergo science is bad and scientists are not to be taken seriously.

    2) Intelligent Design is science not religion ergo it should be taken seriously.

    I missed the part where Mr. Stein reconciled these two positions.

  50. #50 S. Fisher
    April 27, 2008

    So seeking knowledge about physics, biology, chemistry, paleontology, geology, technology, medicine, and perhaps even the weather leads to killing? I heard somewhere that Ben Stein was a member of Mensa.

  51. #51 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    As I predicted, you insist on saying “Darwinism”. Check that off on my checklist. I’ll be back later.

  52. #52 James F
    April 27, 2008

    #47

    Perhaps you’re rejecting “philosophical naturalism.”

  53. #53 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore #36 wrote:

    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).

    I don’t quite understand this. Are you equating the term “Darwinism” with “eugenics?”

    (b) Darwinism, as an account of the origins of man, casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts (this was argued by Darwinist Michael Ruse).

    I’m going to assume here that this time you’re using ‘Darwinism’ to mean Naturalism, and claiming that, if our common human moral intuitions and thoughts evolved, then they are somehow not as “real” as if they were given to us by something transcendent which did not evolve. This doesn’t follow.

    Many Naturalistic philosophers have instead argued that evolution helps explain why our moral intuitions (such as empathy and fairness) are what they are. And there are also plenty of ethical theories which are not derived from supernaturalism. God’s existence — or nonexistence — is irrelevant. Morals deal with interpersonal relations and shared human values. How the values “got there” isn’t going to come into it.

    (c) Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.

    Since a natural origin for moral intuitions and thoughts doesn’t cast doubt on their validity (and even helps illuminate them), this doesn’t apply.

    I’ll also mention that many religions have, as a central core, man’s inability to understand right and wrong without an external code. Instead of trusting our moral intuitions, people are discouraged from relying on humanism and searching for common ground. I think a much better case for your objection — removing the stigma against killing people — can be made using religion, rather than evolution (or “Darwinism”) Human choices are justified to other humans. God’s divine commands — never.

  54. #54 Etha Williams
    April 27, 2008

    In re: materialistic worldview leading to killing people –

    Some of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, and most outspoken opponents of atrocities such as the holocaust, were atheistic existential thinkers who believed that life was innately senseless and meaningless. And because they believed that as for-itself beings, we must create our own moral code and meaning in life, they were able to actually give a sensible critique of the actions of the likes of Hitler, beyond “Jesus says you’re wrong, and you’re going to hell.” (To which Hitler could respond, as he wrote in Mein Kampf, “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord”.)

  55. #55 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    “Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.”

    Where do you think our un-tampered with “moral intuitions and thoughts” come from?

  56. #56 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    #50,

    I am sensitive to your concerns about the use of the word “Darwinism”, but I did give reasons for my continuing to use it. I will retract my use of the word if these reasons are shown to be inadequate.

  57. #57 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    Thank you. I think you’re misinterpreting atheism to mean that if there is no God, then we are free to do what we want. However, this is not true. Atheists are still very moral people. Most atheists I know are secular humanists, and they give a great deal of thought to contemplating morals. We don’t feel we are no free, we actually feel more of a burden to make this world a better place, because it is all we have.

  58. #58 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    Richard Kilgore #38 wrote:

    (Dawkins) keeps talking about the debate concerning God’s existence as a debate between religion and science. But it is really a debate between two worldviews, both of which try to cite science as evidence.

    There are I think 2 debates between religion and science.

    Debate #1: Is the existence of God something that science can say something about, one way or the other?

    Debate #2: If the answer to #1 is affirmative, then what does science say?

  59. #59 Robert Ward
    April 27, 2008

    No words…

  60. #60 BobC
    April 27, 2008

    #56, your use of the word “Darwinism” immediately identifies you as a flat-earther who thinks everything is magic. Please see the 3rd box of the bottom row of ID Creationist Bingo:

    http://skeptico.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/09/08/id_bingo_card_2.jpg

  61. #61 Dr Benway
    April 27, 2008

    Science defeated the Nazis.

  62. #62 Richard Kilgore
    April 27, 2008

    #60,

    I gave my reasons for using the word “Darwinism”. You have not addressed them at all. And please don’t make fun of my flat earth beliefs!

  63. #63 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    BobC #60 wrote:

    your use of the word “Darwinism” immediately identifies you …

    Oh ho. This is the internet. You will see every permutation and combination and strange use of vocabulary out there. I have discovered that there is no easy way to “immediately identify” anybody just by a term they’ve used. The Bingo Card is a fun sort of game, but be careful when it’s applied to an actual individual.

    No. You always have to ask. And clarify. Or else you get involved in tedious debates on “that’s not what I think” “oh yes it is.”

  64. #64 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    Yes, lets move on from the words, and get to the meat of the issue. The delicious meat.

  65. #65 Janine ID
    April 27, 2008

    “Science leads you to killing people”

    Cain was the first scientist.
    ————————————————————– Enough of this Richard Kilgore twit, one will get more sense from Kilgore Trout.

  66. #66 Cosmo
    April 27, 2008

    I’m not sure that I’d argue “religion leads to killing people,” although it certainly has in some cases. I would, however, argue that religion leads to restriction of freedoms. The same can definitely not be said about atheism.

  67. #67 raven
    April 27, 2008

    Stein has type cast himself. Brain dead, wacko, religious extremist.

    No doubt there is a market for that. Also a lot of competition, Dobson, Hovind, Robertson, Hagee, etc..

    Science brought us the 21st century so BS could rant and rave on the videos, TV, movies, and internet. All of which he is oblivious to.

  68. #68 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    Cain was the first scientist.

    Somehow, I suspect Abel was the first scientist : )

  69. #69 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    @ #66,

    I feel that if fundamental Christianity gained complete control of the country, and could over turn the Constitution like they want to, they would apply Biblical laws about killing certain people. If “fundamental” secular humanism took over the country, the Constitution would be intact and there would be no killings that result from that. Its very debatable as to whether that fingers religion itself though.

  70. #70 Janine ID
    April 27, 2008

    Cain was the first scientist.

    Somehow, I suspect Abel was the first scientist : )

    Posted by: RamblinDude

    Cain, influenced by the time traveling Richard Dawkins spreading his message of atheism and Darwinism, slew Abel. You see, Cain personally knew god and if left alone, never would have killed his brother. Because knowing god leads one to glory.

  71. #72 eewolf
    April 27, 2008

    kilgore at 48: …the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution comprises a number of different theses. One of these is the the thesis of common descent, and another is a thesis about what explains the process of common descent (chance, variation, random mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and all that kind of stuff). I want to merely say that thesis (2) doesn’t capture the whole story behind common descent. But I don’t reject evolution in the sense of thesis (1). So I need a word to capture what I reject without making it seem as though I reject common descent from a single organism. I can’t think of anything better than “Darwinism”.

    You don’t need a word for this. You need to explain your mechanism for common descent if you reject “chance, variation, random mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and all that kind of stuff.” And you need to show why your mechanism is a better choice.

  72. #73 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    Janine ID,

    Ah, I see…

  73. #74 Dennis N
    April 27, 2008

    This makes me think of the argument that if God revealed himself, it would infringe on free will. Obviously it wouldn’t, Satan talks to God all the time; just look at the book of Job. Moses was best buds with God, they used to chit chat all the time, and he still struck that rock instead of speaking to it (horrible crime worthy of severe punishment).

  74. #75 Tom G(eologist)
    April 27, 2008

    I tried bu the video has been pulled from YouTube

  75. #76 Atheist Okie
    April 27, 2008

    Ben Stein on the ACA’s Meter-O-Idiocy:

    Defcon 1 “F*cktard”- We have a winner!!!
    Defcon 2 “A$$hat”
    Defcon 3 “Douche bag”
    Defcon 4 “Dillweed”
    Defcon 5 “Idiot”

  76. #77 Tulse
    April 27, 2008

    “it’s not as if science has covered itself with glory, morally, in my time”

    …said the speechwriter of Richard Nixon.

    As for Richard Kilgore:

    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism

    “Depends on, and hence leads to“? How can that statement be even logically true? If X depends on Y, surely Y must exist prior to X.

    I despair for the reasoning powers of our youth…

  77. #78 zwa
    April 27, 2008

    “atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism”

    This is logically contradictory.

  78. #79 Janine ID
    April 27, 2008

    Janine ID,

    Ah, I see…

    Posted by: RamblinDude

    Now do not get any ideas. It is unlikely that I will get an Order Of Molly. But I was dubbed the Intelligent Dominatrix because of my desire to make creationists scream.

  79. #80 cicely
    April 27, 2008

    Science kills people….

    What is his minimum limit for something to count as science? Because I think of science as being a continuum, right back to determining, by experimentation, which plants are safe to eat, and which are poisonous; what animals are useful as food, and how to find, kill and prepare them; how to best prepare animal skins or plant fibers for use as protection from the environment; which stones can be used as tools, and how they can be modified to be better, more efficient tools; how the heck to get in out of the rain, you idiot!

    Presumably, he favors sitting, naked and starving, and exposed to the weather, with his hands folded, waiting for god to provide.

    He favors, shall we say, a robust preparation for war, the tools of which, above and beyond leaping upon the enemy with teeth and fists, rely on science, even if it be only the experimentally-determined fact that thrown or knapped stones, or branches (and other arm extensions), offer many advantages in a fight.

    Presumably, god expects him to eventually check out with his brain, still unused, in its original shrink-wrap.

  80. #81 drew
    April 27, 2008

    You know it’s true I’ve often thought while sitting over a culture plate, why bother trying to find a cure here, might as well just kill people because that’s the end goal to all this research anyway.

  81. #82 Screechy Monkey
    April 27, 2008

    The only thing I didn’t like about the video was the accusation that Stein must not believe in the rule of law simply because he doesn’t accept the Dover decision as dispositive of the issue of ID.

    First of all, even as a matter of law, that decision is not binding precedent outside of the (Eastern? I forget) District of Pennsylvania.

    Second, you can disagree with a court decision without renouncing the rule of law. I suspect we can all name several Supreme Court decisions with which we disagree. Stein wasn’t recommending that the Dover school board violate a court order; he was expressing his opinion. An ignorant, repulsive opinion, mind you, but just an opinion.

    Third, the law is not the same as morality. For example, many people agree that the death penalty is legal and constitutional, but find it immoral nonetheless.

    Also, I get nervous when I see “our side” trumpeting the Dover decision too loudly, especially when it comes across as “a court ruled for us, so yay! We’re right!” We should be careful not to do that, because it’s not inconceivable that another test case could go the other way. It could even survive appellate review with the right panel (the Fourth Circuit, perhaps).

    Dover was certainly a great victory, but its power lies in the fact that Judge Jones wrote an excellent, thorough, well-reasoned opinion backed up by considerable evidence. (And also in the fact that the sensible people of Dover, including some brave Christians who took a lot of heat for doing so, stood up to the creationist clowns.)

  82. #83 Jim Patten
    April 27, 2008

    This video stung worse then putting Visine drops in my eyes.

  83. #84 Christian
    April 27, 2008

    This makes me think of the argument that if God revealed himself, it would infringe on free will. Obviously it wouldn’t, Satan talks to God all the time; just look at the book of Job. Moses was best buds with God, they used to chit chat all the time, and he still struck that rock instead of speaking to it (horrible crime worthy of severe punishment).

    Actually that’s just a cop-out.

    On the one hand you have theists who claim that the existence of their god is soooo obvious and that just about everything points to his existence. Now if this is true (and they’re not just victims of their overactive imagination) isn’t this god violating their free will?

    And on the other hand there are those theists who say that even if their god came down and showed himself to everyone on earth there would still be some hardcore atheists who won’t believe that it is really god.

    So who’s right? Or does this god only violate the free will of the extremely gullible? And if so, where’s the threshold?

  84. #85 Sastra
    April 27, 2008

    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).

    After reading this over, I think it means that atheists needed an explanation for biological diversity which leaves out God, so they had to invent one. Atheism depends on there being that sort of explanation.

    I’m still not sure here if “Darwinism” = “believing that evolution means there’s no God,”
    or
    Darwinism = “believing that evolution didn’t involve God’s direct intervention.”

  85. #86 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    “Because I think of science as being a continuum, right back to determining, by experimentation, which plants are safe to eat, and which are poisonous; what animals are useful as food, and how to find, kill and prepare them; how to best prepare animal skins or plant fibers for use as protection from the environment; which stones can be used as tools, and how they can be modified to be better, more efficient tools; how the heck to get in out of the rain, you idiot!”

    Great Scott! If you’re right, it means that the first scientists were very probably…not even human!

    Hence your moniker, Screechy Monkey?

    (You’re the time traveler!!)

  86. #87 Ryan
    April 27, 2008

    Boycott science! The process of having a theory and testing it will turn you into a Nazi. I always suspected.

  87. #88 RamblinDude
    April 27, 2008

    Oops, made a mistake. Comment was posted by cicely, not Screechy Monkey.

  88. #89 Feast on the Lake
    April 27, 2008

    It hurt me to watch it all, but I did. Ben Stein is a horrible toad (no offense to real toads, which are terrific).

    I will never understand the idea that the US is supposed to be involved in every conflict around the globe. It’s not our responsibility, as a country, and it is rarely (if ever) in our best interest. Ben Stein is just an obnoxious excuse for a human being. I doubt there is language foul enough to accurately describe him! It just makes me grit my teeth, I’m so angry.

  89. #90 HP
    April 27, 2008

    Okay, I’m angry. I’m spittin’ mad. Oh, man, I usually try to be silly when I comment on Pharyngula. But I could only take about half of that video. Bear that in mind for what I’m about to say.

    I think most people here on Pharyngula and elsewhere in the godlessphere are much too kind to people like Stein and his ilk.

    Why the assumption that they believe crazy things? Belief has bugger all to do with it.

    Stein is lying. He’s been lying about all kinds of shit all his life. As a Nixon speechwriter, he lied about Cambodia. If Ben Stein told me his pants were on fire, I’d wait to see if the chemical analysis of his charred flesh showed evidence of carbonation. He’s lying now. Why do you think a guy with no formal theatrical training was able to pursue a career as a character actor? Because he’s been playing a role since the day he was born. And he’s no different than every blow-dried, bible-thumping, gun-totin’ fundy you deal with at work every day. Every single one of them knows the difference between lying and telling the truth, and every single one of them knows the difference between right and wrong. They just. Don’t. Give a shit. They have “higher priorities” than honesty.

    This not about people having crazy beliefs, contra Harris. This is about honesty.

    Morality, ethics, and integrity as everyone here understands them have nothing whatsoever to do with ID/creationism. Every last one of the motherfuckers knows the difference between right and wrong, between telling the truth and telling lies. Not just the leading lights of the movement, but your fundy grandmother and the weirdo with the Bible in his cubicle next to you. They’re all liars.

    This is what sends me over the fucking edge when I hear this shit from people. They know that it’s all a lie. But to them, it’s all about tribalism and competition. It’s treating “truth” like it was the fucking Final Four in college basketball. I believe every damn coach in the world has pointed out that winning ugly is still winning. But I could give a shit whether “we” win or not; being honest and wise and right is better than winning. (Are you listening, Chris and Matt? I would rather lose.)

    I made the comment the other day to a professor of political science I happened to meet the other day in a bar: We live in an age where people are forced to choose between integrity and loyalty. Stein, Mathis, Behe, Wells, and all the other leading lights of ID have made their choice. And they’ve chosen loyalty over integrity.

    And since I’m on a rambling rant, has anyone else noticed that, despite all the accusations of dishonesty leveled against ID, no cdesign propontentsist has ever filed a libel or defamation suit against a rationalist, at least in the US? Why is that? It’s because in American courts at least (and maybe others; I know it’s different in the UK) truth is an absolute defense. For as many people who have accused Mark Mathis of deceptive practices, for as many people who have used the phrase “lying for Jesus” to describe any number of ID/C types, there has never been a libel suit against PZ, or Dawkins, or (ick) Hitchens.

    Because they know they’re lying.

    These jackasses don’t believe a word of what they say. They not only think we’re stupid, what with their asinine “2nd Law of Thermodynamics” and “incomplete fossil record” and “no one’s witnessed speciation” arguments, but they think their supporters are stupid. And meanwhile their supporters are all in on the lie. Because it’s all about supporting the team.

  90. #91 dan
    April 27, 2008

    kilgore;
    you call it Darwinism because that’s what they called at the church group you attended – nothing else, you half-wit.

    Think for youself.

    waste of time to type this, I know….

  91. #92 stushie
    April 27, 2008

    The lack of moral boundaries in both scientific and religious fields leads to the killing of people.

    Scientists develop the Atom bomb; Christians use it to kill the Japanese. Both groups are killers.

  92. #93 Chrismo
    April 27, 2008

    This video makes me cringe. So much so that I think it worthwhile to point out a Christian critique of the movie and of ID in general. A worthwhile read…

    http://fireandrose.blogspot.com/

  93. #94 Mena
    April 27, 2008

    Of course the reaction over at Free Republic is to be expected. Dumb people reacting in almost a pavlovian kind of way to a review that was probably written by Stein himself. You know the types, “But Michael Moore…” and “Liberals are so evil because…” are guaranteed.

  94. #95 Nibien
    April 27, 2008

    Scientists develop the Atom bomb; Christians use it to kill the Japanese. Both groups are killers.

    That’s one hell of a stretch.

    Man, why haven’t we put all those gun makers on deathrow yet?

  95. #96 dan
    April 27, 2008

    by the way, the only reason that I watched this video was because I was hoping to see more of that very hot chick on the top of the page – wasted!

  96. #97 rufustfirefly
    April 27, 2008

    Stein is right; science leads to killing people. I want to take a large science textbook and use it to beat Ben Stein to death.

  97. #98 Etha Williams
    April 27, 2008

    @#52 Sastra –

    I’ll also mention that many religions have, as a central core, man’s inability to understand right and wrong without an external code.

    Not only do they emphasize man’s inability to do so, but Judeo-Christian religions emphasize the undesirability of man’s attempts to do so — when man did try to learn to discern the difference between good and evil (eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden), he was punished by God — and the punishment was carried on to all of his descendants in the form of original sin (or so the myth says….).

  98. #99 Azkyroth
    April 27, 2008

    What Stein should have said, and what he must have meant, is that “atheism (or Darwinism) leads to killing people”, and that is defensible.

    No, it isn’t. Prove me wrong.

  99. #100 Baratos
    April 28, 2008

    I was born through in-vitro fertilization. I want to shove the test tube I was conceived in right up Steins ass.

  100. #101 arachnophilia
    April 28, 2008

    setting aside, for one moment, stein’s loose grip on reality and “gott mitt uns,” there’s another theme i want to examine closely. and, of all things, it’s a religious one.

    he says towards the end that he wants people to see his movie so they will think of humanity as more than mud. he must not be a very religious jew, because he certainly isn’t very familiar with his torah — where man is very literally created out of mud. throughout the rest of the tanakh, god continually puts the wicked mankind into his proper place. humility and the unrighteousness of man is perhaps one of the strongest themes in the bible. all of the major characters are intentionally written with flaws and shortcomings.

    looking at man and seeing the divine, as he says, is one of the worst kinds of sins in the bible. in no uncertain terms does god make this difference clear. man is not god, not like god, and does not speak for god.

    back in the real world, one needs only look at history from this point forward to realize that “god is with us!” has been a rallying cry for all kinds of atrocities. from the (fictional?) genocide in dueteronomy, to the crusades, to the spanish inquistion, to the holocaust — all “god is with us.”

    this kind of arrogance, sincere or otherwise, is what can be deadly. and it is a special kind of irony hearing stein voice it.

  101. #102 Josh in California
    April 28, 2008

    Obligatory clip from Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mIfatdNqBA

  102. #103 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    And there is a sentence somewhere on the Internet that wants its semicolon back.

    Aww, eewolf, don’t be so hard on the guy. After all, he’s the product of a….

    *** DUN – DUN – DUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHNNNN… ***

    … a government school.

  103. #104 brokenSoldier
    April 28, 2008

    The lack of moral boundaries in both scientific and religious fields leads to the killing of people.
    Scientists develop the Atom bomb; Christians use it to kill the Japanese. Both groups are killers.

    Posted by: stushie | April 27, 2008 11:31 PM

    The first statement is false, and the second is reductionism in the worst sense, along with being false. Science is the pursuit of knowledge. A society needs scientists to push the envelope of our understanding, because such advancements directly lead to improvement in the quality of life. Scientists who assume to apply that knowledge in immoral ways are – by definition – abandoning their scientific ethics for whatever reason.

    You cannot blame the research and discovery of knowledge for the way it is applied. Doing so stifles further research, and thus stifles the progression of knowledge. Imperative in any society is the need for just, free-thinking, compassionate governmental officials to ensure that such knowledge is applied justly. Truman’s use of the atomic bomb was a horrific decision, but none of us had to make that decision, and I doubt very seriously he did not understand the arguments against such action before going through with it. Whether you agree with the decision or not, you must not blame the scientists who discovered the knowledge. If they had not, it could possibly have been used against us without our even understanding the weapon, much less preparing a defense for it.

    And being so reductive does not contribute to the argument. In a literal sense of the word, every human who has taken another life is a killer. But society has decided that in some cases, such actions are justifiable. By labeling someone as a killer, you’re foisting upon them the stigma of being an unjustified killer – a murderer. This in no way describes the scientists that pursue knowledge for the advancement of society in general.

  104. #105 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    I can’t think of anything better than “Darwinism”.

    Fair enough. And I can’t think of anything better than “Fucktard”.

  105. #106 Colugo
    April 28, 2008

    First, I think Ben Stein is eminently dismissable. And his movie tanked.

    But let’s clarify what we mean by science and scientists.

    Government: great in principle as an ideal – enhances the public welfare, enforces the social contract, provides for common defense. But government officials sometimes do terrible things while wielding state power. While government as an ideal is good, certain forms of government can have deservedly bad reputations. And some take that to the extreme of thinking that government itself is bad, or at least should be minimized.

    The market: great in principle as an ideal, enhances the public good, promotes the production and trade of goods and services. Yet capitalists can do terrible things using instruments of the market. So capitalism (markets, private property, profit) has gained something of a bad reputation, and some seek to abolish it or at least severely curtail it.

    Apply that to science.

    Science: great in principle as an ideal, enhances the public good, knowledge for its own sake, freedom from irrational fears, technological benefits etc. But science does not create and apply itself. It is constructed, maintained, implemented, and revised by human practitioners. And science – not the pristine ideal of science as a process but the current conception of scientific knowledge and its application – is only as good or as bad as those practitioners. Those practitioners are embedded in a system of institutions and ideologies, including those surrounding the state and the market.

    Let’s not confuse the ideal of science with the practice of science.

  106. #107 mothra
    April 28, 2008

    The one great thing about a finite lifespan, that was one fewer BAD video I will to watch.

    With his slurred, monotone delivery and with virtuallly no head motion, it seems that Ben[ken]Stein is truly in need of professional help. . . from a very specialized branch of the scientific community.

    @Michael, you might want to trumpet your inanity elsewhere. Your statements have already been properly dismantled before I got here. To your credit, I beleive you are not a complete ‘Baptobot’ (TM) as you displayed a sense of humor. Get a good book on evolutionary biology, such as Douglas Futuyma, ‘Evolution’. Sinaur Assoc. 2005. Sit down and read it instead of trolling the internet. A mind is a wonderful thing to use.

  107. #108 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    It’s time we get over this “religion kills people” vs “science kills people” nonsense and move on. People kill people. People kill people because they want land; people kill people because they want natural resources; people kill people because they want power. People kill people because they’ve been told, over and over, that this struggle for land/resources/power is actually grounded in some higher moral, philosophical, or religious motivation. People kill people because they want revenge; people kill people because they think that those people are different and thus evil. People kill people because the sun is too bright; people kill people because they’re fucking *insane*; people kill people because…

    The list could go on and on.

    Instead of wasting energy bickering and trying to find a sufficiently broad generalization for why we commit these heinous crimes against each other, maybe we should focus on devising and promoting a humanistic ethical philosophy that would help people to realize that as fellow human beings, we have a lot more in common than we have differences; that our lives and the world we live in are beautiful, fleeting, and precious things; and that for all our flaws, we CAN cooperate to make the world a slightly better place rather than senselessly killing each other and destroying the very things that make life worth living.

    Just a thought….

  108. #109 Azkyroth
    April 28, 2008

    I’m not sure that I’d argue “religion leads to killing people,” although it certainly has in some cases. I would, however, argue that religion leads to restriction of freedoms. The same can definitely not be said about atheism.

    More to the point, religious dogmatism inevitably leads to a willingness to think and do what you’re told by an authority figure. This has, on numerous occasions ranging from mundane homicides to the incomprehensibly massive death tolls of the Taiping Rebellion and World War II (before you pull out the “Hitler was an atheist” lie, perhaps you should do some research on the official ideologies of the Nazis and the Japanese).

    Whereas there is no logical link between atheism and killing that does not depend on a vast array of unstated assumptions that are in most cases at best unproven and at worst flagrantly contrafactual.

  109. #110 room101
    April 28, 2008

    I’m really glad videos from Thunderf00t are getting recognition. His videos are by far the best I’ve seen in calling out creationist/IDiot’s bulls***.

    I FERVENTLY recommend that everyone check out his work on youtube. He has, in my opinion, the best series of amateur videos related to creation science out there. He takes the time to explain how and why creation science is BS and simply wrong. He systematically and methodically dissects all of their arguments, using science and reason. I especially like his take on the difference between free speech and the scientific method – something that is getting lost in all of this expelled BS.

    His videos are informative and extremely entertaining.

  110. #111 James C.
    April 28, 2008

    It’s not just that he says science will lead to killing people. He says that science leads YOU to killing people. As in, if you become a scientist, you will become a murderer.
    He clearly didn’t misspeak, either. He pimped the Holocaust simply to exploit his personal hatred for science and scientists. Just before his comment about killing people, he says that the last scientists his ancestors met were gassing them to death. That is just unspeakably low.
    Given that he thinks science makes people into murderers, doesn’t that put his “science” movie into perspective?

  111. #112 mothra
    April 28, 2008

    @Etha 108- I hope there is a Molly in your immediate future.

  112. #113 brokenSoldier
    April 28, 2008

    People kill people.

    Posted by: Etha Williams | April 28, 2008 12:32 AM

    The above statement says it all, though your entire post was just as prescient concerning what should be the issue at hand. Nicely put, indeed, Etha.

  113. #114 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    when man did try to learn to discern the difference between good and evil (eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden), he was punished by God

    Yes, punished for becoming “as one of us” – for acquiring god-level intel without first obtaining the appropriate clearance.

    Apparently, though, god-level intelligence of the nature of good and evil leads to the formulation of moral imperatives which justify all manner of atrocity.

  114. #115 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Etha (#108) – Nice one!

  115. #116 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Oh, Etha, I forgot to say, your comment reminded me of something. If you haven’t seen this already, be prepared to face the, ah, the two-pronged argument against atheism that goes something like this:

  116. 1. Atheists believe in nothing.
  117. 2. Atheists are hopeless utopian idealists.

    O_o

  • #117 Sam
    April 28, 2008

    @ Etha 108 – People kill people. People kill people because they want land; people kill people because they want natural resources; people kill people because they want power.

    And yet we’re still arguing that humans are so different from animals? The only difference between humans and animals, *concievably* is a conscience. Conscience, higher mental power, theory of mind, and the ability to believe in the existance of higher beings. In Lehman’s terms, we should know better.

    It’s time we get over this “religion kills people” vs “science kills people” nonsense and move on.

    Touche (superflex on the ‘e’ unavailable at this time).
    Man is always going to kill his brother, (insert own bible reference here, if so inclined) and if he hasn’t blamed a god for his crusade, creationists (enter: Ben Stein) is going to try to blame science.

    And one more thing: has anyone else noticed that he always looks like he’s either reading a script or parroting off facts and numbers? Maybe he’s a robot designed and controlled by IDers. Or maybe that glazed over look comes with the brainwashing.

  • #118 RamblinDude
    April 28, 2008

    “He clearly didn’t misspeak, either. He pimped the Holocaust simply to exploit his personal hatred for science and scientists.”

    There’s a whole enclave of people like Stein who, I’m convinced if they had there way, would have us all in robes and sandals and living in tents. They embrace the bible so fervently they want to live it.

    Stein would, of course, be a rabbi or a preacher.

    I also suspect his hatred of science reflects his loathing of thinking and the energy it requires. Seriously. He seems like someone who wants to just shut off.

  • #119 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    (Dang, not thinking ahead, here.)

    In the interest of fairness, I feel the need to point out that Etha’s elegantly simple thesis has been voiced here by our buddy Sinbad on several occasions. As he puts it, “There’s more than enough evil to go around.”

  • #120 Kermit
    April 28, 2008

    @37: ” My reasons are that
    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).”

    Of course they do. But they don’t have any scientific alternative – nobody does. Many atheists, like many theists, neither understand nor care about science. Are you suggesting there were no atheists before 1859?

    “(b) Darwinism, as an account of the origins of man, casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts (this was argued by Darwinist Michael Ruse).”

    This is a pretty ambiguous statement. Is that intentional? It could mean that our moral intuitions are non-existent, or invalid, or shouldn’t be trusted, presumably for mortal reasons… Please clarify.

    “(c) Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.”

    Evolutionary science has researchers who have attempted to *explain the origins of our moral code. Are you suggesting that because we may discover how they came about, that they therefore should be discarded? That doesn’t follow. I believe I know (in a very broad sense) how and why we have a moral code, and I have no reason to believe in gods. Please explain in what way my love for my daughter, my wife, and my cat are invalid. Also my distaste for dishonesty and hesitation to hurt fellow humans.

  • #121 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Given that he thinks science makes people into murderers, doesn’t that put his “science” movie into perspective?

    Wow, I didn’t think of that! Apparently “Creation Science” (and its aliases) would have the same murderous effect. Heh.

    superflex

    I think you may mean “circumflex”, but either way, in “touché” it’s an accent aigu. </pedant>

  • #122 M. Robert Bond
    April 28, 2008

    @ 37c -

    Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on patriotic and theistic apologetics served up in defense of killing.

  • #123 brokenSoldier
    April 28, 2008

    Sam @ 108:

    Man is always going to kill his brother…

    To expound on Etha’s point in #108 using the above response from Sam, man – through force of what we all call human nature – is always going to kill his brother because inherent within current humanity’s nature, we will always have the emotions which motivate such acts that violate the rights of our fellow man. Our only combat against our own nature is to set up impartial systems that mitigate the influences of destructive emotion.

    In its current form, that system is believed by many to be democracy, specifically representative democracy, in the Jeffersonian sense that America embodied at its founding. The bases of a few of those founding principles have been run over roughshod by recent officials, but it is a problem we can correct, and one that I sincerely believe we will. When that happens, it will be a testament to the value of democracy as the ideal system of fair societal government.

    But – in light of history – there is always that chance that we haven’t gotten it quite right yet. If we cannot correct the ills that have resulted from the perversion of our form of democracy, then it will necessitate a change in thought, and a change in thought could very well lead to a transition of what we call democracy into an altogether new principle of societal interaction. It has happened before, and was the process through which we reached the very system of democracy we practice in this country, so we cannot be certain it will not happen again.

    What we can be certain of is that we must fix the errors of the last eight years of our nation’s leaders and its administration of our national government. It is the only way to ensure that we restore the balance of trust among nations, thereby creating the global cooperation that will be so necessary to our future continued progress. If we do this, we remain true to our founding principles and can contribute immensely to both domestic and global improvement. If we fail to repair our errors, we will cease to become a beacon of light and freedom, instead becoming merely another of history’s noble ideas that succumbed to the forces of tyranny and oppression.

  • #124 Chris (in Columbus)
    April 28, 2008

    I really wanted to see this movie, just so I could say “Yeah, it’s really terrible”, but after all the bad reviews I just can’t do it. Maybe I’ll wait til it’s on DVD and is on the clearance rack.

  • #125 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    I really wanted to see this movie, just so I could say “Yeah, it’s really terrible”, but after all the bad reviews I just can’t do it.

    When I have some extra time and money, hopefully one afternoon this week, I’m going to get myself down to the local multiplex and buy a ticket to a movie with some actual factual validity – as of this writing, I’m favoring Horton Hears A Who – but sit through eXpelled (*jazz hands*) instead, so I can write a reasonably informed review.

  • #126 scooter
    April 28, 2008

    Thanks to Tulse and HP for bringing up what should be the most glaringly obvious point about Ben Stien.

    He wrote speeches for Richard Nixon. He is a professional propagandist. Nixon cut his teeth in McCarthyism, one of the lowest points, and most propagandistic moments of the 20th Century America, even worse than NOW!!!.

    Stien was an apologist for Nixon and Kissinger. He closely resembles Kissinger physically and ideologically, his nuclear rants are plagiarized from Kissinger’s early publications.

    No militaristic aggression on the planet has more closely resembled Nazism than the Nixon Administration’s bombing of North and South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where millions of civilians perished.

    If you are willing to accept that B-52 bombers, as utilized by these criminals, were nothing more than mobile concentration camps, that wiped out innocent men women and children with astonishing efficiency, then you can see where a monster like Ben Stein is ‘projecting’, as the psychobabblers call it.

    He’s right, science DOES lead to genocide.

    He should know, he was part of it.

    He was a bona-fide updated American Goebbels for Nixon/Kissinger. As Noam Chomsky often points out, just listen to what they are saying. They tell you exactly who they are.

    This guy has been around for awhile, and he’s a lot nastier than some dumbass who makes bad movies and spouts emotionally charged jibberish like: ‘It’s just a theory’, ‘Man is a divine creature’, ‘vets against peace are fifth columnists’, ‘our children are being brainwashed’.

    This guy is more along the lines of, “they are coming to steal our precious bodily fluids”.

    Although he is the moral equivalent of Goebbels, there is no way that he has that level of talent.

    EXPELLED ain’t no ‘Triumph of the Will’, which is a truly frightening experience.

    You don’t get belly laughs from Nazi propaganda films, nor would good Germans walk out with tears streaming. He would have been fired by the Nazis for incompetence.

    The irony is that translations of Hitler speeches are mildly anti-semitic compared to Nixon Tapes where he rails against the ‘fucking jews’ constantly.

    -Ben Stein will burn in Irony for an Eternity

  • #127 themadlolscientist
    April 28, 2008

    Richard Kilgore huffs and puffs:

    I will retract my use of the word [Darwinism] if these reasons are shown to be inadequate.

    Never mind your muddle-headed “reasons.” The term “Darwinism” is inadequate in and of itself, in that it’s no longer accurate — any more than it’s accurate to continue to call theoretical physics “Einsteinism.” Both labels are long outdated. Darwin and Einstein laid the groundwork, but our understanding of the processes of both physics and biology has grown to include phenomena and ideas that Darwin and Einstein could never have imagined.

    The only excuse I can think of for someone like you to continue to call evolutionary theory “Darwinism” is because the “ism” on the end makes it sound like a quasi-religious belief system rather than a scientific field.

  • #128 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#

    @ Etha 108 – People kill people. People kill people because they want land; people kill people because they want natural resources; people kill people because they want power.

    And yet we’re still arguing that humans are so different from animals? The only difference between humans and animals, *concievably* is a conscience. Conscience, higher mental power, theory of mind, and the ability to believe in the existance of higher beings. In Lehman’s terms, we should know better.

    Yes, we should. And yet, those things — conscience, higher mental power, theory of mind, and the ability to believe in higher beings — are instead routinely exploited to justify the animalistic struggle for land, natural resources, power, etc. When leaders of nations carry out wars for those purposes, they tell the public and the armies that they’re doing it because it’s morally right; because some philosophy or religion supports it; because “God is on our side”. It’s sickening. The very things that should be helping us realize that we can and should move beyond such base inclinations are instead used to justify them.

  • #129 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    in re: my 128 –

    That was directed @Sam (#117).

  • #130 RamblinDude
    April 28, 2008

    “I’m really glad videos from Thunderf00t are getting recognition.”

    I’ll second that. I’ve watched several of the “Why do creationists get laughed at” videos and he is well informed and takes apart creationist claims quite nicely.

  • #131 RamblinDude
    April 28, 2008

    Crap, wrong. It’s the “Why do people laugh at creationists?” series.

  • #132 Aegis
    April 28, 2008

    “…I just once want one of the fundies in the interview to mention Jesus as the one true way to salvation and have Ben Stein correct him and say he doesn’t believe in Jesus. How do you avoid talking about Jesus on fundie talk?

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. :/

  • #133 Aegis
    April 28, 2008

    Also – the first-frame hot chick made me click… PZ, how can you have fooled me!? Damn my highly evolved mating instincts :)

  • #134 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#116 Kseniya:

    If you haven’t seen this already, be prepared to face the, ah, the two-pronged argument against atheism that goes something like this:

    1. Atheists believe in nothing.

    2. Atheists are hopeless utopian idealists.

    Believe in nothing? Certainly not. Hopeless utopian idealist? Possibly. But I think there is a use in holding such ideals, even if they may be unattainable — they give us something to strive for. If we refuse to imagine such a better world on the grounds that it is unattainable, we severely limit our ability to improve ourselves.

  • #135 RamblinDude
    April 28, 2008

    I’m a hopeless utopian idealist. I try not to let it interfere with my belief in nothing, my complete lack of morals, my nihilistic pessimism, my inability to see mystery and beauty in the world, and my hatred and fear of the One True God. (I have good days and bad days.) : )

  • #136 g.p.m.
    April 28, 2008

    “I always enjoy seeing a new addition to Thunderf00t’s “Why do People Laugh at Creationists” series, but this one was one of the few that didn’t even make me laugh.”
    Same here. Still, some things have to be said.

    There’s also a rather embarassing typo in the middle…”cheap tshits.”

  • #137 robert
    April 28, 2008

    So we have a video that puts sound bites in there and this British guy putting words in his mouth and then taking his view point out of context.

    Typical full on damage control.

  • #138 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#137 robert –

    So we have a video that puts sound bites in there and this British guy putting words in his mouth and then taking his view point out of context.

    Out of context? Please clarify; I watched the whole interview at the Trinity Broadcast Network, and the excerpts Thunderf00t chose seem to accurately reflect the sentiments expresed therein. (Though if you want to talk about quote-mining….)

  • #139 Janine ID
    April 28, 2008

    Rob, Rob, Rob. There is no damage control. Ben Stein said “Science leads you to killing people.” All of history is filled with people killing each other for every possible reason. Yet we have this fool saying to fundamentalist christians that science turns people into killers.

    If anyone should be ashamed, it should be Ben Stein. That person should be seen as a crank by the general population and reduced to pandering to the willfully ignorant.

    Robert, the next time you accuse any of us of anything, know what you are talking about. Yours was a content free statement.

  • #140 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#135 RamblinDude –

    I’m a hopeless utopian idealist. I try not to let it interfere with my belief in nothing, my complete lack of morals, my nihilistic pessimism, my inability to see mystery and beauty in the world, and my hatred and fear of the One True God. (I have good days and bad days.) : )

    Yeah, being an atheist is hard work, what with all the effort we have to exert in order to willfully ignore the obvious signs of the existence of the One True God. But the nihilistic pessimism is totally worth it ;).

  • #141 Maximinus
    April 28, 2008

    Not having had the displeasure of seeing Expelled, I hadn’t actually heard anything Stein had said in such a direct manner. Having seen that video clip, I can safely say that the man speaks nothing but a load of BS. Thanks for enlightening me as to precisely how pathetically stupid Stein really is.

  • #142 Mavaddat
    April 28, 2008

    Stein’s hypothetical musings on all-out chaos descending into nuclear warfare was taken straight from the pages of Fire Marshall Bill’s play book of Insane Emergency Situations.

    I would love to see Jim Carrey redo Stein’s fantasizing.

  • #143 Angel Rose Young
    April 28, 2008

    Sam (#117) - “Or maybe that glazed over look comes with the brainwashing.

    Would it surprise you to learn that glazed over looks do often come with brainwashing/indoctrination. There are techniqes of brainwashing that can be easily construed (and rightfully so) with torture.

  • #144 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    @ Etha Williams : Will you marry me?

    @ thread topic : Does science lead to killing people? Certainly not in the way BS wants to make the gullible believe,and we have to keep in mind here what this man’s agenda is with his statement ! Does religion lead to killing people? Duh…that one is easy i guess….

    @ Etha Williams,my future bride : If you look at,say Sartre,because you mentioned the existentialists,he always realized man was free and that with that came a huge “angst” and responsibility,to define and find morality in yourself,rather than adopting a moral system from religion or anything else conveniently.

    @ Creobots : this quote from Chris Hitchens’ answer to the question: “Does science make god obsolete?

    “Would we have adopted monotheism in the first place if we had known:

    That our species is at most 200,000 years old, and very nearly joined the 98.9 percent of all other species on our planet by becoming extinct, in Africa, 60,000 years ago, when our numbers seemingly fell below 2,000 before we embarked on our true “exodus” from the savannah?

    That the universe, originally discovered by Edwin Hubble to be expanding away from itself in a flash of red light, is now known to be expanding away from itself even more rapidly, so that soon even the evidence of the original “big bang” will be unobservable?

    That the Andromeda galaxy is on a direct collision course with our own, the ominous but beautiful premonition of which can already be seen with a naked eye in the night sky?”
    Case closed….

  • #145 Ichthyic
    April 28, 2008

    It’s official. Ben Stein now gets the “Biggest Douche in the World” award.

    I gotta admit, he is really trying hard to outdo our “beloved” Salvador.

    This little clip will weigh heavily in his favor.

  • #146 Peter Mc
    April 28, 2008

    Mr Kilgore, atheism is the result of waking up one day and realising that all the stuff you’ve been fed by your religious family, friends and teachers has no evidence to support it.

    None. It has a very old book of dubious origins, dodgy editing and which suggests people do things which in modern society would have you jailed for a good long time. It doesn’t cause, or lead to evolutionary theory. If you actually read Darwin’s writings, you can see, and I mean really see where the theory of natural selection came from.

    He went round the world ‘quite orthodox’ on Genesis and the flood. As he went, walked and sailed he realized that God’s ghostwriters’ version did not chime with what he saw and could not explain the phenomena he observed. Time and again, simply keeping his eyes and mind open (he was actually training to be a pastor before he sailed) banged nail after nail into the coffin lid of Genesis’ nursery tales.

    Darwin first wrote his theory of natural selection in 1842 (although he’d clearly been thinking of it for a while), and Darwin lost his belief in God with the death of his daughter Annie, some time later. The flowering of independent thinking and intelligence free from the shackles of the bible predated his agnocisticism.

    In your pipe.

  • #147 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    Ichthyic,dont forget this guy is clever,he knows what he is doing and he has an agenda,or is the tool of some agenda.I dont think we should underestimate the fellow,he is dangerous,but not stupid……

  • #148 Ali
    April 28, 2008

    No publicity is bad publicity. Linking Ben stein’s videos will only make more people wathching Ben stein’s nonsense. Ben is a smart man so I don’t suppose he believes what he says in the movie. But, if there is a market of gullible folks (mullah and the new post 911 secular mullah :) ) willing to give their money to watch Stein, then Ben will kindly milk that cow. God bless him for that.

  • #149 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#148 Ali —

    No publicity is bad publicity. Linking Ben stein’s videos will only make more people wathching Ben stein’s nonsense.

    Not sure I totally agree there — based on the way BS is tailoring his statements based on his audience (sounding reasonable and vaguely scientific while on the mainstream media, then turning around and damning science as an institution that leads to killing people while on Xian media like Christianity Today and Trinity Broadcasting Network), it seems he’s relying on his message only reaching the target audience. It might be good for people to realize that the BS they are seeing on ABC/Fox/etc is not the same BS the Xians/true believers are getting.

    The success of Expelled at getting the general public to believe its message relies largely on people not recognizing BS and his IDiot entourage as the opportunistic, hypocritical hacks they truly are. (Thunderf00t’s WdPL@C #23 is pretty good for that, too.) Expose *that*, and maybe a few of the un-converted will remain so. (I’ve pretty much given up on the true believers though….)

  • #150 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    I agree Etha,from what I have seen BS is tailoring his answers to his audience,as a clever politician would…
    And there is very small chance of exposing the lies and hypocrisy of the “movie” to the general public,because the general public isnt watching it(thankfully).Even busloads of churchie fundies,ticket redemption etc couldnt save the crap from utterly failing in theatres,which is good news of course.If we could only go to Yahoo and IMDB etc and cast our votes there too….

  • #151 scooter
    April 28, 2008

    I love Thunderf00t.
    I learn as much about science as I do about politics watching Stewart and Colbert.

    The only thing that disturbs me about Thunderf00t is his implied Utopian vision of science as a driving force for hope.

    Technology has indeed made the possibility of clean water and ample food possible, but in the real world, the majority of people continue to drink sewage and barely get enough food to survive, and live no longer than our ‘pre-civilized’ ancestors.

    This hit me in the face really hard when I heard the debate between Chris Hedges and Sam Harris.

    I really like Sam Harris, but he lost that debate in my eyes to a Presbyterian, for fucksakes, and was reduced to simply repeating his schtick.

    There is no Promised Land, we’re on our own, and the overwhelming evidence points to the extinction of the Naked Ape, a short-lived fancy of over-sized brain development.

    Evolution does not recognize renaissance, nor enlightenment.

    The wonders of modern science have not resulted in the uplifting of mankind, as Thunderf00t suggests.

    Nasty chimpanzee behavior, tribalism, nationalism, aggression, have negated whatever potential science has had to lift our fellow apes.

    This is why Chris Hedges destroyed Harris, because Hedges knows it is all about politics, not scientific progress.

    The shrinking information world has re-invented slavery, thirteen year old girls work 16 hours a day to make our world possible, are raped by their managers and fired when they get pregnant.

    The best Harris could come up with was that Muslims are a big threat to Western Civilization because their religion is stoopider than Christianity or Judaism.

    Islam has an openly belligerent attitude. It is equivalent to a child, deprived of television privileges, ranting, “I hate you, I hate you, I want to kill you”

    That’s how a big a threat they are.

    They suck, but they haven’t slaughtered 3 million in Indochina, reduced Central America to killing fields, funded the slaughter in Indonesia, sprayed herbicides on peasant lands to control drugs, bombed the shit out of confused Afghanis to look tough, nor imprisoned more of their own people than Stalin.

    The pathetic arguments put forth by Hitchens and Harris are weaker than the Ben Stein argument that Atheists kill babies.

    It’s about politics, and the allocation of resources, and that’s where Hedges was right, and Harris was reduced to believing his own bullshit, just like the dumbasses that are produced by the Judeo Christian brainwashed, western civilized chest thumping dominant male chimps, who are the most disgusting murdering fucks on the planet.

    The only thing I have going for me is evidence, statistics, mathematics, history, perhaps a bit of Chaos theory on population, and my own personal fear for my children, who are far more likely to be shot by police, buggered by Catholics, busted for pot or worse, LSD, thrown into prison and institutionalized by this backwater redneck trailer trash excuse for a democracy than get blown up by a Palestinian pissed off about the reenactment of the Warsaw Ghetto by a bunch of doofus redneck Polish and Russian peasants who get free health care, free education, and live the life of O rielly on my dime.

    rant over

  • #152 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#144 clinteas –

    If you look at,say Sartre,because you mentioned the existentialists,he always realized man was free and that with that came a huge “angst” and responsibility,to define and find morality in yourself,rather than adopting a moral system from religion or anything else conveniently.

    Quite so. Even Kierkegaard, a theistic existentialist, said, “The self-assured believer is a greater sinner in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever.”

  • #153 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    OT:
    What happened to ERV’s blog?????
    Abbie???

  • #154 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    Etha have you noticed tho that philosophy is hardly playing a part at all in this whole evo-creo debate,although i reckon that say the existentialists probably answered most of the questions creobots or fundie christians ask these days in regard to morality without god…..
    We might have to ask John Wilkins,grumpy QC for his opinion on the matter lol….

  • #155 negentropyeater
    April 28, 2008

    Ali #148,

    “No publicity is bad publicity. Linking Ben stein’s videos will only make more people wathching Ben stein’s nonsense.”

    There are no such rules.

    It’s one of the most discussed movies in the blogosphere, and despite this, more than 99.8% of the population has not yet gone to see that movie ?
    With the way it’s plummeting, it’ll be out from most theaters by next week end.
    Unlike most documentaries that start small, and work by word of mouth, buzz, publicity, this one was killed by it.

    In my view, the problem was simple : the target group for this kind of movie is very small : intellectuals (it’s supposed to be an intellectually challenging movie, I mean in comparison with killer snakes on a plane) who are fundamentalist christians : there just aren’t that many !

  • #156 OctoberMermaid
    April 28, 2008

    Yeah, I was gonna post this on ERV’s blog, but it fits here, too. Just, um, brace yourselves, ok? It’s one of THOSE videos.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ELwuRv2gESY&feature=related

  • #157 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#156 OctoberMermaid –

    Yeah, I was gonna post this on ERV’s blog, but it fits here, too. Just, um, brace yourselves, ok? It’s one of THOSE videos.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ELwuRv2gESY&feature=related

    *headdesk* That was both hilarious and incredibly frustrating to watch…the first five minutes, anyway. After that, listening to his dull, nearly monotonous delivery and seeing his very poor use of the vlog format became unbearably boring. Also, the fact that it took until about 2:22 before he even got to his first “refutation”, combined with his incredibly dull presentation of that “argument”, makes me think that even if I were a sympathetic creobot I’d probably have given up before I even got to that point….

  • #158 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    Yawn…….
    These days it only takes the term “Evolutionist” to turn me off and realize that this is some creo propaganda,isnt it funny…..and this particular one is particularly boring because once again it sets out to argue an a priori claim,namely that ERVs dont prove that evolution is real….Yawn….
    Im a physician,so i will let biologists do the honors of slaying that one…..no need to really,its all been said before….
    Abbie?????

  • #159 Emmet Caulfield
    April 28, 2008

    The content of Thunderfoot’s “Why Do People Laugh at Creationists” series is uniformly excellent, but he should get someone else to narrate.

  • #160 legreek
    April 28, 2008

    you shouldn’t be making fun of this obviously retarded person…

  • #161 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    retarded or not mate,still got to refute this crap,because people actually watch it on the tubes,and the gullible will take it on like the commandments……

  • #162 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#156 October Mermaid in re: creobots & ERV’s:

    My favorite “argument” against ERV’s as evidence for evolution came from ungtss, of Impeccable Logic comments thread fame:

    “This argument rests on a number of key unstated assumptions:

    3) These viruses weren’t intentionally inserted into our DNA. We use retroviruses to perform genetic engineering. Who’s to say the Designer didn’t use them to genetically engineer us? This is especially interesting, given the fact that some (many) ERVs are indispensible to life.”

    …yeah… So here are our two “arguments”: either an ID decided to do a bit of retroviral gene transfer work on his/her/its/their designs; or, over the course of billions of years, organisms were occasionally infected by retroviri that got into their germ cells and were passed down to their offspring.

    I think I’ll go for argument 2, personally….

  • #163 clinteas
    April 28, 2008

    ” 3) These viruses weren’t intentionally inserted into our DNA. We use retroviruses to perform genetic engineering. Who’s to say the Designer didn’t use them to genetically engineer us? This is especially interesting, given the fact that some (many) ERVs are indispensible to life.”

    …yeah… So here are our two “arguments”: either an ID decided to do a bit of retroviral gene transfer work on his/her/its/their designs; or, over the course of billions of years, organisms were occasionally infected by retroviri that got into their germ cells and were passed down to their offspring. ”

    Look, Etha,the problem is not that the facts are not blatantly obvious to anyone with an IQ above that of a dust mite,the problem is that a large amount of people in the US but not the US alone are suffering from cognitive dissonance and are not actually able to realize their logical fallacies.

  • #164 Bad
    April 28, 2008

    Finally saw the film (yes, paid to see it, didn’t sneak in), and now I have my final fisk-fest here: what we got right (mostly everything), what we got wrong (tidbits here and there that don’t really affect the major thrust of the film) and what I think it all means, in the end.

  • #165 Boo
    April 28, 2008

    So first he sas science leads to killing people. Then he’s angrily dismissive of a judge for ruling that ID isn’t science.

    So he wants it said that ID leads to killing people?

  • #166 Dixie
    April 28, 2008

    Here’s a tangent that does tie in with BS tailoring his words to fit his audience. I caught a segment of “Dog Tales,” a weekend program to educate kids about breeds, training, and care. Ben Stein and his wife were interviewed about their love for their three dogs. (BS sleeps with his because they know nothing but “peace” and for that they deserve his unstinting love. He would also, were he in charge of government, require every household to own several dogs.)

    But at the end of the segment, he “quoted” Ambrose Bierce as saying dogs are the receptacles of our overflow love. (I’m sure about “love.”) Sweet, huh? But the quote didn’t sound like the Bierce definitions I know. The actual definition is “Dog – a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship.”

  • #167 Jams
    April 28, 2008

    Science doesn’t kill people. People kill people.

  • #168 Nick Gotts
    April 28, 2008

    I think a number of people were too hard on Richard Kilgore in writing him off as a troll – he made a few relevant distinctions and answered some of the questions he was asked. Richard, if you’re still around, why not set out what you currently believe as clearly and succinctly as possible, and see where we can go from there? I suggest “modern evolutionary theory” (MET for short) as a more accurate term for what you’re calling “Darwinism”: the theory of common descent (which you say you accept), plus the sufficiency of natural processes, primarily heritable variation and natural selection, to account for the evolution of all modern organisms from the first living cells.

  • #169 MH
    April 28, 2008

    Clinteas asked “What happened to ERV’s blog?????”

    It was mysteriously de-listed from Google a few days ago, and now it has been completely deleted.

  • #170 BW022
    April 28, 2008

    Ben Stein’s military assessment of a simultaneous attack by North Korea against South Korea and Japan; Iran attacking Saudi Arabia; and China attacking Taiwan is uter non-sense. He is worried that the United States doesn’t have a big enough military to response without nuclear weapons?

    Humm… let’s look at each…

    North Korea ranks #27 ($5.5 billion per year) in military spending. South Korea is #10 (over $26 billion) and Japan is #6 ($41 billion). No serious military analyist could conclude that the North has any hope of surviving a conventional war with the South, let alone Japan. And if it used nuclear weapons, of course it wouldn’t be unthinkable for the US or the UK to respond with their own, or for South Korea or Japan to just to drop nuclear waste in say rice fields and rivers in the North.

    Iran attacking Saudi Arabia is equally silly. Iran is #24 ($6.3 billion) while Saudi Arabia is #9 ($31 billion). Iran attacking across the straight would be stupidity. It has almost no navy, transport, or air force to speak of. Saudi Arabia would easily repell any attack without serious worry. And of course, Iran would have nearly 150,000 coalition troops on its border.

    China attacking Taiwan is also mighty strange. China is #4 at ($59 billion) and Taiwan is #19 ($10 billion). However the difference is that Taiwan’s spending is pretty much to keep China out. That means almost all of it is in navy, air force, anti-ship missiles, modern air defense, etc. while most of China’s is in its large army. Almost no analyist seriously think that China has enough transport, air lift, or air force capability to actually invade the island.

    Of course, the US without using nuclear weapons clearly has enough conventional forces to make any of these nations loose a cost-benefit game without actually putting troops on the ground. Attacks against dams, power stations, highways, shipping, transport, water sources, industry, government leaders, etc. would easily exceed any benefit these nations would gain from that.

    Even without the United States, the rest of NATO spends about $300 billion a year. The UK, France, Germany, etc. each have enough conventional weapons to single handedly finish North Korea or Iran out of Saudi Arabia (if they put their minds to it) and the UK and France enough of a navy to keep China out of Taiwan.

    And of course, as Thunderf00t points out, we are long past the point at which any of these nations could hope to survive the economic fall-out of such moves. North Korea would have what little industry, power-plants, dams, etc. destroyed within minutes of an attack on the South or Japan. Iran would see over 50% of its exports (oil) cease the moment it attacked Saudi Arabia, plus who knows how much as Saudi planes take out water purification plans, bridges, roads, air fields, etc. China would of course see similiar damage as a naval conflict off its coast would immediately cut most of its oil imports within days plus world-wide trade bans over the next few weeks.

    Ben’s analysis of these scenerios is so far out of reality it isn’t funny.

  • #171 Stanton
    April 28, 2008

    Ben’s analysis of these scenerios is so far out of reality it isn’t funny.

    Ben Stein’s analysis of anything, aside from Visine commercials, and some of his voice-acting in Animaniacs, is so detached from reality so as to be totally unfunny.

  • #172 NMcC
    April 28, 2008

    Some great posts here exposing Stein’s idiocy, so not much else to add.

    However, just to lighten the thread a bit, am I the only one who’s concerned about the fact that a war as percieved by Stein might, according to this video, result in “no more cheap Tshits?”

    The mind boggles!!

    (Does it actually say that on the vid as part of a joke that I’m too stupid to get?! If so, I’m going back to bed.)

  • #173 negentropyeater
    April 28, 2008

    Thunderfoot is brilliant. Not only his points are clear, precise, simple (but not simpler as old Al said), but he really knows how to use video editing to visually support them.
    10/10
    Hey Prof.Nisbett, you need someone to give you a lesson in communicating the Science/Creationism “controversy”, why not contact this guy ?

  • #174 negentropyeater
    April 28, 2008

    Stanton #171

    “Ben Stein’s analysis of anything, aside from Visine commercials, and some of his voice-acting in Animaniacs, is so detached from reality so as to be totally unfunny.”

    Well, I also thought so, but then there was this video where he said something definitely not stupid recently on Neil Cavuto (not about “Expelled”, but about “a moral imperative of taxing the rich, and his position on universal healthcare, is much more nuanced than I would have expected”) :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWpC_D7jXyc
    (let’s say, for ounce, Ben Stein surprised me, ok, there were the two loons Cavuto and Payne to provide contrast but still…) What do think ?

    Now, that really surprised me, how can a man say this on one hand (remember he is very rich himself), be the same man making such a fool of himself with this Expelled joke. Does he have no self respect ?

  • #175 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    (Etha, watch your step with this Clinteas fellah… he’s inconstant and flightly. Why, just last week, he was proposing to me.       ;-)

  • #176 Graculus
    April 28, 2008

    Science doesn’t kill people. People kill people.

    If they outlaw science, only outlaws will have science.

  • #177 Iain Walker
    April 28, 2008

    Richard Kilgore (Comment #37);

    atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).

    Nonsense. The theory of evolution provides a natural explanation for biological diversity, and as such provides a reason for rejecting a particular argument for the existence of God (the Paleyesque argument for design). However, there are also other reasons for rejecting Paley’s fallacious, question-begging argument, quite independently of whether we have any explanation for biological diversity at all. Furthermore, the theory of evolution has nothing to say about other arguments for or against the existence of God (cosmological, ontological etc), which is one reason why there are plenty of theists who accept evolution while still claiming that theism is intellectually defensible.

    Consequently, the theory provides neither a necessary nor a sufficient reason for disbelieving in God, and so one cannot reasonably claim that such disbelief depends on it.

    As for atheism leading to “Darwinism”, that’s true only in a rather trivial and contingent sense. If someone is an atheist, and is interested in questions regarding the origins of biological diversity and complexity, then it is unsurprising if they turn to the best supported natural explanation for said phenomena (which currently happens to be evolution along Darwinian lines). However, being an atheist does not in itself mean that they will accept an explanation based on Darwinian ideas (e.g., some left-wing atheists rejected Darwinism on ideological grounds, in favour of Lamarkism or some other supposedly “progressive” form of evolution, especially during the early 20th Century).

    Darwinism, as an account of the origins of man, casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts (this was argued by Darwinist Michael Ruse).

    Do you have a reference for Ruse making this claim (a link would be nice if the source is online)? Because from what I know of Ruse, you’re probably misunderstanding or misrepresenting a much more subtle argument, one from which your conclusion does not follow.

    Any scientific explanation (evolutionary, Darwinian or otherwise) of human origins is going to entail that our moral intuitions and thoughts have natural origins. It will explain why we have such instincts, and that’s all. Evolutionary biology has nothing to say about normative ethics, and so makes no claims as to the validity of our moral intuitions one way or another.

    You may be thinking that an evolutionary explanation undermines the idea that moral value judgements are objective. Well, it doesn’t even do that – if moral values are objective matters of fact, then there’s an obvious evolutionary advantage for social animals to be able to grasp such facts, however imperfectly.

    (On which note, what does undermine the idea that moral value judgements are statements of fact with determinate truth values is the study of metaethics, which is a branch of philosophy quite independent of evolutionary biology.)

    At most, a naturalistic account of the origins of our moral and social instincts renders unnecessary any assertion that a deity or some other supernatural force is required to explain those instincts. But then, even if a supernatural explanation of human morality were required, this would not make our ethical values any more or less valid either.

    Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.

    Maybe, unless it simultaneously substitutes a better reason for not killing people. But since evolution in general, and the Darwinian model in particular, is entirely irrelevant to the validity or invalidity of our moral intuitions, the point is moot.

  • #178 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    Scooter:

  • The wonders of modern science have not resulted in the uplifting of mankind, as Thunderf00t suggests.
  • Nasty chimpanzee behavior, tribalism, nationalism, aggression, have negated whatever potential science has had to lift our fellow apes.
  • Dude! Cheer up. We’re a work in progress.

    Yes, there are a lot of problems in the world, but you can’t deny that the overall quality of life is in many ways better than it was a century or two (or five, or ten) ago. The age of science and industry has just begun. The steam engine is only 300 years old. The concept of electrical generation is less than 200 years old, and the practical application of electrifying the world only began around 120 years ago.

    The first powered flight was only 105 years ago – and yet the date of of man’s first moon landing is nearly 40 years ago, meaning that the leap from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base was accomplished in a blink-of-an-eye 66 years.

    No, science hasn’t solved all the world’s problems, and yes, many of the impediments to progress are political and the product of human nature (tribalism, instinctive selfishness) but it’s reasonable to believe that things can continue to get better, in increments, if we allow reason and compassion – rather than fear and pessimism – to lead the way.

    Oh, and please explain to me how Russian peasants are living high and mighty on your dime? I haven’t been able to figure that one out.

  • #179 cicely
    April 28, 2008

    Somebody or bodies will probably have covered this by the time I get to the bottom of the thread, but….

    @37, Richard Kilgore said:

    I think atheism leads to killing people, in exactly the same sense in which people say “religion leads to killing people”. Not always, not necessarily, but there is a clear causal link here.

    Atheism doesn’t lead to killing people; religion doesn’t lead to killing people. But when people kill people premeditatedly (as opposed to accidentally, or in an off-hand, spur of the moment kind of way), they are very keen on whatever gives them an excuse or justification, something to rationalize it. The fault (and responsibility) for the killing is not in the science, atheism, religion, cultural differences, or fact that “it was a rainy Saturday night, and I was bored”. It is in the people who decide to kill people.

  • #180 AndyD
    April 28, 2008

    Let me get this straight. In the beginning he says science leads to killing then at 6:20 he says he doesn’t agree with the court that said Intelligent Design isn’t science.

    I guess his obsession with war makes more sense when you resolve those two statements.

    I’d have to say old Ben’s not a great poster boy for intelligent anything.

  • #181 MikeB
    April 28, 2008

    I like how he REPEATEDLY admits, prior to addressing many different comments, that he is “not a professional” or something similar.

    And the yes-man monkey sitting next to him…
    gah

    What a couple of rubes.

  • #182 brokenSoldier
    April 28, 2008

    Kseniya @ 178:

    Nicely said, and I think the mistake Scooter made is in his human solipsism. It amazes me that more people don’t let themselves step back and look at the human in perspective to the rest of the species that have inhabited this Earth. We’re a species close to the 200,000 year mark, but we’re also still in our intellectual infancy when you consider how many years, comparatively, we have been in the business of civilization. Where we diverge is in what we have done with the advantages nature bestowed upon us, the biggest being consciousness and intelligence – as we understand both of those concepts.

    Until now they have been selected for because of their efficacy in aiding our survival, but that could very well prove to be untrue in the future. Our own unique consciousness – in aiding our early survival – has given us the chance to develop our understanding and intelligence concerning the processes of the very natural world that produced us, and that has resulted in the very real possibility of the knowledge gained through such intelligence being used in a way that could end our run as a species of Earth, much less the dominant one.

    The difference between the two points of view here is that one exhibits a scientific optimism about our progress and calls for its positive continuance and application, while the other decries science based on the acts of those who have perverted its ideals and the areas to which its application hasn’t extended yet and calls for its discredit and abandonment in favor of subjugation to mysticism.

    If we are to continue to grow and change as a species, we have to continue to build upon our understanding of the world around us. Abandonment of science will only lead to stagnation, and while that may benefit those in power now, it would not bode well for the survival of the species in the long run.

    The way I see it, 1000 years ago the world was inhabited by a human species almost totally subservient to religion and its governmental manipulators. The only thing that carried us out of that darkness was the pursuit of knowledge. Attaining that knowledge broke – somewhat – the shackles that religion had fastened around the human mind, and we have certainly come a long way since then.

    If religious dogma wins and science is in any way subjugated to its influence, in 1000 years we may well be back into some form of that darkness that clouded the human world a millenia ago, if we are here at all. If we keep science protected from demonization by those who would destroy it, in 1000 years we will have made exponentially more progress than we already have, leading to a future that could very well see humanity across the entire world enjoying a quality of life unparalleled to anything we see today. Its a choice that we have to make, and is definitely being forced upon society by the recent invasions of dogmatism into such areas of our society as the judiciary, our education system, our political structure, and even our armed forces. Either we’ll win or we won’t, and science will either continue to improve our existence or it won’t. We just have to make more people choose the former over the latter, regardless of our individual race, religion, or nation.

  • #183 Shell Goddamnit
    April 28, 2008

    “maybe we should focus on devising and promoting a humanistic ethical philosophy that would help people to realize that as fellow human beings, we have a lot more in common than we have differences; that our lives and the world we live in are beautiful, fleeting, and precious things”

    the problem is that much of religion says our lives aren’t fleeting & precious at all, but just a prelude to immortality. not easy to get folks to see what the whole point of their religion is to obscure

    thus religion often gets in the way of any kind of step towards a consensus humanistic ethics

    science at least doesn’t actively counter progress in this area

  • #184 RamblinDude
    April 28, 2008

    HP 90#

    Stein is lying. He’s been lying about all kinds of shit all his life. As a Nixon speechwriter, he lied about Cambodia. If Ben Stein told me his pants were on fire, I’d wait to see if the chemical analysis of his charred flesh showed evidence of carbonation. He’s lying now. Why do you think a guy with no formal theatrical training was able to pursue a career as a character actor? Because he’s been playing a role since the day he was born. And he’s no different than every blow-dried, bible-thumping, gun-totin’ fundy you deal with at work every day. Every single one of them knows the difference between lying and telling the truth, and every single one of them knows the difference between right and wrong. They just. Don’t. Give a shit. They have “higher priorities” than honesty.

    I think you’re right on target here. From what I can tell, lying and pandering and sucking up is a way of life for him. He honestly seems obsessed with it. I suspect his “I’m a baaaaad little boy” approach to the film is simply a projection of the way he lives his life.

    Perhaps I’m off base here, but I also suspect his conscience is pinging him. As a Nixon speechwriter, he was sympathetic to, and enabling of dark forces during the Vietnam years. He was part of the machinery that led to wide scale death and suffering of innocents (using the tools of science to rain death from the skies). And now, predictably, he’s converting to piety in his old age. You can see it in his bad posture, his “Oh gee, can’t we all just get along?” whininess. But since lying is what he does, instead of blaming himself for helping to make the world a worse place, he blames others. He has chosen to blame science–and scientists–for keeping him from feeling the spark of the divine within himself.

  • #185 L
    April 28, 2008

    Ben Stein seems like a good representative for what American politicians seem to be like.

    Old…bigoted…and out of touch with reality.

    (I’m sure there are exceptions…yet not nearly enough!)

    Thank you P.Z.!

    This blog is officially SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  • #186 Etha Williams
    April 28, 2008

    @#183 Shell Goddamnit –

    the problem is that much of religion says our lives aren’t fleeting & precious at all, but just a prelude to immortality. not easy to get folks to see what the whole point of their religion is to obscure

    Yeah, that is a bit of a problem isn’t it? Damn…I am just a hopeless utopian idealist. Ah well. Like I said, something to strive for…

    And also, a lot of religious people strangely have a fear of death. Couldn’t they use whatever shadow of doubt motivates that to motivate them to do better things? Like trying to make the best of their short, fleeting lives?

    Well, one can hope.

  • #187 A
    April 28, 2008

    I alway wondered how it came about in the U.S. that
    those who deny evolution in biology (e.g. religious fundamentalists) vote for
    those who adhere to social Darwinism (e.g. Republicans /so-called conservatives/free-market ideologues, whose points are that the strongest will win in the market, self-reliance rather than mutual help, abolish welfare…).

    Could we all remind them of this contradiction?

  • #188 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    brokenSoldier (#182) I am with you all the way on that. Well stated.

  • #189 JDM
    April 28, 2008

    “This is what sends me over the fucking edge when I hear this shit from people. They know that it’s all a lie. But to them, it’s all about tribalism and competition. It’s treating “truth” like it was the fucking Final Four in college basketball. I believe every damn coach in the world has pointed out that winning ugly is still winning. But I could give a shit whether “we” win or not; being honest and wise and right is better than winning. (Are you listening, Chris and Matt? I would rather lose.)”

    I see a lot of this kind of tribalism here (I’m from southern Missouri). A lot of people down here associate science with snobby rich intellectuals and see religion as something for simple grass roots people like them. They refuse to consider it because they think embracing it would be going against their family, their neighbors, and their self image.

    Also, I’m sorry for my first comment on this blog (if anyone even remembers it). It was the idiotic product of not getting enough sleep and then trying to post after working a double shift.

  • #190 Graeme Elliott
    April 28, 2008

    Please, please, please, tell me that this man’s (Stein’s) voice is not really this dull. How did this man get into TV with a voice that’s one of the most powerful sedatives ever evolved?

  • #191 Citizen Z
    April 28, 2008

    “Science leads you to killing people.”

    Shouldn’t he be carrying a pitchfork or a torch when he says something like that, or would that be too “retro”?

  • #192 Digital
    April 28, 2008

    I think atheism leads to killing people, in exactly the same sense in which people say “religion leads to killing people”. Not always, not necessarily, but there is a clear causal link here.

    You’re high aren’t you?

    How many athiests have in defence of their beliefs flown planes into things? Or strapped bombs to themselves? Or invaded a country?

    My reasons are that
    (a) atheism depends on, and hence leads to, Darwinism (atheists have no other explanation for the origins of biological diversity).

    Homeschooled by idiots maybe? There’s no excuse for this.

    Athiesm has been around longer then christianity. There have always been people who doubt god.

    Also; “Gravitiests have no other explination for the reason shit falls down”… because it’s accepted scientific fact; LIKE EVOLUTION. We don’t need a ‘back up plan’. We’re not trying to hide god in a gap somewhere.

    (b) Darwinism, as an account of the origins of man, casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts (this was argued by Darwinist Michael Ruse).

    What moral doubts? As a species our moral choices thusfar have been benificial enough to ‘take over’ the planet (gross simplification, sorry). From an evolutionary standpoint the kindness and caring for the ill have been a huge sucess.

    How about the moral choices of the religions? “Women are servants” or “it’s okay to own slaves” or “Don’t shave”… or are we only supposed to look a the parts we like at the time?

    (c) Anything that casts doubt on our moral intuitions and thoughts also casts doubt on the moral prohibition against killing people.

    Need I quote a hundred instances of “it’s okay to kill if” from the bible?

    You ever work on suday before? That’s a death sentence. How about insulting your parents? Questioning authority?

  • #193 MPG
    April 28, 2008

    My exasperation at Stein and the Expelled propaganda machine has inspired me to put pencil to paper and take a blunt satirical instrument to them. I give you: “Ex-pedalled: No Engines Allowed!”

  • #194 Digital
    April 28, 2008

    MPG: You win at internet

  • #195 Kseniya
    April 28, 2008

    MPG: Nicely done. :-)

  • #196 Rupert
    April 28, 2008

    The one time Kevin Miller replied to me on his blog, he assured me that BS had a deep respect for science.

    I expressed some doubt, based on the Pat Robertson video where BS said that Darwinism couldn’t explain gravity, but by then KM was too busy to take the matter further.

  • #197 Bob Lee
    April 28, 2008

    This stuff about science leading to the Holocaust and genocide is ridiculous crap.

    In fact, the world is fortunate that the Nazis did not actually embrace science, but instead ran it through their own theo-socio-political filters (the producers of “Expelled” also do this to a different extent). They thus rejected–and banned the teaching of–the discoveries of many Jewish physicists and others they deemed politically undesirable, including Einstein, who’d successfully unlocked many of the secrets of the atom. These spurned discoveries otherwise could’ve helped lead to the development of a frightening prospect–a Nazi atomic bomb.

  • #198 Azkyroth
    April 28, 2008

    MPG: How should I credit that if I repost it?

  • #199 MPG
    April 29, 2008

    MPG: How should I credit that if I repost it?

    Just “MPG” is fine. I’m not overly precious about anyone reposting quick scrawls like that!

  • #200 Sam
    April 29, 2008

    @ Etha 128
    Yes, we should. And yet, those things — conscience, higher mental power, theory of mind, and the ability to believe in higher beings — are instead routinely exploited to justify the animalistic struggle for land, natural resources, power, etc. When leaders of nations carry out wars for those purposes, they tell the public and the armies that they’re doing it because it’s morally right; because some philosophy or religion supports it; because “God is on our side”. It’s sickening. The very things that should be helping us realize that we can and should move beyond such base inclinations are instead used to justify them.

    Gah, it’s like you were listening to my rant in the car on the way to work today!

  • #201 Christophe Thill
    April 29, 2008

    I can sort of get the reasoning. On the one hand, science leads to killing people. On the other hand, ignorance leads to making crappy movies and being (very likely) well paid for it. So the latter should obviously be preferred to the former.

    But wait. Recently I saw the phrase “their blood shall be upon them” repeated several times in an old book. And it wasn’t the “Origin of species”. Hmm, wait a minute, what was the title, again…

  • #202 Darwinhasfartypants
    April 29, 2008

    you guys are all stupid if you think we came from monkeys and fish and squirrels or whatever it is you idiots beleive in. Darwin was a stupid doodyhead and so are you for falling for his crap. LOL!!! Jesus saves!!!

  • #203 Sandra C
    April 29, 2008

    Funny, history proves Religion leads to mass murdering and wars. I have yet to hear of anyone going to war over how to make a better silicon chip.

  • #204 Jaf
    April 29, 2008

    I notice a lot of use of the term ‘worldview’.
    Two points on this -
    1) It’s ‘world view’, two words, and
    2) Science is not a ‘world view’. Science is simply a description of how things are, not how you might like them to be. It has no opinions (views), only demonstrable and predictable outcomes. Where these fail, they are cast aside, and new theories explored. By this method, science advances.
    Science still works, even if you don’t believe in it.
    Gerin Oil doesn’t. It is fixed in the Stone Age, and does not admit of any examination.

    The ‘dispute’ between science and religion was won forever when the first lightning conductor was fitted to a church.

  • #205 Darwinhasfartypants
    April 30, 2008

    darwin said that he made it all up on his death bed. it was even tape recorded. let it go evolutionists, let it go.

  • #206 Stanton
    April 30, 2008

    darwin said that he made it all up on his death bed. it was even tape recorded. let it go evolutionists, let it go.

    You honestly think we will fall for the Lady Hope fraud?

    Why don’t you go eat some beans in a locked port’a'potty and gas yourself to death?

  • #207 Rey Fox
    April 30, 2008

    Come on, Stanton. “Tape recorded”?

  • #208 Stanton
    April 30, 2008

    Come on, Stanton. “Tape recorded”?

    Hence my recommendation that he gas himself.

  • #209 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#204 Jaf –

    1) It’s ‘world view’, two words

    Actually, according to the OED (my ultimate source for all manner of prescriptive linguistics ;>), it’s world-view, with a hyphen. The German word it came from, Weltanschauung, was one word. Wikipedia (I know, great source, but it’s generally pretty accurate) has it listed interchangeably as world view or worldview, though worldview redirects to world view and not vice versa. IMO the linguistic jury’s still out on this one. Being a fan of the original “Weltanschauung”, I’m going to use the one word variation.

    Science is not a ‘world view’. Science is simply a description of how things are, not how you might like them to be.

    I agree on this point, but I think that one can have a scientific world view — applying rigorous naturalistic and rational inquiry to all claims, basically. Nevertheless, one can be a scientist without having a scientific worldview, one can have a scientific worldview without being a scientist, and science itself will certainly exist whether or not people hold a scientific worldview.

  • #210 Kseniya
    April 30, 2008

    Ahhh… There are so many variations on the theme of argumentum ad hominem. Even if Darwin had recanted – guess what? The evidence strongly suggests he would have been sorely wrong to have done so.

    LOL @ “tape-recorded” anyways. :-D

  • #211 Darwinhasfartypants
    April 30, 2008

    This is what I think of darwin and his theory:

    (_o_) *ppppppppppbbbbbbbttttttttttt*

    (that was supposed to be a fart in case you evolutionists didn’t get that)

  • #212 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    wow, that has to be the most childish comment I’ve seen around these parts in quite some time.

    congratulations on graduating the 1st grade.

  • #213 PZ Myers
    April 30, 2008

    I’d like to call Poe’s Law on Darwinhasfartypants, but I don’t care whether he’s an actual creationist or a clumsy satirist at this point…knock it off.

  • #214 Darwinhasfartypants
    May 1, 2008

    i’m childish? I’m not the one who believes in a fairy tale. I’m not the one who thinks my great great great great great great……. grand uncle was a frog-monkey-snail thing.

  • #215 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    worldview
    world-view
    world view
    Who cares? Just don’t write “everyday.” Oh, and watch those apostrophes.
    Kthx

  • #216 V
    May 1, 2008

    Another Creationist movie that looks likely to tank…

  • #217 V
    May 1, 2008
  • #218 trrll
    May 3, 2008

    I like Stein’s remark about how “you can’t even ask how the planets stay in their orbits.” It sounds like he is already laying the groundwork for “Expelled 2,” in which he will espouse the theory of Intelligent Falling.

    Did you know that Nazi V2 attacks on London were a direct consequence of Newtonism??!!

  • #219 Dan
    May 3, 2008

    Did you know that Nazi V2 attacks on London were a direct consequence of Newtonism??!!

    Posted by: trrll

    And don’t forget that the September 11th attacks were the result of the Wright Brothers’ theories of aerodynamics.

  • #220 trrll
    May 3, 2008

    One of the most revealing things about ID/Creationism is their choice of spokespeople. When they need somebody to edit (or at least allow himself to be listed as an editor) of a pseudoscience textbook, the roll out Behe. Behe’s views would be anathema to most of the religious constituency of ID/creationism, as he actually advocates in a kind of guided evolution that includes common descent. His arguments are so lame that (as was clear from Judge Jones’s decision) he almost single-handedly lost the ID case in Dover. But beggars can’t be choosers; Behe is the only guy with any kind of genuine biological credentials willing to associate himself with ID/creationist crackpottery.

    So for Expelled, they needed a celebrity spokesperson, one who commands public respect, and who did they choose? Ben Stein, whose primary claim to celebrity is movie and TV roles in which he played the most pedantic-sounding man alive. Except that he wasn’t acting–it’s clear from interviews that he actually sounds like that, and indeed, is like that. Why choose an “actor” who exclusively plays roles in which he is the object of derision? The only conceivable answer is that he is the only reasonably well-known guy that they could who was crazy enough to associate himself with such an idiotic premise.

  • #221 Lightnin
    May 3, 2008

    “Ben Stein, whose primary claim to celebrity is movie and TV roles in which he played the most pedantic-sounding man alive. Except that he wasn’t acting

    Indeed, I’ve read that when he played the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller they didn’t actually script most of his dialogue in that scene, they just asked him to ad-lib a lecture on economics.

  • #222 Darwinhasfartypants
    May 4, 2008

    if we teach Darwinianism in schools wer’e telling our children that they are nothing but aminals and the next thing they no theyll start having sex with theyre pets because, hey, its okay, wer’e all just animals right? you people are so stupid.

  • #223 Frank Egan
    May 4, 2008

    Thunderf00t is awesome. Everyone check out the rest of that series on youtube

  • #224 Milky Way
    August 19, 2008

    As long as I can remember, schools in my neck of the woods have taught evolution and children have been told humans are animals.

    Yet, nobody here is having sex with their pets. Funny, that.

    Yes, yes, obvious troll is obvious but sometimes it’s fun to throw crumbs to a critter and watch it scramble to it.