Pharyngula

ADL makes an official statement

After all the pious nonsense from certain quarters blaming scientists for the Holocaust and other atrocities, it seems appropriate to take note of the Anti-Defamation League’s response:

The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.

Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness.

Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

Poor Ben Stein, rebuked. Oh, well, he’ll recover … he’ll just notice that there are a heck of a lot of Jews in academia, and they’re in on the whole ‘Darwinist” conspiracy.


In related news, several sites are talking about this one quote from a Stein interview:

When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers, talking
about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any
of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling
them to go to the showers to get gassed.

Wait…what? I say something nice about scientists, somewhere in the vault of his cranium wheels are turning and Stein is fantasizing about Nazis poisoning people, and this is my fault? It’s projection taken to an extreme.

I cannot blame Stein, however; he may be a stupid, illogical man with a serious derangement disorder, but I have a confession to make. I do the same thing. Not Nazis, specifically, but there is some evil imagery that does a slow dance in my brain now and then.

When I see those Visine commercials and hear Stein droning about “get the red out,” I picture Ben Stein sliding a cold razor across the eyes of a screaming victim, and then urinating in their face to wash the blood away. I can’t help it. It’s a natural connection to make, obviously.

Then there are those Alaskan sea food commercials. They are especially sinister. When he says, “Grab a fork, and eat all you want. There’s a lot more out there,” I picture the bodies of Stein’s victims sinking in the cold dark, pale and soft and bloated, down to the sea floor swarming with huge crab, their claws upraised and clicking enthusiastically as their meal drifts down towards them. And then I imagine Ben at a table with a plastic bib around his neck, feasting gluttonously on the fatted flesh of the crabs, butter and ichor and flecks of soft white meat drooling down his chin.

Oh, and when I hear the words “Bueller? Bueller?”, I … but no. It’s too appalling to be expressed in public. But I have nightmares about the kittens for days afterwards.

It’s perfectly OK for Stein to make these irrational and unwarranted accusations in response to innocuous, unconnected statements, because, after all, we all do it … don’t we? Isn’t that what the advertisers who hire Mr Stein as a pitchman are hoping for, that viewers will associate their product with the unrelated values that Stein represents, such as boredom, dishonesty, stupidity, water sports, serial murder, and flammable household products and baby animals?

Comments

  1. #1 MF
    April 30, 2008

    I find it slightly sickening to see a Jew exploiting the Holocaust so cheaply to support his project.

  2. #2 Charles Morrison
    April 30, 2008

    Jownd.

  3. #3 idahogie
    April 30, 2008

    Good for the ADL. The Expelled nonesense is is the kind of crap that they should be fighting.

    Have they ever made a comment about Jonah Goldberg’s book?

  4. #4 Moses
    April 30, 2008

    I find the irony of Ben Stein being denounced by the Unit-Definition League after being used as the Christian equivalent of a Shabbos Goy rich and well deserved.

  5. #5 William
    April 30, 2008

    Aaarrgh. I just got back from seeing the “film” (and once my headache subsides, I’ll try to digest it properly), and I have to say that the ADLs note that “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness” rather flies in the face of the taking head in the film who claimed that Darwin’s writing was a “necessary, if not a sufficient” cause for the actions of the Reich.

    I wonder who I should trust, the ADL, or Messers Mathis, Stein, & Co.? Oh, wait… I think I know now.

  6. #6 freelunch
    April 30, 2008

    So, when did Stein become an evangelical Christian?

  7. #7 Amplexus
    April 30, 2008

    At least something funny can come from this:
    “Jewry” is a funny word

  8. #8 Chen
    April 30, 2008

    I can see it now – Ben Stein uses antisemitic arguments against the ADL to explain why they’re trying to bring down ID..

  9. #9 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    So far they don’t seem to have a response to make.

    Which seems weird. Did they really hope that ADL wouldn’t notice that the same exploitation of the Holocaust, that they’ve opposed since the Holocaust, showed up in Wales units in this wretched film?

    Why didn’t they have a response ready? Could it be that they don’t dare to disagree with what is obviously the truth? Or is it what I suspect, that they’re just too dull to know that the sun will come up tomorrow, and they sit around stunned each morning when it does, and only later figure out what to do about it?

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

  10. #10 Amplexus
    April 30, 2008

    Take thee to a jewry!

  11. #11 MYOB
    April 30, 2008

    Does anyone here suspect we are going to be fowarding that link A LOT over the course of the next several weeks, months and years?
    I can only wonder how long it will take for conservative republicans to come up with a way of smearing the ADL without looking like anti-semites?

    You know it’s in the works.

  12. #12 raven
    April 30, 2008

    So, when did Stein become an evangelical Christian?

    When his sputtering career nosedived and he had some bills to pay. He is a bottom feeder. We all have to eat and pay bills but some of us have standards about what we will do for money.

  13. #13 Milo Johnson
    April 30, 2008

    It will be fun to see how he contorts himself to explain being “Expelled!” by his co-religionists.

  14. #14 Siamang
    April 30, 2008

    “Why didn’t they have a response ready?”

    It has been brought up that they perhaps did indeed have this response ready, but rather than fan publicity by releasing it prior to the film, they did it this way.

    I think they may have learned from The Passion of the Christ that to speak pre-emptively may actually inflate the image of those who you are speaking against.

    There is nothing about the film, in my opinion, that required the ADL to speak out in advance of. Their words speak loudly and with a clarity that rings out over the noise surrounding this small-minded and mendacious film.

    Anyway, kudos to the ADL for their continued work in combating nonsense like this. They do a good deal of heavy lifting in combating this disease of denialism and antisemitism, and all of us who desire an open and pluralistic society owe them a debt.

  15. #15 Hap
    April 30, 2008

    #9: “Why didn’t they have a response ready?”

    Is that a rhetorical question? I think the comment from Brownian on another thread about giving someone a plastic dry cleaning bag and letting nature take its course applies without much alteration to the Exhumed team. These guys have the competence and arrogance of enemy governments in Tom Clancy novels.

  16. #16 J
    April 30, 2008

    This is just an attempt at suppression by Big Judaism!

  17. #17 MikeM
    April 30, 2008

    I’m glad to hear them speak up.

    There are research organizations, today, in Israel, using Jewish and non-Jewish researchers and employees, that rely on the scientific theory of evolution. The scientific theory of evolution does not revolt them.

    It’s not a guess. It’s not a leap of faith. ID represents the “Oh, I give up, it must have been God”-school of thought, while the scientific theory of evolution relies on empirical evidence and peer review. It’s solid, basic science by now.

    What is it about these facts that the Expelled people do not understand?

  18. #18 raven
    April 30, 2008

    The ADL had similar and more to say about Coral Ridges From Darwin to Hitler. Of which Expelled is just a clone.

    These days it seems the Holocaust is just a political football. “Here you hold it. No, it is someone else’s turn to be blamed for murdering 6 million Jews.”

    I’m sure the Expelleds will be able to spin this one. Might as well just blame the Holocaust on the ADL.

  19. #19 Ido
    April 30, 2008

    Well, I’m a Jew, I live in Israel, and today it happens to be the memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust. I think it’s appropriate that the Anti-Defamation League made this statement. I don’t know even one person here, religious or not, that will dare to make such a preposterous accusation against evolution.
    By the way, I’ve noticed that all the fuss is going on between the Christians and science. Did someone ever write something against Jewish claims? If it had happened, I would love to read that.
    Keep up the good work, PZ.

  20. #20 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    Poor Ben Stein, rebuked. Oh, well, he’ll recover … he’ll just notice that there are a heck of a lot of Jews in academia, and they’re in on the whole ‘Darwinist” conspiracy.

    One has to think, after all, that Jews were about the only ones not in on the conspiracy. And since probably 99+% of Jews consider Expelled and similar claims to be a load of swill, and Jews are almost certainly disproportionately represented throughout the evil institutions persecuting righteous word-worshippers, well, it’s about time they be blamed.

    Having written that sarcastically, I’m almost afraid to post it. You can just imagine that a good portion of the praisers of Expelled would like to turn on the Jews as the source of all evils in this society, and would simply confer Xian status onto Stein and a few others in order to try to rationalize such blame (well, “Jesus was a Jew, and the Jews killed him, so…” I don’t know what follows “so”, but then, neither do they).

    As I’ve pointed out in other places, the Jews in Germany tended to be more in favor of science and Enlightenment ideals (which diminished the previous anti-Semitism), while the Nazis looked fondly back to a pre-Enlightenment time. Jews were more into science and more in favor of it, including evolution, than the Nazis were. So really, if you twist their logic around enough using their premises, the Jews become responsible for the Holocaust.

    Needless to say, the ADL can hardly let bullshit like that gain any currency, particularly regarding responsibility for the Holocaust.

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

  21. #21 PAP
    April 30, 2008

    Crushing the anemic arguments of creationists is work worth doing, especially when they have an influential media voice. That said, rolling in the mud with some of them over scientific evidence or historical facts gets tiresome. The dynamic is not unlike a switchboard: press the “I have evidence to back up my point” button and the “Oh but you need faith” light comes on, etc.

    I still can’t believe Ben Stein went for broke with that strategy. You know the “Think of the worst atrocities ever. Ready? Darwin caused that” play. Did he think scientists were going to just self consciously dig their toes in the dirt and accept this excrement?

    I wonder how many fence sitters there are regarding the issues raised within Stein’s film, within the U.S.

  22. #22 Siamang
    April 30, 2008

    “Why didn’t they have a response ready? ”

    OOOPS… sorry I totally misunderstood Glen Davidson’s comment. That’ll teach me to skim! I took “Them” to be the ADL and the question to be “why didn’t they speak up sooner?”

    Now that I ACTUALLY READ his post, the question is clear… why is Premise mute on this? HAH! Good question.

  23. #23 Vagrant
    April 30, 2008

    It’s unfortunate that many people still consider the ADL credible despite their habit of accusing critics of Israeli policy of being anti-Semitic bigots. The ADL has no business being considered a credible authority on anti-racism–or any other issue–as long as they’re willing use unsubstantiated claims of racism to defame those who point out the very real power of AIPAC and the ethical bankruptcy of Israeli policy towards Muslims and Islamic states.

  24. #24 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    “Why didn’t they have a response ready?”

    It has been brought up that they perhaps did indeed have this response ready, but rather than fan publicity by releasing it prior to the film, they did it this way.

    I said that yesterday, in fact.

    No, I was asking why the Expelled bunch didn’t have a response ready for the ADL. I wondered briefly if I was being ambiguous, but didn’t think so. It looks like I was, though.

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

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 30, 2008

    There are ultraorthodox Jews who deny evolution for religious reasons; but because those “reasons” are based on the same book, their claims are identical to those of Christian creationists.

    It’s a bit different with the Muslim ones (most notably the Qur’an doesn’t mention the age of the earth), but even their claims are quite similar.

    If you want something really different, try Hindu creationism… according to which the universe is orders of magnitude older, not younger, than what science says…

  26. #26 mk
    April 30, 2008

    Seen Bad Astronomy today? Apparently Stein compares PZ to the Nazis. Lovely.

  27. #27 flonkbob
    April 30, 2008

    We need an ADL for rational people. I don’t like being compared to the morons on the Right.

    We shouldn’t have to be considered as even being the same species as the IDiots. After all, there’s no way we would produce viable offspring if mating were attempted, because there is no bigger turn-off to a thinking person than a dogmatic dumb ass.

  28. #28 Mark A. Siefert
    April 30, 2008

    I’ve got a feeling that if Stein and his Christian masters do respond, it will be something along the lines of:

    “…the ADL is made up of ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ Jews, who are out of touch with the orthodox Jews who REALLY speak for their people.”

    In short they’ll use the “No True Hebrew Fallacy.”

  29. #29 raven
    April 30, 2008

    There are ultraorthodox Jews who deny evolution for religious reasons; but because those “reasons” are based on the same book, their claims are identical to those of Christian creationists.

    The difference is that the ultras aren’t trying to sneak creationism into our kid’s science classes or destroy science itself.

    This whole conflict was never about what people believe. Who cares if some ridge runners live in the boondocks, wave rattlesnakes around on Sunday, and believe nonsensical stuff. It is a free country.

    The problem is they want to force their beliefs on everyone else.

  30. #30 Anthony
    April 30, 2008

    I see a flaw with this response, however, depending on what “explain Hitler” means. While evolutionary theory did not cause Hitler’s behavior, “why do humans commit genocide” seems like a problem that’s within the scope of evolutionary theory.

  31. #31 SEF
    April 30, 2008

    it seems appropriate to take not of the Anti-Defamation League’s response

    IDiot advice:

    Take not of the Anti-Defamation League’s response,
    for its words may disabuse you of your delusions;
    but take thee only of the film-makers’ propaganda,
    for it is designed to delight you in your delusions.

  32. #32 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008
  33. #33 Tangaroa
    April 30, 2008

    To Vagrant, who says:

    It’s unfortunate that many people still consider the ADL credible despite their habit of accusing critics of Israeli policy of being anti-Semitic bigots.

    The thing is, most of those “critics of Israeli policy” are anti-Semitic bigots or are passing around the second or third generation of propaganda that originated in anti-Semitic bigotry. Someone who runs s/The Jews/Israel/ on the Protocols has not made any honest insight and is not merely criticizing Israeli policy.

  34. #34 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    God, look at this:

    Crouch: What can people of faith do? What do you hope comes from this film?

    Stein: Well, we hope that people who have children in schools will tell their children that if the teacher says Darwinism created everything and that there is no explanation for anything in the scientific world except Darwinism, that the student will say, well, Ms. Smith — or whatever the teacher’s name is — how did life begin? What keeps the planets in their orbits?

    If the child asks that, you explain that Ben Stein is a lying, money-grubbing douchebag. Then you explain abiogensis , and explains that GRAVITY keeps planets in their orbits and even a child should know this.

  35. #35 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    God, look at this:

    Crouch- What can people of faith do? What do you hope comes from this film?
    Stein- Well, we hope that people who have children in schools will tell their children that if the teacher says Darwinism created everything and that there is no explanation for anything in the scientific world except Darwinism, that the student will say, well, Ms. Smith — or whatever the teacher’s name is — how did life begin? What keeps the planets in their orbits?

    If the child asks that, you explain that Ben Stein is a lying, money-grubbing douchebag. Then you explain abiogensis , and explains that GRAVITY keeps planets in their orbits and even a child should know this.

  36. #36 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Oops on the double post.

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    If the child asks that, you explain that Ben Stein is a lying, money-grubbing douchebag.

    no, no, you explain to them that even though they are children, they too can win Ben Stein’s money.

    :p

  38. #38 LeeLeeOne
    April 30, 2008

    Jowned.

    as in pwned

    i.e., owned

    i.e., pwned

    i.e., powned

    i.e., pawned

    I know I am going to get “hate mail”. #2 clearly understands and I therefore put forth any MEANING “so what the fuck!”

    For anyone who may argue that I generalize the “message,” I say WHAT THE FUCK?!

    For anyone who may argue that “But, you don’t understand!”

    Oh, really?! I understand the monumental connotations that #2 poster laid before all of us when their words were Jonwd.

    Poster #2, charles morrison, thank you for jownd! You understand more than you may have personally allowed yourself.

  39. #39 dogheaven
    April 30, 2008

    I am very glad that the ADL has made this comment. I wish they would make more comments. How long is it in any political thread that the holocast and Nazi’s come into it in the form of a specious analogy usually by people with a very shallow understanding.

    Thanks for letting us know.

  40. #40 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    I’m kind of afraid of saying this, lest an IDiot come across it and get ideas, but —

    Is anyone else worried they’ll use Judge Jones’ speech to the ADL (a very good speech, by the way) as “evidence” that the ADL is just in bed with “Big Science”? Yeah… :\

  41. #41 Chris Bell
    April 30, 2008

    Does anyone else find the statement seriously deficient because it is missing a comma in the second quoted paragraph?

  42. #42 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#18 raven —

    The ADL had similar and more to say about Coral Ridges From Darwin to Hitler. Of which Expelled is just a clone.

    Just a clone — how right you are. Take this excerpt from Ben Stein’s interview with Christianity Today (an interview which freshly disgusts me every time I read it):

    CT: Did you do a lot of reading to prep for the role?
    BS: Some. I read one book cover to cover, From Darwin to Hitler, and that was a very interesting book–one of these rare books I wish had been even longer. It’s about how Darwin’s theory–supposedly concocted by this mild-mannered saintly man, with a flowing white beard like Santa Claus–led to the murder of millions of innocent people.

    One book. And that book was FDtH. Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

  43. #43 J
    April 30, 2008

    One book. And that book was FDtH. Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

    It gives new meaning to “Beware the man of one book.”

  44. #44 eewolf
    April 30, 2008

    All is quiet from the usual Expelled apologists. They haven’t received their talking points from their DI bosses yet. Could be awhile with this one.

    I think the link to the ADL site can be used now for just about any Expelled vomit in the future.

    pwned indeed.

  45. #45 C. M. Baxter
    April 30, 2008

    “why do humans commit genocide”

    Our evolved ability to think rationally necessarily includes the ability to avoid that effort (it really does take effort, you know). That’s why it is so extremely evident that gross irrationality is a human option. Once you’ve renounced the very quality that makes you human, you can be led to believe, or do, anything.

  46. #46 Rey Fox
    April 30, 2008

    “that if the teacher says Darwinism created everything”

    He seems to be anthropomorphizing “Darwinism”. He’s really gone around the bend. And what the hell is with his ludicrous hangup about the orbits of the planets? God damn, I can’t believe I used to think he was smart.

    There’s one of my favorite shows that I’ll never be able to watch again. Of course, I was already mad at them for accepting someone’s answer of “polar fox” to some question. It’s ARCTIC fox, you twits.

  47. #47 danley
    April 30, 2008

    Tardensity levels just decreased.

  48. #48 amk
    April 30, 2008

    Vagrant,

    It’s unfortunate that many people still consider the ADL credible despite their habit of accusing critics of Israeli policy of being anti-Semitic bigots.

    I think you may be painting with a very wide brush there. It does appear that National Director Abraham Foxman plays the in-group/out-group game with Israel at the centre of his in-group. Needless to say in-group/out-group thinking is what leads to bigotry.

    A prime example is his refusal to acknowledge the genocide of the Armenian Christians in the WW1-era Ottoman Empire because it may hurt Israel-Turkey relations. However, many members of the ADL argued strongly against this stance, and the compromise weasel-worded phrase “tantamount to genocide” was adopted. There are people in the ADL who are serious about the principles of combating bigotry and oppression. Foxman is not one of them.

    Story

  49. #49 negentropyeater
    April 30, 2008

    WOW !

    “Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.”

    This guy is going completely nuts or what ?

    The only scientists are for are for gasing people ? Nice one Ben Stein ? And PZ looks like one of those, specifically ?

    Beyond religious endoctrination, I’m sure this hate of scientists must come from some form of either mental or sexual deprivation.
    Or is this just character role play for the purpose of making money ?
    Or the shrill of being recognized as a “public intellectual” invited for debates and other speaking engagements ?

    I’ve noticed some recent phenomena in America nowadays, actually, not that old, with the rise of such luminaries of the likes of Ann Coulter and now Ben Stein, the more outrageously pathetic their rethoric is, the more money they make !

  50. #50 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    I just checked out Mein Kampf to read, because I wish to become a scientist.

    Really, I had no idea that it’s so easy to be a scientist. Just join the Nazi party and start committing atrocities, and voila, you’re a scientist.

    Oh damn, I just forgot, Stein believes that the IDists are scientists. I suppose that’s why he equates Nazis and scientists. I guess that means that I can’t just become a Nazi, and/or brain-damaged, and be a scientist, because Stein is using the IDiots as his standard for scientist.

    I’m glad I figured that all out, because I really didn’t want to read Hitler. Carry on, Stein, we know now that you believe the IDiots to be Nazis, since you say that IDiots are scientists, and scientists are Nazis (and no, don’t anyone go through some painful logical exercise that shows that “IDiot” and “Nazi” wouldn’t absolutely have to overlap. I know that. Stein does not, since he doesn’t understand anything about these matter, thus the equation holds to the extent that Stein is using any logic at all).

    Wow, you wouldn’t have thought that he’d actually call the IDiots scientists, considering how evil he thinks scientists are. But he’s stupid that way, and apparently on any other matter he addresses in public.

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

  51. #51 jeff
    April 30, 2008

    Just as the runup to Dover got me (very) interested in biology and evolution, a curious side-effect of Stein’s silly, offensive movie has been to get me interested in Nazi history : “How *did* something so horrible as Naziism come about in a modern, educated society ?”

    I picked up a book by Richard Evans, called “The Coming of the Third Reich.” I’m about halfway through. If I may be so bold as the philosopher-tard in Stein’s movie, I would say that a neccesary precondition for the rise of Naziism is : mass delusion. Not just anti-semitism, which has been in German (and many other) cultures for centuries, but a severe, widespread, desperate break with reality.

    In this case, as I was shocked to learn, a huge fraction of Germans after WW-I sincerely believed that Germany DID NOT LOSE THE WAR. Since they could not have lost, it must therefore be the case that someone stabbed them in the back, threw in the towel for their own personal profit. And who was shifty, greedy, corrupt, and immoral enough to do something so heinous ? The Jews, of course. Anyway, I’m no historian or philosopher, but I think the mass delusion had to be there; otherwise no “ordinary” situation would be serious enough to demand such a retaliation.

    But how could so many people be so insanely wrong about obvious reality ? I mean, how could anybody in todays world be so completely bonkers ? Oh, yeah… there’s the creationists, the dominionists, and and all the other fruits of the radical right. It’s pretty spooky to me how the strategies of the early Nazis are so, um, familiar. The energetic, relentless spreading of delusional crap, the infiltration of education, the military, the media, politics, etc. The shameless attacks, death-threats, smear campaigns. It’s all there. And the scariest part is that you’re not allowed to speak of it, because (as we’ve seen) anybody that compares their opponents to Nazis is usually a nutcase.

    Anyway, for anyone trying to understand the creationist movement and the effects its having in our world, I’d say you could do much worse than reading up on Nazi history. And the Evans book is a good place to start.

  52. #52 genewitch
    April 30, 2008

    i am now officially done hearing about ben stein. i hope he is miserable for the rest of his meager life. what a douche trough.

  53. #53 negentropyeater
    April 30, 2008

    Just a question, is it acceptable to make this kind of hate speech in America (between two relatively public individuals Ben Stein to PZ Myers) in an extremely loaded context (Holocaust) ?
    Is it punishable ?

  54. #54 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Jeff: And a lot of Americans refuse to believe we lost Vietnam. In a decade a lot of Americans will refuse to believe that the Iraqis beat us.

    See a connection with our current political situation? I bet there’s a lot of delusion in Russia about getting beaten by the US (just a guess from the insane political noises coming from some quarters in Russia).

  55. #55 negentropyeater
    April 30, 2008

    Just a question I don’t dare ask for a long time…

    How does one insert the question of a previous commenter in a frame within one’s comment ?

    Thx

  56. #56 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    Just a question, is it acceptable to make this kind of hate speech in America (between two relatively public individuals Ben Stein to PZ Myers) in an extremely loaded context (Holocaust) ?
    Is it punishable ?

    By any American standard of decency, it is not acceptable.

    I cannot think that there is any chance of it being punishable. Anyway, defamation judgments are strictly considered to be “punishment”, rather compensation, but it seems completely beyond current litigation standards for Myers to win a judgment for defamation, since PZ has ample opportunity to show what a demented loon Stein is.

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

  57. #57 craig
    April 30, 2008

    “Just a question, is it acceptable to make this kind of hate speech in America (between two relatively public individuals Ben Stein to PZ Myers) in an extremely loaded context (Holocaust) ?
    Is it punishable ?”

    Not legally, no. Just punishable in the media.

  58. #58 ThirdMonkey
    April 30, 2008

    <blockquote>

    How does one insert the question of a previous commenter in a frame within one’s comment ?

    </blockquote>

  59. #59 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    Just a question I don’t dare ask for a long time…

    How does one insert the question of a previous commenter in a frame within one’s comment ?

    Thx

    Use the command “blockquote”, between the chevrons generally used for html commands (you know these, <>).

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

  60. #60 PZ Myers
    April 30, 2008

    Even if it were legally actionable, I wouldn’t consider starting a lawsuit because some idiot implied I was a Nazi. That’s giving such accusations more weight than they deserve.

  61. #61 craig
    April 30, 2008

    “I bet there’s a lot of delusion in Russia about getting beaten by the US (just a guess from the insane political noises coming from some quarters in Russia).”

    There’s a lot of delusion in the U.S. about the U.S. having beaten Russia.

    Russia went bankrupt, and technology allowed enough organization and information flow to make a bankrupt nation no longer able to afford to control its people as effectively.

    The cold war helped bankrupt them, but the U.S. didn’t “beat” them.

  62. #62 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    defamation judgments are strictly considered to be “punishment

    A couple of caveats: First, it was supposed to be “aren’t strictly considered to be ‘punishment'”. Second, punitive damages in defamation judgments are punishment, of course, but those are kind of an odd exception to the general theory of civil law.

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

  63. #63 Mena
    April 30, 2008

    If someone was telling someone to get into the shower to get gassed, doesn’t that make them a camp guard, not a scientist? Scientists do science, unless they were so evil as to do that in their spare time…

    As for the whole Nazi thing, this is going to get worse as we lose more and more people who saw that stuff first hand or can remember the news reels when it first became public knowledge. :^(

  64. #64 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#48

    “Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.”

    After reading this quote for the millionth time, it only just struck me — he says “the last time any of my relatives…” (emphasis mine). This seems to imply that every single one of his relatives was gassed by the Nazis, which is just obviously not true. That someone would tell such a blatant lie about his personal connection to a terrible atrocity is really horrifying.

    I’m pretty sure Stein doesn’t believe a word he’s saying, and that makes it all the more morally vile.

  65. #65 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#

    In this case, as I was shocked to learn, a huge fraction of Germans after WW-I sincerely believed that Germany DID NOT LOSE THE WAR. Since they could not have lost, it must therefore be the case that someone stabbed them in the back, threw in the towel for their own personal profit.

    Change German to IDiot, Germany to ID, WW-1 to Dover, and war to scientific debate and you get an equally true statement:

    In this case, as I was shocked to learn, a huge fraction of IDiots after Dover sincerely believed that ID DID NOT LOSE THE SCIENTIFIC DEBATE. Since they could not have lost, it must therefore be the case that someone stabbed them in the back, threw in the towel for their own personal profit.

    Kind of scary, actually.

  66. #66 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Is anyone else worried they’ll use Judge Jones’ speech to the ADL (a very good speech, by the way) as “evidence” that the ADL is just in bed with “Big Science”? Yeah… :\

    Since Jones was nominated by Santorum, and appointed by Bush, I sure do get a laugh out of it every time the IDiots try to paint him as one of those “liberal activist judges”.

    yessiree.

  67. #67 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    but it seems completely beyond current litigation standards for Myers to win a judgment for defamation, since PZ has ample opportunity to show what a demented loon Stein is.

    just so long as he doesn’t call Stein a crackpot…

    :P

  68. #68 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Kind of scary, actually.

    kind of predictable, actually.

    denial and projection…

  69. #69 Neil
    April 30, 2008

    Re: Chris Bell@40

    You’re right! I had no idea that the Nazis exterminated Charles Darwin as well. You learn something new every day!

  70. #70 Citizen Z
    April 30, 2008

    When Stein says, “Grab a fork, and eat all you want. There’s a lot more out there,” I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw crab spokesmen telling them what to do they ate so much crab they died of a heart attack.

    And when I hear the words “Bueller? Bueller?”, I was thinking to myself that the guy who played the principal was into child pornography. (Of course, if I may be reasonable and fair-minded, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is necessary for child pornography, but not sufficient.)

  71. #71 ndt
    April 30, 2008

    To Mr. Stein: SS Officers were scientists? Really? You sure about that?

  72. #72 ThirdMonkey
    April 30, 2008

    #40
    Just think of it as the literary form of those perceptual organization optical illusions. You know, like the two faces vs candlestick… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_illusion

  73. #73 Cliff Hendroval
    April 30, 2008

    A minor correction:

    Ben Stein shills for Clear Eyes® Eye Drops (a product of Prestige Brands, Inc.), not Visine (a Johnson & Johnson product).

    I’d say that even if the company I worked for didn’t just get a promotional contract from Visine this week.

  74. #74 Blake Stacey
    April 30, 2008

    When I see those Visine commercials

    I thought he sold Clear Eyes.

  75. #75 Moses
    April 30, 2008

    My wife got an e-mail from the Expelled people that was sent as a pseudo-official-organization e-mail. She’s a scientist and they, essentially, crawled the University site and e-mailed everyone in the Department of Biology. She was a bit pissed, not that you can really tell from the email because she’s more interested in her science and the way the universe works than making the big bucks she could if she went to med school, or used her wiles in dominating the universe, or any of the other more mundane pursuits in which others engage.

    I reproduced her email and her wonderful pity comments here on my pitiful little blog…

  76. #76 Colugo
    April 30, 2008

    This anti-science/anti-technocratic (not the same thing, I know, but tell that to Luddites and the rest of the anti-science crowd) rhetoric has a long and grand ancestry. Some of us may remember Rifkin’s argument in 80s bio-Luddite masterpiece Algeny about how Darwin was inspired by the (allegedly) unusually violent and harsh competition of Galapagos instead of a more sedately communal ecoystem. The 70s saw phantasmagoric fears of a Clockwork Orange-style technocratic police state in which we have been made obedient by the heirs of Jose Delgado and BF Skinner. And earlier there was the flower child rhetoric equating the A-bomb with Science itself.

    An example from fiction: Recall the scene in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in which Viktor’s mentor (played by John Cleese) is fatally stabbed by an anti-vaccination fanatic? (That was the best version of Frankenstein yet.)

  77. #77 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Craig: “There’s a lot of delusion in the U.S. about the U.S. having beaten Russia.
    Russia went bankrupt, and technology allowed enough organization and information flow to make a bankrupt nation no longer able to afford to control its people as effectively.
    The cold war helped bankrupt them, but the U.S. didn’t “beat” them.”

    That’s delusional, unless you have an idiosyncratic meaning to “beat”. They went bankrupt in a race with… drum-roll please… the US. The race was for domination of the world, and the way to win this war (short of nuclear annihilation) was to prove that you could have “out-annihilated” your enemy by spending the most cash as flamboyantly as possible. The US beat Russia, and lost to Vietnam. That’s about as objective as you can get. The question of how they won and lost is endlessly long, but the facts that A beat B and C beat A are easily measurable.

    Geopolitics is really unfortunately simple.

  78. #78 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#67 Ichthyic —

    denial and projection…

    It always seems to come back to that, doesn’t it?

    Someone should do a study….

  79. #79 JMW
    April 30, 2008

    When his sputtering career nosedived and he had some bills to pay. He is a bottom feeder. We all have to eat and pay bills but some of us have standards about what we will do for money.

    Ben Stein’s new theme song! [My apologies to the Northern Pikes, but their song was the first that came to my mind.]

    Seen Bad Astronomy today? Apparently Stein compares PZ to the Nazis. Lovely.

    “In today’s news, former Nixon speech writer, occasional bit-part actor, and host of the Casual Day of quiz shows Ben Stein tries to break the world record for ‘Most Violations of Godwin’s Law by a Single Human Being’.”

    no, no, you explain to them that even though they are children, they too can win Ben Stein’s money.

    $20 isn’t exactly what I’d consider a lofty sum for a money prize…

    This guy is going completely nuts or what ?

    You were being rhetorical. Right?

  80. #80 ungtss
    April 30, 2008

    I find the ADL’s use of the word “Misappropriate” to be curious. Misappropriate is the fraudulent taking of property for unauthorized use — as in embezzlement or plagiarism. The term is inseparable from a claim to OWNERSHIP.

    So Expelled Misappropriated the images of the Holocaust? From whom? Who owns them? Does the ADL have the authority to determine who uses the Holocaust and its imagery?

  81. #81 Kenny
    April 30, 2008

    >Wait…what? I say something nice about scientists,
    >somewhere in the vault of his cranium wheels are turning
    >and Stein is fantasizing about Nazis poisoning people, and
    >this is my fault? It’s projection taken to an extreme.

    Well, he has a point. This is how it all started. One one set of people are so arrogant and really start touting their superiority to others and start to say other people are inferrior this gets to the end result. Their lives mean less.

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    People look at Hilter like it was just a one time deal and that he was crazy, but the thoughts that hitler had are in a lot of people out there. A lot of them seem to be scientists.

    So in that way I agree with what he says.

  82. #82 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    So Expelled Misappropriated the images of the Holocaust? From whom? Who owns them? Does the ADL have the authority to determine who uses the Holocaust and its imagery?

    Haven’t you heard “misappropriate” used more broadly? Such as to misappropriate the meaning of something, to misappropriate a theory, to misappropriate an idea?

    There it just means to take it away from its rightful place, to the meanings or uses to which those abstractions belonged.

    The ADL could mean only that, or more likely, they mean that there are appropriate measures of respect, deference, and propriety surrounding the Holocaust’s victims. And to misappropriate what is appropriate to the living and dead victims of the Holocaust is improper, or indeed, inappropriate.

    They tried to take something that belongs to history and to respectful memory and tried to twist it to fit their own sectarian aims and hatreds of science and its practitioners.

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

  83. #83 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Very well handled, PZ.

    Unlike Mr. Stein, you’re a decent man with a sense of humor.

  84. #84 Shirakawasuna
    April 30, 2008

    I’m a big fan of the “Related News” section. It takes a very sick person to think, “Hey, this person thinks scientists are cool people. You know who else liked scientists? Hitler.”

  85. #85 shonny
    April 30, 2008

    #6 So, when did Stein become an evangelical Christian?
    Posted by: freelunch | April 30, 2008 5:55 PM

    Like any other prostitute: “I’m only doing it for the money!”
    and then closes his eyes and thinks of . . . nothing much.

  86. #86 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Well, he has a point. This is how it all started. One one set of people are so arrogant and really start touting their superiority to others and start to say other people are inferrior this gets to the end result. Their lives mean less.

    bullshit, and a perfect projection.

    It’s always been the religious that have claimed that “others” will go to hell.

    It’s always the religious that try to define the relative meaning of another’s life, while forgetting entirely that we each define our own meaning.

    It wasn’t the scientists that started this fight moron, and it wasn’t the scientists who acted arrogant.

    However, if you morons wish to keep personally demonstrating how erroneous your notions are, why on earth should we refrain from pointing them out, eh?

    we’re doing a public service.

  87. #87 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    ungtss, you came here to dispute a word? A word? You have nothing to say about the content? The ADL has the authority to produce press releases about whatever they want. They could be about mac and cheese, and they would have the “authority” to do that.

    Kenny, you’re again wrong. You will be blasted for this. I’m sure people are writing piles to pour on you right now. I’ll leave that to them. However, and I have said this to you before, do not tell us to google something. You can google it and link us to it. The burden of proof is on you whenever you make a statement. Provide sources or your words hold no weight.

  88. #88 ThirdMonkey
    April 30, 2008

    Seriously, ungtss? Is arguing over the definition of a word the best you can come up with?

    American Heritage Dictionary
    Misappropriate
    tr.v
    1a. To appropriate wrongly: misappropriating the theories of social science.
    1b. To appropriate dishonestly for one’s own use; embezzle.
    2. To use illegally.

    And yes Expelled misappropriated the Holocaust.
    From who? The VICTIMS.
    Who has ownership? The VICTIMS.
    Who has authority to determine who uses the Holocaust and its imagery? Any who gives a damn about honoring the memory of the 9 to 11 MILLION people that were murdered by the Nazis, which Meyers and Stein have shown complete contempt for.

  89. #89 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    btw, Kenny, ID is nothing but pure arrogance on the part of its supporters.

    I know you are unable to see this, since you live in constant denial, but it’s true.

    Moreover, assuming one can do a job without accepting or utilizing the basic tenets required to do the job to begin with would also be arrogant in my book.

    not yours though, right?

  90. #90 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    It always seems to come back to that, doesn’t it?

    It’s a point I like to stress overly much, perhaps, but it’s always seemed obvious to me.


    Someone should do a study….

    ;)

  91. #91 ThirdMonkey
    April 30, 2008

    Oh crap…
    I meant Mathis! Mathis and Stein!

  92. #92 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny: “Well, he has a point. This is how it all started. One one set of people are so arrogant and really start touting their superiority to others and start to say other people are inferrior this gets to the end result. Their lives mean less.”

    Waiting for the Galactic Bus. It’s worth the read – funny and very appropriate for Kenny and his ilk. It all goes back to 16th century in England, culminating in the migration of Scots to the US and the enclosure acts.

  93. #93 raven
    April 30, 2008

    ungss the Death Cult Troll:

    Misappropriate is the fraudulent taking of property for unauthorized use — as in embezzlement or plagiarism.

    The Holocaust belongs with the truth about the Holocaust. The cultist creobots stole it and paired it with a complete lie.

    It trivializes the event and insults the people who survived it and their coreligionists. Which includes the Jewish Antidefamation League. They didn’t like it, nor should they.

    They misused an atrocity to push their own agenda. To destroy the USA, set up a theocracy, and bring on the Dark Ages. Which, if successful, would likely make the Holocaust look like a tea party. These are evil people, Xian Dominionists.

    Ask the Iraqis or Afghanis how religion and political power is working out. They are undoubtedly cowering in their basements hoping someone else gets killed.

  94. #94 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    These are evil people, Xian Dominionists.

    and have entirely overlapping mindsets with the signatories here:

    http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

  95. #95 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny, scientists are not being arrogant. They are being right. They are humble, and they admit when they don’t know the answer to a question. No one is quicker to inform you when a question moves into an area that they’re not experts on. Ask PZ, or any biologist about quantum mechanics. He’s a smart guy and probably knows a lot about it, but he would preface his statements with, “I’m not an astrophysicist, but from what I know…” Ask that same question to your pastor and he will look you straight in the eyes and tell you with absolute certainty that his particular flavor of God did it. Your pastor has no evidence. He’s done no research or reading into that area. Its dishonest arrogance. And you eat it up like a puppy.

  96. #96 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    I messed up my disciplines, but my point still stands. I’m sure he will seize upon the words and miss the point.

  97. #97 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Waiting for the Galactic Bus. It’s worth the read – funny and very appropriate for Kenny and his ilk. It all goes back to 16th century in England, culminating in the migration of Scots to the US and the enclosure acts.

    I wonder if Kenny thinks it was the “scientists” who were responsible for the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII?

    Was McCarthy a scientist, I (don’t really) wonder?

  98. #98 raven
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny the Death Cultist Troll:

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    People look at Hilter like it was just a one time deal and that he was crazy, but the thoughts that hitler had are in a lot of people out there. A lot of them seem to be scientists.

    So in that way I agree with what he says.

    Yes, we have a winner. Kenny is a mass murderer wannabe. The next Hitler wannabe. Typical moron fundie, lie, hate, kill. Speaking of killing, the leaders of your cults frequently publish lists of people they want to kill. They occasionally kill them. So Kenny, who is on your To Kill list. Scientists obviously, gays obviously, who else?

    If you’re too stupid to remember your To Kill list, just copy one of the ones below. What are ministers for anyway?

    While the ignorance, lie, violence, and murder cultists are waiting for their theocratic hell on earth, they have a few hobbies. One is publishing lists of people they would like to kill. Another is killing them. The record is Rushdooney. By one reckoning, he would end up killing 99% of the US population. And this was one of their main theologians and leaders.

    How to identify fundie xian cultists. It is easy. They lie constantly. They are very, very good at hating. Dumb. They and their leaders frequently publish lists of groups they want to kill. They occasionally kill them.

    Pat Robertson: wikipedia
    Hugo Chávez” I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.

    We will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it.
    [Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, at the Aug 8, 1995 U.S. Taxpayers Alliance Banquet in Washington DC, talking about doctors who perform abortions and volunteer escorts My note. Terry’s sympathizers have, in fact, murdered more than a few health care workers.

    “Pastor Jerry Gibson spoke at Doug Whites New Day Covenant Church in Boulder.

    He said that every true Christian should be ready and willing to take up arms to kill the enemies of Christian society.

    bcseweb.org Rushdooney:
    Our list may not be perfect but it seems to cover those “crimes” against the family that are inferred by Rushdoony’s statement to Moyers. The real frightening side of it is the interpretation of heresy, apostasy and idolatry. Rushdoony’s position seems to suggest that he would have anyone killed who disagreed with his religious opinions. That represents all but a tiny minority of people. Add to that death penalties for what is quite legal, blasphemy, not getting on with parents and working on a Sunday means that it the fantasy ideal world of Rushdoony and his pals, there will be an awful lot of mass murderers and amongst a tiny population.

    We have done figures for the UK which suggest that around 99% of the population would end up dead and the remainder would have each, on average, killed 500 fellow citizens.

    Chalcedon foundation bsceweb.org. Stoning disobedient children to death.Contempt for Parental Authority: Those who consider death as a horrible punishment here must realise that in such a case as
    ….cut for length
    Rev. William Einwechter, “Modern Issues in Biblical Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children”, The Chalcedon Report, January 1999

    When The Hate Comes From ‘Churches’
    ASHLAND, Ore. – A recent spate of crimes points up a growing connection between hateful actions and organizations calling themselves churches.
    Two brothers from northern California reportedly linked to such a group were charged this week with the killing of two gay men near Redding. Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams also are suspects in the firebombing of three synagogues in the Sacramento area last month.

    According to personal acquaintances as well as law enforcement officials, the Williams brothers were involved in Christian Identity, a religion that holds Jews and nonwhites to be subhuman and is closely tied to the Aryan Nations white-supremacist group based in northern Idaho.

    Meanwhile, officials are investigating the links between Benjamin Smith and the World Church of the Creator. Over Independence Day weekend in Illinois and Indiana, Smith shot Asians, Jews, and an African-American (killing two and injuring nine) before killing himself.

    Fundie cultists frequently publish lists of groups they plan to or would like to kill. From above quotes, we have MDs, “enemies of christian society” (whoever they are), heresy etc., disobedient children but only by stoning, gays, Jews, nonwhites, the topic of this thread-scientists and others.

    If the truth is ugly, way it goes. By their words, ye shall know them, The Book.

    To make things worse, they occasionally do murder people.

    This doesn’t happen with mainstream christian denominations that I know of. Our church always talked about world peace and eliminating poverty. If you would have suggested drawing up a list of groups to hate and kill and arms and ammmunition to buy, well, it would be inconceivable.

  99. #99 Mena
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny:
    Why don’t you google it for us? You are the one making the claim after all. It’s not our job to verify your delusions. I’m still waiting for your abundant evidence that Jesus lived. Ok, not really because I know that you are full of it, and more than a bit arrogant too. Are you a scientist?

  100. #100 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    heh, leave it to Raven to actually go out and pull up very specific examples of where the death threats and arrogance really are coming from; who are the ones to demean other’s lives in words and deeds.

    google-fu blackbelt awarded to Raven.

  101. #101 Jay Manifold
    April 30, 2008

    I tried to start paying PZ back for that beer and burger he bought me 4 years ago here.

  102. #102 raven
    April 30, 2008

    Well, it is official. Kenny is a hardcore Death Cultist.

    Stupid….check
    Lies always…..check
    Hates always….check
    Wants to kill people….check

    These guys are so damn similar they might as well be robots or clones. And what the Death Cults have to do with Xianity is….absolutely nothing. Kenny, you are a disgrace to the human race, a thoroughly ugly evil little boy like Ben Stein.

    Wonder if we are looking at the next mall or school shooter here. Could be.

  103. #103 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    You should have just told Kenny to google it for himself. Then we could collect and save his response for his future shenanigans.

  104. #104 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    These guys are so damn similar they might as well be robots or clones.

    well, that IS why I always tend to refer to them as creobots.

  105. #105 cyan
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny,
    Go to
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/227
    and listen to Craig Venter, the scientist who co-headed the Human Genome Project, talk about what he is working on now.

    You will gladly use the results of his research, research that would not be possible without his understanding of the mechanisms and acceptance of the fact of evolution.

    Just as you use the results of medical research to keep yourself healthy: medical research that would not have been possible without scientists who understand the mechanisms and accept the fact of evolution.

    If you think that scientists as a group are arrogant and set themselves up as “better” than non-scientists, go to it. But its extremely hypocritical to think that way and yet use the results of their work. With that way of thinking, it would logically follow that you would refuse to use the fruits of their work, and instead use only goods and services that are the results of non-scientists, including ID’ists.

    That you take advantage of scientists’ work for your personal gain, while moaning about their world-view, makes you a hypocrite. If one could magically make all scientists believe in creationism, there would be no more science.

    Maybe you think that what we know right now is sufficient for you. That’s great: that’s what the Amish did. But they didn’t try to make the rest of the US stay in the late 1800’s. Just go make your own creationist colonies and stop trying to force your views on the rest of humanity.

  106. #106 Tabby Lavalamp
    April 30, 2008

    That’s it. Enough is enough. It’s now time to take science and go home, let the anti-science zealots try playing without it. Let’s see how Stein enjoys going to Peter Popoff next time he or a family member fall ill. If he can find his way without his glasses, of course.

  107. #107 raven
    April 30, 2008

    Kenny isn’t going to read the list. Truth to a fundie is like a cross to a vampire. FWIW, the Death Cultist leader with the longest To Kill list is Rshdooney. His list ended up being 99% of the US population murdered.

    Rushdooney is clearly a psychopath. He was also the father of Xian Dominionism, an influential theologian, and Pat Robertson’s and Gary North’s mentor.

    Fundie cultists such as Kenny are the intersection of Xianity and the darkest impulses of the human mind. It is as black and ugly as it gets.

    bcseweb.org Rushdooney:
    Our list may not be perfect but it seems to cover those “crimes” against the family that are inferred by Rushdoony’s statement to Moyers. The real frightening side of it is the interpretation of heresy, apostasy and idolatry. Rushdoony’s position seems to suggest that he would have anyone killed who disagreed with his religious opinions. That represents all but a tiny minority of people. Add to that death penalties for what is quite legal, blasphemy, not getting on with parents and working on a Sunday means that it the fantasy ideal world of Rushdoony and his pals, there will be an awful lot of mass murderers and amongst a tiny population.

    We have done figures for the UK which suggest that around 99% of the population would end up dead and the remainder would have each, on average, killed 500 fellow citizens.

    Chalcedon foundation bsceweb.org. Stoning disobedient children to death.Contempt for Parental Authority: Those who consider death as a horrible punishment here must realise that in such a case as

  108. #108 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    btw, I will wager that what he is referring to is that expert on viral pathology who last year held a rather “infamous” series of lectures on potential worldwide infection and death statistics if a real “killer” virus was ever released. A lecture that was seized upon by the IDiots as “evidence” that scientists wanted to wipe out humanity.

    what was his name now….

  109. #109 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Here’s the rub though: scientists don’t think they’re better than non-scientists. They think they’re better at science than non-scientists. Crazy thought.

  110. #110 eewolf
    April 30, 2008

    Cliff Hendroval, thanks for the info on Prestige Brands, Inc. I visited their site and gave them a heads up on their, um, spokesperson. Seems the least I could do.

    Anyway the link is here if anyone is interested in dropping a note.

    My comment:

    It looks like your pitch man Ben Stein has some interesting ideas about science and history. His latest (propaganda) movie attempts to link science and scientists with the Holocaust.

    While out seeking like-minded folks and shilling his movie he has stated that “science leads to killing people.”

    I would think your company benefits greatly from science and particularly some of your products including Clear Eyes. But maybe I am wrong about that.

    The Anti-Defamation League has spoken out on this film, also. You can find it at (ADL url)

    I’d really like to know what your company’s views on this are so feel free to respond to my email. A public announcement would be better.

  111. #111 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    …ah yes, of course, and I know exactly what Kenny is referring to when he talks about “looking around”. What he really means is looking around the Disinformation Institute’s website:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/04/eric_pianka_disease_will_contr.html

    Pianka, right, moron?

    now, lets see, where were the death threats coming from in the Pianka case again….

    oh yeah:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/04/texas_academy_of_science_getti.php

    Texas Academy of Science getting death threats over Pianka

    those death threats of course coming from scientists, right, Kenny?

    Kenny: projecting moron drowning in denial.

  112. #112 raven
    April 30, 2008

    what was his name now….

    Probably thinking of Eric Pianka. U. of Texas. Dembski turned him into Homeland Security and they showed up in Texas. Then the fundies sent him and the Texas Academy of Science Death Threats long afterwards.

  113. #113 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    btw, I will wager that what he is referring to is that expert on viral pathology who last year held a rather “infamous” series of lectures on potential worldwide infection and death statistics if a real “killer” virus was ever released. A lecture that was seized upon by the IDiots as “evidence” that scientists wanted to wipe out humanity.

    That would be the best guess for a specific cause of his fact-free assertion.

    On the other hand, he might have just heard something his pastor or psychic told him, or maybe he slightly grasped the gist of Expelled, believed it because that’s what he wanted to hear, and said “Google it” because it’s what ignorant slobs do.

    What I’m saying is, never overestimate the knowledge or intelligence of these people. A vague sense that the “other” is totally evil is all they need to start defaming people. He might be twisting something specific, but I’m sure he doesn’t even need that much to make a false accusation.

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

  114. #114 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#82 Glen Davidson —

    Haven’t you heard “misappropriate” used more broadly? Such as to misappropriate the meaning of something, to misappropriate a theory, to misappropriate an idea?

    The OED (yes, I am an OED addict…I think I have a problem) calls this the “extended use” of the word and refers to the following example of such use: “Disfiguring and misappropriating pop’s legacies” (Melody Maker magazine, 8/8/1987). I kind of wish they’d given this in the larger context of the sentence, but the general idea comes across.

  115. #115 Graculus
    April 30, 2008

    The term is inseparable from a claim to OWNERSHIP.

    It can appply to cultural/societal and historical “ownership”.

    Hence St Patrick’s Day.

  116. #116 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Icthyic: “I wonder if Kenny thinks it was the “scientists” who were responsible for the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII?”

    The scientists, and those damn high-falutin’ philosophers.. and the French, so smug and sophisticated… and the rich kids in town who made fun of his clothes, and those New Yorkers with their fancy sandwiches, and the girls in eighth grade who wouldn’t let him touch their boobies because he couldn’t make a decent joke, and Paris Hilton with her dog that eats European food and at the bottom…

    Those damn intellectual, uppity Jews with their fancy words, ill-gotten gains, refusal to just conform like everybody else and unwillingness to wait in line until after good, humble, Christian sheep. As Goebbels once said “The Jewish directors have been sleeping with our young actors and actresses. And now it is our turn!!”

    You do know that “scientist” is just a 21st century way of saying Jew, don’t you? Like how they used to say “banker” when they meant Jew? The ultra-orthodox ones are alright, they’re good Jews, they stay in their ghettos and will be ready when Jesus comes and kills two-thirds of them…

    That’s why Ben Stein is so god-damn sickening. He’s willing to sell the rest of us out to make a fuckin’ buck.

  117. #117 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#81 Kenny —

    Well, he has a point. This is how it all started.

    For a clear and striking demonstration of how you and other ID advocates are simply projecting, please see comment 65.

  118. #118 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    and those New Yorkers with their fancy sandwiches

    LOL

    …and their arrogance about NY making the only True(tm) pizza!

  119. #119 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    As Goebbels once said “The Jewish directors have been sleeping with our young actors and actresses. And now it is our turn!!”

    and as his buddy Goering said:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/goering.jpg

  120. #120 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#94 Ichthyic —

    http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

    Wow. That document is kind of scary:

    The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

    Now *that* is arrogance. (Though the phrase “shape circumstances before crises emerge” sounds innocuous enough — and I might even partially agree with it, if it weren’t for the fact that I knew it meant “forcibly impose our military presence before crises emerge, and in so doing create new crises.”)

    Predictably, Cheney and Rummy are two of the distinguished signers…

  121. #121 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Bill Maher talks about the word elite.

  122. #122 Nemo
    April 30, 2008

    Giving him a benefit of the doubt that I know he doesn’t deserve… perhaps what Stein was thinking of was that the Holocaust employed a “scientific” method of killing (poison gas). Of course it’s absurd to tar all of science for that, and the Holocaust could just as well have been conducted with conventional weapons (and some of it was).

    A better example from WWII would be the A-bomb, a project that involved many of the best minds in physics — truly Big Science at work — working to create the most terrible weapon of all time. Except, they were doing it to stop the Nazis.

  123. #123 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Now *that* is arrogance.

    *ding*

    what’s more, how familiar are these words if you have ever studied the history of “manifest destiny” in this country?

    It’s like rationalizations for greed and abuse of other cultures has been formed into a religion by these folks.

    read and learn the roots of the neocons….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Strauss

    http://www.thefourreasons.org/leostrauss.htm

    this is the philosophy that shapes our current political reality.

    and it is indeed scary, as well as being already a foregone issue. they have convinced the american people with many lies and much spin over the last 35 years that they are the way and the light.

    this is a battle the forces of reason have already lost.

    We lost it in the 80’s when Reagan was elected.

  124. #124 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#81 Kenny —

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    Can you please enlighten me about the time evolutionary biologists threatened to kill an ID advocate?

    In exchange, here is an article about professors in Colorado who received death threats for teaching evolution.

    Also (because I am a generous person, and will give you two articles for the price of one), here is another example in which an evolutionary biologist received a death threat — and had to quit her job.

    Aw, hell, I’m feeling *really* generous — here’s NOVA’s site, describing how Judge Jones received death threats after his pro-science ruling in Dover.

    Note also that I did not tell you to just google it if you don’t believe me. I provided links. This is what you should do in the future.

  125. #125 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Note also that I did not tell you to just google it if you don’t believe me. I provided links. This is what you should do in the future.

    I’d like to ammend that, if I may:

    What Kenny should do in the future is nothing.

    He should stop embarrassing himself by simply leaving.

  126. #126 Christ Davis
    April 30, 2008

    Jeff,

    another good book to read is They Thought They Were Free, written by Milton Mayer. He spent a considerable amount of time with members of the Nazi party, after the war, getting to know them as people and earning their trust. The interviews are illuminating.

    A quote, which is appropriate for a discussion of ID as much as Nazis:

    In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

    “And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.”

  127. #127 kid bitzer
    April 30, 2008

    #116–
    yup. when you listen to fundies and creos railing against “scientists”, you hear most of the anti-semitic tropes only a millimeter below the surface.

    ditto when you listen to the rank and file republicans railing about “intellectuals”. they live in cities. they aren’t attached to the soil. they have divided loyalties. they’re rootless cosmopolitans.

    and then when you hear the authoritarian cult of bush’s “gut feelings”–the tribal praise of anti-intellectualism as a higher wisdom of the blood–then you know you are looking at proto-fascism.

    willing, gleeful submission to authority of church and military. denigration of intellectuals and the intellect. revenge fantasies of life’s losers, pretending that they never lost WWI or vietnam.

    it’s ugly stuff. i don’t think they really are going to go all kristallnacht on our asses, just yet, but ben stein is sure helping to egg them on (as well as billy kristall).

    yeah, guys–vote republican, support the fundies, and try to save your skins by siding with the fascists. that worked out so well for us last time.

  128. #128 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#109 Dennis N —

    Here’s the rub though: scientists don’t think they’re better than non-scientists. They think they’re better at science than non-scientists. Crazy thought.

    This is one of the things that bothers me most when people talk about scientific “elitism.”

    At my school (U of Chicago), just to get a bachelor’s degree in biology you have to take general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, a 5-quarter course in basic biology (covering a breadth of topics including molecular and cellular biology, genetics, evo-devo, etc), introductory physics (mechanics and E&M), statistics, a full year of calculus, and multiple upper division biology courses. So yes. When I finish all this course work, I would hope that I am better at science than those who haven’t done so. Otherwise, my $40k/year education has been quite a waste.

  129. #129 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Bill Maher talks about the word elite.

    holy crap is that an understatement.

    150 graduates of the “university” funded by Pat Robertson appointed to federal positions by fearless leader.

    no wonder the rate of corruption, failure, and resignations are so bloody high in BushCo.

    I mean, really, I knew there were a few around (like the moron appointed to oversee US attorneys), but 150??!!

    wow.

  130. #130 John Scanlon, FCD
    April 30, 2008

    I was reading to my daughter last night and had to grab this line and quote it:

    Now the trouble with trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.

    Remind you of anyone or anything? Ben Stein? Evangelical Xtians? Devout corpse-revering Catholics? ‘Ex-atheist’ converts to any cult you can think of? A pretty ordinary sort of characterisation of that sort of thing, obviously. What makes it quotable, though, is the irony of the source: C.S. Lewis, in The Magician’s Nephew. With insight like that, he should have had a job in the cinema – a professional projectionist.

  131. #131 nabalzbbfr
    April 30, 2008

    I think Stein used a poor choice of words which his Darwinist enemies are shamelessly exploiting. He was condemning the atheistic scientism which underlies Darwinism and which indeed provided the intellectual underpinning of the Nazi holocaust. He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

  132. #132 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

    science via divine revelation.

    where’s the fun in that?

    where’s the science in that, for that matter.

  133. #133 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    nabalzbbfr, you sound like shit in a golden wrapper. Someone parse that metaphor for me.

    Science must be atheistic Science, not scientists). It cannot factor God into the equation. Once it does that, it is not testable or repeatable. Once it does that, its no longer science.

    I would agree “Darwinism” is scientific. Thats what it gets respect and ID doesn’t. And because it doesn’t require God, its atheistic. However, it is not the underpinning of the Holocaust. Hitler was not an atheist. Not. Not. And again, not.

    Accepting Divine Revelation is not humble. It is arrogant, and a desperate attempt to make yourself the center of a universe that is clearly not designed for you.

  134. #134 Glen Davidson
    April 30, 2008

    He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

    You mean that he’s simply against the science that all successful theistic scientists have used, and that virtually all Jewish scientists use.

    Got it, he’s an extreme bigot who reviles anyone who doesn’t conform to the despicable view of God that he has.

    Um, isn’t that what we said?

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

  135. #135 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    That should read: Science must be atheistic (Science, not scientists).

  136. #136 kid bitzer
    April 30, 2008

    #131

    “the atheistic scientism which underlies Darwinism and which indeed provided the intellectual underpinning of the Nazi holocaust”

    wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    also: completely lacking in evidence, and refuted by ample evidence to the contrary.

    the “intellectual underpinnings of the nazi holocaust”–or if “intellectual” is too complimentary a word, at least the “ideological underpinnings”–had nothing to do with science, and everything to do with several centuries of german and more generally christian anti-semitism.

    gott mit uns, baby; gott mit uns. that’s what the nazi’s all said. and the archbishops and prelates all over germany cheered them on.

    so now you’re doing their lying for them, is that right nabal? i wouldn’t do that.

  137. #137 raven
    April 30, 2008

    He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

    We tried that for 1500 years. The era known as the Dark Ages. Other than torching Bruno at the stake for heresy, believing the earth orbits the sun and almost torching Galileo nothing much happened. Except people died young.

  138. #138 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Christ: ‘”And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.”‘

    Yup – it all seems so crazy until they pull out their knives. I had immediate family that got out of Berlin between ’32 and ’37 – out by the skin of their teeth. Nice technocratic, conservative folk who saw themselves as Germans first, and Jews as only a minor ethnic detail. They couldn’t bring themselves to face the reality of what was happening until there was blood on the street. “It’ll all blow over” was what they said. It wasn’t in their circle that these things were happening – it was among the crazies, the proles, the desperate and sad.

    And who wants to risk their social position, their business, their nice family lives to ring the alarm? Because some Kenny’s are voting for some Bush’s, who’ll be gone soon enough? And once the danger is obvious, who’ll risk their neck to take matters in hand? It’s too late then.

    In other news today, Berlusconi got the top job back in Italy, and promptly started making veiled references to the Falange, while some Romans chanted “Duce, Duce” as the new right wing mayor surged to power.

    Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

  139. #139 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    nabalzbbfr, you sound like shit in a golden wrapper. Someone parse that metaphor for me.

    “His majesty is like a stream of bat’s piss”

    “What??”

    “What I meant to say, was, ummm…”

    “His majesty shines out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.”

  140. #140 Ryan
    April 30, 2008

    “He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.”

    Which is to favor one race over all others as a perfect people and condemn its enemies. Gosh, where have I heard that before?

  141. #141 Stanton
    April 30, 2008

    I think Stein used a poor choice of words which his Darwinist enemies are shamelessly exploiting. He was condemning the atheistic scientism which underlies Darwinism and which indeed provided the intellectual underpinning of the Nazi holocaust. He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

    Please explain why, if “atheistic scientism” is the intellectual underpinning of the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler went on for literal pages and pages about how he was doing the Lord’s Work in exterminating the Jewish menace?

    Why, if Atheism was the base of the Nazis, then why did Hitler say things like

    Hence today 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 (Hitler 1943, 65).

    over and over again?

    In fact, if Hitler was an atheist, then why did he let the Nazi soldiers put Gott Mitt Uns on all of their belt buckles?

  142. #142 Colugo
    April 30, 2008

    kid bitzer : “the tribal praise of anti-intellectualism as a higher wisdom of the blood–then you know you are looking at proto-fascism.”

    There’s something to that, but the notion of fascism as anti-intellectualism is problematic. Fascism was very well received by many continental intellectuals, scientists (oh no, that word again!) and physicians. In fact, artists and intellectuals – Wagner, Marr, Haeckel, Marinetti, Sorel, Gentile – were arguably the vanguard of fascism. Sure, fascism was antirationalist, antimaterialist, and romanticized “the blood” and a mystical connection to “Nature”, but it used intellectualized rhetoric and (pseudo)science to do so.

    As a mass movement fascism was fairly middle class and even prolish, but people like Ezra Pound, Martin Heidegger, and Alexis Carrel weren’t attracted to fascism because it presented itself as the antithesis of intellectualism, art, and science. Rather, it was a perverted form of these. German biologists and physicians were disproportionately represented in the Nazi Party. Fascism, especially Nazism, contained a lot of apparent paradoxes.

    As I’ve discussed elsewhere, I’ve never thought highly of Umberto Eco’s list of fascist characteristics. Rather, I recommend Roger Griffin, Sheri Berman, and Stanley Payne.

  143. #143 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    I wonder what you mean by Divine Revelation. Stein is Jewish. He doesn’t believe in Jesus. And he has no reason to, there’s no evidence for him.

  144. #144 Stanton
    April 30, 2008

    I wonder what you mean by Divine Revelation. Stein is Jewish. He doesn’t believe in Jesus. And he has no reason to, there’s no evidence for him.

    What about money? He rents his soul and dignity out all the time, after all.

  145. #145 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#

    I think Stein used a poor choice of words which his Darwinist enemies are shamelessly exploiting. He was condemning the atheistic scientism which underlies Darwinism and which indeed provided the intellectual underpinning of the Nazi holocaust. He is by no means condemning the proper pursuit of science informed by a humble acceptance of Divine Revelation.

    You are kidding, right? Please? The “scientism” was just so over the top (typical ID misuse of -ism) that I’m thinking you were, but I can never be sure anymore.

    In any case, I think every disgusting thing Stein has said about “Darwinism” and the Holocaust was a poor choice of words.

  146. #146 frog
    April 30, 2008

    Colugo:

    The anti-intellectualism of the intellectual historically has appeared as Romanticism. It’s an intellectual wrapper around exactly those anti-intellectual passions of the middle and lower class. Kinda looks like the worst kinds of post-modernism, a dream to return to the medieval fugue.

    So I wouldn’t kill it perverted intellectualism – I would call it an intellectual lie.

  147. #147 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Don’t forget he said, “Darwinism is a brilliant, brilliant theory, just brilliant.” Before he stabbed science in the back.

  148. #148 kid bitzer
    April 30, 2008

    #142–
    sure, there’s lots more to be said here.

    but you can hardly rebut the charge that fascism trafficked in the demonization of science and the intellect by showing that it “used intellectualized rhetoric and (pseudo)science.”

    pseudo-science is not science; it is very often opposed to it. (cf.: “intelligent design”).

    and rhetoric of whatever sort is just as often opposed to genuine intellectual activity. wagner and heidegger are great examples: instead of thinkers and problem-solvers, they were obscurantists, fog-generators, hierophants, the po-mos and deepak chopras of their day. not what i have in mind by ‘intellectuals’.

    but, yeah, we can certainly argue about the precise origins and affiliations of fascism. but one thing that is clear is that it has nothing to do with evolutionary biology. and another thing that is clear is that it has nothing to do with atheism.

    nabal is just as wrong as ever.

  149. #149 Etha Williams
    April 30, 2008

    @#147 Dennis N —

    Don’t forget he said, “Darwinism is a brilliant, brilliant theory, just brilliant.” Before he stabbed science in the back.

    Thunderf00t does a great job showing this particular aspect of Stein’s back-stabbing hypocrisy in his Why do people laugh at creationists: Part 23 video.

  150. #150 frog
    April 30, 2008

    #146 – I meant “call it”, not “kill it”.

    Old Freud laughs again.

  151. #151 Dennis N
    April 30, 2008

    Haha yeah, thats where I got it from. I remember him saying it on Kimmel on my tv too. I can’t hear him say “brilliant” one more time. The man is destroying our language one word at a time.

  152. #152 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    So I wouldn’t kill it perverted intellectualism – I would call it an intellectual lie.

    kind of like how Billy Dembski presents ID…

  153. #153 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    I can’t hear him say “brilliant” one more time.

    maybe he’s seen too many Guinness commercials?

    or maybe I have…

    hmm.

    in any case, a Guinness is sounding good right about now, brilliant or not.

  154. #154 Kseniya
    April 30, 2008

    Wow. I’m so glad I checked in here. Hit-and-run inanity from Kenny and Ungtss? A two-fer!

    I think Stein used a poor choice of words which his Darwinist enemies are shamelessly exploiting.

    This has got to be satire.

    If anyone’s shameless, it’s Stein. Please note that he had few, if any, “Darwinist” enemies until just a few weeks ago, when concrete evidence his putrid, hateful stupidity started streaming out of movie theatres, televisions and computers, directly into the eyes and ears of reasonable people of conscience everywhere.

    Either that, or he’s the most contemptible intellectual mercenary of this young century.

    Stein’s “poor choice of words” read something like this:

    “Alright, Mark – I’ll do it, on one condition: I get to meet Dawkins in person.”

  155. #155 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    Either that, or he’s the most contemptible intellectual mercenary of this young century.

    which is why some of us were comparing him to Coulter.

  156. #156 Jams
    April 30, 2008

    I’m not supporting the premise here, but I’d recommend The Nazi Doctors. It questions how Nazi Doctors could square their participation in the holocaust with the oaths they took as doctors.

    Spoiler Alert: It had nothing to do with Darwin or the scientific method.

  157. #157 Mark A. Siefert
    April 30, 2008

    nabalzbbfr:

    131: He was condemning the atheistic scientism which underlies Darwinism and which indeed provided the intellectual underpinning of the Nazi holocaust.

    No, the “intellectual underpinnings” of the Holocaust, were Christian anti-semitism, anti-communist paranoia, public malaise over the Depression and Germany’s defeat in WWII, and a cultish fascination with nationalism and mysticism. (Sound familar, Dubbya?)

    Along with religion-spawned hatred of Jews, notions of human “breeding” predate, Darwin by centuries. You might as well blame animal husbandry and agriculture for the Holocaust.

    Besides, let’s do a little research, shall we?

    * Prominent fundamentalists connected with the KKK: Bob Shuler, Billy Sunday, and Bob Jones, Sr. (McIver says that “Perhaps 40,000 fundamentalist ministers joined the Klan.”)
    * Prominent creationists affiliated with Bob Jones University: Emmett Williams, former editor of the Creation Research Society Quarterly and George Mulfinger, CRS board member.
    * Gerald Winrod, founder of Defenders of the Christian Faith, published the “openly racist” magazine Defender, which published creationist articles by George McCready Price, W.B. Riley, and A.I. Brown. For a time, it also published Harry Rimmer’s newsletter in its pages. (Riley was the leader of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association, a prominent fundamentalist group in the 1920’s. He openly advocated white supremacy.)
    * Charles Totten, the Yale military science instructor who came up with alleged calculations proving “Joshua’s Missing Day” (later turned into an urban legend about NASA by Harold Hill), was also an advocate of British-Israelism (promoted in his journal Our Race) and a pyramidologist.
    * James Gray, editor of the Moody Monthly and head of the Moody Bible Institute, was a firm believer in the genuineness of the anti-Semitic fraud Protocols of the Elders of Zion. When Henry Ford publicly apologized for a series of articles by A.J. Cameron (another British-Israelite) about the Protocols in Ford’s Dearborn, Mich. newspaper, Gray claimed that Ford’s apology was itself evidence of Jewish conspiracy.
    * Jarah Crawford, a Vermont Assembly of God minister, claims that scientific creationism isn’t creationist enough because it allows for evolution of races.
    * Herman Otten, editor of Christian News, is now an advocate of Holocaust revisionism.

    Hmmmm… that’s a lot of fundamentalist/creationist links with ties to white supremacy. And the article I cite is but the tip of the iceberg. I wonder why Stein and his Right-wing Christian masters don’t bring up these facts?

  158. #158 Tophe
    April 30, 2008

    If you think the New American Century’s Statement of (so-called) Principles is bad, google NewAmericanCentury + “new pearl harbor”.

  159. #159 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    public malaise over the Depression and Germany’s defeat in WWII

    you meant WWI, yes?

  160. #160 Ichthyic
    April 30, 2008

    If you think the New American Century’s Statement of (so-called) Principles is bad, google NewAmericanCentury + “new pearl harbor”.

    9/11 was just serendipity.

    whee!

  161. #161 Kseniya
    April 30, 2008
    Either that, or he’s the most contemptible intellectual mercenary of this young century.

    which is why some of us were comparing him to Coulter.

    Indeed. ;-)

    [Kseniya, waiting for Godot Godwin]

  162. #162 Stanton
    April 30, 2008

    Either that, or he’s the most contemptible intellectual mercenary of this young century.

    Ben Stein is an intellectual, Kseniya? What a silly idea. I’ve fed my goldfish moths with greater intellectual prowess than Ben Stein. Next, I bet you’ll be telling me that Phillip E. Johnson carries enough clout in Biology to be considered a laughingstock.

  163. #163 Mark A. Siefert
    April 30, 2008

    “…you meant WWI, yes?”

    UGH! Yes. My bad.

  164. #164 J
    May 1, 2008
  165. #165 RamblinDude
    May 1, 2008

    “Thunderf00t does a great job showing this particular aspect of Stein’s back-stabbing hypocrisy in his Why do people laugh at creationists: Part 23 video.”

    Yes, he does. I think he is getting better as the series progresses.

    Why do people laugh at creationists: Part 23 video.

  166. #166 ISAIAH 62:11
    May 1, 2008

    I’m going to have to agree with Kenny (#81) here. Kenny said “One one [sic] set of people are so arrogant and really start touting their superiority to others and start to say other people are inferrior this gets to the end result. Their lives mean less.”

    When scientists are SO ARROGANT that they think they know more than the LORD, and contradict HIS WORD, they cannot have any morals. Where do morals come from?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! From God as revealed by His Prophets. If you say you know more than God and His Prophets, then you reject morality.

    Scientists, please do not be so arrogant, for as the Bible says in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

    IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU TO REPENT!! You may try a burnt offering to appease God: “He is to present the bull at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before the LORD. Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the Tent of Meeting. He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the bull’s blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering–the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys- just as the fat is removed from the ox sacrificed as a fellowship offering.” Leviticus 4:4-10

  167. #167 Pat
    May 1, 2008

    I think Ben suffers from Lucasism: being so insulated by yes-men and alike-thinkers that you completely lose any perspective, and fail to correct unethical or morally flawed stances. No checks from dissenting opinion. Some folks need to see the horizon often to stay on course with any system of ethics. Some don’t.

    Ben clearly does, and he’s effectively been in an ethical spider-hole for most of the years since 2000.

  168. #168 RamblinDude
    May 1, 2008

    166# Wow, animal sacrifice is a real science!

  169. #169 kid bitzer
    May 1, 2008

    #166–

    as warren zevon once wrote:

    poe, poe pitiful me.

    that’s either brilliant satire of a fundie, or just pathetic.

    and poe’s law says we’ll never know which.

  170. #170 Pat
    May 1, 2008

    Poe’s law on #166. Can’t tell. Just-can’t-tell.

  171. #171 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    When you say God, I hear Allah. You can quote from the Bible when you prove the Bible is true. Here’s the kicker: you can’t use where the Bible says it’s true as evidence.

  172. #172 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    No you’re right, looks like a Poe. They used “[sic]”. Hmm, thats all the evidence I have. Still more than Christianity though.

  173. #173 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    IIRC “ISAIAH 62:11″ showed up on a different thread and revealed himself to be a Poe. Can’t remember which though…

  174. #174 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    Isaiah, we already know that you are a fake: go away, you’re not funny.

  175. #175 ISAIAH 62:11
    May 1, 2008

    Dennis N (#171) says : “Here’s the kicker: you can’t use where the Bible says it’s true as evidence.”

    You’re wrong. I CAN use the Bible as evidence. 2 Timothy 3:17-17 says so: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    And with my annointing from 2 Timothy, I REBUKE you.

  176. #176 Dennis N
    May 1, 2008

    Yeah, a Poe. A real fundie would have gone into prophecy and historical events. Thats the standard routine.

  177. #177 Rey Fox
    May 1, 2008

    (Google it if you must for proof of this)

    I don’t even know what I’m supposed to enter. “scientists want see people world dead”? “scientists want lot of people dead”? I’m led to wonder if Kenny has ever actually used Google, or if he just heard that it’s what the hip kids are saying these days. “You don’t know? Google it, Daddy-O, chiggity check yourself.”

  178. #178 Doug
    May 1, 2008

    “Mr. Myers”? Nice that you spent all that time getting a Ph.D. just to be called Mr. Myers.

  179. #179 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    Isaiah, what did the Bible say about those people who pray very loudly on street corners and other public places for all to see and hear, in the same way that you are doing right now?

  180. #180 MikeM
    May 1, 2008

    It has never, ever felt better to be on the right side of this argument.

    Ben Stein: Screw yerseff.

  181. #181 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    And with my annointing from 2 Timothy, I REBUKE you.

    and yet I don’t feel myself cowering in awe, or turned.

    you must not be a high enough level cleric, or maybe your charisma is too low?

    go gain some xp and come back.

  182. #182 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    I think most of us already know it, but just in case:

    Isaiah is a Poe.

  183. #183 Praxiteles
    May 1, 2008

    C’mon everyone. Isaiah is a Poe!

    Just enjoy the irony of his posts. I certainly am. If you read between the lines he’s saying some beautiful stuff.

  184. #184 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#181 Ichthyic —

    And with my annointing from 2 Timothy, I REBUKE you.

    and yet I don’t feel myself cowering in awe, or turned.

    you must not be a high enough level cleric, or maybe your charisma is too low?

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Nah, the explanation is even simpler than xp or charisma points. It’s just a question of his fundamental nature. Only good-aligned clerics can turn…evil-aligned clerics (like Isaiah, apparently) just rebuke ;).

  185. #185 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    And with my annointing from 2 Timothy, I REBUKE you.

    and yet I don’t feel myself cowering in awe, or turned.

    you must not be a high enough level cleric, or maybe your charisma is too low?

    go gain some xp and come back.

    That’s because in order to turn or rebuke Ichthyic, one must threaten him by saying “Ann Coulter put on a skimpy bathing suit and wants to rub you with vaseline!”

    It’s the only way, aside from driving a stake made out of pimento loaf through his heart.

  186. #186 RamblinDude
    May 1, 2008

    PZ, Stein promotes Clear Eyes, not Visine. Visine is a different brand name.

  187. #187 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    Just enjoy the irony of his posts. I certainly am. If you read between the lines he’s saying some beautiful stuff.

    Personally, I find the spectacle of happy-faced Giardia lambda skittering about within a microscope slide to be far more beautiful than Isaiah’s self-parodying garbage.

  188. #188 Joshua Arnold
    May 1, 2008

    IIRC “ISAIAH 62:11″ showed up on a different thread and revealed himself to be a Poe. Can’t remember which though…

    Posted by: Etha Williams | May 1, 2008 12:21 AM

    he did. And he still hasn’t answered my call to convert to Zeusism.

    REPENT!

  189. #189 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    “Ann Coulter put on a skimpy bathing suit and wants to rub you with vaseline!”

    oh, is this what you wanted…

    http://ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com/

    :p

    It takes a lot more than pimento loaf to even rebuke me, let alone turn me.

    muhahahahhaha!

  190. #190 Joshua Arnold
    May 1, 2008

    If you’re having trouble turning/rebuking, consider taking the Empower Turning feat at your earliest convenience. Should help you deal with those high hit-dice undead and fundie death cultists.

  191. #191 386sx
    May 1, 2008

    You’re wrong. I CAN use the Bible as evidence.

    That’s true you know. You can’t tell people they can’t use the Bible as evidence that they can use the Bible as evidence. Because they can if they want to, just because they can.

    If you tell someone they can’t, then it isn’t going to make any sense to them. Becasue they can if they want to. Nya!

  192. #192 Thomas S. Howard
    May 1, 2008

    Well, where Premise fears to tread, the DI will obliquely wander:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/04/methodists_nail_nazi_record_wa.html

    Translation: Fine you’ve got secular, elitist Jews, but we’ve got good God-fearing Methodists.

    Apparently, the DI missed the part where the spread of eugenics is almost completely blamed on Galton and his own expansion of Darwin’s ideas, and also on overenthusiastic American church-goers, Methodists among them. Or rather, they didn’t miss it at all, but thought mentioning that part might unnecessarily confuse the issue.

  193. #193 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    If you’re having trouble turning/rebuking, consider taking the Empower Turning feat at your earliest convenience.

    that must be why we aren’t able to turn the fundies. It has nothing to do with “framing”, it’s that none of us ever took the Improved Turning feat.

    there were just so many seemingly better feats…

  194. #194 amphiox
    May 1, 2008

    Ben Stein an intellectual? Sure. As I understand it one only needs to think deep thoughts to qualify, and no where is it necessary for said thoughts to be true, good, or even comprehensible.

    And Mr. Stein’s thoughts can be considered deep. He’s certainly pulling them from some place where the sun don’t shine. . . .

  195. #195 ISAIAH 62:11
    May 1, 2008

    Thanks, Praxiteles.

  196. #196 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#189 Ichthyic —

    http://ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com/

    Thank you; that’s one of the funniest things I’ve read all day (and I’ve read some pretty funny things, albeit most of them unintentional acts of self-parody). I especially liked:

    It would be fair to observe that my feeling obligated to present the list of celebrities above in roughly Black-White-Black-White order is indicative of my own carefully Liberal sensibilities. And that this sort of conscientiousness is more than a little ridiculous, on examination. But what I notice about myself only on reflection, Ann Coulter seemed to recognize and respond to in an instant, like a puma recognizes an injured giselle. For Ann Coulter is a predator. A predator with a hungry asshole.

  197. #197 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    It takes a lot more than pimento loaf to even rebuke me, let alone turn me.

    muhahahahhaha!

    What about taunting you with a recipe for stuffed boxfish?

  198. #198 Mark A. Siefert
    May 1, 2008

    On the off-chance Isaiah isn’t a Poe…

    When scientists are SO ARROGANT that they think they know more than the LORD, and contradict HIS WORD, they cannot have any morals.

    That doesn’t follow. Finding out that the real world doesn’t match your mythology is neither a sign of arrogance or amorality. A is A. Reality contradicts “HIS WORD” regardless of your protests, but I guess you’d prefer we stick our heads up our asses and ignore the world so you can have your fairy tales?

    Where do morals come from?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    From long term human survival strategies and millions of years of trial and error.

    From God as revealed by His Prophets.

    You mean the same bunch who told us we had to kill homosexuals, anyone who worked on the “sabbath,” disobedient children, adulterers, and women who don’t cry out when raped in a city. Let’s not forget that they also condoned slavery and treatment of women as chattel.

    If you say you know more than God and His Prophets, then you reject morality.

    Considering that I’m educated, literate, sophisticated, freedom-loving, and tolerant individual–as opposed to a goat-humping, illiterate, sexist, genocidal, authoritarian, bigot of the Bronze Age–I can most certainly say I “know more” than the founders of your faith, not to mention your non-existent “God.”

    If the hate-filled rantings of The Bible, are what you count as “morality,” then I most loudly reject it, the same way I’d reject the “morality” of Hitler, Stalin, or any other murderous tyrant.

    (Yes Christians, I just called your Imaginary Friend a tyrant.)

    IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU TO REPENT!!

    Actually, it is…

  199. #199 amphiox
    May 1, 2008

    Re: The bible as evidence.
    You know, even if God revealed himself tomorrow, confirming his existence with some suitable impressive display of indisputable evidence, the Bible would still be false.

    Even if said deity came right out and declared “every word in the bible is TRUE(TM)” the bible is still false and the statement is a lie.

    That book is self-contradictory. It disproves itself.

  200. #200 Mark A. Siefert
    May 1, 2008

    Whoops: Scienceblogs intertubes didn’t like my HTML Fu:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbseTqTY5nY

  201. #201 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#192 Thomas S. Howard —

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/04/methodists_nail_nazi_record_wa.html

    From the linked article:

    The issue [of Darwin’s influence on Nazism] is diverse and complex–and consequential.

    Diverse? No.
    Complex? No.
    Consequential? Not innately, but unfortunately it may be so now, thanks to Stein and his fellow lying pieces of shit.

  202. #202 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    Stanton:

    Ben Stein is an intellectual, Kseniya? What a silly idea.

    Well, I didn’t mean it quite that way. I meant he is a mercenary of the mind, as opposed to a gun-toting whatchamacallit. Mercenary. ;-)

  203. #203 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    What about taunting you with a recipe for stuffed boxfish?

    http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/StaticFiles/animals/images/800/puffer-fish-puffed.jpg

    that might do it, but you better be careful, IIRC boxfish, like the related pufferfish, also have high levels of tetradotoxin, or similar compounds:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/146/3641/244

  204. #204 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    … you have to be at least an 8th level sushi chef with 18 or better dexterity to prepare that without having to make a fortitude save!

  205. #205 ISAIAH 62:11
    May 1, 2008

    # 198 “On the off-chance Isaiah isn’t a Poe…”

    I thought the animal sacrifice quote from Leviticus would make it clear this time that it’s intended to be parody. I don’t think I’ll post any more comments, but if I ever post another comment in the same vein, I’ll have to precede it with a Poe warning.

    BTW, Mark, I thought about quoting some Bible verses about the Biblical morals you mentioned, i.e., stoning, slavery, etc., but the post was already getting long.

  206. #206 Colugo
    May 1, 2008

    Here’s an idea:

    Respond to every creationist / fundamentalist – Christian, Muslim, whatever – as if they were Poes. Even if they definitely are not, but rather are deadly serious. Laugh along. Congratulate them with “Good one! Now try this on for size…” when they come up with some crazy argument, respond to their holy script with a verse of your own, or a line from Monty Python. Make them think that you’re in on the joke that they are making. It will we interesting to see what they do. Will they give up? Scream I AM NOT A POE!!! in all caps? Or just be baffled and frustrated into incoherence?

  207. #207 Praxiteles
    May 1, 2008

    Personally, I find the spectacle of happy-faced Giardia lambda skittering about within a microscope slide to be far more beautiful than Isaiah’s self-parodying garbage.

    For goodness’ sake, Stanton, don’t lick that slide. Do not lick that slide!

    Personally I love a good Poe; even more expeshly on fundyknuckle forums, when the simpletons fall all over themselves agreeing with someone who is so clearly pulling the piss.

  208. #208 Praxiteles
    May 1, 2008

    Colugo @ #206

    Here’s an idea: Respond to every creationist / fundamentalist – Christian, Muslim, whatever – as if they were Poes.

    Actually, I think that’s a brilliant idea. It should be the appropriate response to anyone spouting arrant nonsense.

    Full marks!

  209. #209 Cath
    May 1, 2008

    Isaiah is a Poe, OK! We know. I also think s/he’s funny, but is it too late to change screen name? Isaiah, I recommend Ezekiel 23:20. Should help a little with ease of Poe detection.

  210. #210 Greta Christina
    May 1, 2008

    “…the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.”

    Ummm…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t genetic specialists been helping couples in the Ashkenazi Jewish communities to voluntarily screen out Tay-Sachs disease for a couple of decades now?

  211. #211 Quiet Desperation
    May 1, 2008

    Well, all the smart stuff has been said, so I’ll just add:

    (In best Cary Grant voice)

    “Jewry, Jewry, Jewry!”

    What?

    Cary Grant never actually said “Judy, Judy, Judy?”

    Aw! (Kicks pebble)

  212. Kenny the cardboard troll emerges to cast beat up on a raft of straw Hitlers…

    Well, he has a point. This is how it all started. One one set of people are so arrogant and really start touting their superiority to others and start to say other people are inferrior this gets to the end result. Their lives mean less.

    Oddly enough, we find it is the godly who are most likely to succumb to this thinking. History shows how Protestants in England and Ireland suppressed the Catholics and the reconquista expelled the Muslims from Spain. And belief in white Christian superiority was sufficient to justify what Americans did to the godless, inferior natives of America. This bigoted thinking is the underpinning of almost all crusades and wars of conquest or occupation.

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    No. Why don’t YOU provide a link to this proof. If it’s so easy to Google it can hardly be onerous for you to point us at a choice quote.

    You do this a lot, Kenny. Make vague, hand-waving man-in-a-pub assertions and rarely provide links. In my experience those are the actions of a truthless bullshitter. I’d like to see who these alleged scientists are and what they are saying. Until you point them out I’ll consider your claims to be baseless assertion.

    People look at Hilter like it was just a one time deal and that he was crazy, but the thoughts that hitler had are in a lot of people out there. A lot of them seem to be scientists.

    No. Though such thoughts do seem to be in the heads of self-declared Christians such as Ann Coulter, who has called for the conquest of muslim nations and forcible conversion.

    So in that way I agree with what he says.

    I’m sure you do. And it speaks volumes about you.

  213. #213 EZEKIAL 23:20 (formerly ISAIAH 62:11)
    May 1, 2008

    Cath @209: “Isaiah, I recommend Ezekiel 23:20. Should help a little with ease of Poe detection.”

    I just looked up Ezekiel 23:20. I love it! But I don’t think I’m going to do any more “Poe” comments. I thought it was kind of funny, but it seems to make a large chunk of the thread about whether or not the comment is serious or not. Besides, Stanton said I wasn’t funny and I should go away. I don’t want to make Stanton angry [sarcasm].

    BTW, Stanton (@187), it’s only “self-parodying” if I’m parodying myself.

  214. #214 Vagrant
    May 1, 2008

    @Ichthyic & Etha Williams:

    That Project for a New American Century “statement of principles” and other declarations like it is why I’m often seen around these parts harping that Christian and Jewish extremists[1] in the foreign policy establishment are far more dangerous than IDiots and creobots on school boards. People who manifest their religious faith in terms of desires to move out and kill brown people by the millions are an order of magnitude more dangerous in positions of power than are ordinary evolution deniers.

    It’s high time for the atheist community to become a lot more aware of theocratic influences on foreign policy institutions and to build something of an infrastructure to help keep the crazies away from power.

  215. #215 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    Christian and Jewish extremists[1] in the foreign policy establishment are far more dangerous than IDiots and creobots on school boards.

    that’s like saying you hate the alligators more than the alligator farms.

    If creobots get their way wrt to education, where do you think the next generation of creobots supporting the extremists will be coming from?

    our very own educational system.

    people on school boards ARE in positions of power.

  216. #216 gex
    May 1, 2008

    Or the shrill of being recognized as a “public intellectual” invited for debates and other speaking engagements ?

    This is a fantastic typo. I find him being listening to this “public intellectual” debate or speak shrill also.

  217. #217 Benjamin L. Harville
    May 1, 2008

    Looks like “Expelled” won’t be the earth-shaking box-office monster the IDists were hoping for. According to Yahoo! Movies, 8 of the 10 theaters in my area currently playing “Expelled” will expel it on friday to make room for “Iron Man.”

  218. #218 bernarda
    May 1, 2008

    The ADL, meaning its head honcho Abe Foxman, considers that it has the final word on how the holocaust should be viewed and used. If anyone disagrees with Foxman or criticizes Israel, Foxman calls them “anti-semitic” or even “holocaust deniers”. People like Jimmy Carter or Tony Judt. Foxman even led a campaign to pressure the Polish Embassy to cancel an appearance by historian Tony Judt. All because Judt is too critical of Israel in Foxman’s view.

    Occasionally, the ADL gets something right, but often it is as irrational as Ben Stein.

  219. #219 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    @#214 Vagrant —

    That Project for a New American Century “statement of principles” and other declarations like it is why I’m often seen around these parts harping that Christian and Jewish extremists[1] in the foreign policy establishment are far more dangerous than IDiots and creobots on school boards.

    While I agree that we need to do as much as we can to reduce the hold fundie theocrats have over our political system and minimize the damage they do, the sad fact is that even if secular people expose the violent, hypocritical, theocratic nature of TPTB in the US (and some have done so), chances are that the majority of the country will just use their well-learned, reinforced defense mechanisms:

    1) Denial — that there is nothing in the hold that fundies have over the US government and ideology that is unconstitutional or morally reprehensible. (Sadly, this is a tool used by the more liberal, “moderate” religious people as well — while they realize that Bush et al are making a gross error in how they run the country, they often don’t see the problem with viewing the US as an ultimately Xian nation, informed by Judeo-Xian morality in spirit if not officially; hence all the talk about religion and faith from Obama and to a lesser degree Clinton.)

    2) Projection — the claim that there’s really an *atheistic* agenda to take over the entire US, destroy all Xians, eliminate “family values”, lead us into anarchistic moral chaos, etc, etc. Kenny provides us with a wonderful case study for this one. (He’s not bad at the denial, either.)

    Teach kids in schools how to view the world in a rational, critical way, and these intellectually dishonest defense mechanisms might be discouraged to an extent that the next generation has a chance, and we are able to do more than just run damage control….

    To use an aphorism I find both trite and terrifying, the children are our future.

  220. #220 ArmageddonKitten
    May 1, 2008

    Anyway, I’m no historian or philosopher, but I think the mass delusion had to be there; otherwise no “ordinary” situation would be serious enough to demand such a retaliation.

    But how could so many people be so insanely wrong about obvious reality ? I mean, how could anybody in todays world be so completely bonkers ? Oh, yeah… there’s the creationists, the dominionists, and and all the other fruits of the radical right. It’s pretty spooky to me how the strategies of the early Nazis are so, um, familiar. The energetic, relentless spreading of delusional crap, the infiltration of education, the military, the media, politics, etc. The shameless attacks, death-threats, smear campaigns. It’s all there. And the scariest part is that you’re not allowed to speak of it, because (as we’ve seen) anybody that compares their opponents to Nazis is usually a nutcase.

    Has anyone been paying attention to American politics, media, religion, militarism, &tc for the last 7 years?

    This one just HAS to hit you over the head like a brick. I mean, I’m not realy proud of being the one to break Godwin’s Law here with the above poster by comparing my own country to Nazi Germany, but… read ‘em and weep.

    Has anyone been struck by the, oh, LAST SEVEN YEARS OF ABSOLUTE HELL for anyone a nanometer to the left of “insane right-wing, god-mongering fascist”?

    In the year 2000, I had a FANTABULOUS astronomy professor (highly over-qualified for the job) at a community college which shall go unnamed to protect the innocent from the ignorant. I admit it: I’m a kiss-ass. I liked talking to my professors because they all knew NEAT STUFF that I wanted to learn. We got into a conversation about the election and commiserated that if GWB got “elected” by one slender, hanging chad, that we would all be in a world of shit.

    For as long as I live, I will never forget that conversation, the empty hallway, or the sound of the hum of the fluorescent lights overhead.

    That little sliver of time, so otherwise meaningless, has become Ground Zero for what is to ME a very real and palpable fear.

    Ben Stein and his little crew of haters (call me a hater if you want) is doing real damage to real people. He’s doing real damage to the world. On Bad Astronomy the discussion veered into the territory of (paraphrased) “calling Ben Stein evil for his opinions is extreme.” Well I say nonsense, poppycock, and fuck you with a pogostick, because I know what Opinions can do to people.

    I once was married to a Born-Again Retard. (I don’t feel this violates board rules because it’s insulting the man himself–and since I lived with him, I oughta know if he was retarded.) These are the kinds of people Stein is pandering to, and I know them well.

    I’ve seen them go door-to-door in neighborhoods, “spreading the Good Word,” and actually telling a full family of Hindus who were sitting down to a summer evening dinner that they were going to hell unless they accepted Jesus Christ into their lives.

    That, my friends, is evil. And that is America whether you like it or not.

    It’s real, it’s out there, and it’s calling each and every one of you Leper Outcast Unclean scientists a murderer. (Bonus points for obscure reference identification. Bueller? Bueller?)

    Can you hear the fluorescents humming yet?

  221. #221 ArmageddonKitten
    May 1, 2008

    P.S. Etha, you rock my world. You’re dead-on.

  222. #222 Thomas S. Howard
    May 1, 2008

    ArmageddonKitten: Thomas Covenant

  223. #223 Mark P.
    May 1, 2008

    “I picture Ben Stein sliding a cold razor across the eyes of a screaming victim, and then urinating in their face to wash the blood away.”

    LLLMMMMAAAAAAOOOOO

  224. #224 Vagrant
    May 1, 2008

    #215:

    I’m not disputing that school board takeovers aren’t a problem. Indeed they pose a huge problem not just because of opposition to the teaching of evolution but also because of the risk of ramping up the the amount of Christianist/nationalist crap that gets taught in schools already.

    However, if given power in Washington, crazies who go around pledging to obliterate countries (see Clinton and The Fellowship) or plan to take over the world for god and country (see PNAC) can get a lot of people killed within a very short term. In the worst case, they can kill a lot of people 15 minutes after giving The Order to nuke-armed portions of the AF and Navy. In strategic terms, these people are a near enemy because they can get people killed very rapidly.

    In contrast, school board will, in 10 years or so, produce a wave of ignorants who might like the idea of establishing a theocracy and might like the idea of putting violent lunatics in power in Washington. These people are a far enemy because they have no immediate power to get people killed.

    The atheist community really needs to fight both the near and far enemies. Right now they/we seem to be concentrating on the far enemy at the school boards while ignoring the near enemy congregated in bodies like PNAC, AEI, and Fox News. Ignoring people who want guns now to focus on people who are trying to create drooling hordes later a severe strategic error.

    (and ignore the missing footnote in #214…)

  225. #225 Hematite
    May 1, 2008

    ISAIAH: I’m going to have to agree with Kenny (#81) here.

    Too much! Too much for the first sentence! You should work up to a line like that. Or alternatively, it would have been brilliant as a one-liner.

  226. #226 Ian Gould
    May 1, 2008

    I suspect Kenny’s “scientists want to kill people” comes from the various statements made by scientists saying the Earth would be better off with a lower population or more accurately from the mirepresentation of such statements by Idiots and anti-environmentalist rightwingers.

    Now here’s the bit you’ve missed, Kenny. If peopel have fewer children than as older people die, the world’s population will decline. There’s no need ot kill anyone.

    In fact, current figures suggest world population will peak around 2050 then start to decline.

  227. #227 Etha Williams
    May 1, 2008

    Ok, moving back quite a while in the comments thread —

    @#75 Moses —

    My wife got an e-mail from the Expelled people that was sent as a pseudo-official-organization e-mail. She’s a scientist and they, essentially, crawled the University site and e-mailed everyone in the Department of Biology.

    I just read your blog post, and the e-mail was depressingly hilarious (like much of the things associated with IDiocy). My favorite part was:

    Intelligent design is widely regarded as the idiot-savant stepchild of creationism. Whether you think this is the case or not, the Center for Scientific Integrity would like to draw your attention to the controversy this film is likely to engender…

    Get rid of the “savant” here, and replace “controversy” with manufactroversy, and you actually have an ok statement.

  228. #228 benarda
    May 1, 2008

    vagrant, you might be interested in this report on the consequences of the planned U.S. bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8839

    It is not scientists who kill people, it is politicians and their military leaders. Both mostly Republicans.

  229. #229 Angel Rose Young
    May 1, 2008

    I am glad to see the ADL speak up, especially since it comes from an entirely different source than science and religion, and casts its own light on the film’s deluded associations. It is also wonderful, and will help largely, that ADL is a sound and largely known organization.

    The film, from what I have seen and heard of it, is a totally unhumorous, infinitely boring mockery of every single piece of content it includes. I really hope this is the straw man that breaks Mark Mathis’s and Ben Stein’s careers. They deserve much less than that for this piece of ill-generated, propagandistic excrement of thought.

    I hope the IDers and the Discovery Institute faculty and staff eat them for a snack and contract botulism, salmonella, or both.

    I just went to IMDb, registered, pulled up the Expelled movie, and voted it as an awful movie. It seems like there were only about 3100 votes. Can we fix that? I still have other established email addys available to register with, and I fully intend to.

    “3,138 IMDb users have given a weighted average vote of 3.7 / 10″

  230. #230 Vagrant
    May 1, 2008

    #228:

    I am unsure of your point.

  231. #231 Angel Rose Young
    May 1, 2008

    By the way, PZ, those surrealistic visions of yours would lend some serious justice to the literary genre of the macabre. A few short stories perhaps?

  232. #232 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    This is a

    test

  233. #233 j
    May 1, 2008

    There is a law on the internet that when the Holocaust is mentioned within the framework of an unrelated debate, the subject must be changed. Please all stop now and change the subject.

  234. #234 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    PZ,

    you say,

    It’s perfectly OK for Stein to make these irrational and unwarranted accusations in response to innocuous, unconnected statements< \blockquote>

    No, it’s not ! This kind of defamation against yourself and scientists in general, and his making use of the victims of the holocaust for the purposes of marketing a movie and increasing his personal gains, should generate an incredible outrage, a public debate that is brought to the attention of the three presidential candidates.

    Well, we did not get a Sciencedebate2008, but I think it is perfectly opportune that the entire scientific community sends a letter to the three presidential candidates demanding their strong condemnation of such statements.

    And please don’t tell me I’m over reacting.

  235. #235 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    PZ,

    you say,

    It’s perfectly OK for Stein to make these irrational and unwarranted accusations in response to innocuous, unconnected statements

    No, it’s not ! This kind of defamation against yourself and scientists in general, and his making use of the victims of the holocaust for the purposes of marketing a movie and increasing his personal gains, should generate an incredible outrage, a public debate that is brought to the attention of the three presidential candidates.

    Well, we did not get a Sciencedebate2008, but I think it is perfectly opportune that the entire scientific community sends a letter to the three presidential candidates demanding their strong condemnation of such statements.

    And please don’t tell me I’m over reacting.

    (sorry for the repost)

  236. #236 SteveM
    May 1, 2008

    There is a law on the internet that when the Holocaust is mentioned within the framework of an unrelated debate, the subject must be changed. Please all stop now and change the subject.

    Since the subject is “Expelled”, it is not unrelated to the Holocaust.

  237. #237 MH
    May 1, 2008

    Frog #138 “In other news today, Berlusconi got the top job back in Italy, and promptly started making veiled references to the Falange, while some Romans chanted “Duce, Duce” as the new right wing mayor surged to power.”

    This is really scary:

    Rome’s new mayor promises purge of migrants

    From the article:

    Mr [Umberto] Bossi [the leader of the anti-immigration Northern League, and partner in Berlusconi’s new government] said on Wednesday that immigrants had to be hunted out, and that if reforms were not forthcoming, his followers would take up arms.

    “We have no fear of taking things to the piazzas. We have 300,000 martyrs ready to come down from the mountains. Our rifles are always smoking,” he said.

    Fascism returns to Italy.

  238. #238 Iain Walker
    May 1, 2008

    Kenny (Comment #81):

    If you look around some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead (Google it if you must for proof of this).

    OK, I googled on the phrase “some scientists are saying that they would like to see a lot of people around the world dead”, and got no results.

    When I just googled it as a string of words, the top result was:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/23/against-ben-steins-w.html

    I notice you have a fondness for citing “proof by Google”. Sure beats having to back up your claims with actual facts, doesn’t it?

  239. #239 MAJeff, OM
    May 1, 2008

    Fascism returns to Italy.

    It never went away.

  240. #240 Stanton
    May 1, 2008

    For goodness’ sake, Stanton, don’t lick that slide. Do not lick that slide!

    “What the? This is lemonade! Where’s my culture of amoebic dysentery?”

  241. #241 Kseniya
    May 1, 2008

    Has anyone been paying attention to American politics, media, religion, militarism, &tc for the last 7 years?

    I agree with your point, but you’re not taking the long view. Try “the last quarter-century.”

    The current crop of Neocons got their start under Nixon, moved into positions of great power during the 1980s, and essentially took over the Federal government at the close of the Clinton Interregnum. The Republican Noise Machine has been running full-blast since at least the rise of Gingrich and Limbaugh. That’s a good (ok, bad) 20 years right there.

    Kinda puts things in perspective, no?

  242. #242 freelunch
    May 1, 2008

    Since the subject is “Expelled”, it is not unrelated to the Holocaust.

    But any rational filmmaker would not have tried to tie these two unrelated subjects together. It takes a truly deluded crowd of kooks to do that.

  243. #243 phantomreader42
    May 1, 2008

    Etha Williams @ #40:

    I’m kind of afraid of saying this, lest an IDiot come across it and get ideas, but –
    Is anyone else worried they’ll use Judge Jones’ speech to the ADL (a very good speech, by the way) as “evidence” that the ADL is just in bed with “Big Science”? Yeah… :\

    Didn’t you know? All science is a vast Jewish conspiracy!111one!

  244. #244 negentropyeater
    May 1, 2008

    Kseniya,

    I agree with you that the born again phenomenon exploaded in Anerica within the last quarter century. One generation.

    Basically, that’s what happens when one started applying the techniques of direct marketing, the tupperware parties and other infomercials used to sell weight watcher programmes to sell religious endoctrination. Greedy people saw an easy way to exploit people’s ignorance and need for “spirituality”, and there you go. It spread like wild fire, because there was nothing else to counter it. What else ?
    In a sense it is true that Science and humanities built barriers around itself. Ounce people had left school, if they had not reached a sufficient level, there was no way back. They were done for life. And that, in my opinion is the major source of the catastrophe which is in front of us (NB : not behind us !).

    As scientists and intellectuals, we have forgotten that our role is not only to investigate, but also to explain, to find ways to diffuse knowledge not only to an elite, but to each and everyone. As humans we need to understand, to find meaning, the permanent questioning of the child should remind us. So we just grab an answer, as long as there is one. If it comes through a tupperware type party to explain how the universe came about, we grab it. If it has pink, blue, and love of God and sugar coating on it, we grab it. As long as there is one.
    But tell me, what percentage of all budgets of public and private scientific institutions is dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge, compared with that of invistigation ? Peanuts.
    Ok, we have an educational system, but it stops for most people at 20 years, and thereafter, there is a void, and it is precisely in this void that the virus of religion optimized with the techniques of direct marketing spreads so rapidly because there is nothing to counter it.

  245. #245 Nephelokokkygia
    May 1, 2008

    PZ-

    I’m sure you shrug it off, but if this isn’t a perfect time for someone to sue for slander, I don’t know what is.

  246. #246 raven
    May 1, 2008

    PZ-

    I’m sure you shrug it off, but if this isn’t a perfect time for someone to sue for slander, I don’t know what is.

    What is the point of suing Mathis, Stein et al. for slander? Their lie movie isn’t making any money and they will end up broke. No money. Besides, Stein at least could claim mental disability. As many have pointed out, he seems to be suffering some sort of mental defect, possibly Alzheimers or some other dementia.

    Might as well leave it in the open. The Expelleds have demonstrated that they are evil, crazy, Nihilistic liars who seek only to destroy everything around them.

  247. #247 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    When I see those Visine commercials and hear Stein droning about “get the red out”…

    #73 and #74 (and, much later, #186) beat me to it, but I wish to reiterate that Stein did not sell Visine, a fine product that kept my parents and teachers from suspecting anything for many years.

    Really, I had no idea that it’s so easy to be a scientist. Just join the Nazi party and start committing atrocities, and voila, you’re a scientist.

    Don’t be stupid, be a smarty
    Come and join the Nazi Party
    -Mel Brooks, “Springtime for Hitler”

  248. #248 Sven DiMilo
    May 1, 2008

    why does the Scienceblogz ignore my hard returns?
    Why, Mommy?

    And how come I still haven’t learned to preview every time?
    (oh yeah: the JOOOOOZ!)

  249. #249 noodlesoup
    May 1, 2008

    Don’t forget the gays and gypsies… they seem to be the ignored victims when discussing Hitler’s murder of those he considered undesirables. Maybe if “gay” was a religion?

  250. #250 frog
    May 1, 2008

    negentropyeater #244: “I agree with you that the born again phenomenon exploaded in Anerica within the last quarter century. One generation.”

    I’ve wondered whether it hasn’t been a side effect of the civil rights movement. Back in the 60’s and earlier, the secular civil society in the US, and it’s democratic underpinnings, were to a large part formed by social clubs – Masons, Elks, Daughters of X or Y or Z, and so forth. All those clubs were also extremely segregated (both racially and sexually) in most places.

    They all seemed to fall apart after the sixties, leaving a huge social vacuum. What steps in? The churches, catering to feelings of loss of social identity, and the anger of many people at losing their privileged positions in society (particularly the white working class and middle class, who were the folks who lost under integration).

  251. #251 JMW
    May 1, 2008

    I would agree “Darwinism” is scientific. Thats what it gets respect and ID doesn’t.

    True that.

    Creationism is the guy who thought he could beat Mike Tyson [remember that song?]. ID is that very same guy, who changed his name to make himself look like a real prize fighter, and thought because of that, he could try and beat Mike Tyson again. Only to lose.

    Then he goes on to complain that professional boxing is rigged to prevent someone of sub-standard talent to compete with the big boys [the REAL fighters] in the ring, and that it should include a division in its ranks for people with all the talent of your average armchair athlete to compete.

    Ben Stein is not only the Guy Who Thought He Could Beat Mike Tyson’s PR agent, he actually thinks the Guy Who Thought He Could Beat Mike Tyson has any real talent at all.

  252. #252 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    why does the Scienceblogz ignore my hard returns?

    It only ignores the second hard return.

    you can add it in via code:

    like this.

  253. #253 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    oops, forgot the code. heh.

    < br >

  254. #254 Ichthyic
    May 1, 2008

    hmm, still not working…

    grr…

    use:

    [br]

    where you of course substitute the angle brackets for the square ones.

  255. #255 ArmageddonKitten
    May 2, 2008

    And Thomas S. Howard wins the bonus points! (Yay for you!)

    Kseniya:

    I agree with your point, but you’re not taking the long view. Try “the last quarter-century.”

    The current crop of Neocons got their start under Nixon, moved into positions of great power during the 1980s, and essentially took over the Federal government at the close of the Clinton Interregnum. The Republican Noise Machine has been running full-blast since at least the rise of Gingrich and Limbaugh. That’s a good (ok, bad) 20 years right there.

    Kinda puts things in perspective, no?

    So right you are. I have been schooled.

    I guess I just wanted to block out mentally everything from the Nixon/Reagan administrations.

  256. #256 Nick Gotts
    May 2, 2008

    I’ve wondered whether it [the born-again phenomenon] hasn’t been a side effect of the civil rights movement. – frog

    Maybe even, in part, a deliberate counter-attack. The civil rights movement can be seen as part of a much larger reduction in inequalities of wealth and power between 1945 and the late 1970s, both in the USA and globally. Since then the movement has been largely in the other direction, and in many places religious “revival” has been one of the phenomena used by the right to undermine the left. You can see this in Russia and Eastern Europe, where the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have greatly benefited from the end of communism, in Latin America and Africa, with the spread of evangelical Protestantism and the Catholic backlash against “liberation theology”, and in the Muslim world, where religious obscurantism has largely ousted secular leftist movements. In a small way I even see it in the UK – Thatcher was not noticeably religious, but Bliar, who consolidated the shift to the right and to economic inequality, is personally unusually so for Britain, and did a great deal to push religious influence in education and social policy.

  257. #257 frog
    May 2, 2008

    Nick,

    But why is the immune response so weak? The option of religious obscurantism was there back in the forties to seventies – but we lack something they had. We seem to lack the organization, the social cohesion, that makes democratic processes work. The unions are moribund if not dead in the US, social life is completely disconnected from political life, in general alienation has grown massively allowing inequality to become attractive, even to the losers in that game.

  258. #258 scooter
    May 6, 2008

    PRICELESS

  259. #259 Nick Gotts
    May 8, 2008

    Frog,

    Good question. I think it’s important to note that the reactionary backlash has only taken a religious form in some countries – notably not in western Europe, where religious decline has continued, but a backlash has still occurred, with the UK leading, and the other symptoms you note are all there. So we have two questions: why the backlash? and why has it taken a religious form in some places, notably the USA, and not others? I’ll concentrate here on the rich, European and European-settled parts of the world.

    The backlash, I hypothesise (I’m to some extent formulating this as I go along, although I’ve been thinking about these issues a long while), has at least 3 inter-related causes:
    1) Partly, it’s just a reversion to how things have almost always been, following a very unusual period that was ushered in by WWII, and consolidated by the Cold War. In WWII, democratic capitalist states had to mobilize and motivate their populations against a serious threat – the Axis – and the only way they found to do this was to spread the hardships, and what goodies were going, more evenly. During the Cold War it was difficult for capitalist elites to retake the ground lost, because they needed at least acquiescence in the long contest with communism. As the USSR weakened and fell, this constraint was relaxed.
    2) Throughout the 19th century and the first 2/3 of the 20th, the proportion of middle-class niches in rich countries expanded (I’m using “middle-class” in the European sense, which is narrower than that which I think is common in the US), because industry and administration required more and more skilled people. That expansion has now ended, at least in North America and Europe – not (yet) in China and India. While it lasted, it meant talented poor people could realistically hope to rise socially and economically without relying on great luck to do so, while at the same time, the untalented children of the rich could also expect to remain in comfortable niches. This reduced intra-class solidarity and inter-class conflict. Once the expansion ended, the rich, who had retained most of their institutional support systems (private schools, access to the best universities, control of the media, old-boy networks…), were able to remobilise much more quickly as class conflict began to intensify again.
    3) Elites have had much more effective propaganda tools than ever before, primarily advertising and the broadcast media. The Internet, having a many-to-many instead of one-to-many topology, may change this. (We can hope.)

    As to the role of religion, I’m inclined to think the difference between the USA and the rest of the rich, culturally European world is again down to three factors:
    1) American exceptionalism, which has deep roots but has appeared to be vindicated by the enormous and practically uninterrupted growth in the wealth and power of the USA, both absolute and relative, since its inception.
    2) The fact that the USA got off lightly (comparatively speaking) in WWI and WWII – so God can readily be seen as looking after Americans and the USA. Two generations of Europeans learned from experience that dreadful things can happen to you, your family, your city, your country, and God does nothing to prevent them. (Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians were also involved in WWI for considerably longer than the USA, immigration from Europe to those countries was greater proportionately to their existing population than to that of the USA, and culturally they were far closer to Europe, specifically the UK, than was the USA.)
    3) In much of Catholic Europe, the Church was also discredited by its close ties to fascism.

    So when the backlash came, religion was just far less available to the elites of western Europe as a tool for regaining control.

    Obviously, all that would need a lot more fleshing out, and testing against detailed historical evidence, before I could say it’s more than a set of sketchy hypotheses. I’m not likely to have the time over the next few years!

  260. #260 sohbet
    September 29, 2008

    As Goebbels once said “The Jewish directors have been sleeping with our young actors and actresses. And now it is our turn

  261. #261 Mike John
    December 17, 2009

    Blgs r s nfrmtv whr w gt lts f nfrmtn n ny tpc. Nc jb kp t p!!

  262. #262 abb3w
    April 16, 2010

    Just curious as to whether PZ’s blog software is censoring the word “fuck”. I don’t use it often, but it’s worth dragging out for certain special occasions.

    So, testing in an old and neglected thread.

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