The Quantum Pontiff

Win Ben Stein Some Brains!

I always thought that I was special because I have, in my short life, been kicked into a night club. But now, comes word of an even more spectacular event: scienceblogs’ own PZ Myers was expelled from seeing the creationist propoganda film “Expelled!” Adding to the irony, noted biologist/athiest Richard Dawkins, who is famous enough to appear as a character on “Southpark” and who was PZ’s guest, was allowed to view the movie! Holy craptacular convergence of ironies, batman!

For those who haven’t been following the story, “Expelled!” is a creationist propoganda film narrated by Ben Stein. The film is, as far as I can tell from what has leaked out about it, dishonest, boring, and full of slanderous induendo. Which brings me to the point, why is Ben Stein still employed by the New York Times?

You see, Stein’s latest gig has been at the New York Times, where has written such notable tracks as Exxon Mobile Needs a Hug (yeah you read that right), and Is It Responsible to Shun Military Contractors?. Next I’m hoping he next writes an article on “Are Republicans Just Better People Than Democrats?” Or maybe “Why Rising Income Disparity is Good for Poor People.” I wouldn’t put it past him, considering. So why, New York Times, do you allow this silly silly man to write on your pages?


  1. #1 Steve
    March 22, 2008

    Because, you see, otherwise there wouldn’t be a balance of opinion! And serious thoughtful intellectuals like Ben Stein are needed to balance the well-known bias caused by “reality”.

  2. #2 Boo
    March 22, 2008

    Has anyone else noticed this particular bit of stupidity about the movie:

    The choice of Stein as narrator is inspired for another reason. That reason becomes most apparent when he and two �creationist� allies, mathematician David Berlinski and nuclear physicist Gerald Schroeder, visit a remnant of the Berlin Wall, the central metaphor of the film.

    A wall that was built to keep people in is a metaphor for kicking them out?

  3. #3 JohnQPublic
    March 22, 2008

    I’ll have to wait and see what Ann Coulter’s unbiased assessment is before I know what to think.

  4. #4 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 22, 2008

    Has anyone else noticed this interview where Stein says that one problem with “Darwinism” is that it doesn’t explain planetary orbits?

  5. #5 Ian Durham
    March 22, 2008

    “Holy craptacular convergence of ironies…”?? Dave, you are one seriously funny guy. I only wish I had come up with that one first.

  6. #6 woody, tokin librul
    March 23, 2008

    Has anyone else noticed this interview where Stein says that one problem with “Darwinism” is that it doesn’t explain planetary orbits?
    Posted by: Joshua Zelinsky | March 22, 2008 8:15 PM

    These big-brained media guys are ALWAYS confusing “Darwinism” and “Newtonism.” It’s an easy mistake to make. No, wait….

  7. #7 lylebot
    March 23, 2008

    I think there are even more layers of irony here than what you described in the post.

    1. PZ is in the movie (to get him on film, they lied to him about its subject and title), but wasn’t allowed to see it.

    2. The point of the movie is that creationist academics are being “expelled” from universities because of their beliefs—and PZ was barred from seeing it because of his beliefs! (Or lack thereof.)

  8. #8 harrison
    March 24, 2008

    Joshua: Although I haven’t watched the interview, I imagine Stein’s issue re: planetary orbits has more to do with the fact that life wouldn’t be sustainable if, say, Earth was where Mercury is now, or Jupiter and Mars were switched. Still, though, that’s not something Darwinism claims to address (and — I’m not trying to start a flamewar here — it’s addressed pretty well by the anthropic principle, anyway.)

    It should also be noted that Ben Stein, in addition to being an economist and a part-time nutjob, is a comedian. Whether or not you agree with his articles (and I, for one, think they’re good economics, even if stuff like “[Americans should] encourage [oil companies] to go after and lock up as much oil and gas as they can for us to burn up” is probably not good environmental policy), you should keep in mind the possibility that his tongue is in his cheek.

  9. #9 getnutri
    April 8, 2008

    I think that’s the most imbecilic statement I’ve ever heard from Ben Stein. I get the feeling though, that this documentary will present quite a strong field of candidates for that distinction.

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