Time for a Ben Stein thread

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Couldn’t find a thread on this yet: Actor/Politico/Author Ben Stein has apparently become a “You can’t handle the truth“er. He appears in a documentary on the persecution of the intelligent design movement *yawn* but here’s his key claim:

…[Stein] said in a telephone interview that he accepted the producers’ invitation to participate in the film not because he disavows the theory of evolution – he said there was a “very high likelihood” that Darwin was on to something – but because he does not accept that evolution alone can explain life on earth.

He said he also believed the theory of evolution leads to racism and ultimately genocide, an idea common among creationist thinkers. If it were up to him, he said, the film would be called “From Darwin to Hitler.”

So it’s not that he doesn’t believe in evolution, it’s (partially) that he doesn’t trust the masses with the knowledge. There, he could be onto something…..

Related: I’m in the middle of reading Watson’s very entertaining Avoid Boring [Other] People, and he notes that at his 1946 U Chicago commencement, the university president said the only hope of avoiding disasters like WWII was to believe in the “brotherhood of man,” a belief that was supposedly impossible without a parallel belief in the “fatherhood of God.” Watson has a lot of great things to say about religion so far–no surprises, but still fun.

He also has a lot of good academic career advice in handy numbered lists at the end of each chapter (e.g., “Have friends close to those who rule,” “Channel rage through intermediaries,” “Extend yourself intellectually through courses that initially frighten you,” etc.,).

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  1. The Expelled website gives a pretty good idea of what direction this “documentary” is going to go in. They are claiming that Intelligent Design supporters are being persecuted, however their examples are disputable.  
    They have physics professor Guillermo Gonzales, who claimed he was denied tenure because of his support for Intelligent Design. But I would also say that having gotten no major grants, having not published a significant amount of peer-reviewed research and only having had one graduate student finish a dissertation during his entire seven year of employment at Iowa State University may have also played a roll in the universities refusal. 
    Then there is Richard Sternberg, who was the editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. He published an article advocating Intelligent Design that didn’t go through the proper peer-review process. 
    And finally there is Caroline Crocker, a molecular biologist who who was released from her position at George Mason University after her contract expired. Not surprising since she propagated numerous falsehoods such as the false distinction between micro and macro-evolution, the myth that Bernard Kettlewell’s peppered moth study was fraudulent and misrepresenting the Miller-Urey experiment.

  2. Stein has also been providing money to Al “cokehead” Franken’s senate campaign. My respect for him has plummeted.

  3. A person who can hold his opinions against the mass popular belief and the guts to fight someone’s else fight, I hope theres more people like that.