Friday, April 18, 2008

'Expelled': Ben Stein promoting Intelligent Design

Ben Stein, the monotone voice of Visine, conservative politics, that game show I watched in junior high and Ferris Bueller's civics teacher, has a controversial new movie out.

"Expelled: No intelligence allowed," which has been flogged by liberals, like this one, "assumes the position not only that the theory of evolution and the faith-based hypothesis known as "intelligent design" are on close-to-equal scientific footing, but that there's an Illuminatian cabal among the science community, no doubt sitting in a Star Chamber somewhere, seeing to it that any developmental view but Darwin's is suppressed at all costs."

Stein recently spoke with Beliefnet about what he thinks is wrong with Darwinism.
Why did you make this film? Why was it important to you?

The creator is Walt Ruloff and his merry band. I decided to work on it because I've always had questions about Darwinism. I have always been very concerned that Darwinism gave the basic okay to terrible racism and to the idea of murder based upon race. And I think most people don't realize what a sinister role Darwinism has had in the history of the 20th century, and I guess part of the history of the 19th century too.

As I got working on the movie, I got to realize how many holes there were in Darwinism and how little of the world's great questions about existence and life Darwinism answered, and I wanted to share my understanding and learning on that subject with the wider world.

Then, I got to be very concerned about the academic suppression that goes on in terms of not letting people who have differing views from the Darwinists have any place at the table for talking about their scientific insights.

Aren’t there plenty of scientists who might subscribe to Darwin's theory of evolution but not accept social Darwinism?

I don't doubt that there are. It is extremely well documented in a book called "From Darwin to Hitler" by an author named Weikart that the people who read Darwin's book in Germany and then became important influential thinkers in German political life believed that Darwin's views could be translated into the social realm. [They believed that] immediate actions should be taken to put those ideas into effect, especially by attempting to exterminate entire native African tribes.

The explicit connection of Darwin's work with the Holocaust and with the belief of the Nazis that they were furthering Darwin's agenda and Darwin's discoveries and theories is explicitly documented in not just one, but many annals of the life and death of Nazi Germany.

Of course, today with the current intellectual beliefs, nobody's going to say, "I'm in favor of exterminating the indigenous tribes in Southern Africa," but they were then. And they explicitly said, "And Darwin says it's the right thing to do."
That echoes some thought made last fall by William Saletan at Slate. As for Intelligent Design, you can read more about that here.

(And on an unrelated note, Ben Stein wrote a great column about the housing market for the New York Times 24 years ago that could have been found in the paper last summer.)

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