May 1, 2008

"Science leads to killing people."

Ladies and gentlemen, Ben Stein.

Seriously, all I can keep thinking as I'm watching the interview: this is the guy they wanted as the face for Intelligent Design? The man is a walking catalogue of logical fallacies, scientific ignorance, and smug stupidism.

His own summary of Expelled:
"There's A Neo-Darwinist stranglehold on the academic world. You cannot even mention the possibility that there might have been an intelligent designer who created life, an intelligent designer who created the heavens and the earth, not even the possibility... you can't even ask how the cell got so complicated just by itself, you can't even ask how one day there was just mud and ooze, and the next day there was life, you can't even ask how the planets stay in their orbits, or else you can get fired, lose your grants, lose your tenure. We think that's a very serious issue of academic suppression.
Except that later in the film (and mentioned, without any apparent irony, in the interview), the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford (and noted critic of Intelligent Design), Richard Dawkins, proves Stein wrong by openly speculating that design by aliens from outer space is at least a possibility. Hmm... still has his job, grants, and tenure. Stein?... Stein?...

Ultimately, Stein presents little more than an argument for ignorance wrapped in a tu quoque, defending ID thusly: "I don't have any scientific proof of that, but the Darwinists don't have any proof either." So, teach 'em both!

The title quote says it all. Though blog neighbor Keith Buhler has labored in vain to deflect five bad reasons to avoid Expelled, there's only one reason needed: Ben Stein.

Sidebar:How do the planets stay in their orbits? Stein encourages students to ask in class, as a challenge to a "Darwinist" teacher. No, really.

1 comment:

ld n00b said...

He's wrong. You ARE allowed to mention the possibility in school-- in philosophy class. Science by definition excludes the super natural. If you believe that excluding the possibility of the super natural is a logical falicy, then consider philosophy or religion the source of ultimate truth, not science. It is one thing to choose not to believe in science if it doesn't agree with you. But you can't change science itself.