I think the guy is half off his rocker and always has been. This claim that he makes shows he does not understand science or how it works. Plus, he probably needs some advertising dollars and some more attention. He's slipping off the radar of late and probably craves notoriety, but, of course, it does not bode well for me when I begin to question motives instead of facts. Of course his "film", according to what I hear of it, also questions motives so a little hair off the dog he's biting may seem in order.
Of course, if he thinks these things about science, we must imagine how adamant he is against religion unless, aging, he's become a convert to theism.
Ben Stein "Expelled" by Humanists
For Immediate Release - Contact Fred Edwords at (202) 238-9088
"Anti-atheist propaganda for pseudoscience" is what the American Humanist
Association today called Ben Stein's new movie, "Expelled: No Intelligence
Allowed." Former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein is most widely recognized for
his role in the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Released nationwide in select theaters on April 18, "Expelled" is self-described
as a "satirical documentary." In response to this, Fred Edwords, director of
communications for the American Humanist Association and former board
member of the National Center for Science Education, said today: "It's unclear
what is being satirized. It seems more a satire of bad documentaries than of the
scientific community, which is the target of its invective. Every criticism of modern
science is punctuated by black and white footage from strident mid-twentieth
century documentaries and propaganda films as well as old Hollywood movies.
Can Ben Stein be serious? Sadly, he is!"
The film's essential claim is that the scientific community has erected a
"Berlin Wall" of sorts between Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and a
supposedly scientific rival notion of "Intelligent Design." Scientists are
doing this, the film contends, because there is secret disagreement in the
scientific community over the validity of evolution--and because an
atheistic elite wants to suppress that disagreement and rule out
any alternatives to evolutionary theory. The film also claims that
scientists and journalists who deviate from the party line are ostracized or
lose their jobs. And it concludes that the theory of evolution is
responsible for the Holocaust and leads to a devaluation of human life.
"The claim that a conspiracy of atheists has highjacked science, education,
and the media is not only ludicrous, it is offensive," declared American
Humanist Association executive director Roy Speckhardt. "Scapegoating
atheists is as bad as scapegoating any other group. Racial and religious
minorities have suffered this in the past. It's about time we learned to
stop repeating the formula."
Edwords added, "This film not only makes false claims against atheists, it
does so using a bag of dirty tricks. For example, in one scene Richard
Dawkins is shown being made up for his interview with Ben Stein. But Stein
is presented as suddenly showing up for the interview fresh off the street
and without pretense. In the credits, however, we learn that Stein had a
personal makeup artist. This is just one of the subtle techniques the film
uses, combined with a plethora of out-of-context interview footage, to put
those who Stein opposes in the worst light and those he favors in the best."
The American Humanist Association named Dawkins its 1996 Humanist of the
Year. Earlier, in 1977, the AHA issued a special document on
evolution and the teaching of creationism in public school science classes.
(See http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/affirming-evolution.html.) In
doing so it became one of the first national organizations to go public in
challenging creationism. Today's "Intelligent Design" is often recognized as
a sanitized version of that same creationism. This latter point was
understood by Judge John E. Jones III of Pennsylvania who ruled the teaching
of "intelligent design" unconstitutional in public schools in the case
called Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Jones will receive the
Humanist Religious Liberty Award from the American Humanist Association
at its national conference in early June.
Edwords concluded: "Rather than being a critique of either the scientific
community or the public schools, the statement 'No Intelligence Allowed' in
the film's title seems a better description of what Ben Stein demands of his
audience. But I don't think he can find many people willing to leave
their brains at the door. So I'm skeptical that this film could persuade
anyone not already convinced--and it probably insults the intelligence of
most of those."
* * *
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for
the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in
Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters
and affiliates across America.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms
our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.