Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ben Stein on Intelligent Design

Some of you may remember Ben Stein from the movie Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Here is a reminder for those who may have forgotten.

Or, maybe you recall the game show that he hosted on Comedy Central a few years back,

Well, our good friend Ben Stein has left all of that behind him and is now a proponent for Intelligent Design. In mid April, a movie will be released that is in favor of Intelligent Design titled, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed hosted by Ben Stein himself. Rather than try to explain what Mr. Stein is trying to accomplish, I will just let him do the talking. The following clip is taken from an interview between R.C. Sproul and Ben Stein, and my goodness is it encouraging.

It is important to note that Ben Stein is not (to my knowledge) fighting for Christianity, but rather for the freedoms to teach Intelligent Design and to discuss it in universities and schools without being "expelled" for those beliefs.


  1. This films' main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being "expelled" is false at its core.

    In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. "But they are afraid to report them".
    Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

    That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said
    in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.

    Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a professed Christian who wrote "Finding Darwin's God" (which I suggest you read). Dr. Miller has not been "expelled" in any fashion for his belief in God.

    The movie tries to make the case that "Big Science" is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some of the Discovery Institute's "martyrs".

    Carolyn Crocker "expelled"? - No.
    Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she "fired" for daring to bring God into research? - No. She was hired to teach Cell Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools' curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.

    Guillermo Gonzalez "expelled"? - No.
    He was not granted tenure. The film doesn't bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he failed to mentor a single student through to their PhD. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.

    Richard von Sternberg "expelled"? - No.
    Sternberg continues to work for NIH in the same capacity. Of course the movie doesn't bring up his underhanded tactics in getting Meyers work published.

    This movie attempts to influence it's viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by a completely one-sided presentation of the facts.

    If a scientists' research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn't because the scientist either believes or doesn't believe in God or Darwin, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

    Benjamin Franklin

  2. Thanks for the comment Ben. I do appreciate all the points you bring up, so thanks for the time you obviously put into this comment. However, there are a few things that you may be misunderstanding. You are right to say that these men are not being expelled because of their belief in God, that's obvious. Many prominent Intelligent Designers do not profess faith in the Judeo-Christian God. However, they do believe that ther HAS to be a designer. It's not Christianity that causes people their jobs (hopefully) but their interest in something outside of Darwinian evolution. As I said in my post, Ben Stein is not trying to promote Jesus, but the freedom to do science in a way that will further our understanding of the universe. Intelligent Design may seem absolutely crazy to the Evolutionary camp, yet you yourself Mr. Franklin did many crazy things for the sake of science that others would have thought preposterous.

    Lastly, your concluding comments suprised me a bit, as they sounded exactly like what this movie Expelled is trying to accomplish in the scientific community.

    "This movie attempts to influence it's viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by a completely one-sided presentation of the facts."

    There are plenty of evolutionary half-truths that I experienced in my science classes that were not even allowed to be questioned. Science is Darwinian at its core these days and therfore has also become one-sided in the process. The aim is to teach evolution alongside Intelligent design. Not one or the other.

    I'm glad you stopped by and I'll be sure to pick up that book that you mentioned. Thanks again and hopefully I'll hear from you again.