Ben Stein: The Darwinists Expelled Him!

ACCORDING to some people, any misfortune that befalls a creationist is Darwin’s fault. Well, Darwin himself is no longer stalking around, but his disciples — the global conspiracy of “Darwinists” — are dedicated to bringing ruin and misery to creationists everywhere. That may sound crazy, but it’s the way the creationists look at things.

You want examples? WorldNetDaily regards Kent Hovind as a martyr, notwithstanding his conviction for tax evasion, not creationism.

And then there’s Expelled, the goofy “documentary” staring Ben Stein, claiming that numerous brilliant creationists are the victims of an evil academic conspiracy that discriminates against their wonderful scientific theory. (But see: Expelled Exposed). A similar conspiracy must be at work to keep astrologers from becoming astronomy professors, but that’s another story.

We’ve also written about allegations that this Darwinist conspiracy includes the Templeton Foundation, the Vatican, and various universities: Discovery Institute: They Get No Respect! Here’s yet another post of ours about a Discoveroid blog article complaining that their brilliant science is being ignored: Whining Again About “Censorship”.

Well, the word in Seattle is that the Darwinist conspiracy has struck again. By now you know the news we wrote about here: Ben Stein: Expelled by the New York Times. Poor ol’ Ben was “stripped of his Sunday New York Times business column because of his work as a pitchman for a credit monitoring company.” That company was FreeScore.com, about which we know nothing, but the internet is filled with allegations that justify the Times‘ action.

What happened next was entirely predictable. The neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) are now claiming that this setback for Stein has nothing to do with his being a pitchman for an allegedly dubious company. That wasn’t even a consideration.

According to the Discoveroids, Stein’s dismissal was caused by the very conspiracy about which he droned so boringly in Expelled. Here’s the post which makes that claim at the Discoveroid blog: New York Times Expelled Ben Stein. The Darwinist attack on Stein is a matter of such importance that the Discoveroid article was written by none other than Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute. He says, with bold font added by us:

Ben Stein probably thought he could do his work on the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and not himself endure the kind of personal attacks that, in the film, he defended Darwin critics against. In fact, what he found was that Darwinism is at the root of the worldview of the materialist Left and even the materialist Right. You can’t say or do anything to offend them. You can’t even advocate academic freedom.

The people who demanded free speech in the 60s and shouted down figures of authority are now the tenured faculty and newsroom editors of the Establishment. And now they are disallowing any criticism at all.

So, unlikely as it seems, Ben Stein became a martyr.

This is amazing. Stein has been writing for the Times for years, and he continued to do so all last year while Expelled was being shown. One would think that if Expelled were the problem, the Times would have dumped Stein last year. But they didn’t.

Yet there’s no hint in Chapman’s article that Stein even might have been fired for promoting FreeScore.com. None at all. You can find stories about that outfit with very little effort to judge them for yourself. It’s not our purpose here to criticize them or to defend the actions of the New York Times. But it’s noteworthy that Chapman doesn’t defend FreeScore.com. He doesn’t even mention them. That issue — the Times’ justification for dumping Stein — simply doesn’t exist in Chapman’s universe. Indeed, he says:

Typically, when firing Stein as a business columnist the Times couldn’t give the actual reason — which is ideological — and instead had to insinuate that he had a “conflict of interest.” That is a joke as well as an insult.

That’s as close as Chapman gets to mentioning that there actually might have been a non-ideological reason why the Times took the action it did. To Chapman, the only possible reason was revenge — by the imaginary Darwinist conspiracy.

We don’t think Chapman is intentionally lying. He’s probably sincere. It all depends on one’s worldview. When someone sees shadowy Darwinist agents hiding behind every tree, he’ll think like Chapman. His is a strange world.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Ben Stein: The Darwinists Expelled Him!

  1. comradebillyboy

    How sad. I remember when Ben Stein was a witty and amusing performer and commentator. ‘A mind is a terrible thing to lose’ said Dan Quayle.

  2. Our friends at Little Green Footballs have a link to this post. Welcome, green people!

  3. This is pure tinfoil-hat territory. Although the last paragraph has me suspicious – ‘Maybe the Intelligent Designer is priming you for a book’? Are they even being serious?

  4. Don’t even try to figure those people out.

  5. Sounds like the usual waahhh to me. Why do creationists have such a persecution complex? Nobody would actually give a crap about what they have to say if they weren’t screwing with public education. In fact, no one takes them seriously now, except for the fact that they are screwing with public education.

  6. One would think that if Expelled were the problem, the Times would have dumped Stein last year.

    Well, to be perfectly candid, we in the Evil Darwinist Conspiracy ™ waited over a year after Expelled dropped from the silver screen into the 4 for $20 bin at the local Blockbuster in an attempt to cover our tracks.

    But, the Discovery Institute is too clever for us.

    *shakes fist towards Seattle*

  7. @ carlson

    LOL!!!

  8. LRA asks: “Why do creationists have such a persecution complex?”

    They’ve carved out a strange niche for themselves. They imagine that they’re classier than the primitive YEC people, but they’re spectacularly ridiculous in all their attempts to achieve scientific respectability. So they’re in sort of a no-mans’-land. How would you feel if your biggest fans were people like Don McLeroy and Ronda Storms?

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    They’ve carved out a strange niche for themselves. They imagine that they’re classier than the primitive YEC people, but they’re spectacularly ridiculous in all their attempts to achieve scientific respectability.

    I think it’s more sinister than this. As I posted at David Klinghoffer’s blog:

    One of the reasons I call the Discovery Institute fellows dishonest is that they claim to care about the science–but they make no efforts to refute the young earth creationists who make up the bulk of their supporters.

    Young earth creationism is so scientifically disreputable that no one who cares about science should have any truck with it. But Discovery Institute is more than happy to take their money and their political clout. Which indicates two things:

    1) DI is taking advantage of them, and so for tactical reasons does not wish to argue with them

    2) DI’s emphasis on science is a smokescreen, intended to get a foot in the door to one day reestablish young earth creationism

    I think both of these are operating to some extent. Of all the DI fellows, as far as I know only Michael Behe believes that humans are related to the other primates, and not a special creation. There is a wide range of views, among cdesign proponentsists, on how much of biology to believe. This explains David’s studied refusal to expound on what his version of evolution is. If he does, he alienates some of DI’s supporters and steps on the toes of some of the other DI fellows.

    Young earth creationism is breathtaking in its bogosity. If it is right, then nuclear plants shouldn’t work, we shouldn’t be able to other galaxies, etc. There is so much science that is known to be right, which would have to be wrong, and the only reason young earth creationists can expound young earth creationism with a straight face is because of their almost complete scientific ignorance.

    And DI won’t say boo to them. Yet they claim–in court, not in church of course–to be motivated by their concern for science.

  10. retiredsciguy

    LRA says,
    “Why do creationists have such a persecution complex? Nobody would actually give a crap about what they have to say if they weren’t screwing with public education.”
    You’ve hit the nail on the head. Nothing else need be said.

  11. T Gabriel Hanna:

    Such a young age to be so jaded. Well, some of grow older faster.

    🙂

  12. Gabriel Hanna

    Such a young age to be so jaded.

    Hmmph. I’m older than Alexander the Great was when he died.

    I am rapidly closing in on Henry V.

  13. What I want to know is which of you “Darwinists” has been muzzling Stein with regard to “Set Ben Straight,” the part of “Expelled Exposed” that corrects Stein’s many misconceptions. It has been well over a year, and he has not replied to one of the criticisms. Even my 2 emails offering him opportinities to state his case went unanswered.

    He was corrected on enough points that surely he would want defend any points that he still feels are correct, even if he does not want to admit that he had been grossly mistaken on any. In fact he has nothing to lose with the latter either, and plenty to gain in credibility, even among religious conservatives.

    So my only conclusion is that one (or more) of you “Darwinists” are silencing him, either by bribe or threat. C’mon, fess up. 😉

  14. Frank J says:

    What I want to know is which of you “Darwinists” has been muzzling Stein …

    We control the Masons, we control the Illuminati. We’re the secret power behind the truthers, the birthers, and the UFO probe abduction conspiracy. We’re so powerful we control Area 51. But we can’t control Ben Stein.

  15. LRA wrote: “In fact, no one takes them seriously now, except for the fact that they are screwing with public education.”

    What boggles my mind is not that public school science class is the only place where it’s illegal to teach their nonsense, but that it only constitutes ~0.1% of a student’s waking hours – and 0% for non-public school students. Yet they are perfectly free to explain their alternate “theories” everywhere else, where *they* can be critically analyzed. If “ID” is what they pretend competes with evolution they need to state what the designer did, when and how. Is the life only 1000s of years old as McLeroy claims? Is it billions of years old, as chief IDer Dembski claims? Are we related to other species as chief IDer Behe claims?

    These people refuse to debate, much less test, their ideas anywhere that they can’t control the terms and have the last word. Students and all citizens need to know that these people are cowards, and in some cases outright liars.

  16. Gabriel Hanna wrote: “Of all the DI fellows, as far as I know only Michael Behe believes that humans are related to the other primates, and not a special creation.”

    He’s the only one (other than those who left the DI, like Michael Denton) who *admitted* it, and he did so in ID’e early days. He probably only stands by it now because it’s on record. He did try to backpedal a bit but it was so pathetic that he apparently gave up. Note that no other DI fellow has ever clearly stated that he must be wrong about it, though. My guess is that most of them privately agree with Behe but learned earlier the strategic value of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”