Friday, February 22, 2008

I like Ben Stein

I am 38 and like most of my peers Ben Stein is the "Bueller,…Bueller, …" guy. I was too young to remember him as a presidential speech writer and old enough to remember him before "Dry eyes…" and "Win Ben Stein's Money." All that to say that over the last 20 years I have really come to like Ben Stein.
There are a lot of smart people in this world. Some of them are insufferable and some are delightful. Ben is the later. I could sit and listen to him talk for hours not because I always agree with him but because he slowly, carefully lays out his thoughts on a matter. If you've never listened to him go over to YouTube and watch some of the videos of interviews with him. Caveat: there is one clip that someone posted to try and undermine this point by showing him getting into a shouting match with a guy (with whom I incidentally agree) who keeps interrupting him.
Now Ben has a new movie coming out. It will probably not get the kind of attention that Michael Moore can get by filming himself blowing his nose because it is not pushing liberal politics. The movie is called "Expelled" and documents the harassment in store for any scientist brazen enough to question the received wisdom: Science is God, the Arbitrator of all Wisdom and Knowledge and the Sole Authority for all of Life. Think of it as kind of the opposite of AlGore's movie. Ergo, don't look for Mr. Stein in Stockholm next year.
The premise is simple, there are legitimate questions about Darwinism but if you ask them you will be more castigated and persecuted than people who questioned the Pope were by the Inquisition. I am tired of people saying things like, "Millions of people have been killed by organized religion." Which I like to counter by simply saying, "Right, since Joe Stalin, Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot all were adherents of Secular Humanism." I also love being castigated as closed minded for my beliefs by people who have swallowed the Dogmatism of Darwinism without any question and will not open their minds one iota to let you question that.
The best part of the movie is where Ben talks about why the establishment is so virulent in opposition to any dissent. He points out that people who are confident in what they believe are willing to discuss it. Only those who are afraid that their beliefs are not fully rational are reactionary against the questioning of their religion.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed should be shown in every school in America. It probably won't be but I still like Ben Stein.

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