Ben Stein interview in Toronto Star
An interview of Ben Stein -- star of the movie "Expelled" -- in the Toronto Star said,
"I had no feelings whatsoever about Intelligent Design before starting this film," admits Stein. He pauses and corrects himself: "Well, I had read a long article in The New Yorker about the Dover, Pa., court decision" – where a judge forbid the teaching of Intelligent Design in local schools – "and I thought to myself that this is a bunch of bulls---.
"You cannot tell me for one minute that a court is competent to tell me what is science and what is not. A court is not divinely inspired. It's just some guy in a black robe."
Ben Stein is right -- it was very arrogant and presumptuous of Judge Jones to dogmatically pontificate answers to unanswerable questions. It is like a judicial ruling on the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The courts should declare the evolution controversy to be non-justiciable.
The Kitzmiller v. Dover case was a watershed event for me, too. Before that case, I had almost no interest in the evolution controversy -- after that case, bashing Judge Jones became sort of a hobby with me. My hatred of Judge Jones is partly a result of my own bad experiences with judges in my lawsuits against California's infamous vehicle smog impact fee and in another lawsuit. I didn't become terribly interested in intelligent design but started concentrating on non-ID criticisms of evolution, particularly criticisms concerning co-evolution. I have several articles about co-evolution under the post-label group Non-ID criticisms of evolution listed in the sidebar.
"I had long thought," he begins, "that Darwinism had a huge role to play in the mindset of the leaders of the Nazi party, and consequently a huge role to play in the Holocaust."
But although he felt strongly anti-Darwin, he hadn't really given the opposing view much thought until he was approached about narrating the movie . . . .
So he didn't need a lot of convincing when Vancouver producer Walt Ruloff – a software millionaire who also happens to be an evangelical Christian – asked him to serve as front man for the film.
"I told Walt that I was intrigued by the idea of making a movie that would implicitly connect Darwinism with the Holocaust," says Stein, "but in the course of making the picture, I was astonished to learn about the extent of academic suppression in the U.S. and so we started to make that the focus."
Prior to "Expelled," there was already at least one Darwin-to-Hitler production: "Darwin's Deadly Legacy," a TV documentary by Coral Ridge Ministries. "Expelled" also has a Darwin-to-Hitler theme.
There is no question that Darwinism influenced the Nazis, indirectly if not directly. However, discussions of Darwinism's connection to the holocaust need to recognize the following facts: (1) a "systematic" holocaust of Jews was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews, and (2) Nazi anti-semitism targeted fit as well as unfit Jews and so was not a true eugenics program.
The Darwin-Hitler connection of course has nothing to do with the scientific merits of Darwinism. My emphasis on that connection is mainly intended to be a mockery of the shameless adulation of Darwin: Darwin Day celebrations, "I love Darwin" items, "Friend of Darwin" certificates, the Lincoln-Darwin cult, etc..
"The media have pretty much loved me from the start," says Stein, a bit sadly. "That is, until now."
The abuse has ranged from strident columnists calling him "a Holocaust denier" to critics who have denigrated Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed as "one of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time."
And that's from his employer, The New York Times. It isn't a minority view, either. As of press time, the film rated 9 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie critics' database.
That "Expelled" has done as well as it has despite being so widely panned is remarkable. IMO a lot of people decided to see the movie just to see what all the fuss was about.
Hat tip to Jim Sherwood for telling me about the Toronto Star article.
I need to waste less time feeding the trolls and more time on writing new articles. One of the problems of having a one-man blog with light traffic is that I often have to answer the trolls myself. The trolls don't give me any Brownie points for my responses to them -- they falsely accuse me of ignoring them and they invariably mock my responses. I need to emphasize the following policy stated above in the introduction to this blog: "My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer."