Ben Stein a Coward: Free Speech Faker Can’t Face Creationism’s Critics

Let’s make this short and sweet.

Still promoting his creationist docudrama Expelled!, Ben Stein has continued to peddle the same lousy arguments, over and over again, without any hint that anyone has raised any compelling objections to them. His latest foray is hosted over at that ever so well respected publication “World Net Daily,” in which he recycles a litany of confused canards about Darwin being a racist, evolution being an imperialist ideology, and the usual creationist claims (i.e. no speciations ever documented) that fall apart in the face of two minutes of research.


Ed Brayton over at Dispatches neatly dissects and destroys all of Stein’s spinning in one go, leaving little more to say. Stein just doesn’t understand what he’s criticizing: he builds evolution up into a claimed “theory of everything” (which it is not) and a proscriptive “worldview” (which it is not) and then tries to puncture these utterly imagined pretensions. All he accomplishes along the way is demonstrating that he doesn’t know the first thing about evolution: not what “fit” means in a biological sense, not what speciation is or involves, not what a transitional fossil is, and so on. And his grasp of history is criminally incomplete: his appeal to what a “serious historian” would think would be thrown back in his face any serious historian with a laugh.

It’s no secret, of course, that I think Stein’s arguments simply can’t hold up under criticism. But so far, Stein has given every indication that he doesn’t think they can either. That’s because his strategy, and that of his producers, has been to duck and hide from critics at every turn. To stick religiously to politically friendly publications and softball pro-creationist reporters for any interviews. To whine loudly of “infiltration” when they accidentally invite real reporters to their events who the refuse to sign gag orders and dare to criticize Expelled! And in the few times they’ve actually acknowledged critics, to ignore all of the substantive criticisms in favor of treating attacks on their position as a badge of honor.

For someone that loudly proclaims that he is a fearless fighter for the open debate of ideas, this behavior is, frankly, pathetic. Scientists and sciencebloggers have been directly addressing the arguments of creationist critics for decades now. They’ve done so at a great expense of their time, often to deal with utterly ridiculous and dishonest challenges would barely warrant any attention if they weren’t so pernicious. In return, creationists have done little to directly address these counter-arguments, spending the bulk of their time simply seeking new ways of promoting the same, unrevised falsehoods. When they do demand or agree to debates, these debates are almost always turn out to be soundbite-sized publicity events, useful only in promoting their ideas still further, rather than anyone seriously grappling with the science.

Stein, then, is simply part of a long tradition of practiced avoidance.

Of course, he can change that any time he wants. He can man up and actually do something like substantively respond to, say, Brayton rebuttal’s of his WorldNetDaily piece, or grapple with the gaping errors people have exposed in his understanding of biology.

Until then, this hot air hoedown is all noise and no substance on his side. Anyone can make an endless stream of accusations about anything and anyone at all. The question is always whether these accusations can hold up against the facts and critics wielding them. The scientists and sciencebloggers who are critics of Expelled! are more than willing to put their own claims and accusations to the test. Until Stein and his cohorts are willing to do more than preen and snicker in the shadows, there’s just no way to take their rhetoric about free ideas and open debate seriously.

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19 Responses to Ben Stein a Coward: Free Speech Faker Can’t Face Creationism’s Critics

  1. davidtjordan says:

    Freedom of speech is still protected, right? Even if the speaker is stupid… just ask a liberal! This movie is going to shake things up whether we believe it’s true or not. Wonder why it’s generating so much blog traffic? Someone somewhere is threatened by the release of this movie. I’m no scientist, believe me. So, I can’t really speak to the debate as a whole, but I at least want to give the movie a chance with the public. Creationist’s theories are being violently squelched in the scientific community for some reason. The worst case scenario for Stein is that he releases a really expensive piece of fiction- just like Al Gore did. I personally think there is more fact to Stein’s flick that Gore’s, though… another blog, another time..

  2. pauljub says:

    Stein ought to move along to the greater question of believing: Creation is one thing; resurrection is quite another! Resurrection is at the heart of Christian beliefs. Bickering about the creation of the universe is typically quite fruitless. But asserting the resurrected Savior– even Him working in and through the lives of Christians today– now we have a topic!

  3. PalMD says:

    ZOMG! First, Paul, there is nothing to debate about ressurrection—either you believe in the tale, or you don’t. Evidence is not useful, because none exists.\

    And David…please…such rhetoric! “Creationist’s theories are being violently squelched…” Puhlease! When has a creationist been, um, attacked? And what are “creationist’s theories”? Perhaps you meant Creationist theories, but either way, since it isn’t science…

  4. Bad says:

    Of course Mr. Stein has every right to speak, and who has attempted to stop him? Yet I also have the right to point out that his speech is both foolish and his conduct cowardly. He peddles lies and refuses to account for them: not even to defend himself against the accusation. That’s because to acknowledge these criticisms would make too many of his audience aware of them, and hence lay bare the weakness of his position.

    Creationist theories are not being “squelched” in science as a means to silence creationists, who are by no means whatsoever “silent” by any stretch of the imagination. Their claims are failing in science, AS science. The problem that Stein and so many others have is that because they cannot win the arguments on the merits, they wish to declare that merits are irrelevant: that science should not have any standards of evidence or criticism at all. This has nothing to do with “freedom of speech” of which no one is in danger of losing. It’s everything to do with creationists demanding special treatment and immunity from the requirements of evidence and scientific process that all other science faces.

  5. Stein is a delicately placed stooge with an agenda. He is a Hollywood Atheist who is commissioned to advance the myth of religion for the purpose of maintaining social order. By defending creationism, he ensures the shackles remain securely fastened. He is no fool.

  6. jondave says:

    In response to your comment at my blog:

    “Why? What about it do you find particularly accurate or compelling?”

    Hello “The Bad Idea blog”,

    The reasons I found this interesting are…

    1) Its Ben Stein and he is weird/cool,
    2) Ben Stein is doing a documentary,
    3) The documentary is about Creation vs. Evolution,
    and finally….
    4) Stein is actually in defense of intelligent design. Or at least giving intelligent design more equality with the THEORY of evolution. He is arguing that too long now the Darwinists and evolutionists have persecuted the believers in intelligent design (primarily Christians but also many secular scientists who hold to intelligent design) in an unequal and unconstitutional way. So I got excited about that. More people need to speak out about the oppression that goes on and the inconsistencies in the education system, government, and science movement!

    And because I love Jesus, believe He is God, believe He is our only hope to be rescued from God’s Holy Wrath due only to our utter sinfulness, then I love that anyone is heralding truth and getting upset about deception!

    Hope you’ll go see it because I think it’ll be good.

    Thanks for asking,
    jonathan

  7. Bad says:

    I’ve already seen some of it and read what’s in it, as well as following the production for some time. It’s been a dishonest enterprise throughout, from creating a phony production company to dupe its interviewees to selective editing, to baseless and slanderous allegations. I’ve documented and refuted countless examples relating to both the film’s production, promotion, and many of the things said and claimed in the film, based on the clips released and the versions shown (accidentally, apparently!) to the press.

    Or at least giving intelligent design more equality with the THEORY of evolution.

    The question is simply whether it deserves that equality. Do wild conspiracy theories deserve equality in history class with well documented history?

    The idea that scientists have “persecuted” people in ID is patently ridiculous. The worst any of the claimed martyrs have been able to point to is that their support for ID hurt their careers (though often even these claims turn out to be outright lies or half-truths). But not getting someone to pay for the promotion of your ideas is not the same thing as shutting down your right to free speech. And claiming that your ID work is legitimate, and then whining when someone judges that work to be crappy is trying to have it both ways. That the judgment of the merit of your work will impact things like judgments of your job performance is simply how ALL legitimate academic work proceeds.

    Stein simply entirely dodges the question of whether it’s legitimate to judge people’s work based on whether or not they are good science. And in these cases, they are not. Caroline Crocker, for instance, was teaching demonstrable falsehoods to her students, all based on her ideology. Perhaps in response to this (though this is not clear), her contract was not renewed. What is illegitimate about that? What is repressive about it? Would you call it repressive when a school doesn’t rehire a teacher who teaches that Jesus wasn’t a Jew, or that Caesar was 10 feet tall?

    More people need to speak out about the oppression that goes on and the inconsistencies in the education system, government, and science movement!

    Sure… if that oppression really exists and is illegitimate, it’s a bad thing. But what if it’s all a big scam? What if it’s merely an attempt to bully the refs into giving ID special treatment and protections that no other claims in academia receive, not even evolution?

    And because I love Jesus, believe He is God, believe He is our only hope to be rescued from God’s Holy Wrath due only to our utter sinfulness, then I love that anyone is heralding truth and getting upset about deception!

    Then your path is clear: you should condemn this film.

  8. jondave says:

    You said:
    I’ve already seen some of it and read what’s in it, as well as following the production for some time. It’s been a dishonest enterprise throughout, from creating a phony production company to dupe its interviewees to selective editing, to baseless and slanderous allegations. I’ve documented and refuted countless examples relating to both the film’s production, promotion, and many of the things said and claimed in the film, based on the clips released and the versions shown (accidentally, apparently!) to the press.

    I say:
    But you and I both need to see not just “some of it”, but all of it to judge it accurately and wholly, and in order to be fair. How do you know that it dupes “its interviewees to selective editing, to baseless and slanderous allegations”? How do you know that for sure? I agree with you though, if there are any lies, misrepresentations, or out of context quotes and hidden agendas, they should be exposed. But you and I both know that avoiding all of those things are nearly impossible. Not excusable therefore, but near impossible.

    You said:
    “The question is simply whether it deserves that equality. Do wild conspiracy theories deserve equality in history class with well documented history?”

    I say:
    You are right, that is an important question isn’t it: does it deserve equality? To which most would follow up with the response of: “Of course not, because you have science on the one hand (evolutionary theory) and religion on the other (intelligent design/christianity). To which I would respond: they are both religions. Because both depend on and require faith and worldviews and philosophies about life origins, life present, morals, and life to come. And to even ask that question implies an underlying inequality. Why wouldn’t it deserve a fair chance? Instead of “separate but equal” it sounds more like “silenced and evil”.

    Let me answer your second question and analogy in two ways:
    1) Sure, why not? For example, most people accept that what happened on 911 to the World Trade Center was done by Islamic terrorists. But what about the many (and yes often crazy bogus) conspiracy theories out there on 911? Because people say willingly and blindly accept what is fed to them, its easier to just accept what seems to make sense at the moment. And the longer and louder that logic is proclaimed, the more likely it is that people believe it. 2) It seems in your analogy that your comparing Intelligent Design to conspiracy theories and Evolutionary theory to well-documented history. Is that a fair interpretation of what you were getting at? IF so, that is a huge claim on both Intelligent design and evolutionary theory. Intelligent design has been around way longer than the evolutionary theory. And as far as evidence, it really depends on who your sources are. The point is, Intelligent Design should be given as a counterpoint to Evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory is not THE only way to explain life. Regardless of seeming “evidence”.

    You said:
    “The idea that scientists have “persecuted” people in ID is patently ridiculous. The worst any of the claimed martyrs have been able to point to is that their support for ID hurt their careers (though often even these claims turn out to be outright lies or half-truths).”

    I say:
    How can you make such a statement without absolute knowledge of every single case of conflict between intelligent design scientists and those who oppose? You don’t think there has EVER been any case where scientists who ascribe more to Intelligent Design have been unfairly discriminated against? To say No would be arrogant and unreasonable. I would err on saying “its possible many have been persecuted” rather than say it “is patently ridiculous”! To see this “persecution” on a weekly if not daily basis, just sit inside of a classroom for 8 hours for every week during the school year and see how people respond to any mention of Intelligent Design.

    You said:
    “Sure… if that oppression really exists and is illegitimate, it’s a bad thing. But what if it’s all a big scam? What if it’s merely an attempt to bully the refs into giving ID special treatment and protections that no other claims in academia receive, not even evolution?”

    I say:
    All you have to do is look up Supreme Court or nearly any Federal court case about religious freedom and/or Free Speech issues in the education system and you’ll see this oppression and inequality. You’re right, IF it does exist, it is a bad thing. What do you mean by scam though? I’m sure bully to seek special treatment. But I could argue the same way about equality in sexual preference: What if the whole oppression/persecution of Homosexuals is just a big scam? That they’re attempting to just bully the refs into getting special rights and treatment that no other heterosexual receives? Are they asking for equality or for special rights?

    You said:
    “Then your path is clear: you should condemn this film.”

    I say:
    Well I like I first said, you and I both have not seen the film in its fullness. So I suggest that in April when it comes out, we both see it. I’d love to continue this conversation with you in more detail, especially when we both see it and its fresh on our minds. You obviously have much more knowledge than me on this topic and can defend it better than I can, that’s for sure. So all I can do is give you my opinion, experiences, and interpretation of what has happened and what is going on.

    But I will not condemn the film before seeing it. That’s the same logic many evolutionary sympathizers have used for years. “What? Intelligent Design? No way, I don’t even wanna hear it. Talk to me about science not religion.” And without any fair treatment, humility, and willingness to actually learn something other than what they’ve always been taught, these scientists and sympathizers push away the beliefs of the majority so as to keep believing what they already “know”!

    I think we ALL, all of us, could us much more humility, aptness to learn, willingness to listen, and love and equality in our hearts. Without sounding to cheesy like a 70’s song or something, that’s how I end. Thanks for the discussion and conversation. Look forward to more exchanges with you.

    Sincerely,
    Jonathan

  9. Bad says:

    But you and I both need to see not just “some of it”, but all of it to judge it accurately and wholly, and in order to be fair.

    I disagree. I will certainly see the final product and review that as well, but it’s perfectly reasonable to respond to what the film has already been shown to say, and what it has already done.

    “How do you know that it dupes “its interviewees to selective editing, to baseless and slanderous allegations”? How do you know that for sure?”

    First of all because the interviewees have already recounted their experiences, and we’ve done considerable detective work on what happened. The producers set up a phony production company and pretend film project that claimed to be a balanced look at the intersection between science and faith: all in order to secure interviews with a number of scientists, and get discussions with them on a specific topic. But as it turned out, the subject of the movie and its accusations were very different than what the interviewees were told, the biggest problem being that they weren’t given a chance to respond to the core allegations of the film. The pre-released intro for the film already contains some pretty blatant selective editing (note the Dawkins clip, in which you are not told what he is talking about, and his sentence is cut off before he can explain what the behavior of the “rival ideology” is that makes him hostile), and so far the producers have resisted calls to release the full footage.

    I agree with you though, if there are any lies, misrepresentations, or out of context quotes and hidden agendas, they should be exposed. But you and I both know that avoiding all of those things are nearly impossible. Not excusable therefore, but near impossible.

    There’s nothing hidden about it. This is a full on creationist propaganda film which uses everything and the kitchen sink to misrepresent science, leave out critical facts in its claimed case of persecutions, and so on. Again, I’ve documented many of these things here on this blog, under the tag “Expelled” as have countless other sciencebloggers.

    To which I would respond: they are both religions. Because both depend on and require faith and worldviews and philosophies about life origins, life present, morals, and life to come.

    This is a common allegation, and one we’ve dealt with over and over. Evolution is not a “worldview” or a “philosophy”: it is a scientific conclusion based on evidence.

    And the only philosophy science requires is empiricism: i.e. the idea that we should use evidence to determine things about the physical world. That is not a “religion” in any sense. If it were then this would lead to all sorts of absurdities, because lots of religious Christians also use empirical methods: do they have two religions? Does that even make sense?

    And frankly, the way science works is very different from the way religion works. Science does not require one to have “faith” in a particular understanding of past events: it requires that we look at what the evidence says happened in the past.

    And to even ask that question implies an underlying inequality. Why wouldn’t it deserve a fair chance? Instead of “separate but equal” it sounds more like “silenced and evil”.

    You’ve missed the point of why there exists an inequality. It’s there because of merit: scientific merit. Scientific ideas like evolution have to meet this bar. Intelligent Design and creationism have both failed to meet it.

    You dodged the question too: if we must have equality in all things, then why shouldn’t schools teach astrology? New Age theories of energy? Claims of satanists? Holocaust denial? Numerology? All of these things are also views some people hold. None of them, however, measure up evidentially in the way that mainstream science and history do. That is precisely why they don’t have, and shouldn’t have, a place being taught as science or history. We can certainly learn about their existence, but teaching them as if they were true, when they are riddled with demonstrable falsehoods, is ridiculous.

    Intelligent design has been around way longer than the evolutionary theory.

    Utterly irrelevant. Rape has existed longer than marriage: does that lend any credibility to rape?

    And as far as evidence, it really depends on who your sources are.

    I guess this is a key point. This is not a scientific means of dealing with evidence. Evidence is evidence, there isn’t one set for you and a different set for me.

    The point is, Intelligent Design should be given as a counterpoint to Evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory is not THE only way to explain life. Regardless of seeming “evidence”.

    It is the only _scientific_ explanation of the history of life on the planet: the only one that actually plays by the rules of science and evidence. Thus it is the only thing that belongs in a science class. You’re welcome to teach about religious ideas about the history of the planet in comparative religious classes. But why claim something is scientific when it isn’t?

    How can you make such a statement without absolute knowledge of every single case of conflict between intelligent design scientists and those who oppose?

    Again, I’ve looked into and written about all the major cases this film features. It’s presentation of them is highly selective and biased. For instance, in the short intro clip you linked to, it features the implication that Sternberg somehow lost his position because of an article he published. He didn’t. And the film also doesn’t tell you that he did several unprofessional things to get the article in question published in a journal that didn’t even deal with the subject matter of the article, even on the science side. For this he was criticized… and rightly so. And finally, Stein never seems to be even the least interested in whether the article was good or not: whether it had evidential merit. And yet this is precisely what scientific debates are supposed to be all about: we have debates based on the evidence, and based on the evidence and the merits of the arguments, some views win out.

    As to whether it’s “never” happened, of course I can’t claim to know that. But the claim that academia has been illegitimately persecuting people merely for believing in ID is essentially like drug dealers claiming that they are being unfairly persecuted because they hang out on street corners. It simply ignores entirely the very real and justified merits of why ID proponents have faced criticism, or some even lost their jobs.

    But apparently, there IS no possibility of legitimate reason, because Expelled doesn’t seem to even mention such things, even to refute them. It’s case seems to be simply that if anyone who supports ID ever fails to win a promotion or get hired, it’s all unconstitutional discrimination, no matter what the actual facts of the matter are.

    To see this “persecution” on a weekly if not daily basis, just sit inside of a classroom for 8 hours for every week during the school year and see how people respond to any mention of Intelligent Design.

    Again: this is carefully shifting the subject. First its claimed that ID is legitimate science to be judged on the merits, but now here you are claiming that its persecution if anyone criticizes it or finds it unworthy as a science (which is something that happens all the time to real, humble scientific ideas that don’t work out: they just don’t have huge pocketbooks and PR firms to make a big fuss about losing).

    It’s utterly amazing that ID proponents run around lying about basic science and slandering other scientists as basically loving Hitler and being evil… and then start whining when they get called on it.

    All you have to do is look up Supreme Court or nearly any Federal court case about religious freedom and/or Free Speech issues in the education system and you’ll see this oppression and inequality.

    You’ll have to point out specifics, because I think this sounds like another backwards misrepresentation. None of these people in question (Crocker, Gonzalez, Sternberg, etc.) have had their freedom to speak taken away, and in fact most of them are a great deal louder and richer speakers than their critics.

    But I could argue the same way about equality in sexual preference: What if the whole oppression/persecution of Homosexuals is just a big scam? That they’re attempting to just bully the refs into getting special rights and treatment that no other heterosexual receives? Are they asking for equality or for special rights?

    The same couldn’t be said, because the merits are different. Homosexuals are asking to be included in anti-discrimination laws that ALREADY cover all sorts of other groups: how is that asking for “special treatment?” And the persecution of homosexuals ISN’T a sham. The sheer amount of misery that hatred for homosexuality has wrought is almost unbearable: to even begin to compare that to some wealthy creationist think tank person who didn’t get promoted because they didn’t do very much work is almost unbelievable. Right now one of my friends who lived with another man for decades, loved him, married him (though not with any hope of legal recognition), bought, built, and lived a life and home together, and then cared for him night and day as he slowly died of a painful cancer just had his partner’s mother lie into a judges face that she thought he was just a “good friend” of her son: i.e. basically deny their entire life and love together (committing perjury to do so, no less). That’s utterly heartbreaking. It’s human depravity at its deepest.

    How does that in any way compare to someone that makes crappy arguments, commits some slimy misconduct and then gets criticized for it, but keeps his job and everything else from which he whines with Ben Stein that he’s persecuted?

    Well I like I first said, you and I both have not seen the film in its fullness. So I suggest that in April when it comes out, we both see it.

    Oh, I intend to. But there’s no reason to stay silent now. It’s not like the film’s accusations and overall structure are a mystery. Many people have already seen the film and described what’s in it: and again: I’ve posted about that here several times. The film claims that Darwin is responsible for the Holocaust and even exploits Stein’s heritage in a stroll through an old death camp. That’s simply grotesque. And I don’t need to see that on celluloid to say so, nor does anyone else to condemn it.

    But I will not condemn the film before seeing it. That’s the same logic many evolutionary sympathizers have used for years. “What? Intelligent Design? No way, I don’t even wanna hear it. Talk to me about science not religion.”

    Again, this rings so very very false. Scientists have spent ENDLESS amounts of time responding to what are often extremely dishonest and bad-faith arguments in this realm: often the same arguments recycled over and over and over. The claim that they are simply shutting their ears to these things is simply wrong. They have gone above and beyond in delving into them, engaging them, and then criticizing them… because they turn out to deserve the criticism.

    I think we ALL, all of us, could us much more humility, aptness to learn, willingness to listen, and love and equality in our hearts.

    Again, I don’t think its fair to imply that I somehow have a dearth of these simply because I can point to all sorts of lies and misrepresentations already apparent in both this film and its promotion. Never have I said “oh, I simply dismiss it all, feh.” Ive written absurd amounts of words getting into all the specifics of all these claims, many of them over and over and over again.

    We’ve listened pretty carefully. I would say that most scientists can explain what ID is and the more complex claims it makes are far far better than Ben Stein can: so who here has taken the time to listen and learn? Meanwhile, Stein can’t even get the grade-school level principles and basics evolution correct: how much humility does that display, exactly? How much interest in hearing anyone out does that demonstrate?

  10. Jay says:

    Bad, I give you credit for addressing all of those points. You must have had a lot of practice in recognizing logical fallacy and shifting goal posts. Bravo.

    At the end of the day, intelligent design IS. NOT. SCIENCE. It’s tarted up creationism with absolutely no scientific merit.

  11. jondave says:

    Dear “Bad”,

    Ran out of time commenting here, so I’ll finish up sometime soon and respond. Thanks for taking time to respond back to me. Look forward to continuing this.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan

  12. Bad says:

    No problem at all, thanks. Everyone has a life outside of the internet which, I’d take a pretty fair wager, is always way more important than life on the internet. :)

  13. Pastafarian says:

    >> Creationist’s theories are being violently squelched in the scientific community for some reason.

    They are being squelched because there is no evidence for them whatsoever.

    The theory of evolution has been meticulously developed to account for observable and verifiable facts. There are still gaps in the theory, no one denies that, and the theory is modified as new observations are made. But that’s how science works, and has always worked.

    The theory of creation is based on the Book of Genesis which was written by man and is not based on any observations or verifiable facts at all. There is absolutely no evidence for creation (or intelligent design, call it what you will).

    And, please note, gaps in the theory of evolution are not evidence for intelligent design.

  14. Creationism is not a theory. To call is a theory shows an astonishing ignorance of what a theory is. There is no model of creationism. It’s just a naked assertion.

    I’m sorry if this is going to anger a few of you creationists, but scientific journals are not free speech zones for personal beliefs. They are pubications for theoretical concepts that are intended for peer review. You don’t get to publish whatever you want. If you set the standard so low as to allow creationism, then you also open the door for astrology, geocentrism, alchemy, or (god forbid) SCIENTOLOGY. You think Scientology isn’t waiting for you guys to open the door for “academic freedom”?

    You people who are whining about academic and religious freedom need to realize that you can’t lower the standards of science without letting in garbage of which even YOU would not approve. Have a little forethought, for chrissake!

  15. […] adoration and press releases. They deserve to get called out on this hypocrisy. I’ve been trying to call them out on this cowardice for some […]

  16. Steve Johnson says:

    Sounds like a lot of sheeple here. Listen up you guys. God and Creation is about as real as the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Some people are saying the exact stupid thing that Ben Stein is saying, “alot of people don’t want this movie to come out”. Gee….. I wonder why? (rolleyes). Maybe its because we don’t need another movie that vomits more non scientific, no factual inuendo that has never stood up to the peer review process of the scientific community. You know? That pesky system that brought us things like electricity, the car, X-rays and all that stupid stuff? (rolleyes again). I just wish the Creationists would just undertand they will never win this argument, and the best they can hope for is to agree to disagree. Religion and Creation is based on faith, nothing else. And the day you want to make faith a proven scientific fact? Well then…. I say PROVE IT!!! Use the same peer review method that science uses to prove its theories.

    We’ll all be waiting (rolleyes for the last time….I promise!! Haha!!). =))

  17. Bad says:

    I don’t think there are any “sheeple” here.

  18. normdoering says:

    … recycles a litany of confused canards about Darwin being a racist, evolution being an imperialist ideology, ….

    Well, by today’s standards he would be a bit of a racist. However, racism and imperialism go back to Greece and, more importantly, Rome. Darwin didn’t give the world racism – the world gave racism to Darwin and he didn’t quite manage to escape it.

    I did two blog posts on B.S. myself:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/02/ben-stein-crouching-theocon-hidden-nit.html
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/03/ben-stein-admits-he-has-only-little-pea.html

  19. Bad says:

    That’s why the canards are confused. :) I would term pretty much everyone in Darwin’s era a racialist, in the sense that everyone believed that the different races all had different and distinct innate characters. Even many early civil rights leaders were racialist in this sense: W.E.B. DuBois, for instance, believed that African Americans had a particular spirit distinct from white people. As to who was a racist, in that era, it’s more of a continuum, and the key element was specifically believing that those “characters” are inherent and unchangeable and that as such this warranted dramatically different ethical and legal treatment by race. Just about everyone in that era was on this continuum, but the only notable thing about Darwin is that he was dramatically LESS of this sort of racist than the vast majority of people in his day. He opposed slavery, opposed colonial savagery, spoke out for the inherent dignity of people of other races and how the laws should not quash them, and so on.

    But of course, this entire debate is of purely historical interest in any case. What Darwin thought about race is as irrelevant to evolutionary theory now as what he thought about the structure of the cell: i.e. not relevant at all.

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