Ben Stein Keeps Rolling

Ben Stein crossing.

(Image from Andy Lyons)

I don’t think we need to worry about Expelled. Ben Stein is doing a perfectly fine job of destroying its credibility all by himself.

Stein was on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last Friday. This is what he said (minus the unfunny banter with Ferguson):

Darwinism doesn’t explain the laws of gravity. Darwinism doesn’t explain the laws of thermodynamics. …And we don’t want people to be fired if they say that the planets stay in their orbits maybe by something other than Darwinism. …His followers claim it explains everything including astronomy.

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Update 4/29/08

It occurred to me that the above transcript is so absurd that many of you will doubt its veracity. Fortunately for us, we have YouTube! One quick look found the segment, which I have embedded here. You also might want to go by the actual YouTube page and read the comments. It’s about an eight-minute video, and I’ve given you the transcript of most of the relevant content. It’s amazing how little information is conveyed in a modern American entertainment program (if you can call Craig Ferguson entertaining). Anyway, enjoy! (The drug references add a surreal irony to this whole embarrassment.)

24 Responses to “Ben Stein Keeps Rolling”

  1. Sarah Says:

    …Wow…I think I am going to go burn my copy of ‘Ferris Buller’s Day Off’…

  2. Gary Says:

    Oww….

    *Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwww*.

  3. Hooton Hears a Whor Says:

    I need to take a long hot shower to wash all the stupid off now.

  4. Arkonbey Says:

    wow. Of course the deep irony, of which we are all painfully aware, is that Stein and the ID/creationists are the ones who believe in something being responsible for everything.

    And, that is a great sign, btw. If it were in the USA, it would have been stolen by college students (the town up here had to make the sign for Weed Rd. out of concrete)

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Usually fundies/IDers prey on the ignorance of the average American. However, I really can’t see the average person with no stake in this issue (apathetic) believing Stein’s argument here — I’ve heard much, much better appeals to emotion. You learn in grade school that science is a plethora of different disciplines and many different (often competing) theories. To posit that one single theory in biology has any relevance to astronomy and that scientists are not just accepting, but perpetuating this… Does he really think the average person is that stupid and/or ignorant? I know the target audience is fundies and “light fundies” (those who are on the fence, leaning fundie) but preaching to the choir, as it were, will not help your argument in the slightest. It’s the skeptics you need to convince. This is just the absolute WEAKEST ID argument I’ve heard to date.

  6. Jason Failes Says:

    Ben Stein is either a Poe, senile, or so stupid he would make Ann Coulter blush.

  7. Dennis N Says:

    I kinda like Craig. I’ve seen him on Bill Maher’s show making fun of people who believe in ID.

  8. Savagemutt Says:

    Stein is not stupid. I can’t believe he actually believes the stuff he’s saying. Maybe Ben Stein is actually Andy Kaufman in disguise. and this is his comeback bit.

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I can believe Stein is smart enough to not believe the BS he is shoveling onto the public (afterall, he was a writer for Nixon), but I do not believe he is genius enough to pull off a Kaufmanesque prank on the rest of the world!

  10. ImFeelinLucky Says:

    Stein should become the next celebrity contestant on “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?”

    I’ll put my money on the kid.

  11. RayCeeYa Says:

    you really have to admire the technique here. Their plan in their war on science is so simple.

    Step 1: Demonize Darwinian Evolution

    Step 2: Accuse Darwinian evolution of being the root source of all science for the last 300 years.

    Step 3: Find anything anywhere that all none of the science of the last 300 years can explain, and exploit that to further demonize Darwinism and by the transitive property, all other science.

    Step 4: Rinse wash repeat until everyone is living in a religious theocracy and we’re all sitting around starving and killing each other until Jeebus comes back.

    PS. I know that Darwinism doesn’t go back 300 years but since Stein seems to have something about the orbits of the planets that makes him all hard I chose 300 years because that’s when Newton explained the orbits of the planets, and did a pretty good job using plain old Newtonian Physics.

  12. DB Says:

    Hey, the more radical Stein gets, the better. He is even losing credibility at the Holocaust Museum and among some of the IDers who don’t want to be seen as cover hack jobs for creationism. I just wish they would keep him off the circuits so his absurdity doesn’t spread making people like us defend against this crap, as easy as it is anyways.

  13. Paradox Says:

    Creationists: Neglecting the brains the good Lord gave them since 1859.

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Only 1859? Although Origin of Species made its debut at that time, Creationism (without that coined word, possibly) has existed much longer…

  15. Jeremy White Says:

    Though after 1859, their ignorance had no excuse.

  16. ericsan Says:

    WTF is this nonsense about Darwinism and the movement of planets? Isn’t this a typical straw man attack?

  17. Ego, Egoing, Egone Says:

    I think what Stein is getting at is that in order to deny evolution you also have to deny astronomy, aerodynamics, anthropology, Big Bang Theory, biology, bose einstein condensates, the Cambrian Explosion, cosmology, cartography, climatology, dark energy, dark matter, dinosaurs, ecology, embryology, exoplanets, the fossil record, fluid dynamics, fractal geometry, geography, geology, gravity, the higg’s boson, histology, hydrology, ice ages, ichthyology, integrated circuits, japanology, ketones, kinesiology, kymatology, lasers, limnology, linguistics, mathematics, M-theory, mineralogy, mixology, nanotechnology, neonteny, nuclear physics, oceanology, oncology, optics, particle physics, planetology, plate tectonics, qualitative analysis, quantum mechanics, radiometric dating, recursion theory, robotics, sociology, string theory, the standard model, thermodynamics, topology, toxicology, the Uncertainty Principle, uranium, urology, valance bond theory, virology, vulcanology, Wadati-Benioff zones, Wave forms, World Wide Web, xenobiology, xylology, x-ray spectrography, Ytterbium, zoology, zymology, and all of the other modern understanding those evil scientists have carefully built up over the last three hundred years by examining the world around them.

  18. Hooton Hears a Whor Says:

    The argument that “evolution doesn’t explain everything” is the absolute STUPIDEST anti-evolution I’ve ever heard so far. Even dumber than “if we came from apes, then why are there still apes?” Really Ben? Evolution doesn’t explain everything? Evolution doesn’t explain gravity? You might as well say “evolution doesn’t explain why toothpaste doesn’t make a good adhesive”. It’s not fucking suppose to! Jesus H Christ on a merry-go-round, why won’t these fucking people just stop already?

  19. Gary Says:

    The more I think about Stein’s recent campaign, the more confused I get. I honestly do not believe that Stein is a stupid man. I’ve always thought of him as quite an intelligent man. So what’s with his recent mind numbing stupidity? Is he trying to be manipulative and just underestimating the average intelligence of the population (or hell, maybe his arguments are having the desired effect on the desired people, who here knows how many people are following him word for word), or has he actually suffered some form of brain damage.

    I don’t mean that in the “haha isn’t he stupid” way, it’s an actual question. His claims and behaviour seem to have taken a wild turn towards “completely insane” recently, and it’s just completely at odds with my previous impressions of the man.

  20. Brian Says:

    Ben Stein may be intelligent insofar as “book smarts” are concerned, as I think he demonstrated on his silly game show on Comedy Central. The ability to retain large amounts of data in one’s memory is a component of intelligence, but how that information is used is another thing altogether. His past work for Nixon ought to be a red flag about his intellectual honesty in the face of reality.

    Religion has this effect on people, regardless of their level of education. True, the better schooled one is, the virus of religion is less likely to infect that person as it might some backwoods redneck hillbilly, but they’re not guaranteed immunity. People like Ben Stein have decided that they are so terrified of their own mortality a belief in a god is a necessity. Their own greedy narcissism drives them to turn a blind eye to all that reason has to offer because any offensive thought might jeopardize the theological fantasy world they inhabit. They embrace the god of their choice for emotional reasons, not rational ones. With eternal bliss their overriding priority, all other matters become moot. The mountain of evidence supporting evolution is meaningless to someone hiding out in his religious fallout shelter. They pick this fight over evolution not because the science supporting it is questionable, but because their own beliefs cannot be questionable for any reason, and a direct refutation of the beginning of the goddamned bible is a pretty big turkey-slap in the face of god himself.

    What is so galling about this intellectual dishonesty is that so many fundies know, at least subconsciously, that their delusions can easily come crashing down around them if they were ever exposed to reason, or, as they like to think of it, Satan. This also explains why they insist on brainwashing their helpless, defenseless children into this mental prison. Heaven forbid a child grows up to have an intelligent, independent thought on religion! They might just reject it! Such thinking betrays the feeble arguments in favor of Christianity, or any other blight on human civilization you care to mention.

  21. Sharley Says:

    Heaven forbid a child grows up to have an intelligent, independent thought on religion! They might just reject it!

    You’ve just nailed one of my biggest problems with all these cult-like fundies (esp. the Duggars). They don’t have enough faith in their own religion to trust that their children will still choose it if offered an alternative — they do their damndest to make certain there are no other alternatives. The real world is evil and good fundie Christians don’t talk about it, unless they’re trying to convert it.

  22. Jeremy White Says:

    What I love most about Ben Stein’s merry band of morons is that they are upset for getting fired because they showed they don’t believe in the scientific method. “Boo hoo! We got fired! It’s probably because I said ‘God did it!’ Boo hoo!” And of course, what they proposed had no scientific background and none of them did any scientific research to test their claims about Magic Man.

    Imagine a bunch of atheist decide to make a documentary about how they got fired from churches just because they said, “Hey! Maybe this God stuff isn’t true! There’s a lot of holes in this theory. There’s no evidence at all!”

    It’s complete nonsense. Same damn thing.

  23. S. Says:

    Did anyone get a look at the titles of some of his books?? I can answer these in 2 words..
    let’s see:

    >How to Ruin Your Life by Ben Stein (Paperback – Dec 1, 2005)

    VOTE REPUBLICAN!

    >How to Ruin the United States of America by Ben Stein and Phil

    VOTE REPUBLICAN!

  24. S. Says:

    a couple more..

    >Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It by Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth (Hardcover – Jul 15, 2004)

    what to do about it?? …VOTE FOR THE DEMS!

    and my fav:

    >How to Ruin Your Love Life by Ben Stein (Hardcover – Aug 1, 2003)

    date a republican!