Where Ben Stein is caught in a lie and an infamous Kitzmillerian reviews expelled

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Ben Stein lies about Sternberg and Kitzmiller Lauri Lebo reviews Expelled

PvM: My apologies to Lauri Lebo for misspelling her name as Laurie

Ben Stein Wrote:

There are a number of scientists and academics who’ve been fired, denied tenure, lost tenure or lost grants because they even suggested the possibility of intelligent design. The most egregious is Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian, the editor of a magazine that published a peer-reviewed paper about ID. He lost his job.

Ed Brayton not PZ Wrote:

Except that Sternberg did not lose his job. He didn’t even lose his unpaid courtesy position at the Smithsonian. In fact, even after everything that happened, the Smithsonian still extended an invitation after his Research Associate position had expired to remain as a Research Collaborator.

and Lauri Lebo

With “Expelled,” proponents of Intelligent Design prove that they are much better at marketing than they are at science.

On Intelligent Design

Despite what the movies leads one to believe, there is no such thing as intelligent-design research. Money spent on ID goes to bankroll glossy marketing campaigns, such as Expelled, and to lobby lawmakers, as with the “academic freedom” bills being pushed now in state legislatures across the country.

and

Mencken’s remarks that we have the right to hold controversial and even stupid beliefs is not without merit. It’s a beautiful idea, and a wonderfully American notion – this innate sense of democratic principles that we all have a say in how things should be.

Expelled takes this idea and perverts it, arguing that truth and evidence is irrelevant. All sides should be treated as equal.

But as Mencken said, free speech does not give one the right to demand that these ideas be treated as sacred.

32 Comments

Kevin Miller knows that Richard von Sternberg was not fired from his job, he admitted it on his blog:

http://kevinwrites.typepad.com/othe[…]ure-for.html

(You have to read down through the responses to get the question and later answer.)

It’s always a bad sign when the suspects can’t keep their stories straight. If it goes to trial Yoko Ono’s lawyers are going to have these guys for lunch. Well, they’re probably not actually even an appetiser.

PvM Wrote:

PZ Myers Wrote: Except that Sternberg did not lose his job. He didn’t even lose his unpaid courtesy position at the Smithsonian. In fact, even after everything that happened, the Smithsonian still extended an invitation after his Research Associate position had expired to remain as a Research Collaborator.

Er … Pim, from the link, I thought it was Ed Brayton who wrote these words. Is it, or not really?

Still, Laurie Lebo’s review is superb. It pulls no punches, yet remains calm and rational.

The H. L. Mencken quote from Lauri Lebo’s review:

…even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.

The next time a scam artist tries to peddle “critical analysis of evolution” or “teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution,” let’s all reply with:

“You had a chance to do that in ‘Expelled’ but instead censored or distorted every fact that would weaken your argument. There was no ‘critical analysis’ of your position, just gross misrepresentation of evolution, science and scientists, along with unforgivable exploitation of common public misconceptions. So now nothing you can say now will convince us that you would not have teachers pulling the same scam in class, where you would have a captive audience of childern (not yours) that are unlikely to seek out the challenges to your propaganda. With ‘Expelled’ you have gambled away your last opportunity to earn public trust.”

If this is really, by their own admission, the “most egregious” example they can come up with, no one is going to be fooled by claims of persecution.

Two comments:

After reading the review by Lauri Lebo, who attended the Dover trial, it occurred to me to ask, “has Mike Argento, who wrote some wonderfully insightful (and inciteful) columns on the Dover trial, written about Expelled?” Does anyone know the answer to this?

Second, this is just more evidence how hypocritically dishonest the purveyors of ID are. But then, this is no surprise.

GvlGeologist, FCD:

Two comments:

After reading the review by Lauri Lebo, who attended the Dover trial, it occurred to me to ask, “has Mike Argento, who wrote some wonderfully insightful (and inciteful) columns on the Dover trial, written about Expelled?” Does anyone know the answer to this?

Second, this is just more evidence how hypocritically dishonest the purveyors of ID are. But then, this is no surprise.

http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/?s=expelled

dpr

Dear Nigel D,

Lauri’s review is truly a gem. She’s succinct and covers all the bases, noting the IDiots’ fondness for PR.

Best wishes,

John

Leave comments at ben steins website. http://www.benstein.com/ the link below takes you straight to the guest book

http://121167.netguestbook.com/st_0.html

With “Expelled,” proponents of Intelligent Design prove that they are much better at marketing than they are at science. ————-

I would posit the theory that they are not that good at either. But it’s just a theory.

Enjoy.

There are a lot of posts in your link. Were you referring to “The Life-Dinner Principle and Creationism vs. Evolution”? It does seem to relate.

D P Robin:

GvlGeologist, FCD:

Two comments:

After reading the review by Lauri Lebo, who attended the Dover trial, it occurred to me to ask, “has Mike Argento, who wrote some wonderfully insightful (and inciteful) columns on the Dover trial, written about Expelled?” Does anyone know the answer to this?

Second, this is just more evidence how hypocritically dishonest the purveyors of ID are. But then, this is no surprise.

http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/?s=expelled

dpr

Kevin Miller does admit that Sternberg was not fired from anything, but claims his life was made a living hell, saying:

“But there’s no way they can capture the anger and insinuation Sternberg faced at work every day as a result of the incident. […] His life has been hell ever since this incident.”

It is not clear (from what Miller says) that the anger and insinuation occurred at the NIH or at the Smithsonian. But I find this an interesting argument. I am the assistant editor of the newsletter of a local conservation society. It is very much not a big deal, but that does mean I can place articles if I want. Usually, the editor and I do the newsletter together, but sometimes just me. When it is just me, I could place any article. Usually a board member proof reads it (and she is really just proofreading, but would react to a weird article) but I could skip that and send it right to the printer. So I could publish an article which did not represent the position of the board or the membership.

Well, again maybe no big deal, but our opinion does figure in zoning and planning decisions and an article could be a factor in these decisions. Yes I would be fired from my (unpaid) post but the damage would be done. People who agreed with the article could point to it in print and the other side would have only explanations and excuses.

And my friends and acquaintances in the organization would likely stop speaking to me and cut me dead when I ran into them about town.

This is what Sternberg did. He got an article published because the procedures left an opening for him to act in a way contrary to the principles and desires of the WBS (whose journal he was editor of) and more broadly of his professional colleagues. Why would he expect anything other than the treatment he got?

That’s the best review I’ve read of the film so far. However:

Evolutionary biologist and famed atheist Richard Dawkins is the linchpin to this argument. And honestly, in this context, Dawkins makes a rather effective tool. He comes across as more than a bit arrogant in his dismissal of all faiths. He agrees there is a war between religion and science. Dawkins said he was misled about the purpose of the interview, but even so, I have to think he should have known better.

So he should have. He’s been lampooned by creationists before and should have learnt his lesson by now. I have a great deal of respect for Prof. Dawkins as a scientist. His views on religion though, and in particular Christianity, only give the YECs ammunition.

But there will also be a few perhaps who know little about science, but who nonetheless come with an open mind. They will walk away from the theater with some sadly erroneous ideas.

Lauri Lebo couldn’t have put it any better. This type of thing appears on Ham’s blog almost daily now:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/a[…]and-no-play/

A CHILD REACTS TO THE EXPELLED MOVIE “SKEWED PERCETPION OF … SCIENTISTS”

I thought the following sent in by a mother concerning her daughter’s reaction to Expelled important for all to read:

I took my 4th grade daughter (who just this year is starting to get the evolution story in science class) to Expelled. She was shocked by the scientists’ comments—shocked that people would think that way. I’m thinking she’s got a skewed perception of all scientists as dispassionate, matter-of-fact, truth-seekers, and it was shattered to an extent—but that’s the impression given from schools, educational programs, etc. I had not engendered that, having been a research assistant at [a university] and dealing with fallible, opinionated graduate students and scientists (although I wouldn’t question their integrity as researchers). I found her reaction interesting to say the least.

MUST SEE EXPELLED

If you haven’t seen the movie Expelled yet, I urge you to do so before it is no longer in the theaters. Here is another sample of feedback we received this week:

I hope you will let Ken and the folks at AiG how much we enjoyed this movie, Expelled. We were the first in line at the first showing at our NewTowne Center in Williamsburg, VA. We encouraged our pastor … to go, and he ended up going twice; and [he also made] an announcement at both church services for everyone to go see the movie . … Thanks for the heads up. I will even be talking about this matter at my … Bible study tomorrow . … My approach will be that I need to educate my grandsons re these matters.

And, by the way, the website at AiG is just great!!! You have done an excellent job. And I love the search engine; leads me to all the scientific articles I need. May the Lord continue to bless you and AiG!

That’s the best review I’ve read of the film so far. However:

Evolutionary biologist and famed atheist Richard Dawkins is the linchpin to this argument. And honestly, in this context, Dawkins makes a rather effective tool. He comes across as more than a bit arrogant in his dismissal of all faiths. He agrees there is a war between religion and science. Dawkins said he was misled about the purpose of the interview, but even so, I have to think he should have known better.

So he should have. He’s been lampooned by creationists before and should have learnt his lesson by now. I have a great deal of respect for Prof. Dawkins as a scientist. His views on religion though, and in particular Christianity, only give the YECs ammunition.

But there will also be a few perhaps who know little about science, but who nonetheless come with an open mind. They will walk away from the theater with some sadly erroneous ideas.

Lauri Lebo couldn’t have put it any better. This type of thing appears on Ham’s blog almost daily now:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/a[…]and-no-play/

A CHILD REACTS TO THE EXPELLED MOVIE “SKEWED PERCETPION OF … SCIENTISTS”

I thought the following sent in by a mother concerning her daughter’s reaction to Expelled important for all to read:

I took my 4th grade daughter (who just this year is starting to get the evolution story in science class) to Expelled. She was shocked by the scientists’ comments—shocked that people would think that way. I’m thinking she’s got a skewed perception of all scientists as dispassionate, matter-of-fact, truth-seekers, and it was shattered to an extent—but that’s the impression given from schools, educational programs, etc. I had not engendered that, having been a research assistant at [a university] and dealing with fallible, opinionated graduate students and scientists (although I wouldn’t question their integrity as researchers). I found her reaction interesting to say the least.

MUST SEE EXPELLED

If you haven’t seen the movie Expelled yet, I urge you to do so before it is no longer in the theaters. Here is another sample of feedback we received this week:

I hope you will let Ken and the folks at AiG how much we enjoyed this movie, Expelled. We were the first in line at the first showing at our NewTowne Center in Williamsburg, VA. We encouraged our pastor … to go, and he ended up going twice; and [he also made] an announcement at both church services for everyone to go see the movie . … Thanks for the heads up. I will even be talking about this matter at my … Bible study tomorrow . … My approach will be that I need to educate my grandsons re these matters.

And, by the way, the website at AiG is just great!!! You have done an excellent job. And I love the search engine; leads me to all the scientific articles I need. May the Lord continue to bless you and AiG!

Randy, re comments to Stein:

Are the comments moderated, or is the site simply slow? I posted a comment ~5 minutes ago, but it still hasn’t come up. I wonder if Stein’s flunkies™ are filtering the comments, since I did not see a single negative in the 10-12 pages I scanned…

So the jerk acted in an unprofessional and unethical manner in his professional capacity and then predictably faced “anger and insinuation” in response. And that is the “most egregious” example they can come up with. What a bunch of whining ninnies. Exactly what is this guy supposed to have been expelled from? They should call the movie “Unexpelled: Scientists Remain Resonable and Tolerant in the Face of Unspeakable Stupidity”.

That is nothing compared to what they are going to face for lying and stealing in the production of this movie. Guess what, if you act like a jerk, you get what you deserve. That isn’t persecution, that is poetic justice. Lying and cheating is what you are supposed to be expelled for. Maybe they were going for a self-fulfilling prophecy. Good job.

GvlGeologist, FCD:

Two comments:

After reading the review by Lauri Lebo, who attended the Dover trial, it occurred to me to ask, “has Mike Argento, who wrote some wonderfully insightful (and inciteful) columns on the Dover trial, written about Expelled?” Does anyone know the answer to this?

Second, this is just more evidence how hypocritically dishonest the purveyors of ID are. But then, this is no surprise.

As far as I’m aware, he hasn’t. In fact, I haven’t seen any mention of Expelled in either of the local papers. I was expecting an uptick in letters to the editor from anti-evolutionary cranks, but that doesn’t seem to have happened, either.

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Ben Stein has described intelligent design as a “hypothesis.” At 2 minutes and 10 seconds into a video posted at http://video.google.com/videosearch[…];sitesearch= he says that intelligent design “is the hypothesis that life did not originate randomly – not by random mutation and natural selection – but that there was some design involved by an all-powerful designer…” At 13 minutes and 3 seconds he describes this “all-powerful designer” as a “divine being controlling the universe.”

Mr. Stein can truthfully assert that intelligent design is a “hypothesis.” However, if he or any other proponent of ID asserts that ID is a scientific theory then that false assertion will be met with very strong objections.

Mr. Stein’s “All-powerful Divine Being Hypothesis” cannot be tested and cannot become a scientific theory.

CORRECTION: The Ben Stein video that I referred to in my previous post is at

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d[…]DCqAP65aDFBA

re.

Leave comments at ben steins website. http://www.benstein.com/ the link below takes you straight to the guest book

http://121167.netguestbook.com/st_0.html

I left a comment about the poor job he did, I wonder if it will appear, all the others are big positives.

Dear Jeff,

Looks like the guestbook comments at Ben Stein’s website are moderated. I posted something there yesterday, but it wasn’t posted, even though I had bent over backwards trying to be diplomatic. So he’s acting just like Bill Dembski in managing posted content on such IDiot websites as Dembski’s Uncommon Dissent.

Regards,

John

D P Robin: Unfortunately, I don’t think Mike Argento has weighed in on Expelled. I wish he would. It would probably be full of well-crafted snark.

ndt said:

I just noticed this in Lebo review:

But then, using Johnny Cash’s version of “Personal Jesus” as a segue, the filmmakers seem to completely forget their earlier message.

I wonder if they got the necessary clearances for that piece of music?

I fixed it for you ndt.

John,

Oh, well. It was worth a shot.

Well, I guess the Stein guest book issue is settled; there are many new positive comments posted AFTER John’s and mine (which both vanished). The only “negative” one is

- - - -

467.Jesus Christ · 04-27-2008 2:47 Ben, I’m not happy with the way that you’re portraying my work here in the universe. I spent a lot of time crafting this whole evolutionary process, and I’d like it to be recognized for the stunningly beautiful piece of work that it is.

Adios, Your pal Jesus

- - - -

Thanks for being open and honest Mr. Stein.

I know this is childish but perhaps a little application of Poe’s law to Bens board might be a fun thing.

Jeff Webber Wrote:

Well, I guess the Stein guest book issue is settled; there are many new positive comments posted AFTER John’s and mine (which both vanished).

For fun I sent this positive, but very politically incorrect (YEC fans won’t like it), comment:

“Thank you Mr. Stein for finally dispelling the myth that ID is not creationism. No longer will ‘Darwinists’ be able to keep secret the fact that ID does not dispute in any way the 3.8 billion year history of life or the solid conclusion that humans share common ancestors with other species.”

Note the quotes around “Darwinists.” Let’s see if that get’s me “expelled”!

Oh darn, I meant to say that “the myth that ID is creationism.” Now I’ll really be surprised if I’m not “expelled”.

My comment (# 522) was published, typo and all!”

For even more irony, it’s immediately after one (#521) which is almost certainly by a “Darwinist” having fun.

Hi.. In this topic the author Ben Stein Wrote in a magazine,and he identify many important details,and my thinking she’s got a skewed perception of all scientists as dispassionate,matter-of-fact,truth-seekers,and it was shattered to an extent—but that’s the impression given from schools,educational programs to all… —————— Gomez Drug Rehab

Not only is Ben stein a jerk. He’s stupid too. So much for his education. the video below proves it.

http://patrick.net/housing/contrib/schiff.html

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 25, 2008 12:23 AM.

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