Intelligent Ben Stein
Vanessa Farquharson, National Post
Published: Monday, June 23, 2008
On the table in front of Ben Stein is a cup of herbal tea with extra honey, a tape recorder and an extendable back-scratcher. But on the proverbial table is the subject of Intelligent Design and the controversy that has surrounded Stein's latest documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
Wearing his trademark dress suit and running shoes, the economist, actor, game show host and now filmmaker sat down at a Toronto hotel recently to defend the work, which has been labelled propaganda by some American critics, including one at The New York Times who referred to it as "a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry." The film currently has a 9% "rotten" score on RottenTomatoes.com.
"I didn't realize we'd have quite as many critics as we've had," Stein said. "Some of it has really infuriated and saddened me. There have been a lot of nasty comments from people expressing anger and contempt ... even people who've been friends for decades have gotten quite angry and contemptuous towards me, besides the fact they know nothing about the subject."
- "I didn't realize we'd have quite as many critics as we've had." Apparently his head is up his ass. Saying, essentially, that biologists are Nazis is bound to upset some people.
- "There have been a lot of nasty comments from people expressing anger and contempt." Probably because they're angry and ID is comtemptable.
- "... even people who've been friends for decades have gotten quite angry and contemptuous towards me, besides the fact they know nothing about the subject." Hello, kettle? The pot's on line one.
- Next Paragraph: "Stein insists he, himself, knew nothing about the subject until 2005, when a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district from teaching Intelligent Design." See what I mean? It gets better.
- "Ultimately, it seems that Stein - who is preparing to make another documentary, one which he predicts will be even more controversial than Expelled and make Americans in particular go crazy - is more interested in morality than in the scientific process, focused more on questions of religion than the nitty-gritty of cell structure." Making a movie about ID vs. evolution, and he's not interested in evolution?
That's it. Let PZ handle it. I'm just pissed that the Post was so obsequious. Even the title kisses his ass. It's short. The last paragraph is choice. Read it. Gnash your teeth. Write a letter to the editor. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.