Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ben Stein EXPOSED!

As many of you may know, Ben Stein has a new documentary Expelled on how Intelligent Design advocates and the great research they do is being suppressed by the scientific elite.

Now Scientific American has gotten into the act with a series of articles on Ben Stein's documentary and the sorts of distortions Mr. Stein engages in. Check out this review from Scientific American and associated links.

Of particular interest is this first hand report by Michael Shermer on how Stein plays fast and loose in the production of his movie. According to Shermer, Stein's movie includes a scene of Pepperdine University students being addressed by Stein and presumably hungering for Stein's version of the truth. But Shermer reports:

"Actually they didn't. The biology professors at Pepperdine assure me that their mostly Christian students fully accept the theory of evolution. So who were these people embracing Stein's screed against science? Extras. According to Lee Kats, associate provost for research and chair of natural science at Pepperdine, "the production company paid for the use of the facility just as all other companies do that film on our campus" but that "the company was nervous that they would not have enough people in the audience so they brought in extras. Members of the audience had to sign in and a staff member reports that no more than two to three Pepperdine students were in attendance. Mr. Stein's lecture on that topic was not an event sponsored by the university." And this is one of the least dishonest parts of the film."

Now to be fair, I suppose Michael Moore has used similar sorts of ummm short cuts...but since a big point of Stein's film is the dishonesty of the scientific establishment I would expect Stein to rise above slick production tricks. Instead it looks like we get more intelligent design smoke and mirrors and it sounds like the viewer is asked again to ignore the little man behind the curtain (maybe Michae Behe?), something I am sure the fundamentalist religious audience for whom this film is intelligently designed is more than willing to do.
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