The Deceitful Ben Stein

As noted at the Free Exchange on Campus website, it’s tempting to ignore Ben Stein’s so-called documentary entitled Expelled!, an anti-science film that is based on smears and innuendos rather than actual, real science. However, the film is helping to drive “academic freedom” bills in Florida, Louisiana, and Missouri that grant K-12 science teachers the “freedom” to teach “alternatives” to evolutionary theory (missing out on the fact that there is nothing “academic” about these alternatives). No doubt, Ben Stein feels the same way Martin Luther (1483-1546) did about telling falsehoods for God:

What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.

(Cited by Luther’s secretary, in a letter in Max Lenz, ed., Briefwechsel Landgraf Phillips des Grossmüthigen von Hessen mit Bucer, vol. I.) To find out more about Expelled!, check out this blog and this webpage about the film.  Also, the magazine Scientific American has extensive commentary here.

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