If you read Pharyngula, then you’ve probably already seen this video:
So many thing wrong with Ben Stein’s claims in that video.
(1) He says that audiences love the new Expelled movie. Big deal – even if that were true, and I’m sure some people loved it – all it shows is that theists love when the movie “beats up” evolutionary theory by smearing it with allegations of a Nazi link. I’m sure the Protocols of Zion was well received in the Muslim world, too. What does that prove other than “pandering to people’s preconceived notions, no matter how stupid they are, makes them love you”.
(2) He says that “science leads you to killing people”, but religion leads to kindness. This shouldn’t even deserve a rebuttal because it’s plainly stupid, but I guess the stupidity isn’t obvious enough, because some people (like the host) agree with him. Personally, I think anti-science idiots should practice what they preach: no clean water, no electricity, no modern medicine, no machine-created clothing, no automobiles, etc. Given Mel Gibson’s devout Catholicism, I have to wonder how Ben Stein explains his anti-semitic outburst – “science made him do it?” Martin Luther’s aggressive anti-semitism – “he was a closet scientist?”
(3) He says that the United States needs to enlarge its military so that it can simultaneously win three wars: Iran attacking Saudi Arabia, North Korea attacking South Korea and Japan, and China attacking Taiwan. First of all, I’m not sure why the United States must be the sole “policeman” in the world – intervening and winning whenever country A attacks country B. Second, what makes him think all three conflicts will happen, and happen simultaneously? And third, if we agree to increase spending to handle all three conflicts simultaneously, then why not add a fourth and a fifth conflict – thus legitimizing a few-trillion dollar military budget to prepare for something that will probably never happen? I don’t know about you, but there’s a limit to the amount of money I’m going to pay for insurance, and the “insurance” (in the form of military spending, just in case something happens) that Stein advocates is very expensive. Or maybe it’s Ben Stein’s plan to bankrupt the United States by goading it into excessive military spending, like the USSR.
And on the subject of Ben Stein’s dishonesty, here’s one from the Scientific American podcast – where he quotes Charles Darwin out of context to make him sound like a Nazi.
Update: the Bad Astronomer (via TheFriendlyAtheist) points out this Ben Stein quote:
Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.
Lovely. Science = bad. Scientists = nazis. Time to defend Western Civilization against these nutjobs.