Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stein Puts Weight Behind Florida Legislation

The Palm Beach Post reports that actor Ben Stein, largely responsible for the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, has voiced his support for the piece of Florida legislation calling for "Academic Freedom." The story notes:

Lawmakers were invited to attend a private screening of the movie Wednesday evening, but members of the public and press were not allowed unless reporters signed waivers promising not to write about what they saw.

The legislation being pushed in both chambers is in response to new Florida science standards adopted last month that for the first time use the word "evolution" instead of such phrases as "biological change over time." They also require that evolution be taught in more detail.

House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber remarked:

"I think it's ironic that they expelled the media and the public from a film called 'Expelled,'"

Well put.


  1. Anonymous10:02 AM

    For those of you reading this blog who think that Ben Stein was in any way the motivating force behind this movie, please reconsider.

    From the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Texan interview with Logan Craft (executive producer of Expelled):

    TEXAN: How did Ben Stein come to be involved in the film?

    CRAFT: Well, John (Sullivan, producer of Expelled) had a real insight, we believe, into the necessity to have a person, first of all, who wasn’t overtly Christian or overtly religious…

    Ben Stein is a hack!

    This film is a manufactured argument, cleverly crafted to advance a conservative christian agenda. ID at this point, after almost 20 years and millions of dollars tossed at it by the Discovery Institute, is still merely a vague idea. It has not yet even been fleshed out into a valid scientific hypothesis, and certainly hasn’t developed into a viable or testable theory.

    So at this point, the ID/creationist movement is merely a well-funded public relations effort trying to rally public support by falsely decrying "There is no Freedom of Speech!", and promoting “science/evolution = atheists = Naziism”, rather than offering any positive evidence for why ID should even be considered as science.

    To see what people who have seen the movie are saying, go to

    “Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason.”
    —Isaac Asimov

  2. I also think that Ben Stein's involvement was unfortunate. It almost reminds me of Pat Boone's shilling for "AcneStatin" in the 1980s, after which it turned out that the product was a hoax.