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The Worst Person




 

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Hold on, maybe Stein is onto something. The Nazis created propaganda films and they went on to kill Jews. Stein helped create a propaganda film therefore he must be just like the Nazis and he plans on killing Jews.

I wonder how that technology was created? Oh yeah, through science. The creators of Expelled use science therefore they must have killed Ben Stein's relatives.

Yeah Doug, that bothers me too:

Religious people will one minute condemn everything scientific, and then pop a heart medication or an antibiotic, jump in their robotically manufactured precision-engineered GPS-equipped SUV, talking on their high-tech feature-packed cell phone, on their way to a new restaurant they found using Google.

Yeah, science has done some horrible things all right. Like raise the life expectancy so that all those judgmental middle-aged conservative hypocrites are still alive and in good health.

"jump in their robotically manufactured precision-engineered GPS-equipped SUV, talking on their high-tech feature-packed cell phone, on their way to a new restaurant they found using Google."...."raise the life expectancy so that all those judgmental middle-aged conservative hypocrites are still alive and in good health."

So if I buy an SUV, GPS, i-phone, and eat at restaurants I'll live longer?

I knew my doctor was holding out on me.

So if I buy an SUV, GPS, i-phone, and eat at restaurants I'll live longer? I knew my doctor was holding out on me.

Har har. I do hope you actually understand what I was saying. I meant it very seriously.

Another hint, perhaps, that we were wrong to give science a name. If we just referred to it as thinking critically and rationally about the world, it would be as obvious to the general population how nonsensical the anti-science lobby are as it is to the scientifically literate.

In all honesty, even if the Judeo-Christian story were true which it isn't, I'd pick Dick Feynman over god any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

"So if I buy an SUV, GPS, i-phone, and eat at restaurants I'll live longer? I knew my doctor was holding out on me."

I don't know about the others, but the iPhone lowers your cholesterol and will make you a better lover. How do I know this? Revealed testimony. Dare you question my faith with your filthy science? You know what science leads to: robot cats... with axes.

Sure I do Frenetic. I also know Olby makes a living distorting other people's quotes just like I did to you.

I tried watching the video link provided by Derbyshire, but quickly realized I would need the better part of a day to find the quote he referred to . I'd be curious to know the context of the conversation when that quote came up. Stein has a pretty impressive resume, so when these two men try to tell me what an idiot he is, based on a short quote and no contest, I doubt.

context, not contest.

Hitler practiced artificial selection, which has absolutely nothing to do with Darwin's theory of natural selection as part of the mechanism of evolution.

Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact that organisms change.

Ben Stein is a liar.

Go here for complete the Ben Stein interview on TBN.

Click on the Behind the Scenes tab, then click on the video for April 21st, 2008.

Ben Stein's lies, about the Nazis using Darwin's theory, start about 26 minutes in.

KO, as usual, is right on the money, except BS actually deserved the gold.

Sure I do Frenetic. I also know Olby makes a living distorting other people's quotes just like I did to you.

That's a poor way to make a point.

Stein has a pretty impressive resume

I just read his resume. I'm not impressed. For sophistry, yes, he seems extremely well qualified. But a 5 year-old could legitimately criticize Ben Stein's views on science.

so when these two men try to tell me what an idiot he is, based on a short quote and no contest, I doubt.

Luckily, this being the 21st century, you can look it up elsewhere.

So if I buy an SUV, GPS, i-phone, and eat at restaurants I'll live longer?

Yes. In this country, wealth correlates with lifespan. (Not what you meant?)

Go here for complete the Ben Stein interview on TBN.

Thanks! That background image on TBN website is ... awesome. I felt a little uncomfortable when the TBN narrator thanked me for my generous support, but then when the woman with the hair started talking, my head exploded.

when the woman with the hair started talking

I had clicked on the wrong date. Sadly, this woman was not hosting the Ben Stein interview.

As for the Ben Stein interview, Godwin's law is met early on at 3:50, but the science leads to killing bit is only near the end of the clip, from 27:30-28:40. At 23:00 you can learn that people choose atheism in order to be amoral. Can't say I'd be pleased if I were PZ Meyers.

yeah, I guess he was stretching it a little with the science leads to killing bit, but then I haven't visited a concentration camp where hundreds of thousands of people of the same ethnicity as me have been slaughtered in the name of racial-hygiene like he has.

"yeah, I guess he was stretching it a little with the science leads to killing bit, but then I haven't visited a concentration camp where hundreds of thousands of people of the same ethnicity as me have been slaughtered in the name of racial-hygiene like he has."

Stretching it a little? What exactly do you know about it? Doesn't sound like very much.

Ben Stein is a liar AND is appears to shamelessly be using the holocaust for promotion and profit. Even the Anti-defamation League denounces him.

Since you felt you knew enough to make a comment, why don't you go to Expelled Exposed and really learn a little something about what you are commenting on.

in the name of racial-hygiene like he has."

Worth noting that in a the real science of sociaology and biology, races are not recognized as genetically distinct groups. They are a non scientific, social construct.

There are as many relevant genetic variations within racial classes are there are between them and humans are a very homogeneous species.

Misinterpretation of science is just about as dangerous as a good understanding of religion.

This country is ignorant enough. It damn sure doesn't need idiots like Ben Stein attempting to undermine our institutions of higher learning by trying to force their acceptance of 3000 year old goat herder science.

There is a proper way to get new science into our public school -- publish, defend, confirm and earn a consensus, earn a recommendation by teachers, pass government review, and, above all, meet the standards of science. Intelligent design wants special consideration to avoid having to meet these criteria because it cannot pass scrutiny.

"Misinterpretation of science is just about as dangerous as a good understanding of religion."
Very true, hope you don't mind if I steal that line ;^)

Mr. Stein seems not to be in possession of any facts at all, at least none which he is unwilling to ignore.

“God is With Us” was the slogan emblazoned above the swastikas on the belt buckles of the Nazis that led Ben Stein’s relatives to their deaths. It was pseudo-science they used to cloak centuries of institutionalized religious hatred and their ideology of racial superiority beneath a veneer of card-board legitimacy. The same kind of bilge preached by Stein and the Discovery Institute: Dogma slathered with fable.

In opposition to reason, decency and science, the Nazi’s employed quackery, intolerance, defamation and religious fanaticism . The very tools used so enthusiastically by Ben Stein and the Creationist movement.

We’ve been pummeled by images of 9/11 for the past seven years by the same party who’s dereliction made the attack possible and the tactic has worked very well. In homage Stein is now exploiting the holocaust and violating the memory of it’s victims in a way that is utterly contemptible.

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I'm not agreeing with Stein's opinion, but after visiting concentration camps, and reading about 'doctors' like Aribert Heim, I can see how someone of Jewish descent could get a little skeptical of scientists who deny a higher authority.

If you don't have time to read the link, here's the part that rattled me:

"It was 1941, and an 18-year-old Jew had been sent to the clinic with a foot inflammation. Heim asked him about himself and why he was so fit. The young man said he had been a soccer player and swimmer.

Then, instead of treating the prisoner's foot, Heim anesthetized him, cut him open, castrated him, took apart one kidney and removed the second, Lotter said. The victim's head was removed and the flesh boiled off so that Heim could keep it on display."

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"Religious people will one minute condemn everything scientific, and then pop a heart medication or an antibiotic, jump in their robotically manufactured precision-engineered GPS-equipped SUV, talking on their high-tech feature-packed cell phone, on their way to a new restaurant they found using Google."

These sorts of technology are one thing, and even specific theories in various areas (such as the theories some of these technologies are based on) are one thing, but the overarching, unified, totalistic claims associated with science by many "pro-science" scientismists are another thing entirely. I suspect many religious people are opposed primarily to those and not science itself.

Not too many "condemn everything scientific"

No comments on the Manchurian Candidate segment? That was a point that I've been waiting to see somebody make. I don't suppose it'll have any effect on the right-wing Obama-bashers, though.

I'm not agreeing with Stein's opinion, but after visiting concentration camps, and reading about 'doctors' like Aribert Heim, I can see how someone of Jewish descent could get a little skeptical of scientists who deny a higher authority.

But of what relevance to the theory of natural selection is Aribert Heim? The connection of Darwin with Nazism is more tenuous than the connection of Martin Luther. We won't be seeing any exposés of Lutherans and their Holocaust connections, I expect.

Science didn't cause the Holocaust and scientists didn't lay the groundwork for it either. Ben Stein knows it too - he is a lying opportunist.

Manchurian Candidate? If there ever was a candidate for the US Presidency who would have sex with his own mother and then sell out America to mainland Chinese interests... well, he is in the White House now.

Thanks Tim,

I'm not sure that is the premise of the movie, but I haven't seen it so I don't know. Having listened to several of his interviews as a result of this discussion, it appears the Holocaust came up tangentially at the very end of a 30 minute interview. I really didn't care to spend any money on this movie, but now my curiosity compels me to.

I had never heard of the Luther book, but it certainly looks ugly. I'll see if the local library has a copy. I have some ideas as to what might have motivated him to write such a book, but without knowing, I'll have to wait to comment on it.

As to what caused the Holocaust, I hope you'll agree at least in part that the Jews were made the scapegoats of Germany's loss of WWI and the hardships the German people experienced in it's aftermath. Yes, I know the irony of using such a word but it seems the only one to fit ;)

Sorry Tim, I forgot to address your question.

"But of what relevance to the theory of natural selection is Aribert Heim?"

From what I gather from the interviews, Stein believes the foundational premise that life is only a set of chemical reactions helps to rationalize one's desire to dehumanize people we hate. Heim must have rationalized his behavior in his own mind. We can only guess how.

Again, I'm not in agreement with Stein on this. Throughout history, people have found all sorts of reasons to rationalize dehumanizing people they hate. Nearly all of them relating to egotism - an ism none of us are immune to.

Stein believes the foundational premise that life is only a set of chemical reactions helps to rationalize one's desire to dehumanize people we hate.
...people have found all sorts of reasons to rationalize dehumanizing people they hate.

Syngas, You are, of course, entirely correct in the second quoted observation. I think that is the explanation for what is either Stein's disgustingly sloppy scholarship in finding out what the cause of the Holocaust was - or his deliberate distortions in pinning the blame on 'atheistic scientists'. He hates them, so he was willing to use Holocaust victims as a weapon to attack them. Pretty shitty way to "honor" them or their survivor's loss, in my opinion.

Throughout history, people have found all sorts of reasons to rationalize dehumanizing people they hate. Nearly all of them relating to egotism - an ism none of us are immune to.

The lesson of WWII (and other conflicts and atrocities) is that the Nazis, Jews, Soviets, etc. were all people, biologically and culturally quite a lot like people today. The message is that each of us has the capacity to do terrible things when our environment prods us to do so, that modern society is not somehow immune from the ethical transgressions of WWII. (There were of course also people who did wonderful, selfless things in WWII. I personally knew one, who recently passed away, and she was decidedly not religious.)

Maybe, for those in power, egotism played a very large role. I'm not sure how we'd combat that.

Psychology suggests that obedience to authority and adherence to perceived social norms determine much of our ethical standards. See the Stanford prison experiment and the Milgram experiment (which themselves were rather unethical but still teach us something about the human condition).

This of course is why I freak out when I hear preachers at mega-churches spouting hate-speech to a room full of head-nodders and amen-sayers, who are then empowered with the authority to spread the "good word". The Ben Stein interview is no exception:

Stein: ...Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.

With five school age, or nearly, grandchildren, I have a dog in this fight. Religious extremists and their republican party supporters are trying to destroy the educational institutions in the United States. Making excuses for the lies and ignorance of these groups is helping their agenda and it is unforgivable.

True intent: Science doesn’t lead to killing, believing in the theory of evolution leads to higher probability of voting non-Republican which in turn might affect Ben Stein’s investments in Wall Street. Paradoxically, Mr. Stein most likely used polls to maneuver into this stance, sly weasel. Another striking feature of his stance is timing; after all it is an election year. Ben Stein’s internal thoughts might be “Hey I’ll pander to these suckers it tends to work quite often.” Bush and his cronies tried it and got richer, anything but stupid. Benny boy here is not stupid just an advantageous prick!

As far as I’m concerned religion is not the problem, internalized narrow ideologies are.  With that I leave you with words of wisdom that point the barrel back at scientific ideologues, from Otto Rank’s 1939 book Beyond Psychology, “people, though they may think and talk rationally-and even behave so-yet live irrationally. (Here I agree with a previous commenter that none of us are immune from self-interest blinding irrationality.)

As far as I’m concerned religion is not the problem, internalized narrow ideologies are. With that I leave you with words of wisdom that point the barrel back at scientific ideologues, from Otto Rank’s 1939 book Beyond Psychology, “people, though they may think and talk rationally-and even behave so-yet live irrationally. (Here I agree with a previous commenter that none of us are immune from self-interest blinding irrationality.)

Posted by: Unmasked

I was about to comment on what you said when I noticed you got cut off.

(Here I agree with a previous commenter that none of us are immune from self-interest blinding irrationality.)

Yeah, the counter claim that religion is an irrational belief, that creates an irrational system.

Now, one can certainly come to rational beliefs from an irrational system, and irrational beliefs from a rational system. That said, No one is building compounds in Texas in which to commit mass statutory rape, based on scientific principles.

Here I agree with a previous commenter that none of us are immune from self-interest blinding irrationality.

I was also suggesting that religious people, because they acquire their beliefs from an authority and tend not to examine them critically, are pre-disposed to believe their actions are morally correct when in reality they are just following orders.

But yes, each and every one of us is self-interested, irrational, and often blind to both. As a boring example, even expert statisticians choose very bad strategies in simple games involving chance. The world is messy, and we unconsciously overcompensate with bias.

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