I won't be attending, but the odious Mr. Stein can be observed plying his trade as a social commentator at my alma mater on Thursday evening. A sparring partner of mine dropped me a line about it, and I wrote back to say I wouldn't attend, and why. Here's my reasoning:

1) From what I understand, his main topic is going to concern economic and political things, rather than 'Expelled', which was kind of a dud in the theatres. I was going to take some Bullard kids to see it, but River Park yanked it from their screens after only a one-week run so they could add more showings of 'Iron Man'. I suspect anyone hoping to hear an indepth discussion of ID's merits is going to be disappointed, and that would be the only thing I'd be remotely interested in hearing.

2) I've also agreed to help out the choir at my church's 11:00 service get ready for Holy Week, and their rehearsals are on Thursday. My church commitments take priority over my personal interests here.

3) But, to be frank, even if I didn't have other commitments and even if he was going to focus on his support for ID, I just can't see giving Stein any money. I've seen his movie, and it's just not worth making much of a fuss about. A couple of my science colleagues screened an advance publicity awhile back and I got to see it for free. Ironically, I've been offered bootleg copies of 'Expelled' more than once by people from the pews who seem unclear about the fact that they are violating the crap out of Ben Stein's money! Poor Ben: does he know that many of the churches which are the main audience for his film are peddling pirated DVD's? Maybe this falls under the category of 'no bad publicity.'

Anyway, I've seen enough of the film to know that it largely manufactures controversies where none exists. ID needs to adduce positive evidence on behalf of its proposed mechanism of design that will pass muster with the scientific community, and so far it has failed to do this. That doesn't mean that they are the victim of a conspiracy. Really, if anyone has cause to complain about a conspiracy, it should be the scientific community that was the object of Philip Johnson's secretive 'Wedge' Strategy.

There is no evidence that Sternberg or Gonzales lost any privileges to which they were entitled due to their ID sympathies. If they have such evidence, they should litigate and let the facts come out, not turn their pity parties into a sideshow serving the propaganda wing of American fundamentalism. The whole enterprise is (ahem) fundamentally dishonest, because the film isn't about science at all. It's about ideology, and one side crying 'foul!' about the tactics of the other side. And I get enough of that for free without paying fifteen bucks for it.

1 comment:

CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla said...

" ...people from the pews ... are violating the crap out of Ben Stein's money"


I'm now curious enough to add Stein's film to my Netflix queue. It's in line right after Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash.