FreeThought Fort Wayne

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Ben Stein and The Descent of Man = quote mining

Posted by Andy D. on April 28, 2008

I am preparing some slides for The Enlightenment Show which we are shooting next Sunday. Mark and I saw the movie on Sat. There were about ten folks in the theater, (noon showing). I will talk on the whole movie later but first everyone should see this. (Steve Mirskey and John Rennie at Scientific American first pointed this out) I think it is easier to see in the two pics below.

In the first slide, I am showing Ben Stein’s voiceover as he was walking to Holocaust sites. Ben states the quote and then reveals the vile author as CHARLES DARWIN before going into the horror areas. (He doesn’t reveal the source as The Descent of Man perhaps in hope that we won’t look it up?) The quote is surprisingly missing a lot of information. In a way, I think Ben is practicing in his own form of Holocaust denial. He won’t look at the racism for what it was and instead he turns on science. Ben is an economist and he went to Yale so surely his scholarship would be excellent? Either he is a complete fraud or he is incompetent by blindly relying on his ideological producers and not checking their sources. The very next sentence and paragraph says the exact opposite of what they are trying to imply! Darwin thought it would be overwhelmingly evil to unprotect the weak and it would be against our most noblest nature! Stein and fellows are fraudulent and are praticising propanda not that unlike the Nazis… Shame on you Stein. (This is available on Search for asylums) Click on the pictures to enlarge them. I added the formatting to show what Ben cut.

BTW: None of this says anything about science or gives any credibility to intelligent design. It does show what a great thinker Charles Darwin was….

This is from Jacob Bronowski – The Ascent of Man. Science is admitting we don’t know everything and is anti-dogmatic by being grounded in evidence. I saw this on PZ Meyer’s Blog.


12 Responses to “Ben Stein and The Descent of Man = quote mining”

  1. andyscathouse said

    Anti-Evolution Film Misappropriates the Holocaust
    From It speaks for itself….

    New York, NY, April 29, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement regarding the controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

    The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.

    Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness.

    Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

  2. Dave Macy said

    The truly important message is that evolution as a scientific theory has been all but abandoned and discredited by serious scientists throughout the world.

    While Darwin and his theory cannot explain the Holocaust- the exlanation can be found in the reality of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness. There is a spiritual realm which science cannot accept and will remain a mystery to the person who is not ‘born again’.

  3. Jake said

    Nice post Andy. Mr. Bronowski was very eloquent and concise.

    Dave, if you would be so kind, I was wondering if you could tell me where you’ve learned that evolutionary theory has been discredited.

    Also, am I correct in reading that you are equating “science vs. religion” with “good vs. evil”? I just don’t see it as that black and white or absolute.

  4. andyscathouse said


    Let me first deal with your incredibly arrogant and ignorant argument from authority fallacy. What scientist where? Serious scientists? You have to be more specific. (I know of a few hundred questionable and religious motived scientists from the discovery institute, AIG, CRC.)

    Take a nice look at Project Steve for the counter argument:

    The “truly important message of film” is it is propaganda and they didn’t show one form of evidence for ID or even define ID. The discovery institute says ID isn’t religious yet the film is all about religion…. That cannot be good for DI. I found it incredibly funny when they tried to make fun of Richard Dawkins who was putting forward the only serious idea of ID that he could think of was aliens might have started life here…. (Isn’t this ID with “agent” ). Which is it agent or God?

    If there is evidence for ID bring it on. Why isn’t that in the film? Instead they show how complicated cells are with questionable copyright tactics. This is the “Argument from Personal Incredulity; I cannot explain or understand this, therefore it cannot be true. Creationists are fond of arguing that they cannot imagine the complexity of life resulting from blind evolution, but that does not mean life did not evolve.”
    ( )

    You are obviously Christian. I took a quick look at your page… The film purposely left out all the clergy and scientists who do support and love evolution such as Kennith Miller and Francis Collins. They don’t let religion stop science instead it brings it closer to their idea of God. Lying is not what Jesus would approve of anyway. Spend some time on and go the religion and science section. (You can read that even the few scientist they highlighted)

    For me, evolution (The film incorrectly calls us Darwinists when the theory of evolution has more mechanisms now than natural selection) didn’t make me become atheistic towards the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. Reading the Bible and learning about all the other religions did. If one actually reads it without being spoon fed how to read certain sections and therefore one cannot ignore the morally disgusting sections, they are more likely to become non-theists.

  5. Stein had an interview Hannity & Colmes prior to the release of the movie. I have put together my own analysis of the interview here:

    This is my first “original” video so I hope you enjoy it.

  6. andyscathouse said


    I like the clip a lot.

    I am no fan of “weasel” news so I don’t watch Hannity and Colmes because Sean is so arrogant and cocky. Alan is only one on that network that I am aware of that is sane. He keeps Ann Coulter in check when he is allowed to speak….

    In this case, I don’t think it is fair to call Alan Colmes a tool. I think he was just reading the prompter about the movie and that was not his take. He fought Ben a little on the Nazi propaganda. (He should have fought harder, but I think Sean has a button that can shock Alan when he gets out of line…)

    Check out this interview with Alan and Richard Dawkins. I think you will be surprised:,2360,Richard-Dawkins-on-The-Alan-Colmes-Show,Fox-Radio-Richard-Dawkins-Alan-Colmes

  7. Jake said

    Joey, if that’s your first “original” video, then you are a natural.

    I think I’ll subscribe to your vids. Keep ’em coming!

  8. […] July 1, 2008 by andyscathouse Hopefully, our promotion of critical thinking and science training will help protect our community from nuts like James Dobson. Here are three examples of the Reverend quote mining research and science to promote his ideological position against homosexual families and gay marriage. This confirms Christopher Hitchens’ statement that one may commit any crime or say anything under the title reverend; moreover, we are enlightened own how certain religious thinking may lead to complete immoral and bigoted behavior. Dobson must think it is ethical to lie for Jesus.  (We saw Ben Stein lie for Yahweh). […]

  9. andyscathouse said

    We have our own mini Kroptos challenge our page. see

    Any one here have software for this? The best way is to count the frequency of letters and see if there are any obvious transpositions. For example, normal distribution of the English language letters has e used the most and letters like q in a lesser amount. (The sample is pretty small though). Or have I given this way too much thought already?

    Maybe the post just left a religious nut speechless yet they decided to sputter meaningless hate or sarcasm?

  10. it’s called comment Spam and I’ll remove it.

  11. andyscathouse said

    I like the idea of an encrypted message…. but you are right.

  12. […] of natural selection and common ancestry of all life.  Ben Stein and/or his producers blatantly quote-mined Darwin, not unlike the negative politics Joseph Goebbels used. How did your role come about? Ben […]

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