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Ben Stein: Science Kills People

by @ 3:23 pm on April 30, 2008. Filed under Dumbasses, Evolution vs. ID, Religion, Science

National Review’s John Derbyshire continues his attack on Ben Stein’s movie Expelled:

In an interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ben Stein said the following amazing thing in an interview with Paul Crouch, Jr.

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. 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 … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

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.

Here’s the video of that last, shameful, stupid quote:

I used to respect Ben Stein as an economist and a commentator. Not to mention his moment in pop culture history:

But his embrace of the anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-reason, anti-reality mindset of the Creationist can lead me to only one conclusion – Ben Stein has lost his mind.

Seriously Ben, science leads you to killing people ? Is this the same science that has given us penicillin, heart transplants, brain surgery, and treatments that send cancer into remission ? The same science that has explored the cosmos and the very depths of the ocean ? The same science that has given us the technological civilization that has allowed you to be something more than a yeoman farmer, if not dead ?

No Ben, it’s not science that kills people, it’s blind adherence to religion. The Crusades. the Inquisition, the religious wars that tore Europe apart, Islamic Fundamentalism, Anti-Semitism, and the belief that it’s acceptable to kill someone because they don’t believe in the right god. That’s what kills people, Ben.

6 Responses to “Ben Stein: Science Kills People”

  1. MB says:

    Derbyshire taking on Stein? Hilarious. That’s like fighting fire with fire, I suppose. You know, if fire were stupid.

  2. RevAaron says:

    Seriously Doug, were you not paying attention to Ben’s good word? *Science* kills people, not Nazis! Perhaps in his forthcoming book he can back up this idea. Afterall, it wasn’t Anti-Semitic ideologues and their goons that thunk up, pushed for, and implemented the “Final Solution!” It was SCIENCE!

    I had no clue that Stein was such a tool. His comrades in Die Partei got to him, eh? Or was he always like this? I always pictured him as a bit of an agnostic paleocon, perhaps a Randite minarchist- but not some science fearing, creationism pushing schmuck.

  3. James Young says:

    Uh, Doug, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have phrased it in the same way that Stein did, but it’s a dead certainty that atheistic ideologies (Naziism; Communism) have been responsible for many more deaths (probably on an order of magnitude or two) than “blind adherence to religion,” and yes, that would include “The Crusades. the Inquisition, the religious wars that tore Europe apart, Islamic Fundamentalism.” For example, Naziism managed to kill more Jews in 12 years than millenia of anti-Semitism.

  4. James,

    Stein didn’t blame ideology for mass-murder, he blamed science, the one thing that distinguishes Western Civilization from the irrationality of the rest of the world.

    And I’d contest the idea that Naziism and Communism were really any different from religion to begin with. They also had their own irrational ideas.

  5. James Young says:

    Yes, Doug, but you may recall that both made pretenses to a basis in science (“scientific Socialism,” if memory serves) and were hostile to religion.

    As for “Stein … blamed science [for mass murder],” I think you’re being a little too broad with your brushstrokes.

  6. James,

    No, it’s Stein who is being way too broad.

    His assertion that “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”

    Is, quite simply, utter bullshit.

    Those weren’t scientists, they were SS goons sent on a killing mission by a messianic leader. Blaming science for the holocaust is absurd and I would have thought that Stein had more intellectual honesty than that.

    Apparently, he doesn’t

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