Ben Stein's Expelled - Part IV

01 October 2007

Ben Stein has a new pro-creationist movie coming out in which he posits that Intelligent Design theory is marginalized, not because it is scientifically vacuous, but rather because of some sort of atheist conspiracy.

Aside from misleading his interviewees and imagining cases of persecution, Ben Stein has now taken things a step further and invoked Godwin's Law. According to Stein:

He said he also believed the theory of evolution leads to racism and ultimately genocide, an idea common among creationist thinkers. If it were up to him, he said, the film would be called “From Darwin to Hitler.”

The theory of evolution leads to genocide and Naziism, huh? Leaving aside the fact that genocide existed long before Darwin, let's take a look at what Hitler himself has said on the topic.
For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties.
Even a superficial glance is sufficient to show that all the innumerable forms in which the life-urge of Nature manifests itself are subject to a fundamental law--one may call it an iron law of Nature--which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms when propagating and multiplying their kind. Each animal mates only with one of its own species. The titmouse cohabits only with the titmouse, the finch with the finch, the stork with the stork, the field-mouse with the field-mouse, the house-mouse with the house-mouse, the wolf with the she-wolf, etc.
From where do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump, as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today.

Basically, Hitler did not believe in evolution. His genocidal techniques were based on the ancient practice of animal husbandry, where you simply breed the strongest stock within a discrete kind. He explicitly rejected the idea that one "kind" (a creationist term) could evolve into another, especially with regard to humankind.

Does this mean that belief in animal husbandry or creationism leads to genocide and Naziism? Of course not. Such an argument would be just as asinine as Stein's ridiculous claims.

But even if Hitler did believe in evolution, then Darwin would be no more responsible for the Holocaust than Einstein was for Hiroshima. They both merely proposed value-neutral scientific theories. The fact that species have achieved their current diversity through the process of natural selection does not at all imply that we should kill off those we deem "weak." The fact that splitting an atom results in a massive release of energy in no way implies that we should release that energy over a Japanese city.

Stein's intellectually dishonest comparison is just a transparent attempt to make the theory of evolution look like a dangerous ideology that you should protect your children against. It's pure and simple propaganda meant to motivate people to oppose this "deadly idea."

Of course, comparing those who disagree with you to Nazis is nothing new to Ben Stein. When homosexual Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested for soliciting sex in a public restroom stall, Stein had this to say about the arresting officer: "Gestapo, Gestapo, Gestapo." Yes, that's a direct quote.

Part I, Part II, Part III

No comments: