Thursday, January 17, 2008
There is some bullcrap that Ben Stein won't eat!
Venturing out as far as the friendly confines of "Cybercast News Service," the bastard stepchild of an even more doubtful enterprise called "Media Research Center," both of which were founded by L. Brent Bozell III, a nephew of William F. Buckley and a member of the board of Bill Donohue's Catholic League, Stein gave an interview with the usual quotient of disingenuous blather about the poor, oppressed IDeologists not being allowed to make up their own version of science. But the interviewer, one Kevin Mooney (okay, I'm piously passing that one up), asked Stein about:
... Jon Wells, who indicate[s] that given how the cells are put together, with eye toward intelligent design, and with the idea that animal cells have tiny turbines - or if viewed as tiny turbines - he was able to formulate a theory that said in the event these things malfunction and don't properly shut down and could break apart, this is the first step on the way to cancer. He seemed to be suggesting that intelligent design theory could open up a lot of possibilities into improving the human condition. He doesn't explicitly say 'a cure for cancer,' but at least providing additional insight into new areas of treatment or a better understanding of how cancer is formed.No doubt stunned by the journalistic excellence of the ... um ... question, Stein forgets to put his brain on hold and replies:
Well, I think, I wouldn't say, if you say intelligent design is the answer and we're all created by an intelligent designer - that does not by itself provide the cure to cancer or any other disease or does not provide any ideas about how to deal with a stroke or with the heart hammering blood into the brain. But I would say, if you accept a broader, an even broader premise than intelligent design, namely, don't foreclose anything in your study of the human body and of the cell, then you are a lot more likely to get somewhere. I'd put it like that. I don't think saying intelligent design just automatically gets you anywhere.Well, Ben, after some 400 years that ID has been around without it leading to anything, I'd have to agree that you're on to something there! (And if you're interested in what Wells is really up to, see Ian Musgrave's explanation at the Panda's Thumb.)
Then Ben is asked if ID is creationism and he comes up with this doozy:
Well, I would say it's creationism by someone. For me, I've always believed that there was a God. I've always believed that God created the heavens and earth - so, for me it's not a huge leap from there to intelligent design. I think for some of the people who work on intelligent design, they're not as long-time believers as I am. So, I would answer that question, in brief, by saying, I believe in God and God created the heavens and the earth and all the life on the earth. But what other people, who are intelligent design people, think, I could not characterize.Whew!
Finally, there is the obligatory conspiracy theory. Asked why the very idea or suggestion of intelligent design is so antagonistic to scientists, Stein responds:
[I]f they are Darwinists and they owe their jobs to being Darwinists, they are not going to challenge the orthodoxy because that would challenge the whole basis of their jobs and their lives. So they are not going to challenge the ideology that has given them lush positions in real life.I keep telling PZ not to tool around in that Ferrari Testarossa! Quietly enjoying one's Dom Perignon at home should be sufficient lording it over the proletariat for anyone!