Having enjoyed a most cordial sit-down with Ben Stein last week, I’ve chosen to be generous: The guy is a sharp, witty fellow who’s in the habit of picking the wrong friends.
He was Nixon’s speechwriter, for instance. And Ford’s, which was probably less complicated. He’s written op-eds for the rabidly conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page. (You can check out the breadth of his writing at his personal site; he’s quite an engaging writer.) And now he’s hanging with the Intelligent Design crowd.
Stein is the host and ostensible investigator of the pro-ID screed “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, which opens in Toronto tomorrow. It’s a feature-length attempt to make the claim that Big Science is actively working to keep ID out of the conversation — but the movie can’t make that claim stick without deliberately distorting the arguments on every side, even fudging the very definition of “science” by the time it’s done.
Anyway, here’s my interview with Stein and Ruloff as it appears in the print edition of NOW. Because the film’s defenders will no doubt claim I took their comments out of context and/or misrepresented them — which is, oddly enough, the precise modus operandi of “Expelled” — we’ve put the complete, unedited transcript online for reference. So there.