Ben Stein Provokes the Liberal Wrath
By Phyllis Schlafly
Monday, May 5, 2008
Stein spent two years traveling the world to gather material for this movie. He interviewed scores of scientists and academics who say they were retaliated against because of questioning Darwin's theories.
Skeletal remains from the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History, a permanent exhibition hall that presents the remarkable history of human evolution from our earliest ancestors millions of years ago to modern Homo sapiens, are seen in New York,February 7, 2007. The exhibit will open to the public on February 10, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)
Stein interviewed Dr. Richard Sternberg, a biologist who lost his position at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution after he published a peer-reviewed article that mentioned intelligent design. Other academics who said they were victims of the anti-intelligent design campus police included astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, denied tenure at Iowa State University, and Caroline Crocker, who lost her professorship at George Mason University.
Stein dares to include some filming at the death camps in Nazi Germany as a backdrop for interviews that explain Darwin's considerable influence on Adolf Hitler and his well-known atrocities. The Darwin-Hitler connection was not a Stein discovery; Darwin's influence on Hitler's political worldview, and Hitler's rejection of the sacredness of human life, is acknowledged in standard biographies of Hitler.
Stein also addresses how Darwin's theories influenced one of the U.S.'s most embarrassing periods, the eugenics fad of the early 20th century. Thousands of Americans were legally sterilized as physically or mentally unfit.
Mandatory sterilization based on Darwin's theories was even approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing his famous line, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." Stein also reminds us that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist who wanted to eliminate the races she believed were inferior.
Stein's message is that the attack on freedom of inquiry is anti-science, anti-American, and anti-the whole concept of learning. His dramatization should force the public, and maybe even academia, to address this extraordinary intolerance of diversity.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.