Skip to comments.No Tolerance Allowed: Stein declines university speech after 'hundreds' of angry emails
Posted on 02/09/2009 10:37:36 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
No Tolerance Allowed: Stein declines university speech after 'hundreds' of angry emails
by Christine Dao*
Comedian/economist/lawyer Ben Stein backed out of delivering a spring 2009 commencement speech because of complaints to the university about his views on evolution.
The University of Vermonts president, Daniel Mark Fogel, was bombarded with angry messages, including one from British atheist and Darwin fanatic Richard Dawkins, after inviting Stein to deliver the universitys commencement speech. Stein had given a sold-out economics lecture at UVM on April 25, 2008, and it was for his economics expertise, not his views on evolution, that Fogel invited Stein back.
After Fogel shared profound concerns with him over the protest, Stein voluntarily withdrew from the May 17 appearance and declined the 7,500 (USD) honorarium that came with the invitation.
I did not ask him to withdraw, Fogel said at a news conference. I wrote to Ben and, because his talk last spring was about the economy, I had always assumed that that would be the subject of his talk.
[L]et me be clear, I did not ask Ben Stein not to come, he reiterated. I had invited him and I was not going to retract the invitation. But I was not going to let him be blind-sided by the controversy . I asked him to confirm that he would speak about the economy and it was at that point that he withdrew.1
In a university press release, Fogel wrote:
Mr. Stein has also expressed opinions on subjects unrelated to economics, most notably with respect to evolutionary theory, intelligent design, and the role of science in the Holocaust. Those views are highly controversial, to say the least. Following the announcement of Mr. Stein as Commencement speaker, profound concerns have been expressed to me by persons both internal and external to the University about his selection. Once I apprised Mr. Stein of these communications, he immediately and most graciously declined our Commencement invitation.2
Stein, who has spoken at Columbia, Yale, Stanford, and many other universities, told The Burlington Free Press that he initially didnt want the UVM engagement but agreed to it, as well as an approximate 80 percent cut in his usual fee, because of mutual friends he and Fogel share. Stein called the whole episode pathetic and the universitys response chicken sh**, and you can quote me on that.
I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists, Stein told Free Press. I want all scientific inquiry to happennot just what the ruling clique calls science.3
The Holocaust reference in the press release, Stein said, probably came from the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed when he interviewed the curator of a former Nazi hospital called Hadamar, who had cited Darwinism as the reason behind the horrific killings that happened there.
I like Dr. Fogel and feel sorry that he is caught in the meat grinder of political correctness. My heart goes out to him. Hes a great guy trying to do his best in difficult circumstances.3
Fogel said he received hundreds of emails, but only a few came from people at UVM, a signature implication of evolutionists and their intolerance bullying their way into arenas where they are not concerned, invited, or involved.
UVMs president responds to questions about commencement speaker Ben Stein. Straight from the Source. Posted on straightfromthesource.wordpress.com on February 2, 2009, accessed February 4, 2009.
Office of the President, Campus Communication. The University of Vermont press release, February 2, 2009. Available on straightfromthesource.wordpress.com
Johnson, T. Ben Stein responds to UVM flap. The Burlington Free Press. Posted on burlingtonfreepress.com on February 4, 2009, accessed February 4, 2009.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.
Maybe all those who wrote those angry emails can dissolve themselves back into the primordal soup...they’ve had their say...what jerks
The people who sent the letters should be listed on the internet. There’s nothing like the light of truth to shine on the roaches of political correctness.
darwinists can’t stand debate. like its parent, leftism, it can only exist in an information vacuum.
We believe “in the beginning God”, they believe “in the beginning Dirt”. The difference is their religion is taxpayer funded.
“Comedian/economist/lawyer Ben Stein”
You forgot... “Al Franken supporter”.
good idea. publish all these letters. the Internet affords people a cloak for bad behavior, who would normally be quite civil. like the darwinists who will no doubt be along later calling everyone who disagrees with them names.
There is no such thing as a “Darwinist”.
NEVER GIVE UP!
NEVER GIVE UP!
NEVER GIVE UP!
I completely agree with you there!
I tried to censor his speech and it was at that point he withdrew.
Why would I want to listen to an idiot who donated money to Al Franken’s senate campaign?
I guess the faith of those believers in evolution is so weak that they can’t handle the thought that they might hear some conflicting point of view.
What are they afraid of? That someone might hear about creation and believe it instead of evolution?
>>Why would I want to listen to an idiot who donated money to Al Frankens senate campaign?<<
Are you saying Ben Stein donated to Al Frqanken?!
I just found out about that the other day. I guess they are Hollywood friends that go way back. And while that softens the campaign donation a little, there’s still no excuse—Stein should have known better.
Comedian/economist/lawyer Ben Stein
You forgot... Al Franken supporter.
My daughter graduates from UVM in May. I would have liked to hear him.
I agree Ben has not been right in the head lately. I suspect a brain tumor. He did seem fairly sane on Cavuto last weekend when commenting on the generation theft bill.
==What are they afraid of? That someone might hear about creation and believe it instead of evolution?
Hooray for the education people on this one. Our schools must be off limits to charlatans who profit by unscrupulously promoting absurd anti-science ignorance to young people seeking an education.
==Our schools must be off limits to charlatans who profit by unscrupulously promoting absurd anti-science ignorance to young people seeking an education.
I couldn’t agree more. I say it’s time to break the stranglehold the Temple of Darwinistic Materialism has on our universities. Indeed, we should start be dethroning its founder (aka Darwood), who was a med-school dropout turned amateur naturalist who presumed to rewrite the entire history of biology based an a few minor variations between finches!
WOW. Not even the pretense of: "Science class must be off limits to religion". At least you are honest enough to admit to the real agenda.
I heard terrorist Bill Ayres is due to speak at Millersville University in Lancaster County Pennsylvania in March.
I rank him as low as Stein.
Well, after all they do have consensus..................
Conservatism is based on Judeo-Christian morals and values, not atheistic intellectualism.
Some of the most brilliant people in the world have been the most morally bankrupt and the most deadly regimes this world has seen have been the no God allowed, atheistic ones of the 20th century.
Since when did stifling free thought and inquiry was a conservative position? Universities have truly become places where no intelligence is allowed.
Best news I've heard all day! Makes me wonder if there are any "marxists" or "Freudians" left.
I doubt there are any Freudian left. We just elected a Marxist.
My point is (I think) that the marxist they elected says he isn't one, nor does he know any.
it depends on what your definition of “Is” is.
Smile chuckle grin :) Good one.
“bullying their way into arenas where they are not concerned, invited, or involved.”
Sounds like the M.O. of the Incompetent Design movement.
I.D. is not concerned with the scientific method.
I.D. is not invited to the “party” of science as they don’t actually bring anything of any value to the party, but just wish to hijack the venue for their own purposes.
And I.D. is not involved in science. They have not a single discovery, scientific theory, or application to their name.
God is the ultimate intelligent designer.
I fail to see how you can claim to believe in Him and insulting His design like that at the same time.
There’s just too big a disconnect there.
Sounds like what the evo/atheist crowd is doing in the public school system.
No, the disconnect is conflating the specific and idiotic claims of the I.D. movement with the idea that the universe itself was created by a omniscient entity.
Not all who believe that God created the universe believe in a “special” creation a few thousand years ago.
Not all who believe that God created the universe believe that I.D. is a scientific hypothesis, or that biological constructs are “irreducibly complex” and could not have formed by the mechanism that God usually uses to change living systems (evolution through natural selection of genetic variation) and as such God had and has to constantly tinker with his shoddy design.
I know why you would wish to conflate the two ideas, but in reality there is very little common ground.
For example both the Pope and I believe that God created the universe. Both the Pope and I believe that I.D. has nothing of value to contribute to the debate. Both the Pope and I believe that evolution is the means that God used and uses to change living systems. Neither the Pope nor I believe in the specific (and idiotic) claims of I.D..
That’s what liberals do, they can’t win in the arena of ideas so they shout down, sue or whatever it takes to “win” the debate.
That may be true but it doesn't change the fact that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is the foundation on which all scientific study of biology is based. Willful ignorance is not a conservative trait and there's absolutely nothing moral about deceitful charlatans who degrade conservatives by associating them with bogus anti-science values.
Soooo, first you claim evolutiuon IS intelligent design but can’t adequately explain why it is this should be hidden from children...
other than somehow you and your ilk alone are the great deciders of where science is or isn’t somehow separated from religion, philosophy (or anything else for that matter), even though no one has appointed YOU or your ilk the keepers of this somehow mystical boundary between science and all other things that threaten YOUR collective sensibilities...
or scientific definitions, the scientific method, etc.etc.etc.
...and of course while arguing religion should be kept out of science you keep injecting the Pope into your failed arguments time and time again.
Yup...disconnect followed by more disconnect.
Here’s a clue, the Pope would be most frank and forthcoming to children that evolution is indeed God’s intelligent design, and everyone but you seems to understand this.
And let me guess, your rebuttal will be some such thing about MY disjointed post?
Would you insist that a Freudian psychologist accept astrology as a psychological tool and deem that they “and their ilk” had set themselves up as “mystical” gatekeepers if they refused?
Once again “intelligent design” is not the same thing as “Intelligent Design” and the specific (and idiotic) claims of the “Cdesign proponentists” who advance it.
I'd like to see some empirical evidence that students perform better in science class and for that matter, education in general, since the godless secular humanist NEA stomped Christianity out of public schools and demanded everything from "God be kept out of science class" to Christmas trees can't be set up in school lobbies.
Would you happen to have any?
Ask a speaker to talk on something he actually knows something about and he goes Bolshi
"Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help! I'm being repressed!"
Did you know that John Kerry served in Vietnam?
And he calls the school chickens**t when he’s the one who withdrew from speaking. Go figure.
You will have to qualify your statement here because, the non-cultists understand I've shown you that many scientists that truly criticized evolution and actually peer reviewed your cult, and you (predictably) came unglued with myriad insults, as usual, so no,....you don't speak for all scientists and no one's appointed you as spokesman for all scientists either.
Would you insist that a Freudian psychologist accept astrology as a psychological tool and deem that they and their ilk had set themselves up as mystical gatekeepers if they refused?
Your strawmen just get more and more desperate don't they allmendream?
Once again intelligent design is not the same thing as Intelligent Design and the specific (and idiotic) claims of the Cdesign proponentists who advance it.
One day you'll stand all alone before the Creator explaining why it was so imperative of you to demand from children these differences, whatever it is you think or demand they be, and why you saw fit to make such absurd statements like "God doesn't belong in science class", and how it is you knew every single person's heart that was a proponent of ID and what it was they sought to teach children, scientifically or otherwise. Maybe then you'll even in turn get to defend every single godless NEA secular humanist and their hearts and what they sought to impart to children too.
Rather you understand what Christianity or science is, or not!
I should know not to expect anything of more depth from you.
Any argument you don't wish to address is a “strawman”.
Anyone you disagree with is a “NEA Godless liberal”.
Some day Behe will stand all alone before the Creator explaining why he thought God was so incompetent that God put in place a mechanism for changing living systems that was inadequate to the task and that therefore constant tinkering was needed to shore up a shoddy design.
That one I would like to hear.
‘It isn't that we thought you COULDN'T make evolution work, it is just that we thought you SHOULDN'T make it work.’
Personally, I’m in favor of Christmas trees in school lobbies and mangers on public squares and miss the old celebrations. I don’t think that promoting willful ignorance by inserting charlatan anti-science BS into biology textbooks as the ID mob advocates is smart way to go about changing anything. It only demeans conservatives to associate them with an anti-science attitude.
Ok...so perhaps you can show us what is particularly “willfully ignorant” and “anti-science” about this?
As a chemist, the most fascinating issue for me revolves around the origin of life. Before life began, there was no biology, only chemistry and chemistry is the same for all time. What works (or not) today, worked (or not) back in the beginning. So, our ideas about what happened on Earth prior to the emergence of life are eminently testable in the lab. And what we have seen thus far when the reactions are left unguided as they would be in the natural world is not much. Indeed, the decomposition reactions and competing reactions out distance the synthetic reactions by far. It is only when an intelligent agent (such as a scientist or graduate student) intervenes and tweaks the reactions conditions just right do we see any progress at all, and even then it is still quite limited and very far from where we need to get. Thus, it is the very chemistry that speaks of a need for something more than just time and chance. And whether that be simply a highly specified set of initial conditions (fine-tuning) or some form of continual guidance until life ultimately emerges is still unknown. But what we do know is the random chemical reactions are both woefully insufficient and are often working against the pathways needed to succeed. For these reasons I have serious doubts about whether the current Darwinian paradigm will ever make additional progress in this area.
Ph.D. Oceanography, University of California, San Diego (Scripps Institute)
Associate Editor, Marine Chemistry
Also, any luck in finding any empricical evidence of evolution taught to the exclusion of all else is making students smarter?