As I commented at the above-linked post, Stein implies, or at least it seems so to me, that Free Speech equates to Institutional Endorsement. There’s a big difference there that he’s just ignoring; one has the right to say what they want in the USA, but that does not mean it won’t necessarily have consequences. We live in a society where Employment at Will comes into play, and I am more than welcome to use, for example, the “N” word, but I do so at my own risk, and my employer may indeed fire me for doing so. As someone who hails from the side of the aisle that insists on fighting ENDA because employers “should not have to endorse what they consider immoral behavior,” Stein should see the fallacy of his own implication. If he wasn’t being completely disingenuous, that is.
More importantly missed by Stein, however, is that evolution doesn’t automatically exclude the presence of God, and many believe that it is “His” method of creation. For what that’s worth, this was the original use of the now-usurped term “intelligent design.” Only in the last two decades has ID become conflated with creationism–leaving us with complete atheistic evolution on one side, and biblical ID on the other, and no term for those in the middle any more. Yet consider one of the first uses of the term Intelligent Design:
No physical hypothesis founded on any indisputable fact has yet explained the origin of the primordial protoplasm, and, above all, of its marvellous properties, which render evolution possible—in heredity and in adaptability, for these properties are the cause and not the effect of evolution. For the cause of this cause we have sought in vain among the physical forces which surround us, until we are at last compelled to rest upon an independent volition, a far-seeing intelligent design.
Later (but not much):
It will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of evolution may be guided by an intelligent design.
That last is from Schiller, a classical pragmatist (much like myself, ha ha). Written over 100 years ago. In fact, this same argument was attempted as a smokescreen for the introduction of creationism in the Dover v Kitzmiller trial in Pennsylvania just a few years ago–until prosecutors proved that the testimony to this effect did not jibe with the actual curriculum presented by the school board (as shown humorously in Chapman’s 40 Days & 40 Nights). So why are we still so divided? And why must Ben Stein make a film so full of logical fallacies?