Don’t even bother to watch the video, just read PZ Myer’s rebuttal of Ben Stein’s arguments for intelligent design.
There is a big difference, Ben, between free speech in public discourse and the curricula we agree to teach in our public schools. For some reason people forget that you can teach your children whatever superstitious crap you want if you homeschool or use religious schools. REMEMBER: What Ben tries to portray as the embattled defenders of free speech are really people who want to bring specific religious teachings into our public curricula in addition to it already occupying the church, the home and religious schools. They want it in public schools too.
Now Ben does do a good job of trying to not seem radical but he is a radical. He doesn’t understand how science works and he is equating wild speculation with valid science. He can “talk and think” all he wants about ID. You all can. Let’s all “talk and think” about ID. That’s great. No one is objecting to that. We’re objecting to teaching anything other than science as science in science class. That’s it.
So the “squashing debate” argument is completely fallacious.
But I agree with Ben Stein when he says:
Societies progress by asking questions, having freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. We’re not trying to shut anyone up. Bill Maher can say anything he wants. All these Darwinist people, all these atheists can say anything they want. We would just like to have freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech. And is this problem important? Is freedom of inquiry important?
Yes, it is important. The gaps in evolutionary biology are under intense attack by evolutionary biologists. There are thousands of people around the world competing to prove, deny or improve the existing models. Research is abounding in these fields. What Ben wants is already happening. He is confusing the ravings of a few vocal creationists with science. Science IS challenging “Darwinism” every day. It’s just a fact that natural selection is still the theory to beat. ID does not come close by any objective measure to competing with natural selection in terms of a successful and well-tested theory.