Actor Ben Stein turned heads everywhere he went in the State Capitol this morning, and didn’t disappoint during a news conference held in the House lounge. Stein was featured in the press conference, held by Rep. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) to promote his new documentary about Intelligent Design and, as Stein says, free speech. He also wasn’t shy in answering requests to perform his famous catch phrases, no matter how many times he was asked to say, “Bueller… Bueller…”.
Stein’s new film, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, takes on the scientific community’s general beliefs in Darwinian evolution. It follows several cases where scientists were forced to give up their positions due to their defense of Intelligent Design as an evolutionary theory. In the film, Stein interviews different scientists who believe Intelligent Design is more than just an attempt at religious intrusion on the scientific community; as well as draws links between Darwinism and Nazism.
“You’re not even allowed to say that there might have been some intelligent design in the workings of the laws of thermodynamics,” said Stein, “or the workings of the laws of physics, or the workings of the laws of fluid motion. Nothing can be questioned about Darwinism or else you are in severe academic jeopardy.”
Rep. Cunningham invited Stein and the film’s producers to Missouri to show a preview of the film, which was held last night in the state Capitol Rotunda, attended by both Governor Blunt and the First Lady, who took their seats next to Stein in the front row. At the press conference, Stein displayed his sense of humor, commenting on the small size of one of the reporters’ cameras, and later mentioning the deal he and his two producers got for their stay at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.
“$130 a night; you can’t beat that,” joked Stein.
Stein said he and his producers were glad to accept Cunningham’s invitation, and expressed support for her bill which protects intellectual diversity on college campuses. Stein said he was “puzzled” at all the opposition the bill has received.
“All we’re doing is giving more of an opportunity for freedom of speech,” said Stein, “I really am puzzled as to why there would even be any opposition to it at all. I mean, It just basically says what the first amendment says, only it applies specifically to schools.”
Their stop in Missouri is one of several across the country. They have already visited Florida to show support for a bill proposal similar to Cunningham’s.