|Ben Stein: "We needed an atheist jerk to make a really stupid futile obnoxious gesture
that vindicates the core thesis of Expelled. Coyne was the answer to our prayers."
[Dissociated Press] Darwinist fundamentalist Jerry Coyne, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago, has finally admitted that his bizarre effort to silence Ball State professor Eric Hedin for teaching a course that contains content with which Coyne disagrees is actually a publicity stunt for the pro-academic freedom film Expelled.
Coyne spoke with a DP reporter yesterday in his office at the University of Chicago.
Actually, a couple of months ago I was just sitting in my office perusing magazines on fruit fly evolution when I got a call from Ben Stein, who starred in the ID film Expelled.
Of course I don't like Stein. He asks questions about evolution. I thought to myself "why would this guy be calling me?
But actually Stein was very polite to me. He said: "Jerry, we know you don't like our movie, but we're really in a financial bind. We've sold quite a few DVD's, but lately the market's been slumping, and we figured we have to do something to get Expelled back in the public eye."
So I asked him what that has to do with me.
"What we need, Jerry, is some atheist loon to prove that everything we said in Expelled about Darwinist supression and thuggery is true. We couldn't find an atheist asshole who was crazy enough-- stupid enough actually-- to publicly vindicate the movie. Then one of our producers said he had the solution to our marketing problem-- two words: 'Jerry Coyne'.
Keep talking, I said.
"So here's the deal, Jerry. We need you to pick some modest little university-- perhaps a public university in which students and faculty actually have constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights. Find a little course, preferably in a science department, that discusses the philosophical implications of science in a way that Darwinists hate. It has to be an elective course-- not required-- that critiques some aspect of Darwinism and maybe even mentions God. It has to be a course that adult students choose voluntarily, out of a desire to broaden their understanding of the philosophy of science. It has to be a course that no one in their right mind would say was illegal or unconstitutional. What we need, Jerry, is for you to embark on a crusade that is so stupid and so offensive that it completely validates the core thesis of Expelled-- that scientists who dare question atheism and Darwinism are subject to horrendous personal, professional and even legal attacks. It would be great for sales of our DVD."
I was hesitant. What's in it for me, I asked.
"Here's the part you'll like, Jerry. We'll give you a special package we've put together just for you. A copy of Origin of Species, with Darwin's words in red. Autographed first editions of each of Richard Dawkins' best sellers, and an adorable Richard Dawkins bobble-head doll that when you put it on a shelf it always looks down on you, and an inflatable life-sized Madalyn Murray-O'Hair doll that says "I'll take you to court" when you tickle it in a special spot. It's all yours, just for doing us this one little marketing favor."
I don't normally consort with creationists, and I already had a Dawkins bobble-head. But they were offering me an inflatable Madalyn Murray-O'Hair doll...
This was irresistable.
So Coyne searched the catalogues of hundreds of public universities until he found the perfect course-- Hedin's course in the astronomy department at Ball State.
In just a month, Expelled sales have skyrocketed. People see that the core thesis of the movie is true: any professor who dares to challenge Darwinian atheist dogma gets attacked relentlessly. Threats of professional destruction, denial of tenure, letters from atheist legal groups threatening lawsuits in federal court, letters to the chairman and to university administration.
Straight out of Expelled. It's like they scripted it.
Stein and the Expelled producers have expressed gratitude to Coyne. Stein gave Coyne a special gift-- a gold-plated Expelled DVD-- with the inscription:
To Dr. Coyne: With deepest gratitude from the producers and cast of Expelled.
Thank you for vindicating our message.