Friday, February 15, 2008

Ben Stein wins Johnson Award

Ben Stein, the driving force behind the new film to be released in April Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, will be awarded the 2008 Phillip Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth, Biola University announced today. Here is the press release:

Ben Stein Wins Money from Intelligent Design Community

La Mirada, Calif. -- Ben Stein, known for his lead role in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day and his Comedy Central show Win Ben Stein’s Money, believes in liberty and truth. In recognition of this, Biola University’s masters in science and religion program will present him with the 2008 Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth on March 27, a month before the release of his major controversial motion picture, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

In his new movie Expelled, Stein wonders whether humans were designed by an intelligent being or whether we were simply the result of an ancient natural accident. In his search for an answer, he discovers an elitist scientific establishment that punishes the scientific proponents of Intelligent Design because they reject some of the claims of Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Big science in this area of biology has lost its way,” says Stein. “Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science.”

In light of Stein’s contribution to the pursuit of liberty and truth, particularly as it relates to the field of Intelligent Design, he is being honored with the 2008 Johnson Award. The award ceremony will feature premiere clips from the forthcoming movie, the personal appearance of scientists who were expelled from their jobs because they are sympathetic to Intelligent Design, and will include a brief address by Stein.

Biola University, a Christian university in Southern California, established the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth in 2004 to honor legal scholar and Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson, who was the award’s first recipient. The award recognizes Johnson’s pivotal role in advancing our understanding of design in the universe by opening up informed dissent to Darwinian and materialistic theories of evolution. British philosopher Antony Flew, once considered the most prominent defender of atheism in the English-speaking world, became the second recipient of this award in 2006 for his Socratic approach of “following the evidence where it leads” and abandoning atheism on account of design arguments.

Ben Stein is a lawyer, economist, former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator. He has acted and made guest appearances in numerous movies, TV series, and TV commercials. His part as the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off was recently ranked as one of the fifty most famous scenes in American film.

Further details about the ceremony will soon be available at www.biola.edu/scienceandreligion.

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Biola University, founded in 1908, will celebrate 100 years of biblically centered Christian education on February 24. Located in La Mirada, Calif., on the border of LA and Orange Counties, Biola is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “National University,” which they consider the “major leagues” of higher education. Biola offers 145 academic programs through its seven schools, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit www.biola.edu.