Ben Stein got his start as a lawyer and a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford, and in more recent years he has written books, offered investment advice, and hosted both a game show (Win Ben Stein's Money) and a reality TV show (America's Most Smartest Model). But he is probably still best known for playing the boring high-school economics teacher who took attendance in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Now Stein is tackling education of a different kind, as the star of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary about the Intelligent Design movement—and the academic establishment's efforts to stifle the debate over the limitations of evolutionary theory that many ID advocates have been calling for.

The film opens in limited release this Friday.

How did you get involved in this movie?

Ben Stein: Walt Ruloff [co-writer and co-producer of the film] contacted me and showed me a bunch of very interesting slides and moving pictures about the cell. We talked a lot about the historical effects of Darwinism and social Darwinism, and he asked me if I would like to host a discussion about where Darwinism had gaps and where there were some unanswered questions about evolution. He said I could have a little bit of input into the storyline. I told him I was especially horrified by what Darwinism's social and historical impact had been on Jews, and that that would motivate me to try to get some involvement in the project.

How familiar were you with the subject of Intelligent Design prior to this?

Stein: Not at all. I'm still not that familiar with it. I'm more familiar with it than most people, but nowhere near as familiar with it as a genuine expert in the subject. I don't pretend to be a scientist. I'm the person who moderates the ...

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