John Derbyshire, who writes for National Review, the conservative publication, is not a man I always agree with. On the issue of creationism, however, he is wonderfully scornful of some of its advocates. In commenting on the movie, Expelled, put together by Ben Stein, he has this to say:
Our scientific theories are the crowning adornments of our civilization, towering monuments of intellectual effort, built from untold millions of hours of observation, measurement, classification, discussion, and deliberation. This is quite apart from their wonderful utility – from the light, heat, and mobility they give us, the drugs and the gadgets and the media. (A “thank you” wouldn’t go amiss.) Simply as intellectual constructs, our well-established scientific theories are awe-inspiring.
And now here is Ben Stein, sneering and scoffing at Darwin, a man who spent decades observing and pondering the natural world – that world Stein glimpses through the window of his automobile now and then, when he’s not chattering into his cell phone. Stein claims to be doing it in the name of an alternative theory of the origin of species: Yet no such alternative theory has ever been presented, nor is one presented in the movie, nor even hinted at. There is only a gaggle of fools and fraudsters, gaping and pointing like Apaches on seeing their first locomotive: “Look! It moves! There must be a ghost inside making it move!”
Update: Ben Stein has lost it totally.