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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

John Derbyshire's tirade against "Expelled"

(I'm expanding the opening section of this post a little so it will be harder to miss)

In an article titled "A Blood Libel on Our Civilization" on National Review Online, NRO Columnist John Derbyshire ranted,
.
What on earth has happened to Ben Stein? . . . . . Back in the 1970s, . . when The American Spectator was in its broadsheet format, I would always turn first to Ben Stein’s diary, which appeared in every issue. He was funny and clever and worldly in a way I liked a lot. The very few times I’ve caught him on-screen, he seems to have had a nice line in deadpan self-deprecation, also something I like. Though I’ve never met him, I know people who know him, and they all speak well of him.

So what’s going on here with this stupid Expelled movie? No, I haven’t seen the dang thing. I’ve been reading about it steadily for weeks now though, both pro . . and con . . . . . It’s pretty plain that the thing is creationist porn, propaganda for ignorance and obscurantism. How could a guy like this do a thing like that?

I turned over some possibilities, but decisively rejected them all. The first thing that came to mind was Saudi money. Half of the evils and absurdities in our society seem to have a Saudi prince behind them somewhere, and the Wahhabists are, like all fundamentalist Muslims, committed creationists. This doesn’t hold water, though. For one thing, Stein is Jewish. For another, he is rich, and doesn’t need the money. And for another, the stills and clips I have seen are from a low-budget production. Saudi financing would surely at least have come up with some decent computer graphics. No, Ben Stein is no crook. He must then be foolish; and that’s sad, because I now think less of a guy I once admired, and whom my friends admire . . .

. . . .The “intelligent design” hoax is not merely non-science, nor even merely anti-science; it is anti-civilization. It is an appeal to barbarism, . . . made by people who lack the imaginative power to know the horrors of true barbarism.

And yes: When our greatest achievements are blamed for our greatest moral failures, that is a blood libel against Western civilization itself. What next, Ben? Johann Sebastian Bach ran a slave-trading enterprise on the side? Kepler started the Thirty Years War? Tolstoy instigated the Kishinev Pogrom? Dante was a bag-man for the Golden Horde? Why not go smash a few windows in Chartres Cathedral, Ben?

WOW.
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13 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Derbyshire at least proves that one doesn't have to be a liberal to be a fanatical believer in old-fashioned Darwinist doctrine. George F. Will is another conservative who is devoutly attached to Darwinism. But Derbyshire is the worst.

Meanwhile, there are some liberals such as Huston Smith and Deepak Chopra who are favorable to intelligent design theory. And Green theorist Jeremy Rifkin has long been an anti-Darwinist, although not an ID theorist.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I forgot to add that the article gets worse -- it calls Judge Jones "witty and mild-mannered" and says,

"The response of the Discovery Institute [to the Dover decision] was to launch sneering, slanderous attacks on the professionalism and competence of Judge Jones (a church-going conservative Republican appointed by President George W. Bush)."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's funny that Derbyshire mentions that Jones goes to church: for Derbyshire himself is an ex-Christian who is now an atheist and a materialist. (I've read that, but don't have an immediate reference. It came out in a discussion or debate involving Derbyshire and ID theorist George Gilder.)

It often seems to happen that those who are apparently "saved" from Christianity by becoming believers in Darwinism, become really fervent Darwinists.

I've also read that Michael Shermer belonged to some fundamentalist Christian sect, as a teenager. And that he kept a bust of Darwin on his desk, after his "conversion" to Darwinism.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben Stein says that Darwin "didn't explain gravity." Imagine the carelessness and effrontery!

WOW!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 3:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Comment Deleted said...

This post has been removed by the Intelligent Designer.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood, the poet laureate of the ID movement, posted the following limericks on the "Outhouse Wall for Outhouse Poets":

One Yoko, who's Loco, said "No!
I IMAGINE I'm losing some dough.
My only obsessions's
With all the possessions
That Strawberry Fields can grow."

Said Yoko, "I'm free of all greed!
I IMAGINE, as Johnny decreed,
I'll let property go.
I'll go Loco, and know
How to peck with the birds, as they feed."

Jim, they should be posted both on the Outhouse Wall and under a recent post. If you post them only on the Outhouse Wall, most people will never see it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

There once was a lady named Yoko,
who had a last name that was Ono.
Because of her fame,
she has a new name,
it's now Loco Bozo Oh-No-No.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 4:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

That's pretty funny, Larry!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Thanks, Jim -- I don't know why I am suddenly inspired.

Here is a new stanza for "Imagine" --

Imagine there are no copyrights,
it isn't hard to do.
Nothing to cause court fights,
no reason for to sue.
Imagine all the people
staying out of court

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

What's wrong with these Darwin-fanatics like Derbyshire?? The guy absurdly writes that intelligent design is "anti-civilization" and "an appeal to barbarism!"

If they get to be still more hysterical, will that help the movie? Maybe!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>> It's funny that Derbyshire mentions that Jones goes to church: for Derbyshire himself is an ex-Christian who is now an atheist and a materialist <<<<<<

Yes -- the Darwinists stereotype Darwin Doubters as Christian fundies, but a Darwin Doubter can be anyone from an atheist to a Satanist. I have been called a Christian fundy many times. They have said that I am "lying for Jesus."

Thursday, May 01, 2008 1:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Now that Stanford's Fair Use Project is going to defend EXPELLED against Loco Bozo Oh-No-No, that should create some publicity for the movie. Let's hope she manages to stir up a really celebrated scandal.

Thursday, May 01, 2008 4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous That's where science leads you said...

"It's a pity Crouch didn't invite the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the studio for a three-way conversation. It would have elevated the tone."

Sunday, May 04, 2008 2:13:00 PM  

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