This doesn't happen every day: John Derbyshire writes a column that most of Winds' readership will agree with, as he covers Ben Stein's creationist movie Expelled: NO Intelligence Allowed. Now, over to Derb:
"The misrepresentations in Expelled are far too numerous for me to list here, and the task is unnecessary since others have done it. The aforementioned Expelled Exposed website is a great resource. Biologist P. Z. Myers, in a less organized way, has been pointing up the errors and deceptions in Expelled since the wretched thing hove into view. (Here he links to a whole stack of reviews, including a couple of positives.) Other science-literate bloggers have been weighing in, often very angrily. One of my favorite comments came from "Pixy Misa" (Andrew Mazels) who correctly called Ben Stein's accusing Darwin of responsibility for the Holocaust "a blood libel on science."
I would actually go further than that, to something like “a blood libel on Western Civilization."
I join Derb as someone who's pretty disappointed in Ben Stein, and Derb's points elsewhere in the article about the inherent dishonesty of the creationist enterprise reflect my biggest objection as well.
I personally believe that the universe was created by an intelligent designer, and that the designer was G-d. But that can't be a scientific question, because there's no way of testing the negative hypothesis. Ultimately, therefore, that's a question beyond science's capacity to address.
I've talked about the necessary roles played by both religion and science as the twin pillars of Western civilization - vid. articles like "The Holy Scientist," about Dr. Mordecai Haffkine. There's a place for expressions of faith in the public square, and I find secular fundamentalism fanatics as annoying and dangerous as their religious brethren.
If people wished to have creationism taught in a comparative religion class or a social studies class, therefore, I'd have no issue with it. That's legitimate, and honest.
To present creationism as science, however, is dishonest at a very fundamental level. Not just a mistake, or a different belief - deliberately dishonest. It doesn't surprise me, therefore, when Mr. Derbyshire advances evidence of further dishonest behaviour from the "Discovery Institute."
Even if the believers in intelligent design are ultimately correct, which I believe they are, that dishonesty is the kiss of death. This is especially true for a faith-based view linked to G-d, one of whose prime attributes is supposed to be truth.