I absolutely love this:
I’ve been accused of refusing to review Ben Stein’s documentary “Expelled,” a defense of Creationism, because of my belief in the theory of evolution. Here is my response.
Ben Stein, you hosted a TV show on which you gave away money. Imagine that I have created a special edition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” just for you. Ben, you’ve answered all the earlier questions correctly, and now you’re up for the $1 million prize. It involves an explanation for the evolution of life on this planet. You have already exercised your option to throw away two of the wrong answers. Now you are faced with two choices: (A) Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, or (B) Intelligent Design.
I have done this. In archaeology and palaeoanthropology, since they are historical sciences, it is always possible to take any given reconstruction or model and claim that it can’t really be proven. When you get a sufficient amount of snark going among the grad students and advanced undergrads, they can suddenly discover that they don’t actually have to read, think, or even write clearly. They just have to keep repeating the mantra that you can’t really know anything.
A problem which goes away the second you offer money. “OK, class, we have two hypotheses written on the board.” (At which time my lovely assistant, Vanna, points to the two hypothes.) Obviously, we really can’t know which one is more likely to be close to the truth than the other. But I want you to write down either one or the other on a piece of paper … as in a secret ballot. Vote for one of the hypotheses.”
“…Do discussion allowed … and everybody who votes in the majority gets a dollar. Everyone who does not vote in the majority gets nothing.”
Always, the vote is unanimous. Turns out you can know shit after all.
Anyhow, the review of Ben Stein’s Expelled, by Roger Ebert, is HERE.
Hat tip: Phil