OK, it’s time for a joke. This one is appropriate for the whole family and suitable, with minor modifications, for many occasions: What’s the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?
One is a giant, flaming Nazi gasbag, and the other is a dirigible.
In this case, the gasbag also likes to parade blithering ignorance of science before the whole world. To wit:
In fact, one of these guys in Ben Stein’s movie, guy named Hawkins who’s over at Oxford I think, Oxford or Cambridge, Ben Stein goes over and interviews him in this movie, Expelled. The movie hits April 12th or the 16th. And he said, “Can you explain the origins of life with Darwinism?” “No, we can’t. Well, actually we can, but we don’t.”
Point one: when you’re criticizing a person, it’s good to get their name right, after which you can move on to knowing where they work and, maybe, understanding their position. Who in blazes is this “Hawkins” person? Must be that biologist trapped in a wheelchair. You know, the one who teaches about black holes’ DNA and how the Big Bang came from monkeys — he’s a professor at Oxlonbridgeford. Point two: the sack of lies known as the Expelled movie is opening on the 18th. It’s odd how amidst a fog of untruth, a minor factual error can shine forth like a searchlight.
Rush is all in a lather about some statements by the well-respected physicist Peter Higgs, who way back when proposed what is now known as the “Higgs boson,” a hypothetical particle which would explain “electroweak symmetry breaking” — roughly, why two of the four fundamental forces of the Universe are different from one another. Now, several years back a physicist by the name of Leon Lederman made what many people consider an unfortunate decision: he decided to call a book about the Higgs boson The God Particle. That’s one way to earn back your advance, I suppose, but it also has the perfectly predictable consequence that people will read more into the phrase than was intended.
“B-but I only wanted to draw an analogy between the way that electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force are different and the way that the Tower of Babel legend says people started speaking different languages!”
“Well, you should have called your book The Babel Particle, then. Would’ve sounded cooler, too. I could see Summer Glau playing the lead in a movie called The Babel Particle — she’s a ninja physicist, he’s an archaeologist, they solve crimes — but your title sounds like you had bills to pay and wanted to score some easy Templeton cash.”
I know I shouldn’t blame Lederman for fueling Rush Limbaugh’s insane dribbling, but really, I’m in pain right now, and I might not be acting with my customary kindness and good humor. Just listen:
In other words, he’s looking for a God particle. He’s looking for a particle to prove God. Dr. Higgs, please, just look out the window, Dr. Higgs. You see that tree? You see the grass? Whatever is outside your window, all of it, it’s God particles. Every aspect of it is God particles.
Pantheism has never found a worse spokesman.
Rush goes on to parrot some more of the falsehoods which Mark Mathis and Ben Stein have so kindly packaged, but honestly, they don’t deserve a full fisking. I suspect my time would be better spent channeling my disgust into a screenplay wherein Summer Glau plays a physicist who blends with shadows, walks between the raindrops and beats people up.