There was programme on over the weekend which I wanted to see very much . It was called, I think, Inside the Cell, or some such, and a terrific bio-chemistry swot had been wheeled in to provide the spiel. Now, as you all know, I am a semi-educated man, in fact, worse than that, I am a semi-self-educated man which, of course, provides me with little inthe way of hard facts but a great deal of self-inflated opinions! Where was I? Oh, yes, Inside the Cell, well, I didn't stay for long, but before I blow the BBC to hell and back let me explain why I was looking forward to this programme with such eagerness.
I can still remember my exact location the day I first found out about the intricacies of the human cell - a remote farm cottage in Wales, since you ask, and yes, it was raining! The book was Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe which itself caused a minor sensation in the world of biology and nearly caused 'Archbishop' Dawkins's mitre to achieve lift off. This was because of its advocacy of the Intelligent Designer notion which is about as convincing as the idea that something like a human eye could have evolved as a result of zillions of tiny incremental improvements. However, in the course of supporting his argument Behe, a micro-bio-chemical swot, himself, went into some detail describing the actual 'mechanics of what goes on inside a living cell.
It was a very quiet weekend that weekend in Wales because I was so utterly gob-smacked as to be incapable of anything in the way of conversation with my wife and friends - probably to their relief. Until that moment I had simply no idea of the complexity - well, 'complexity' is hardly the word, think of 'complexity' multiplied a hundred-fold - and then multiplied again - of the processes which go on inside every cell in our bodies every minute of the day. I cannot describe the excitement I felt on learning all this, but also I felt a sort of rage because I realised that had I known of this as a boy I would have concentrated on chemistry and made it my life's work. In a recent exchange of comments down below somewhere, the subject of blood-clotting arose, and again, that is one of the 'miracles' (I use the word loosely because I cannot find another to express my reverence for the process) that Behe describes and which left me - well - silenced!
So, you can imagine my eagerness to watch this programme Inside the Cell. Of course, being a weekend there was Strictly Come Prancing on and the 'Memsahib' has prior rights to the schedules so I turned in gratitude - yet again - to dear, old Rupe's 'do-flicker-recording-thingie' (which is the cleverest clever thing since, well, blood-clotting, really) and duly recorded it. Yesterday I watched it. I switched off after 10 minutes. Rage ensued! I do realise that making scientific programmes is not easy. Not everyone wants some dusty, old university prof (sorry DM!) standing there talking directly to camera, although I seem to recall it worked quite well in years past, but neither do we - or I - want ludicrous, special effects cartoons all over-laid with portentious and ghastly non-music. That's what we were provided with on this programme. It was science for seven year-olds!
The boss of the BBC is up in front of a committee of MPs this morning to answer questions about this hsyterical Jimmy Savile nonsense. I wish someone would ask him about his totally crap science programmes!