October 10, 2006

"Intelligent Design"

From cnn.com:

Richard Thompson, leader of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, said intelligent design should have a home in science classes. The center describes its mission as defending the religious freedom of Christians.

"It would make students more knowledgeable about science and more interested in science," he said in a phone interview. "Evolution is a theory. It's not a fact."

Riddle me this--why is it that one meets people who are intelligent enough to lead a large non-profit, intelligent enough to score well on tests and graduate from big universities, but when something religious comes into play, these same people will throw all intellectual brainwork out the window and will just attribute everything to "intelligent design?"

I think the article sums up "intelligent design" well:

Intelligent design's proponents hold that living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher force rather than evolving from more primitive forms.

It's amazing how these zealots put "intelligent design" on the same scientific footing as evolution. Evolution was created by observing how strong animals survive while weak animals die. It uses nature as an inductive proof of how modern animals came to be. Darwin came up with evolution through his scientific study of animals. Evolution makes scientific sense. It is as theoretically sound as the structure of the atom.

"Intelligent Design" is pseudo-science. It's almost defeatist in its outlook on life, i.e. "Organisms are too complex, and we can't be bothered to figure out how things came about, therefore we must attribute everything to a 'higher being'." I could just as easily use that argument for all science. "Aspirin cures my headache because a 'higher being' is causing the aspirin to make it go away." "Justin Gatlin runs fast because a 'higher being' is propelling him." Where does it end?

The ironic thing is that these same conservative people are constantly lamenting about how America is falling behind in education, particularly in the sciences. They complain about science education, and then they want our children to study a theory that basically says that God created everything because the world is too complex to explain?

I'm reading a good book by Richard Dawkins called "The God Delusion." In the book, he writes a lot about such zealots. It's especially poignant since Dawkins is one of the world's pre-eminent evolutionists. Check it out.

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