This has proven to be a very reliable method for determining stellar distances, and its accuracy makes it a reliable way to check the accuracy of observations and methods used in astronomy and other areas of physics. We long ago established (through Earthbound expirements) the speed of light, at about 300,000 km per second. This is a constant (like those discovered by Newton, Planck and Hubble) that we us to explain a 13.7 billion year old universe, the process of radioactive decay that gives us approx. ages of fossils, rocks and the Earth and most other phenomena treated by science. These very same constants show up in equations behind every tech. advancement of our time (like superconductors, mircroprocessors and cellphones). The value of the scientific process can be measured not only by the advancement of theory, but by its applications in every industry and endeavor in the world.
Creationism and Intelligent Design cannot challenge theories like evolution or the big bang because they cannot use the language of mathematics to engage the science. Alternative theories must explain the shortcomings of standing theories (beyond inspiring spirited debates about religion, morality and politics). This failure doesn't reflect on the character or intelligence of science's detractors, it reflects the complex and seemingly contradictory nature of the human experience.
I don't discourage critiques of science from any quarter, but it is my experience that proponents of ID and Creationism cannot (or will not) acknowledge the differences between the study of science and the experience of faith. Revelation of faith is subjective, it depends upon the personal experience of an individual, that cannot be quantified or tested by science. The same holds for the power of prayer in one's life.
Scientists may explain faith and prayer as hallucinations caused by chemical triggers in the brain, or even mental illness. They may be atheists who think religious people are nuts and who deny an afterlife or miracles. They be born-again Christians who believe that what is truly real in life is their relationship with Christ. Whatever their subjective beliefs, they must remain true to the objectivity of the scientific process if they value their life's work.
The value of science and its successful applications in technology is the reason that doctors study evolutionary biology when they study anatomy and astronomy grad students work with published PhDs to make their own meaningful impact on our understanding of the universe. I'm not ashamed that I read Scientific American and visit academic websites (like Cambridge U) to learn about inflationary cosmology. I have read essays on Creationism and grew up with some fundamentalist Sunday school teachers who preached disdain for science and especially evolution in a very paranoid tone. My biology teacher in high school discussed Creationism, and encouraged classroom debate, but he understood the differences in how we subjectively experience faith and how we objectivly apply science to study our universe.
I never discuss my faith when defending evolution as a theory and science as a fruitful process because I don't view religion and science as opposite worldviews in perpetual contradiction. As Martin L. King stated, "science and religion are not enemies, science tells us about our universe on the outside, religion tells us about our souls on the inside." Science is no more a religion, than Creationism or ID viable science. So I'll leave it at that.
I get a kick out people who argue for Creationism in these forums, and after a round or two of posts, cast their opponents in political stereotypes, and allege agendas and paranoia, so forth. So I'm not even going to answer false assumptions about my politcal views with an intelligent rebutle.
I'm no expert on natural selection and viruses, or the fossilization of prehistoric fish or the intricate processes of stellar fussion and nucleosynthesis. I'm content to accept science as a magnificent tool for undertanding our universe and impoving our lives here on Earth. And I realize that advances in genetics do not lead to a Hitlerian future in which the government decides whose genes are worth reproducing and whose should be extinguished. Science is a tool and it's up to man to decide how it is applied. People who hold up science as a religion (whoever these people are) are not much different than those who put forth Creationism and ID as science, in that they insult the all of us who put the roles of religion and science in their lives in proper perspective.
Scientific laws and the order of the universe exist. Just because things can't be scientifically verified yet by mathematics does not mean they are not true.