Skip to comments.Why intelligent design proponents are wrong.
Posted on 11/18/2005 4:34:43 AM PST by StatenIsland
Why intelligent design proponents are wrong.
Because every few years this country, in its infinite tolerance, insists on hearing yet another appeal of the Scopes monkey trial, I feel obliged to point out what would otherwise be superfluous - that the two greatest scientists in the history of our species were Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and they were both religious. Newton's religiosity was traditional. He was a staunch believer in Christianity and member of the Church of England. Einstein's was a more diffuse belief in a deity who set the rules for everything that occurs in the universe.
Neither saw science as an enemy of religion. On the contrary. "He believed he was doing God's work," wrote James Gleick in his recent biography of Newton. Einstein saw his entire vocation - understanding the workings of the universe - as an attempt to understand the mind of God.
Not a crude and willful God who pushes and pulls and does things according to whim. Newton was trying to supplant the view that first believed the sun's motion around the Earth was the work of Apollo and his chariot, and later believed it was a complicated system of cycles and epicycles, one tacked on upon the other every time some wobble in the orbit of a planet was found. Newton's God was not at all so crude. The laws of his universe were so simple, so elegant, so economical, and therefore so beautiful that they could only be divine.
Which brings us to Dover (Pa.), Pat Robertson, the Kansas State Board of Education and a fight over evolution that is so anachronistic and retrograde as to be a national embarrassment.
Dover distinguished itself this Election Day by throwing out all eight members of its school board who tried to impose "intelligent design" - today's tarted-up version of creationism - on the biology curriculum. Robertson then called down the wrath of God upon the good people of Dover for voting "God out of your city." Meanwhile in Kansas, the school board did a reverse Dover, mandating the teaching of skepticism about evolution and forcing intelligent design into the statewide biology curriculum.
Let's be clear. "Intelligent design" may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological "theory" whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge - in this case, evolution - they are to be filled by God. It is a "theory" that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species, but that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, "I think I'll make me a lemur today." A "theory" that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science - that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution - or behind the motion of the tides or the "strong force" that holds the atom together?
In order to justify the farce that intelligent design is science, Kansas had to corrupt the very definition of science, dropping the phrase "natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us," thus unmistakably implying - by fiat of definition, no less - that the supernatural is an integral part of science. This is an insult both to religion and to science.
The school board thinks it is indicting evolution by branding it an "unguided process" with no "discernable direction or goal." This is as ridiculous as indicting Newtonian mechanics for positing an "unguided process" by which the Earth is pulled around the sun every year without discernible purpose. What is chemistry if not an "unguided process" of molecular interactions without "purpose"? Or are we to teach children that God is behind every hydrogen atom in electrolysis?
He may be, of course. But that discussion is the province of religion, not science. The relentless attempt to confuse the two by teaching warmed-over creationism as science can only bring ridicule to religion, gratuitously discrediting a great human endeavor and our deepest source of wisdom precisely about those questions - arguably, the most important questions in life - that lie beyond the material.
How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too.
Originally published on November 18, 2005
Olympia Snowe, Hillary Clinton, and others who deny Christ and His having created all things (John 1) may have evolved from a monkey and pond scum, but as for me, my wife, kids and grandbabies, we are made in the image of God!
How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too."
Nicely said, I think. Jusy my opinion.
I for one am proud of my monkey and pond scum forebears.
As Mr. Krauthammer asks, "Why should evolution be the enemy of God?".
God works in mysterious ways his wonders to achieve. Why not use evolution to create man in his own image?
You can't have both ways, Charles. It is what it is. Admit it.
Because the Bible says he created man and woman - not that they evolved.
t is a "theory" that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species, but that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, "I think I'll make me a lemur today."
I am happy for you.
"How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too. "
As Mr. Krauthammer asks, "Why should evolution be the enemy of God?"
NYC evolves humans into Godless Libertarians.
Because - if evolution theory was right and god existed, then diversity would be devine.
That can't be tolerated. ;-)
"Because the Bible says he created man and woman - not that they evolved."
Created, Evolved....let's not split hairs. If God created evolution, is it any less a miracle? I'm not trying to be flip or engage in conflict here, I respect your opinion. I just find the concept of evolution and natural selection to be beautiful and stunning in it's simplicity.
God MUST have started it.
"Which 'god'???? "
C'mon. There's only one, and you and I both know it.
Genesis makes it clear God created man and woman as a man and woman. If you don't believe the Bible, that is up to you. But it in no way that I can see implies humans evolved from something else.
How then do you explain the fossil record?
Another idiot that equates ID with strict creationism, and then says it's wrong.
Folks with the "art gene" running through their lines know all about it. Those who don't, can't imagine it's that simple.
Apparently NOT as the Heavenly Father, that Creator that endowed US with RIGHTS no man/government can take or give, is not the "god" this man is describing.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. Do you think there are really "transitional" fossils that demonstrate humans evolved from something else?
i believe he says it is not science, but rather theology.
So apes started cave paintings? Cool!
THIS libertarian (small "l" please) is anything but Godless, and believes he should be able to exercise his freedom to believe in God the way he wants to believe in God -- not in the way some school board or other government entity tells him he should believe in God.
Next thing you know, a school board will be taken over in Jersey City by Hindus and you'll find cows an intergral part of the science curriculum. And perhaps somewhere, somehow, Druids (Reformed) are plotting to take over a school board and mandate repeated mention of trees.
It is truly sad that defenders of both evolution and intelligent design don't really look at their topics objectivelly, they just defend either one as their "religion" yelling at each other and not listening to another point of view. The fact is, evolution is a theory, not a law, which means that it is (was) the best theory given the observed data, much like the Big Bang theory, which is being revised (some scientists think that the universe came from "sheets" instead of a singularity). ID, from what I understand, takes the THEORY of evolution and, in simple terms, states that we don't really know how it all started due to the mathmatical improbibility of it all. But I guess people don't want to look at it in that light, they just want to argue, which is their right, but it seems to be a moot point.
No matter what, we are here, there are mysteries of the Universe that we don't understand, from the fact that evolution of the first complex protiens should have taken (mathmatically) over 20 billion years to happen given all of the variables, to the fact that the Universe isn't crawling with intelligent life and we haven't detected it yet (read Carl Sagan for more insight on this), to the "missing link" in the past of the human race.
If you read most physicst, specifically the quantum fields and cosmology, they are constantly dumbfounded about the origin of anything in the Universe, and most of them do write a lot of it off to a higher being (God). Yelling at each other, trying to prove or dis-prove the existence of God due to observations (which can be flawed) in one or two specific fields of science is absurd. Most people hear the word "theory" and believe it to be a natrual law, but theories are imperfect and subject to change due to new observations. The final say on evolution, as well as the creation of the Universe, is still open for new theories, and most likely will be for the rest of history because of a lack of data (first hand) that proves conclusively the facts one way or another (unless human beings do evolve to something completely different before the end of history).
People who try to argue for science while disregarding the unknown are deluding themselves, because there will always be mysteries that human beings can't explain, no matter how much we learn about the universe around us.
Why does Krauthammer,and others, believe that it's their mission in life to parade the truth of scientific orthodoxy upon the school systems?
If intelligent design is false it will fall out of favor, and be discredited on the facts. The world will still spin, and birds will still fly.
The larger question is: Who decides what is taught in schools - liberal bureaucrats, the MSM, or parents?
We've already seen one judge rule that parents have no control over what is taught in schools. Whatever one thinks of the ID/Evolution controversy it should be remembered that parents are under fire to cede control of their children to liberal educators. That's more important than any theory, and Krauthammer should recognize that.
Thank goodness we get to elect school board members so if the Hindus win, so be it.
In this sense, we can take Genesis as true: a poetic statement about the Creator and his relationship to the cosmos and humankind. But we cannot take it as literal scientific truth. The scientific evidence is absolutely overwhelming that life has developed from a simple common ancestor over thousands of millions of years. Most branches of Christianity have long since recognized this fact, and have reached the conclusion that evolution poses no more threat to Christian theology than the present problem of evil in the world. For example, Roman Catholics teach that God used evolution to creat us. Only in one portion of the Evangelical ("fundamentalist") movement is a literal reading of Genesis demanded of Christians. I believe that this is a huge barrier between educated people and Christianity -- an unnecessary barrier! As Jesus put it: "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)
Creationism is theology. ID is philosophy.
Whenever you get into things we don't understand you're always bordering between philosophy and "science".
As someone how they differentiate science from phiolosiphy, and you'll likely be able to give them several examples of things they consider science that don't fit the definition.
Then ask them how to explain the origin of the universe through science.
I'm not a fan of Robertson, and I do think that he is pushing for creationism to be taught in schools.
However calling ID "today's tarted-up version of creationism", is just as close minded as Robertson.
And what did the Bible say he created them from? I remember in the case of woman it was from Adam's rib. Do you honestly find that easier to believe than evolutionary processes? I mean if God wanted to create woman He didnt need to mess around with Adam's rib. He could just speak her into existence like he did the rest of the Universe. So why if He could choose the Adam's rib approach with Eve, you wont allow God to use evolution as his means of creation. A baby is a person from conception on in that if it continues to grow, its not going to end up an aligator. Its human. So if you give God nine months to create a child today, why dont you allow God millenia to produce this complex creature Man. You do realize that God exists outside of time and our days are irrelevant to him?
If you don't take Genesis literally, then there is nothing else to say.
So no matter what, you aren't going to believe the Biblical account of creation and I won't believe we evolved from apes so I guess it's a draw.
No, that's not what ID is at all. If ID were about abiogenesis, it wouldn't be at all in conflict with the Theory of Evolution since the Theory of Evolution has absolutely nothing to say on that subject. What ID does say is that God (or Xenu or some unspecified Creator) occasionally steps in and mucks about with the evolutionary process, creating "features" that ID proponents insist could not possibly be created through evolution. Now, in every specific case they cite, such as the flagellum, science has managed to provide a hypothetical evolutionary pathway, but when confronted with that the ID proponents simply smile and either repeat the same example over and over hoping no one will notice, or pick some new supposedly "irreducibly complex" mechanism to harp on, which is in turn dispensed with by the scientific community. Note that ID never actually attempts to tell us what the Creator is, how it works or what mechanisms it uses, it simply posits some unspecified miracle for everything that is not completely understood.
Are you suggesting if I created a fortune of 100 millinon dollars, it just sprang into existence one day. Or if I created an artistic masterpiece, it just sprang into existence. Creation is a process, not an event.
You do know the English word "created" didnt exist at the Time that Moses wrote Genesis? So why do you put such great emphasis on your distinction between created and evolved when in God's mind there might be no difference. God can do creation how He wants, not how you demand He do it.
Where have I demanded anything? I simply read Genesis. Sounds if you are the one demanding that God conform to your Darwinist beliefs.
Are you saying that God made a mistake when he created Neanderthal Man and had to keep creating Man until he got it right with us? If God didnt use evolution, then why did he screw up with all our forebearers like Neanderthal? I dont read anything in the Bible about Neanderthal? Are you saying that God didnt create him and that he was a work of the Devil?
Allright, learn something new every day. I admit my ignorance as to ID, since I haven't been following it. However, the theory of evolution still does not explain everything. Mathmatically, it is highly improbable for the primordial soup to have developed complex amino acids in the time frame specified by the theory. Am I saying that it is impossible? No I am not. All I am saying is that it is still open to speculation, which is what a theory is. I don't have much of a bio background, but I do know enough about math and physics and chemistry to understand that some of the things that have happened (the formation of complex protiens, the formation of the planets/solar systems/galaxies/clusters/superclusters) are still not fully solved by science, and will never be (in my eyes) until actual proof by first hand evidence is shown to prove it (does anyone have a good time machine handy?). If the ID people are wrong, then they are wrong, but likewise, the evolution crowd may not be right either, because there is no conclusive evidence supporting what that theory states about the begining of it all. If people believe that life started by an accident of nature, then more power to them, but it still as yet needs to be proven. I am aware that scientists are trying to re-create the conditions that are believed to have caused the formation of the first amino acids, and they still haven't done it yet. One of the theories that I know of states that the amino acids came from comets, which is all good and dandy, but WHERE DID THEY FORM, and how? Nothing is set in stone about it, so there is still room for a revision of the theory.
Actually the Bible does talk about the "giants" but doesn't say where they came from. And a lot of people think Neanderthals were humans so I don't see a problem.
You really do need to read a little bit about evolution theory. Nowhere does it say that man evolved from apes!! Oh, by the way which Genesis account aare we supposed to believe? There are two different ones you know of course.
But a whole generation or more of children will have grown up scientifically ignorant because they wont understand what science is or how it works.
What you say is equivalent to lets accept Islam as our faith and if it is wrong it will fall out of favor and the world will stil spin and the birds will still fly.
You are correct.
Besides, Einstein himself stated that imagination is more important than intelligence. Seeing the "mind" of God (i.e. ID) requires more than science, it *demands* creative thinking that is outside the scope of science. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of quantum physics can see this. Krauthammer, who can otherwise be brilliant, apparently does not.
Oh yeah! Then how do you explain Rumpelstiltskin, or what ever his name was, predicting global warming? Ain't global warming science? Ain't prophecy religion? There, argument over!!