18 November 2005

Review of UnIntelligent Design

Pointed out to me by poludamas, check out this good article about intelligent design and the religious stances of people like Newton and Einstein.


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 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.
...
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 also says 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 science.

(Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post)


Pretty scathing I think, and it goes on for multiple more screens. Krauthammer, I'm told, is a conservative. Your thoughts? Comment!

7 comments:

Wendy said...

I believe in intelligent design and anyone who believes that I'm ignorant may do so! Doesn't bother me. :) We all have faith in something... some of us in God, some in the idea there is no God... faith in science alone. To me it's a huge leap of faith to believe that we didn't have a creator. I believe in science and in the creator of science... the one that set it all in motion.
I always think of the great philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas' first mover theory from his Summa Theologica.

allan said...

I have trouble with what little I know of ID.

I think there is room for other theories, but this one looks like panic forced into the wrong box.

I am well educated and I hate to have anyone paint my belief into a corner of their choice.

To me the question is still open.

Teh Blogfather said...

To me this whole fiasco is just an instance of the pendulum swinging back the other way. At some point, the religious persecuted the scientists and got the upper hand. Now the winds have changed.

To be honest, I don't understand the intense passion everyone has. I am much less concerned about my origin, as I am concerned about the fact that I am here, and I need to be going some place worthy of the pain my mother endured to bring me into this world.

zandperl said...

Teh Blogfather:
To me this whole fiasco is just an instance of the pendulum swinging back the other way. At some point, the religious persecuted the scientists and got the upper hand. Now the winds have changed.

Hm, but I don't feel like us scientists DO have the upper hand. If we did, then the Kansas BOE wouldn't've redefined science to include the supernatural and religious.

To be honest, I don't understand the intense passion everyone has. I am much less concerned about my origin, as I am concerned about the fact that I am here, and I need to be going some place worthy of the pain my mother endured to bring me into this world.

I agree with what is important in life: to me a/the main purpose of my life is to make a positive difference in other people's lives, and the medium through which I do so is science education. Therefore when I allow others to spread misinformation it is defeating the purpose of my life. Much like a priest might feel the purpose of his life is spreading the word of God, which is negated when he allows people to speak of blasphemy...

Teh Blogfather said...

Zand:>Hm, but I don't feel like us scientists DO have the upper hand.

It may not feel like it, but when the Vatican starts announcing that parts of the Bible are true and some are not, I'd say the scientists have gained the upper hand :-)

Zand:>Therefore when I allow others to spread misinformation it is defeating the purpose of my life

I understand, though I'd like to point out that "misinformation" is relative to the observer.

I guess I'm not as passionate over the matter as others are because I just don't see how much of a difference it would make to things that matter. E.g death and taxes are still guaranteed no matter which side wins ;-)

PS: I've systematically avoided telling you which side I am because at any given time, I stand on the side which helps me solve the problem at hand.

Roberto Iza said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zandperl said...

And that (referring to above entirely contentless post), ladies and gentlemen, is why I had comment verification on. Perhaps I shall try comment screening instead.