20 December 2005

PA court agrees: ID not Science

Whoo-hoo! You have to go read this for yourself.


Well, okay, I'll quote you an important part.

[It is] abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause [separation of Church and State]. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

Judge Jones (original document)

He goes on with some pretty strong language condemning the school Board, saying that they lied about their agenda, and that the action of the court was not judicial activism, but trying to prevent ill-informed and inane activism by others, that ultimately dragged the whole town including the students through a "legal maelstrom" and was an "utter waste." Those are Jones' words, not mine! I don't think I'd've been so drastic. :-P


Tom said...

It’s a good decision. When I was a kid in school (too long ago) we were taught evolution. Creationism was left to the church. Never was there a single word about it – ever; and it was a fairly religious area. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why that isn’t/wasn’t good enough, the Dark Ages supposedly ended a while back.

zandperl said...

It's all a matter of perspective. They (evangelicals) believe that we are entering (or are in the depths of) a dark and unenlightened age away from the light of the Lord. Personally, I like my computers, so I'm willing to believe in science.

Kavin Watson said...

Something you can ask an ID: Who designed the designer? :D

And has anyone noticed that Creationism goes way against the First Law of Thermodynamics (The Law of Conservation)?

My Blog

zandperl said...

That's an old one. :) I think their argument is that there's some Ultimate Creator who doesn't need to be created by anything. Similarly, we evolutionists don't yet have a good answer for how life itself came to be. I believe we have an answer for how amino acids came about, but DNA? And unfortunately the Big Bang also goes against conservation laws.

Science is already mysterious enough without invoking the supernatural. The problem is that many people don't seem to understand that having an imperfect theory is better than no theory at all. IDers are like a person with a hole in their winter boots, so they throw them out and wear flip-flops instead. Yeah there's holes in evolution, but we'll keep patching them until we come up with a better theory, not something worse!

Kavin Watson said...

I had never thought that the Big Bang went against conservation. I had just taken it for granted. That is a pretty big problem since most cosmologists agree with it. That actually would be a good subject for me to commit some research and thought to. But I'm getting off the subject. I know a lot of ID's who suggest that evolution theory is affected by Entropy. I think that evolution is not affected by this because of DNA Replication. Do you have any insight into this?

zandperl said...

Well, I'm under the impression that the details of Big Bang theory actually have more holes than the details of evolution. I think it's just that the creationists understand evolution better so they chose to target that.

Literal Bible creationism says that the whole universe is some 6,000 years old, with life forming some 6 days later. Evolution says that life started around 4 billion years ago. Radiocarbon dating says the Earth formed around 5 billion years ago. Cosmology says the universe started some 14 billion years ago. The fundamentalists are really just picking and choosing which science to fight when they attack biology and not physical science or astronomy.

As for entropy vs evolution, I am not familiar with the arguments, but off the top of my head here's my thoughts. Firstly, natural selection is a selective process - those DNA molecules that lose sufficent information have their creature die, while DNA that grows does not. Additionally, entropy only works for the system as a whole, not just the single unit of DNA. Saying that DNA defies entropy is the same as saying that refridgerators deny entropy: they both do in a small local region, but in order to run the fridge you need to create more entropy (heat) in the back by its coils, and to create DNA you need to break down the order in the food that you eat.