Tuesday, August 30, 2005

intelligent design hoax

I just read a great editorial article by Daniel Dennett called "Show Me the Science". If you have any interest or opinion in the current debate over whether the Intelligent Design theory should be taught in American schools, you need to read this sharp article.

Dennett astutely observes that in the scientific community, the way to stir up controversy or to challenge a widely accepted theory is to come up with a new theory that solves inconsistencies with the old theory. The thing about Intelligent Design theory is that there's no scientific evidence to support it. Studies to find evidence haven't even been attempted. Dennett notes that when a widely accepted theory is publicly challenged, often scientists jump on the bandwagon to research and study the alternative theory pretty quickly. What research scientist doesn't want to be the first one to come up with breakthrough evidence? I'm sure the person who proves the Intelligent Design theory will have a good shot at a Nobel Prize. Why then, is there a void of information or substantive evidence to support this theory?

Currently, Intelligent Design supporters have conveniently avoided the need for scientific evidence claiming, in some cases, that we can't understand or know for sure just who the Designer is. They admit freely that there's no evidence, but with faith in God there's no need for it. Any semi-intelligent person with a college degree should understand that in order for a theory to be proven logically or scientifically there has to be something supporting it. Why aren't the proponents spending their money on research and experiment instead of propaganda and media buzz? If they really wanted their ideas to be accepted by the scientific community, they would invest in some reasearch.

ID supporters obviously feel that scientific evidence is not important to their case. And, if you look at the number of Christian fundamentalists and Adam & Eve believers, you'll see that they don't really need to. It boggles my mind that so many people are willing to put all their belief in a theory that sidesteps science completely. But, fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; believe what you want to.

However, when it comes to the education of American children I do not believe it's appropriate to include the Intelligent Design "theory" in science classrooms. President Bush and Bill Frist purport that it's important to teach our children different schools of thought, to expose them to many theories so that they have a well-rounded education. They believe that it's important to teach the 'controversy' surrounding the theory of evolution. They have to rely on teaching the debate surrounding evolution because there is no supporting evidence to teach the theory itself. If there was some sort of evidence that we could look at or explore, than maybe I'd see it as a valid topic of classroom discussion. The theory of IDoutside of a religious perspecitve (which I might add, is supposed to be separate from the state)is just a vapid hole of nothingness.

It boggles my mind that the American public, and our president for Pete's sake, are so ignorant and literal when it comes to teachings in the Bible. If you've got a theory to prove that the evolution of man did not come from natural selection of millions of years I'd love to hear it. But please, please make sure you've got at least a shred of evidence. I'm not saying that the theory of Intelligent Design is totally wrong. For all I know a creative energy, an omnipotent God, or the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ himself could be behind the evolution of life on this earth. I'm not one to discount any of these theories, but I certainly don't think it's appropriate to tell our kids that they have two choices when it comes to how human beings came to walk the earth.

No comments: