For awhile now we’ve been seeing an on-going war between scientific thinkers who view natural selection and evolution as the accepted theory of life on earth and the people who favor the ridiculous, yet strongly held belief in Creationism – which is basically the literal events of the book of Genesis.
Well since the Creationism idea wasn’t taking hold, despite years of politicking and sneaky things like putting disclaimer stickers on textbooks and such, the creationist minded folks came up with a new cause de celebre – Intelligent Design.
In a nutshell, Intelligent Design postulates that aspects of life are too complex to have come about by natural selection or evolutionary science or biology and thus must have an intelligent design source. ID supporter are quick to say (in an effort to deflect creationism in sheeps clothing attacks) that ID does not specify what the intelligence is. (Let’s come back to that)
So basically, these folks cannot believe that life evolved from a complex interaction between natural forces, but have no problem believing that some guy went “abracadabra” and made everything.
The concept of ID requires some form of “higher” intelligence to have designed life on earth. So who or what is the intelligence? By their own assertions, it could be God, Zeus, Hera, Klingons, pink unicorns or blue monkeys. But somewhere along the line some form of intelligence must have designed everything because we can’t currently answer every minute question. Well part of that is true, but part of it isn’t.
Natural Selection is a theory that has massive support and mountains of observable data to support it. ID does not. All it has is some unanswered questions that some folks have decided require an intelligent designer vs. just questions we have as yet been unable to answer.
Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that people widely believed that illness was based on an imbalance of humors and that bleeding was the way to fix it. Of course this was before bacteria and germs were discovered so it seemed like a good idea at the time. Today, of course, we know differently, but only after time and science caught up enough to answer the question.
So back to the concept of ID. Do we really believe that ID supporters would be just as happy to have aliens be the intelligent designers as God? If the idea of being descended from a monkey is such a huge affront, how are they going to feel about being cooked up in a Petri dish in some alien lab on Helion Prime?
If ID were merely proposing an intelligent designer and not leaning toward anyone in particular, why do you suppose that the vast majority of ID supporters are all Christian Conservatives that would gleefully support Creationism being taught in schools if they hadn’t ruled against it?
ID recently got a boost when a pillar of the science community George W. Bush came out in support of it. This is, of course, the same guy who doesn’t believe we have a global warming problem or any environmental issues that need addressing.
What kind of message does this send to kids who look at the president who tells them to ignore science and rationality in favor of a cockamamie scheme?
Now we’ve got our pal Bill Frist jumping into the mix with his own support for teaching ID in schools. This is a Harvard-educated medical doctor we’re talking about now. Of course, this same renowned physician also testified that Terri Schaivo (a blind woman with severe brain damage) interacted with people in a meaningful way and responded to visual stimuli.
Now didn’t Frist just buck the president by supporting stem cell research because it was a “matter of science?” Guess what bro, so is this! You can’t support science one day and then scoff at it the next. This is a perfect example of the hypocrisy of this entire debate. All of the ID supporters have absolutely no trouble taking medicine, listening to weather reports, getting surgery or launching missiles all based on the exact same science that yielded evolution.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that ID is simply bad science used to counter evolution, a theory which explains life without giving credit to God. So we’re going to happily call the ID supporters on their claim that their idea is even worthy of the title of theory, much less be a competitive theory for natural selection worthy of being taught in schools. ID supporters themselves concede that “You can’t prove intelligent design by experiment.” How convenient. But here again, that very idea means that ID is not science at all, so holding it up against a real scientific theory is like comparing the bible to actual archaeological evidence … hmmm.
It’s complete crap people. I’ll be the first one to go on record and admit I was wrong if they ever succeed in offering a shred of proof for this hogwash. As for Frist, I’m sure this was simply a political tactic to make up for the stem cell thing – at best he’s pandering to the Christian Right in the hopes of saving his 2008 presidential bid or at worst to keep Bush from sending Karl Rove after him.
So to sum up, ID is complete malarky, but I assume they will succeed in getting it into classrooms as an alternative theory, which will only succeeding in making children in those states even dumber that they already are and increase our status as most hated nation as well as educational laughingstock of the first world. Nice work.
ED: TAS, fixed remaining mistakes