I haven’t written much about intelligent design because I’ve never felt it to be worth writing much about. ID is formulated so as to be neither provable nor disprovable, much like the existence of God. Thus, it is not science, or at least it wasn’t before the Kansas School Board changed the definition of science to allow supernatural phenomena.
They went from “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.” to “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observations, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.” The change is subtle, but the effect is to open the door for supernatural explanations, provided they have the scientific trappings of experiments and measurements.
So, that sort of concerned me, because, as a Kansas high school science student I don’t want my education viewed as sub-par the world over. Still, I figured, the school board can say whatever they want, but science teachers won’t teach it. Then Salon.com told me that 50 percent of science teachers in Kansas are willing to teach creationism or ID along with actual science. That kind of surprised me because as far as I know all the science teachers I’ve had in high school have been atheists. In any case, there hasn’t been the least hint of religion. Despite the best efforts of our science teachers, though, some students simply refuse to listen or, as the Kansas Board of Education instructs, ‘enhance critical thinking and the understanding of the scientific method’ by tolerating a little cognitive dissonance. It is my understanding that students are now allowed to opt out of the evolution unit, to avoid damaging their fragile little brains.
I wonder what benefit the religious community receives from placing themselves in the realm of science. By trying to arrive at scientific proof of the existence of god, they have placed their supernaturalism on the same plane as, say, the thermodynamic principle. I think it would be natural for religion to try and stay as far away from science as possible, because when religion is judged by the standards of science it fails. Does the religious community want to go on to explain the virgin birth, the parting of the waters of the Red Sea? Because from a scientific standpoint these are impossible without impractically large fans and a full laboratory; equipment that didn’t exist during the time period.
All ID is is an effort to muddy the waters; to change science into politics. In politics, it is run of the mill to come to a conclusion and then find or manufacture facts to support it. No one bats an eye, and the other side comes back with different facts and different conclusions. The idea is that somewhere in the middle is the truth.
There’s a reason that science doesn’t have political parties. In science there is only one set of facts. There is debate about what evidence is valid, but all of the debate is about how accurately the evidence reflects the physical world. The conclusions that can be drawn from facts are limited by other facts. The concrete nature of science is what it draws its authority from. If Intelligent Design can force science to expand itself into the realm of religion or philosophy or politics, then it has won. It has taken away science’s claim to objective truth, which is what scared religion in the first place. The goal of science is to be left alone to do science, and then to convey scientific knowledge to subsequent generations. The goal of religion is to make science subservient, to make the observable subservient to the unobservable. To me, that’s a bad goal.Powered by Sidelines