Jay_Corvid (jay_corvid) wrote,

Why do the Intelligent Design people hate apples?

The topic of the day today is Intelligent Design (ID). Proponents of this philosophy are trying to get it included into school curriculum under the "science" heading. However, at the root ID is not a science, but rather a convenient means to fill in the gaps in current scientific knowledge...oh yeah, and a way to sneak God into school as well (being the trusting sort, I'll assume that this last part was merely a byproduct of the advocacy of the scientific merits of ID, rather than the overall intent to begin with). There are two main thoughts in the way ID is argued today. First, if things are really complicated, they couldn't happen without God - I call this the, "God has too much time on his hands" theory. Second, if you don't have an answer to a question, I might as well insert God into the discussion because I know you can't prove me wrong - I call this the, "Because God said so" theory.

As to the complexity issue, there are mutations happening every day in our world, and not all of them seem to have any purpose. I know someone with a third nipple and I have yet to discover exactly how that mutation will somehow save his life the next time he is being chased by a pack of hungry wolves (I have been sure to warn him to not get too cocky next time he is walking through the woods...I can only hope he listened...). So why, my dear ID proponents, did God turn my friend into a freak of nature (sorry Eddie)? I can't wait to hear the big master plan behind the great Nipple-schism that God kicked off in our genetic code in 1971. According to ID, science can't explain it, God must have done it, and there must be a plan. The point is, there is complexity in the world, and just because we haven't figure it out yet doesn't mean it MUST have been planned out thoroughly in advance by a deity.

As to the second point (the 'Because God said so' theory), some ID activists have been pushing for a phrase to be read at the beginning of some science classes, essentially as a footnote to the entire course which states that "what you are about to hear is just what a million scientists think and have proved to varying degrees, but you should feel free to ignore it and just answer all of your test questions with "Because God said so". (As a side note, the ID proponents are ACTIVISTS in that they are fostering something counter to popular opinion and trying to get it pushed forward anyway through the courts and school boards...I can't WAIT to see George Bush let loose on these people!!) They would like to include words (as scientific theory mind you) that would say that anything that hasn't been thoroughly worked through by science yet should be defaulted to having been created or caused by God. So, if we can't explain some of the gaps in the evolution process, they want kids to learn that it is possible that God is the reason for the gap. Following that logic, we could also insist that we include words that say that flying monkeys from the land of Narnia might have also done it, but if we go down the path of including all possibilities no matter how unproved or un-provable, the school books will eventually become so heavy to carry that our children will all grow up with humpbacks (hmmm....is THAT part of THE plan too???) You see, this "Because God said so" approach is NOT a theory. It is nothing more than a advertisement for God at the end of every topic that hasn't been fully understood yet.

Kid: "How can space be infinite?"
Teacher: "Well, we don't know yet but we are making advances in quantum mechanics and the super-string theory that are getting us closer to those answers"
Religious Watch Officer assigned to the class: "In the mean time kids, we want you to think about how the existence of God obfuscates the reason for needing to answer that question. Space is as infinite as God wants it to be. This undeniable 'scientific' fact was brought to you by the letters 'J', 'E', 'S', 'U' and 'S'...the extra 'S'...that stands for 'Salvation!"

Ten years ago, we hadn't mapped the human genome. Fifty years ago, brain surgery was impossible (except for the art of drilling holes into your skull to release the demons, which was known as trephining). 100 Years ago travel by jet was beyond comprehension. 200 years ago electricity would have been magic. In some parts of the world TODAY, the idea of putting cold soup into a plastic box and waiting 3-5 minutes (cooking times may vary depending on wattage) only to find a piping hot stew would STILL be considered magic. ID would have told all of us that God could only explain the mechanics behind those things. In fact, 500 years ago it was heresy to even insinuate that the world wasn't flat and orbited by the Sun. I think we all look back on those times and giggle at the naivety of those simple people and their narrow thinking. While some ID proponents say that I am narrow-minded for not allowing ID into the classroom, I'd like to refer you back to one of the words I used a minute ago...heresy. It was a religious doctrine that insisted that the world was flat and that the Sun orbited the Earth. For hundreds of years, religion had decided what it KNEW to be right, and prevented anyone from saying otherwise. You see what happens when you allow non-science into science? Why are we so eager to go back to those days?

And what if we tell the kids that the gap in the chain of evolution was perhaps due to God's hand. Then what? Class dismissed? Will it become anti-God to challenge that theory? Are we to assume that if Intelligent Design says God's supernatural hand may be at work in the order of the universe that we should stop trying to validate and understand that? When people died of disease many years ago, people said "It was his time, it was God's will". Should we have left it at that, or was it a good idea to learn to put up sneeze-guards at the salad bar because of teeny-tiny organisms that are out to get us? It is fine to say that God made bacteria, but do you really want science to end there? No, you want us to investigate, discover, and cure. So, pray tell, how does telling me that God might be behind the bird-flu help me in that pursuit? How would inserting the possibility that God might be the reason that compasses point North have helped us to understand the REAL reason and the mechanics that drive it? How is that piece of information or the inclusion of that "theory" helping to move SCIENCE along?

It isn't, and it won't, and therefore ID is not a scientific theory, it is a religious doctrine of faith (or perhaps a doctrine of unquantifiable assumptions). If you want your kids to think that everything in the world today is the way God made it and the way God wants it to be, you can tell them that at home, in church, or in future modifications to the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't know why you need to sit in class so that when a teacher says the apple fell out of a tree becasue of gravity, you can respond with, "Or, maybe it was because that apple was a sinner and didn't deserve to be in the tree". But as we know, you people have had it in for apples for a long, long time...

I call 'em as I see 'em.

Jay Corvid
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