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Aug 23 2004
intelligent designs

When I was a child, you would occasionally encounter a grownup at church or at the Christian day school we attended who would, in a deeply felt testament to the power of his faith, proclaim in all seriousness that the world was flat and that all the scientific theories which proclaimed a round globe and spinning world circling the sun were leading the country into a devil's domain. Science was against the Bible and so science could not be true because the Bible was beyond critical analysis. The Bible was the word of an all-knowing god-creator and contained all the truths of the world. The evidence of the world must conform to the truths of the lord......or else. It was never really clear to me when the satellites or the men circling the earth in space capsules or the photos of earth from space forced the flat earth zealots to relinquish faith for evidence. They simply ceased to be credible even to school children and stopped trying to convince themselves that they could safely relinquish thought and reason to the prescriptions of dogma.

Somehow I thought that those simple minds were left to childhood memories, to a time before science was understood. Now, however, I learn that they have reemerged from the shadows to which they had retreated and now present themselves as representatives and senators, governors, and even presidents. South Carolina is poised to begin, according to staff writer Ron Barnett of The Greenville News on May 1, 2003, to officially undermine basic biological understanding and replace it with a disingenuous and unscientific, apologetic, postmodern mythology of Creation Science. Senator Mike Fair and others of his conspiracy against the separation of church and state are making an effort to replace science with faith, reason with dogma, and individual understanding with religious and/or political authoritarianism. Such a thinly disguised and dishonest offering of faith in place of evolution's reason and evidence is the biological equivalent of the flat earth view of the world.

It must be a disingenuous strategy to introduce an argument for a god into the neutrality of science. The alternative would require that we allow ourselves to believe that the leaders proposing such an imposition of religion are simple of mind and do not have the intelligence to properly understand the issues involved, the technical aspects of scientific theory, or the complex interdependence of the various paradigms of the scientific disciplines. Ignorance and intellectual incapacity would surely not be attributes of the people we select to run such a vital enterprise in our lives as our government. So it must be that they indeed do understand the issues but feel that religion is a necessary imposition upon the societal mind.

They propose the introduction of the Intelligent Design model into the scientific cirriculum of our public schools as though it were a real scientific alternative. In fact, the primary questions it has inarticulately presented have been more than adequately addressed by researchers in biochemistry, physics, mathematics, and a host of other representatives from a variety of disciplines. They neglect the fact that Intelligent Design hypothesis has never been offered in any scientific journal as holding improved explanatory potential over the present prevailing theory of evolution or survived a critical peer review of any professional journal. They ignore that such a substitution of faith for understanding would require rewriting the physics and biology which help form a unified understanding of the world. Finally they ignore that such a proposal merely adds an unnecessary dimension to the problems rather then increased understanding. In addition to having to provide an explanation of the phenomena in the domain of this existence and causal understanding of this universe, we would add the domain of those who created this universe and their causal understanding. Surely, such leaders understand all of these issues and have decided that it is necessary to deceive the people in order to manage them more, shall we say, humanely. Those in power have a long tradition of attempting to manage the masses with religious authoritarianism.

Intelligent Design poses as an alternative explanatory model of why the world looks and operates as it does. It says in its simplified form that although the world looks like it evolves and is a product of chance and necessity, it is in fact designed with such attributes by some higher order being . It doesn't address the physics of such a hypothesis. It doesn't address Ilya Prigogine's chaos models for order arising spontaneously in far from equilibrium state systems, or Stephen Wolfram's "Rule Thirty" which shows complexity spontaneously emerging from a simple system with simple rule sets. It doesn't say that the intelligence is necessarily a god, but that is the veiled implication. And it doesn't argue for any particular intelligence, or that such intelligence is necessarily limited to residing in only one higher order entity. It is simply an argument that because its adherents can't imagine a reality where complexity emerges from the dynamic interaction of elemental aspects of the world and that through such interactive dynamics evolving over billions of years the biological diversity observed today has evolved, that such explanations can't exist. Further, they insist that because they are incapable of imagining or understanding such an evolutionary perspective of the world, others should not be allowed to hold such views without being assaulted by their repeated efforts to impose their apparently fragile faith on scientific thought.

Intelligent Design appears harmless enough in its simple argument for alternatives to evolution. But it is championed by those who have a design upon the world to impose the authority of religion on the public educational systems. They are dishonest if they say that they are merely offering an invitation for scientific and intellectual debate and healthy skepticism. It is a strategy as certain as their imposition of cumbersome regulations on abortion clinics: It has little to do with their interest in ensuring that the clinics provide the best services for their patients and everything to do with imposing their religious views upon society and depriving women their right to choose how they believe. These are the true believers. They are comfortable with their right to be dishonest and perhaps brutal in the service of their faith.

I do not believe that our political leaders would allow themselves to be reduced to such a base and dishonest intellectual state. No, I believe that they know that evolution makes sense and that regularly they even preach the gospel of evolution in their economic theories of evolving social powers, or their theory of market place dynamics as a microcosm of the whole ecological domain. I believe that they understand that mutatuing viruses and bacteria, and environmental pressures on species, genetics, linguistics, and the archaeological evidence all add up to an overwhelming testament to biological evolution. I believe that they know this and choose to believe that it is in the best interest of the people they rule to pacify them, to get them to relinquish participation in the determination of truth through reason and the scientific tools of reason and to get them to accept the unexplained, irrational, dogmatic answers of authority.

And this is what frightens me. The ignorance is forgivable, but the devious arrogance of unexamined certainty is pathological.

Dec 18 2008
Re: intelligent designs

you fail to understand its all just supply and demand, their pool of voters has a large enough % in it demanding these vulgar and dangerouse lies, these senators and governers are supplying them with them, and they get payed with votes, and then they have what they want the power to live well and build a lucrative voter base to keep them in a very good life style, they dont care about truth, nor religion, they just want elected.

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