Thursday, December 22, 2005

Unintelligent Design

The effort to force the school district in Dover, Pennslyvania to teach intelligent design in science class has ended in failure, thankfully.

This case has been in the news much in the last few months. The school board that decided that intelligent design should be taught, was promptly voted off the school board. Meanwhile, a lawsuit had also been brought by parents against that school board to end the practice of teaching intelligent design. That case recently was concluded with the parents winning.

Interesting the judge in the case was a appointee of President Bush (who thinks that intelligent design should be taught). The judge was highly critical of those who defended intelligent design as being very dishonest of their intentions. They were trying to play it off as not having anything to do with religious. They essentially were arguing that intelligent design is not creationism, yet fully believed that it was. There is a possibility that perjury may be charged.

It should be noted that crazy evangelist Pat Robertson made some weird threats in the name of God when Dover voted out the school board.

Now I don't have much problem with people believing in whatever creation story that suits their liking, but keep it out of science class, please. They have places that teach creation stories, they are called churches. And if a school wants to teach creation stories, they can do it under the auspices of religious study where plenty of creation stories can be discussed.

A sad fact of the United States is our lack of scientific knowledge as a population. A bit more than 50% of Americans for instance believe that humans existed during the dinosaur ages. Not even close, humans followed dinosaurs by 150 million years. The only mammals existing at that time were small rat-like creatures. So, to add insult to the old false statement that humans were descended from apes, we can actually say that humans came from rats. I've often wondered whether the false perception of humans coexisting with dinosaurs could be readily blamed on cartoons. The Flintstones and the comic strip B.C. by Johnny Hart are just a few of the imaginary drawings that give Americans inaccurate science.

Worse they are some from the religious right that don't want to even admit that dinosaurs ever existed. They will put forth all sorts of rediculous theories to try to placate their own faith in a Bible that never mentions dinosaurs.

The judge in the case ruled that intelligent design is not science. No surprise to me. But I will concede that intelligent design is just what those words are. An intelligent design to fool Americans who are too lazy to study real science or too gullible to question whether intelligent design is really just creationist propaganda.

Now I'm not going to say that God doesn't get involved in Earth's going-ons, God could indeed be answering people's prayers, but I don't believe that intelligent design explains God. I don't think God planned every piece of life, from killer bees to Hitler to the human appendix. God probably has better things to do than to micromanage every cell and atom in the universe.

Finally, evolution can be learned by those that believe in God, those that question a God, and anyone who doesn't believe in a Supreme Being. Evolution is nothing but understanding how the universe works and how we got to this point. Evolution explores what we can investigate directly, our world, our universe. We can't do experiments on heaven or God, so science leaves that up to religions. It's that simple.


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