August 21, 2005

Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive

One tv show I enjoy watching is Boston Legal. What's this got to do with science, you say? Well, tonight's rerun episode had to do with a teacher suing a principal after she lost her job for refusing to teach Intelligent Design alongside Evolution. It makes for interesting drama but the scary part is that its premise isn't so far from reality as you can see by reading the linked NY Times article:
Pushing a "teach the controversy" approach to evolution, the institute has in many ways transformed the debate into an issue of academic freedom rather than a confrontation between biology and religion.
Mainstream scientists reject the notion that any controversy over evolution even exists. But Mr. Bush embraced the institute's talking points by suggesting that alternative theories and criticism should be included in biology curriculums "so people can understand what the debate is about."
So ideologically-driven individuals want to frame teaching non-science as an academic freedom issue. But science is just that - science.

Humanities like history, philosophy and art can and should teach different ways of looking at things because there are lot of areas that are open to intepretation. But math, science, chemistry and physics, at least at the elementary levels, don't give such latitude. Nor should they. Evolution has stood the test of the time, Intelligent Design hasn't.

Arguing, as Intelligent Design does, that evolution doesn't explain everything is hardly proof of Intelligent Design. Lack of information doesn't disprove a scientific theory. Information to the contrary does.

Besides, Evolution was not theorized to get rid of God. It was a theory to figure out how different species developed and changed over time. It just happens to fit the data. Evolution is absolutely silent on whether there is a creator because his existence cannot be proved or disproved. Whether or not God exists is a question best left to the philosophers not science. And theists should recognize that science is best left to scientists.

I leave a question to theists. If life is so complicated that it cannnot come into being or develop on its own, then its creator must be even more complicated. Who created him? He couldn't have come into being on his own since you've already argued that something less than him can't.


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