Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Intelligent" proposal?

Running off something Kevin Drum wrote, if the Intelligent Design crowd has an issue with teaching the theory of evolution, how come they don't also go after the theory of relativity?

While evolution helps explain how to get from C to D, relativity explains how A happened in the first place. If you want to talk about origins of the species, how about the beginning of everything?

It reminds me of a story the physicist Steven Hawkings included in one of his books. He was presenting a paper in Rome and the late Pope John Paul II gave a talk to the assembled scientists blessing their efforts to further mankind's knowledge. He did however, advise against addressing the Big Bang, that studying existence is fine, but the beginning of the universe is God's domain. Hawking, who was to follow the pope on stage, was presenting a paper on just that subject. He did express worry that he would offend his Holiness, but some things are more important.

To most people the concept of intelligent design is laughable on its face and in the context of a scientific curriculum, it is even more so.

Missouri's own Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-O'Fallon) tried to introduce ID legislation in the last House session. While it failed to even move out of committee its mere introduction should speak volumes about the scientific education of our legislators.

Why this has even risen to the level of a legitimate debate is puzzling. It is a theological proposal, plain an simple. Webster defines supernatural as
1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil.
Metaphysics and theology deal with the supernatural while the physicists, chemists and others figure out the building blocks of reality. Attempting to mash the two together to further some religious end does everyone a disservice.

- Murphy

No comments: