Monday, October 03, 2005

The Church of Intelligent Design

There's alot of talk over this idea of Intelligent Design being taught in public schools as a counter-theory to Evolution. A big argument I've been hearing in support of it is that it doesn't have to be taught in Science class, oppossing evolution, but why not in a philosophy class?

I think it's simple. If philosophy was required in public school (and it isn't) would they teach religion? Would they teach Christianity and Jesus, Muslim and Mohammed, Confucism and Cunfucious? Or would they teach Nietzsche, Khant, Locke, Hobbes, Aristotle, DeCartes, and Hughes?

And then if Religion doesn't belong in a philsophy class, would you expect public schools to require a religion class? Would you expect the class to teach any Truth, or would they simply teach oppossing historical myths that attempt to explain the unexplainable without concrete evidence, but instead relying on the rawest, purest form of blind belief known as Faith?

I think we all can agree that Intelligent Design is a good idea. But it is no science. And in the public school institution there is no place where it can be taught. It isn't a well enough established, adhered, or even legitimately published scientific theory. Show me a science article, .PDF, periodical, anything, that provides a foundation for the development and discovery of concrete scientific evidence proving that some Being created everything.

It cannot go into a philosophy class because religion and philosophy are as polar opossites as religion and science. Philosophy uses the tools of reason, logic, and argumentation (that's for you Chucky-Poo) to discover Truth about human behavior while religion uses the occurrence of miracles, the existence of prophets, divine intervention, and a belief in that which cannot be seen or -- by very definition -- proven to explain the enigmas of this world.

Intelliegent Design by its very nature is a religion. It requires one to accept the existence of some greater intellectual being as responsible for everything's existence, a corner-stone of all religions.


Jersey said...

Read the Case for a Creator

The Reformer said...

Philosophy and Religion aren't polar opposites. In fact, there is a field in philosophy designated specifically for religion. It's called Philosophy of Religion. In fact Aristotle, Descartes, Kierkegaard, and Derrida all integrate their specific religious beliefs into their philosophy at some point or another.

Religion and science are polar opposites. Religion is part of that branch of philosophy (Phil of Rel) also known as metaphysics. This literally (in the Greek) means after (spacially not chronologically) or beyond the physical (ie. science). It handles what science can't. Thats not opposite, in fact, its more complimentary.

Chuck Wade said...

I have to agree with my buddy the Reformer, I think you have set up a dichotomy between religion and philosophy which does not necessarily exist. Since philosophy seeks to answer the "why" question and almost everyone has either started or eventually ended with God (or a god, or the gods, or no god). But that is beside the point.

Again I say, as I have said many times on my own blog: Evolutionists look at a set of facts and make a claim (a theory) based on those facts. ID proponents look at the same facts and make a different claim (or theory) based on those facts. Why then should one theory be left out of science class while the other is taught as simple fact?

And as best I can tell, you say that ID is a religion (or like a religion) because it is faith-based, but it does not seem to me that evolution requires any less amount of faith, only the faith is placed in a different place. But of course I could be wrong, again, I'm not a scientist.

The Cobra said...

A square is a rectangle.
A rectangle is not a square.

So, I concede that Religion is Philosophy, or at least a type/kind/sect of Philosophy, but Philosophy is not Religion. ID, is a religion, not a theory.


Evolution "provides a foundation for the development and discovery of concrete scientific evidence proving" that it exists whereas ID cannot. That, I believe, is the fundamental difference here. Evolution is more a science because, since its inception, it has continued to develop and discover evidence in support of it. It can also say, "when we find this piece of evidence the puzzle will be complete."

However, ID does not offer any scientific evidence in support of itself. This is extremely different from offering up evidence in oppossition to another theory in order to support your own (a fallcy I'm certain). ID's foremost and most fundamental requirement is that something that cannot be seen, touched, proven or understood has created Man. ID says "the puzzle will never be complete because the puzzle is too hard and I can't find this piece." This is not science. This is religious conjecture.

ID requires Faith in a Being more powerful than Man
Science is the power of Man without God.
ID as a science only muddies the waters of each doctrine...
much like the Church of Christ Scientist

Turmel said...

I want to comment on several different things along this, but the first I wanna take a look at:
"It can also say, "when we find this piece of evidence the puzzle will be complete." "
The structure of the scientific method demands that a theory, before its acceptance as a law, must be dis-provable. So, although gravity is widely acceptable, and countless experiments can let us know that it still works, it could still be unseated by a better explanation.

Onto the other evidence for evolution. Well, there's a lot of problems with the theory that ID proponents can squirm around by saying 'God did it'. However, with science marching on as it does, and pieces of the puzzle falling into place as they do, the 'God did it' category continues to shrink. There's some interesting research stuff going on, if interested, lemme know, but its a bit technical.

The main problem with evolution is that it also falls into a bit of an iffy category. Because it isn't immediatly testable by us (think million year experiment), all we have to go on are things that we can speculate on. Now, the speculations of hoards of PhDs deserves a lot of credit, but there is always a sneaking suspicion that they could be wrong. Everyone was pretty sure the earth was the center of the universe for a while, after all. So with evolution, you are dealing with a very nasty mix of religion (trusting in the process although it cannot be conclusively tested or falsified) and science (because there are bits of the process that can be seen, google Stanley Miller experiment sometime...), which opens the door for the massive debates over them. However, Evolution does have more scientific merit than ID, and much more of a place in schools, if only to maintain the seperation of church and state. Private schools can do whatever they want. And this is a lot longer than it should be...apologies.

Doyle said...

One major point about science that might have been misplaced in this conversation is, "What is science?" If you haul out that now dusty and unused dictionary, you will find the first two definitions something similar to the following: 1. the state or fact of knowledge, knowledge 2. systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied. That dryness being said and out of the way, the very nature of science requires observation, studies of those observations, and experiments to prove them right or wrong. This is impossible as far as the beginnings of the earth is concerned. You cannot study it, because you cannot return to it. You can see some evidence, but not one piece of evidence from an experiment has ever proven that evolution or creation happened. As such, both of them are in the realm of religion. When I say proven, I mean show me the process. Go back and show me life emerging from the primordial ooze in a lab. Go back and show me God creating the universe in a lab. Will not happen. Therefore, neither is a science. Both should be approached as religions, because that is what is required to believe either one, faith in the evidence of things not seen.

The Cobra said...

I believe the point that everyone is missing is that Evolution can very explicitly point to something and say that is what we need to prove this is scientific fact.

ID, by it's very nature and definition, cannot have that something. It is devoid of the concept of that one thing that will make it work. ID's entire existence hinges on the point that the Designer may never be physically observed.