Fausta's blog

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Creation and intelligent design, examined by a scientist and by a humanist
First the scientist, Evolution: Rationality vs. Randomness, by Dr. Gerald Schroeder, concludes that
In brief, randomness cannot have been the driving force behind the success of life. Our understanding of statistics and molecular biology clearly supports the notion that there must have been a direction and a Director behind the success of life.
Now, the humanist: The intelligent design debate: Part II, by Dr. John Flelming,
It was a cruel recompense for the gentle genius of a great scientist that "Darwin" has become for so many a kind of surrogate for the hard-edged secular, the godless and the intellectually coercive. The ancient Christian "fish" symbol, a kind of antique rebus in which the letters of the Greek word for fish (?????) form the initials of the phrase "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Savior," has been revived by modern evangelicals. You surely have seen such a medallion or decal attached to the back of a car behind which you languished in slow traffic. You may have one on your own car. Probably also you have seen its parodic riposte: a fish that in its amphibian ambitions has sprouted evolutionary feet and now bears the name "Darwin."

The absurd construction of the constitutional prohibition of the "establishment of religion" to mean a prohibition of intelligent and civil conversation about religion in the public sphere has nearly guaranteed that we shall suffer cyclical episodes of the genre emblematized by the Intelligent Design "debate." If we seek to bask in the feel-good sunshine of our much-vaunted "diversity," we may have to prepare ourselves for a few cloudy days on which diversity means something other than lockstep conformity.
As I have stated previously, my personal feeling is that, while I oppose the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes, I also support a scientific analysis of the theory of evolution that would include whatever findings support or contradict said theory. To me, rigorous scientific study can be introduced at a very early age in schools. Embracing either Intelligent Design or the theory of evolution unquestioningly is wrong. Science, by definition, evolves based on the impartial analysis of facts that can be quantified and reproduced. Maintaining science in the science classroom is a top priority in any society.

If the scientific debate leads us in the direction of Dr. Schroeder's findings, our lives will be richer for it. Prohibiting intelligent and civil conversation about religion in the public sphere,as Dr. Fleming points out, makes us all the poorer for it.

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