Ahhhhhhh... Today's thing driving J crazy is the further attempts to bring Intelligent Design into school curriculums (apparently the anti-evolution forces have a majority on the Kansas schoolboard again... so look for more ridicule-inducing cringe-worthy news from there soon). Today's NY Times (reg. required) has the latest on this.
Now, you can maintain, like one dude in the article, that the reason the ACLU, and, well, me, and others get so upset about this is that, apparently, sound science filling in the "gaps" in evolution is actually what's at issue, and that this so-called sound science then leads to the possiblity of a Creator, and we just don't like religion, and that's why we have a problem with all of this. Yeah, sure, that's the ticket.
I'm sorry, but people -- PEOPLE -- listen to me -- a theory saying that some parts of the world are unexplainable and attempts to prove that they are, by definition, unexplainable and therefore made by a Creator are *simply* *unscientific*. To make the conclusion of a Creator based on a lack of ability to explain phenomena is NOT a valid deductive chain -- it is fallacious! Why can't you see that? It may or may not be true, but our present inability to explain something does NOT logically lead to the idea that it must have been created by means beyond the view of observable reality. Occam's Razor would imply that we SIMPLY DON'T HAVE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PHENOMENA. By the same reasoning as Intelligent Design, Phlogiston was COMPLETELY reasonable -- phlogiston being the concept that, since burned objects were noticeably, well, different than the same object before it was burned, that they contained an odorless, colorless, tasteless, weightless substance called phlogiston -- and when you "burned" something -- that is, dephlogisticated it -- you were releasing the phlogiston and what remained was the true material the object was made of. Er, yeah. But given a certain set of information, it can be seen as reasonable, no? Logical, no, reasonable, perhaps. Or what of the flat earth? Certainly, as far as any one person standing on the surface of the earth without advanced observation equipment (or simply a very tall building), it is PERFECTLY REASONABLE to deduce the earth is flat -- this is only disprovable once equipment and/or information previously undiscovered or unrealized is used. The earth-centered solar system? Very possible -- though that explanation of retrogression gets tough -- probably just God moving around those lights fixed in the black cloth of the firmament.
Ok, here's the brass tacks kids -- next time anyone gives you some Intelligent Design claptrap, point out that evolution is better understood in many ways than gravity -- that is, we have stronger evidence confirming our understanding of evolution than the universal theory of gravitation -- BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHY GRAVITY WORKS. Einstein's brilliant insights about time-space being all very well and good, the idea of gravity being "wells" in the "fabric" of space-time is a great metaphor, but the actual explanation of WHY things act like this is, well, lacking. We KNOW the details of evolutionary theory -- though we can't explain all observed cases. We know the mathematical rules governing gravity -- except for the expanding, accelerating universe (dark energy) and the details of explaining how it propagates faster than light (seemingly instantaneously).
Must be God pushing the elements of the universe apart -- yeah, that's it. Intelligent Pulling and Pushing Things Together and Apart -- that's a much better explanation than the universal theory of gravitation.
Seriously kids. Gravity. Less understood. Than evolution. In many ways.
Though I'm sure SOME people SOMEwhere wouldn't be opposed to Intelligent Gravitation, can the rest of us see now how baaaaaaaaaaaad intelligent design is?
Please. Now. Go forth and tell people that gravity is a less complete theory than evolution. Seriously. And please. Tell a lot of people in Kansas.
Julie Washington on Dialects and Literacy
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