Thursday, August 11, 2005

No One Can Tell Me I Came From Monkeys

The "debate" rages on between Evolution and the newest incarnation of Creationism, Intelligent Design.

From Physics Today:

When word got out that the well-produced movie [The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe], based on a book by two Discovery Institute fellows, was going to show at the Smithsonian, the scientific community voiced great concern. In mid-June, just days before the scheduled screening, top officials from seven major science organizations, including the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics, sent a letter to the Smithsonian's board of directors that said, in part:
"We urge you to preserve the Smithsonian Institution's prestigious scientific reputation by not allowing the film to be shown. . .. The Discovery Institute, a religiously-based advocacy organization, attempts to persuade the public that Intelligent Design is a legitimate scientific theory. It is not. Intelligent Design is a variation of the religious belief of creationism."

On Point on NPR had a back-to-back debate on the merits of Intelligent Design last night, with George Gilder of the Discovery Institute representing Intelligent Design advocates and Richard Dawkins, of whom I am an unabashed fan, representing the scientific community. While I understand why scientists will not debate this issue head-to-head (Creationism of any kind is not science and thus scientists don't want to give it even the veneer of scientific legitimacy), I was somewhat disappointed at not getting to hear Dawkins take Gilder completely apart.

Dawkins did have my Quote of the Day though, when asked if there was such a public debate on the two issues in Britain:

"Well, we certainly have wingnuts here as well, they just aren't allowed political power."

Dawkins also noted the apparent hypocrisy concerning the Discovery Institute's recent hiring of public relations firm Creative Response Concepts to push the Discovery Institute's anti-Evolution message. Science doesn't require high-powered PR firms to establish its legitimacy.

This issue is simple, really. No matter how loudly Creationists cry and beat their breasts, they cannot escape the simple truth: Evolution is one of the bedrock theories of modern science and it has been experimentally tested and proven for over a century. Creationism, no matter how it is dressed up, is an unprovable and untestable metaphysical belief.

There is no debate!


Gifted-1 said...

Thank you!

I'm glad someone has their 'thinking cap' on! I couldn't have said it better, myself!

Keep up the good work!

rorschach said...

Just FYI--

You been blogrolled, buddy!

Anonymous said...

Of course, you're right... but do you really expect people who believe in the rapture and divine conception to listen to science?

What floors me is the lack of critical thinking skills on the part of the American public -- these ideas are being swallowed up by people who consider themselves to be intelligent.

Anonymous said...

If God is God couldn't he have created evolution?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't possibly agree more.

Samurai Sam said...

If God is God couldn't he have created evolution?

That's a matter of personal faith, not science. My issue is not with religion per se; each person is entitled to their own faith-based beliefs. My issue is with conflating something like I.D. with evolutionary science. It's an apples to oranges comparison. The existence of God cannot be scientifically proven, tested or falsified; thus, a discussion of the existence and/or nature of God is pointless in a scientific context.

Samurai Sam said...

but do you really expect people who believe in the rapture and divine conception to listen to science?

Actually, I do. Eventually. There are many Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. that have no problem incorporating science and liberalism into their beliefs. Just see Robert M. Jeffers at Adventus by way of example.
One caveat, though: I don't expect a Young Earth Creationist to ever be able to support evolution. If someone firmly believes that the Adam & Eve or Noah's Ark myths are literal truth, then there is really nothing more to discuss with them in terms of evolution or physics. However, such beliefs are still not science and have no place in the science class room.