Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No more I.D. in Dover

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/12/20/intelligent.design.ap/index.html

Teaching creationism is illegal in the U.S., so this seems like the proper application of the law. It seems to be an extreme act of contortion to suggest that I.D. != creationism.

For myself, I regard I.D. as unscientific but not unreasonable. The gaps in science are smaller than the plug of religion. It has a place in education, but not in science, which has a fairly strict definition which does not seem to be in need of alteration.

To quote from the original statement by the school: "Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations."

Gaps exist do exist in the theory (yet if there is no evidence for them, how do we know they are there? zing!) but neither is there counter-evidence. A common accusation made against religion is that God does appear to be "God of the Gaps". Of course, this is silly, because there are diverse religious positions, many of which have alternative explanations or indeed fully embrace evolution as the origin of life.

My current thinking is that almost nothing said in the name of religion is in fact the exclusive domain of religion, but is rather reflective of individual attitudes and preferences. As such, using religion as the basis for ones reasoning is a poor start, as there will exist an opposite view proceeding from the same basis.

Cheers,
-MP

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