Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Intelligent Design? Not in Pennsylvania

Judge John E. Jones III, a federal judge, ruled Intelligent Design would not be taught in Pennsylvania schools. Judge ruled that it was not science. Essentially, he ruled it to be Christianity in cognito.

Well, as a christian and a scientist, I agree with him 100%. Intelligent design is not science at all. I'm not saying it doesn't play a role in my life, but I think my church or I should be teaching it to my children (figuratively speaking since I have none). The fact that we are a Christianity dominated country seems to confuse many Christians in the thinking that all religions are equal, but some religions are more equal (phrase adapted from Orwell's Animal Farm).

I don't understand why Christians get so hung up on evolution. I don't see it as shaking my beliefs. Is it that atheisists hang there hat on it? Believing it does not make you an atheisist. In my Christian way of thinking, it doesn't matter whether God created the earth in 7-24hr days or slowly over billions of years. God still created it, in my beliefs. Though I believe the latter, it is just as beautiful either way.


Piccu said...

I agree, evolution is science and intelligent design is religion. This whole seperation of church and state has gotten so out of hand. Seperation of church and state was not designed to keep prayer out of school, it was to keep the government from telling us we all had to be Catholic. I don't understand how this got so twisted and screwed up over the years. As long you do not force people to worship a certain way, anything goes.

As for how long it took God to create the earth, people lived to be "900" years old in the Old Testament times, perhaps a day during creation was not a 24 hour day. If God can create this earth and us wouldn't he also have control of time and space?

One more thing, When did you become a Christian Scientist, Merlin? Is this French Toast's doing?

Travis said...

I think the sticking point for me here is that evolution is taught as fact. They refer to it as the "theory of evolution" but that's lip service because it is certainly not taught that way.

Evolution is no more fact than intelligent design. There are large holes in evolutionary theory. Quickly I'll point out one.

No one has ever produced evidence of evolution creating a new species. Evolution within species is almost beyond any reasonable challenge. It's evidence within the fossil record is staggering. But in order for evolution to be a valid argument of how things came to be then we have to know that evolution can create new species, and thusfar we can't see that.

Clearly, ID has holes in it scientifically as well. But to dismiss it because it's "religious" is ridiculous. By ignoring ID, they're teaching atheism.

I attended a five day seminar on this a couple years ago taught by a Florida College professor who is an unabashed Christian. But he presented no biblical arguments, he used science to support the theory of intelligent design. Several evolutionist professors from WKU attended and challenged him scientifically, but to no avail.

It's religion either way to me because it takes faith. And faith is a basis for religion.

Bitman said...

You should read the judgement again. ID is _not_ science. ID cannot be falsecified. Hence it's not a theory. We also teach gravity as a fact - it's also "just" a theroy. Don't confuse a scientific theory with common mans definition of a theory.

Gravity is a theory, so is electricity and what makes it work. Why all this focus on the theory of evolution, which _is_ being used in biology and chemistry as "facts" - at least as much fact as anything ever becomes?

The biggest difference here is, that in religion, there's a constant "truth" that never changes. Science changes - we change our perspective of life almost every day as we learn more. It's a never ending process; and hence science is not about "facts".

As to your "proof"; you're wrong. Change like that has been observed in flies and on a micro biology level.

It's funny - in the last 500 years science has over and over again disproved religious world views of our world and universe. We no longer think our earth is flat, nor that we are the center of the universe. Why is it so hard to realize that while we don't have all the answers now, we are going to get more and more as we continue to move on?

Teach religion as religion. Science as science. Teach them right, so nobody leaves thinking that the whole world of information has been layed out as infinite truths.

BRATCH said...

I know it's not as cut and dry as this, but why not just teach what we know?

Scientists know a lot of information about how the universe and humans came to be. Teach all of that. Then after everything is covered, get into the "possible" religious aspects. You don't even have to have a classroom discussion. Just say a few words about it and be done with it.

There is a certain point in history were we have no concept of time. We talk about millions and billions of years, but being a Christian, I think God could have snapped his fingers and said, "This will keep them occupied. Let there be fossils of animals a little too dangerous to mingle with man."

I realize that obviously "teaching" religion is off limits, but anyone thinking that it's possible to ignore religion is a fool. Especially when it comes to how we humans were created.

The Bible is as much a history book as it is a holy book.

Creation will never be scientifically explained. No one was there to take notes.

It's funny how faithful the athiests are to nothing. They'll spend thousands of dollars in lawyer fees for what...

Nothing. They have as much faith in the notion that we came from nothing as Christians have that God created us.

Travis said...

bitman, I appreciate your points. You made them very well.
But let's not equate gravity as a theory with evolution. Evolution takes in a large amount of facts and sews them together with what amount to guesses on how they came to be.
Gravity can be felt and is evident. Can it be explained? Not really, but we know it's there.

Is evolution a plausible theory? Absolutely. Is it more plausible scientifically than intelligent design? Yes.

And I don't want anyone to misunderstand, again, I have no problem with teaching evolution. It's the way in which it's presented. As if there can be no other alternative. Evolution is taught as if we're just a minute discovery away from putting the whole mystery of how the universe came to be to bed. And in truth, we're much further away from understanding it all.

I think too many scientists see religion as either threatening or as outright nonsense.

As for the "proof" of evolution into new species, I may very well just be out of the loop on that. But if you have a link or something I'd be very interested in reading about it. Thanks again bitman.

my_merlin77 said...

Here is my deal with teaching intelligent design in American schools: it is really a Chriatian perspective. I am a Christian, but everyone else isn't. If you gave equal time to all the religious perspectives then it might be more equal from that perspective.

The real important issue with the whole thing is as Bitman said, teach science in science class. Save the religion for a religion class or at least somewhere else.

Travis said...

And if you're going to teach science in science class (sounds good to me) then let's make sure we keep it in perspective. Don't teach in a manner that belittles someone for doubting a "theory."

BRATCH said...

I can agree with Merlin, teach the science of it and let churchs, parents, etc. go from there.

The funny part about this is that the whole reason behind why we are discussing "intelligent design" is because scientists can't fully explain how we came to be.

Because you can talk about primordial ooze or a speck of dust or whatever theory you can come up with of how we may have evolved into human beings, but answering the question of who or what created the ooze and/or dust will never be answered.

And the best answer science can come up with is a higher being (See that as God fellow Christians) either created us or created something that created us depending on your preference.

Piccu said...

Going by my own experiences growing up in the church I didn't need to be taught IE in school because I got that in church every Sunday. I would assume that any child who is a Christian in a Christian home would have learned IE long before they learned about evolution. We don't need to depend upon the school system to teach something that should be taught at home and in church. Evolution may cause some questions for a child who has known IE their whole lives, but there is nothing wrong with asking questions. I think debate and asking questions only makes you stronger as a Christian.

I believe that science should be in the science class, but at the same time we find some of the theories that have been taught to us our whole lives are found to be wrong or off from what we thought as time goes by.

The big difference between evolution and IE is that sometimes science is wrong but faith never is.

Travis said...

Faith is involved either way. Either you have faith in God and His Word, or you have faith in science. Either way, since none of it can be proved (yet?) either belief requires faith.

I've heard said that it takes more faith to be an atheist in this world than to be a Christian. I believe that because I believe I've seen God's presence, His works and the beauty of his creation. If it all happened by circumstance and accident, that's one incredible accident.

But let me clarify that I agree with you guys. I don't want schools teaching anything religious. They'd just mess it up anyway. ;-P