Science and “Intelligent Design” Can’t Mix
It is a sad testimony to the quality of science education in the Theocratic States of America when a biochemistry professor goes to court to demonstrate his ignorance of the same scientific method that created the science which he is paid to profess. He says that the sees “Intelligent” design behind every “Irreducibly Complex” phenomenon in nature, and that, therefore, these phenomena require no further explanation beyond “a higher power did it”. He goes on to say that we are at a point in the history of science that will someday be likened to the Copernican Revolution. Wrong! It is more like Galileo being silenced and Giordano Bruno being burnt alive by the inquisition. These worthies have recently been rehabilitated by the Church just in time for the New Copernican Revolution.
The first problem with this testimony in Pennsylvania is that the professor is preaching to the theocratic right wing that still believes that the sun revolves around the earth. So much for Copernicus.
The second, and main problem is that the absolute presuppositions (yes, Virginia, we all have absolute presuppositions) of scientists and ID proponents are diametrically opposed. They share no common ground. They are incompossible. You cannot have one and still have the other.
The absolute presupposition of science is that everything has a material cause. The main corollary to this is that man, given sufficient time, effort, and creativity, can discover that cause. This leads in turn to the idea that knowing causes allows man to manipulate the natural world to his advantage. This program has been so successful that it difficult to see why half or our population wants to go back to the Pre-Copernican world of the flat earth, spontaneous generation of frogs and worms, spoiled food, and lighter-than-air craft.
Intelligent Design is no more about science than the Taliban is about tolerance. Its absolute presupposition is that much of nature is too complicated to have occurred randomly (i.e., without the hand of the first cause). If this is true, then science is useless. It’s not just about organic evolution. It’s about everything. Intelligent design is the “Surrender Monkey” of mankind’s centuries-old attempt to know the universe he finds himself in. If our students are taught that our world is too complicated for science to understand without resorting to help from mythology, how can we expect them to understand General Relativity?
It has been said, but let us say it again. Creationism and Creationism-Lite are not just aimed at Darwin; they are aimed at undermining science itself. Then we can all go back to a simpler time when the Earth was flat and at the center of the universe, God was in his heaven, and all was right with the world. ….And Adam and Eve cavorted with the velociraptors and pteradons in the Garden of Eden, which looked suspiciously like Jurassic Park. If we can’t have science, can we have science fiction?