Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pennsylvania Judge's Intelligent Design Decision

Yesterday, a judge in Pennsylvania handed down a decision on a court case involving intelligent design. If you'd like to read the decision you can see it here:

I've read most of it, and it is a disturbing argument. He argues that the teaching of Intelligent Design by a public school is equal to government endorsement of religion. His basis for his position involves the point that ID theory makes a case for a "designer," therefore it is a religious teaching. So I guess any scientific theory that points to supernatural or intelligent direction is outlawed. I wonder if he would also banish scientist's vocabulary that personifies the universe or speaks of evolution as an article of faith:
George Wald: “The universe wants to be known.”
George Greenstein: “If this is the best way to make a universe, how did the universe find that out?”
Professor Harold C. Urey, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry once wrote, “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere…. And yet we all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great that it is hard for us to imagine that it did.”
Scientist, L.T. Moore writes, “Our faith in the doctrine of evolution depends upon our reluctance to accept the antagonistic doctrine of special creation."

Judge Jones also spends dozens of pages explaining why Intelligent design is not science. This section may just be the most incredible and mind-boggling of the 130+ pages. How can a judge define what is or is not science? That's like a scientist adding a section to his research paper about constitutional law. During the trial he was presented with expert testimony from scientists on both sides of issue. Both sides had scientists that were equally qualified and educated. Yet the judge chose to affirm the arguments of scientists against ID theory, in his definition of what science is. As you'll see in his decision, he affirms a completely naturalistic, materialistic view of science that procludes the possibility of outside influence (designer) in its very definition. Anyway, there is much more to be said about Judge Jones' decision. If his argument were taken as law in the future, no scientific discovery that points to a higher power would be allowed to be taught in a science classroom. I wonder if teaching the history of science should be outlawed in schools also, since most of the early scientists were Christians who went about their studies because of Christian presuppositions of a ordered, consistent universe created by a rational God.

If you'd like to read a more thourough and articulate critique of the judge's opinion go to:

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

So Who Exactly is the Angry Fundamentalist?

Here is an example of the anger and irrational arguments against Intelligent Design Theory:

TOPEKA, Kan. - A University of Kansas course devoted to debunking creationism and intelligent design has been canceled after the professor who planned to teach it caused a furor by sending an e-mail mocking Christian fundamentalists. Twenty-five students had enrolled in the course, originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies," which had been scheduled for the spring. Professor Paul Mirecki, chairman of religious studies, canceled the class Wednesday, the university said.

Mirecki recently sent an e-mail to members of a student organization in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."

I'm not so sure it would be enjoyable to study religion under Professor Mirecki:) He seems to have signifcant biases towards certain religious expression. Whatever happened to tolerance in higher education anyway? I thought we had become more enlightened than this. He also seems to have a poor grasp on what intelligent design theory is. ID proponents are not arguing for a certain religious viewpoint. They are simply doing objective science. And in examining the evidence they have recognized the presence of complex design, which the theory of evolution by random selection does not sufficiently explain.

It shows a deep misunderstanding of the issues to call Intelligent Design a religious mythology. For a more reasonable explanation of Intelligent Design than that given by Dr. Mirecki, check out I'm pretty sure it is not run by "fundie fat faces." But even if it is, it still makes sense.

All Done!

First of all, I never would have guessed I'd have an all time high of responses to my post about how google makes money off of Enough of that. thanks for the education everyone. It is amazing how much I can learn if I just ask:)

Second, I just finished my last final of the semester. The feelings of relief and relaxation have not quite set in, but I'm sure they will. Bring on Christmas!

Soon to come, some thoughts on ridiculous articles I've reading against Intelligent Design. Here are my thoughts in a nutshell: It is annoying to hear over and over again that ID theory is just fundamentist religion (creationism) veiled with scientific terminology. I have read this from several people claiming to be on the side of the thoughtful and intellectual. Have they noticed that many of the most prominent scientists advocating Intelligent Design theory aren't even Christians, or theists at all? But hey, I guess it is easy to avoid thoughtful debate and instead throw out loaded words like "fundamentalist" and "religious right." In fact, this is a favorite strategy of actual fundamentalists (using words like "liberal" for everyone). Well, I may have sufficiently gotten that off my chest. I may not need to write anything further. Oh, and if you are one who thinks the introduction of Intelligent Design theory in schools is nothing more than a religious doctrine being taught as science, please respond. I would be interested in dialoging with you.