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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Design and Evolution

I keep getting drawn back into the "intelligent design" debate, the newest incarnation of the creationist argument. It's a very popular topic in the blogosphere, at least it has been for the short while I've been here. I'm fascinated by the sheer amount of posting about this issue, because no-one has a hope of winning. Everyone gets to be right, because none of us know for sure.

The really interesting part is why it matters so deeply to the advocates of both positions. The cynical part of me answers that it's about getting attention for the advocate rather than the issue. Does it matter to you? It doesn't matter to me whether the world is a random occurrence or there is a guiding intellect. On a moment-to-moment basis, I do the best I can with the information I have at the time. If I had to explain all the information rationally, I couldn't; if I had to express it all as a product of unseen guidance, I couldn't. It's mostly a mish-mash of all types of experiencing/thinking/believing I have at my disposal.

So why does it arouse so much passion and energy? Is "not knowing" such a horrible place for people to live? As a coach, I always get really excited when a client says, "I don't know.." because it means there's a new place to go, uncharted territory to explore together. Join hands, enemies, and go forward together!

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Not knowing and admitting it is good. But don't the evolutionists admit that more than the creationists, who tend to dogmatise their notions?
I found your blog surfing.

There is a great difference between random occurence and guiding intellect. The bigger picture is the struggle for the preservation of logic and the scientific method versus religious dogma. The religious fundamentalists want political control. The control starts with the classroom and the textbooks.

The question is also, does religious ideas, belong taught as fact, in a science room. Is religion mixed in your science class what you desire?

After evolution what next? Psychology, anthroplogy, life coaching?

Nobody need a life coach more than me.

Most of the debate isn't about "whether the world is a random occurrence or there is a guiding intellect." It's about the attempts to water down teaching about science with something that has no scientific basis and trying to break down the constitional wall between religion and government (schools are paid for by taxpayers, through government agencies).
Thanks all, for comments! I guess I want to just stop people fighting over this, as I find it insoluable. But the ID gang aren't being honest about what they are fighting about, as you and Vonny point out. Now that really sucks!

I completely agree that scientific theories like evolution should be taught in science class, and religious ideas like ID should be taught in religious studies. Both are interesting and valuable. Maybe the confusion comes because they are using the same things to back up their theories (the eye, for instance)?
I think the reason this debate, along with similar ones, inspires particularly passionate responses is because people define and strengthen their own identity in terms of the side they argue for. As such, the debate inevitably takes on a personal, emotional character that produces vitriol on all sides. It becomes less a matter of what people want, and more a matter of what people are and want to be.
It looks like ID got slapped down by the courts. Good riddance.
Ahhh, but it is a known fact that the world was made by a giant spagettii monster! And as so many people have come to believe, (we are called Pastafarians), we demand that Spagettii Monsterism be taught along side intelligent design. And the evidence of Monsterism is all around us. Have you been touched by His noodly appendage?




This bit of humour was brought to you in a spirit of good humour. Regards, and Happy New Year.

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