Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sold a bill of goods

This post was originally called, "Why gurufrisbee and Chris are wrong", but Mrs. Expat Teacher rebuked me for not being nice. Therefore, it has been renamed "sold a bill of goods" because believers in Intelligent Design are getting a lot less than they think they are. Intelligent Design is poor middle ground between Evolution and what I'll call "Jehovah Design", that is the God of the Old and New Testament creating life as we know it.

First, a little table to compare and contrast the three different ideas about where we came from.

EvolutionIntelligent Design"Jehovah" Design
Nature ofrandom processA single or multiple beings with intelligence to designGod of the Old and New Testament
Processmutations and survival of the fittestunknown, but irreducible complexity and specified complexity are importantA 7 day (or longer) process
Historical ProponentDarwin 1859Plato ~350 BCBook of Genesis- between 950B.C and 539B.C
Nature of Existenceeternalfinite or eternaleternal
Moral QualitiesN/AProbably evil since the world full of evil and injustice. Must have been designed that way Perfect in every way
Conformity to Scientific MethodSurvives all tests. A few unknown gaps in theory None whatsoever. Unable to be reproduced, unable to predict outcomes, unable to provide framework for what it explains None, simply faith
Required for Adoption
as belief set
Strong belief in scientific process. Able to overlook small gaps in theory. Belief that "something out there" is responsible for the world as we see it. Belief in Bible and Jehovah
State of Creation Processcontinually evolving unknown, could be finished, but designer(s) could have other things in store Working toward a world free from evil and death.
Problems with 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Virgin Mary on Toast, men's nipples and who designed the designer?No evidence outside of Bible

As you can see, Intelligent Design is a poor theory for Christians to push. It has all kinds of problems, but the biggest being that the "designer" could be finite or infinite. It could be a team or a singular person. Due to the existance of injustice and evil in the world, the designer must have wanted it that way and is therefore evil. Finally, all things that appear to be designed must be from the creator. Nothing can happen randomly. Therefore, the Virgin Mary on Toast must be created because it appears to have a form and a design. The same goes for men's nipples. Intelligent Design is open to the criticism "what designed the designer?", since a designer capable of creating irreducible complexity must also, by ID's own arguments, be irreducibly complex. Unlike with Jehovah Design, where the question "what created God?" can be answered with theological arguments, this appears to create a logical paradox which is fatal to the Intelligent Design argument unless an uncaused causer, that is to say, god, is invoked, in which case Intelligent Design reduces to religious creationism. Once this is done, Intelligent Design ceases to be a falsifiable theory, and therefore loses its ability to claim to be a scientific theory.

Christians who adopt Intelligent Design in hopes that they get Jehovah in the process are definately being sold a bill of goods. At best you get a living, but evil god or worse a team of dead ones. Either way nothing is personal and that same Christian is asking the next generation of students to forsake knowledge and discovery because it conflicts with their beliefs. This is not a good policy for America to pursue. We owe our students more than that.