Sun, Dec. 15

Intelligent Design is not science


I want to provide another perspective to "Believing evolution theory takes a lot of faith," a letter printed in the July 27 issue of this newspaper. The letter writers find the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution to be false, and they link secular humanism to these theories. One of their contentions for finding these theories false is the idea that there was nothing before the Big Bang, and something can't come from nothing. But the big bang destroyed whatever existed prior this event, so how do we know what existed before it? A more plausible concept is that there was some form of matter in existence before the Big Bang. There is a school of thought that some form of matter has always been and always will be. It takes no more faith to believe in this then it takes to believe in a Creator.

One of the other issues raised with evolution is irreducible complexity. As evolutionists have learned more about genetics and DNA, scientists have shown that what Intelligent Design holds to be irreducibly complex not to be irreducible. For a comprehensive explanation on this issue written for nonscientists, I recommend "Finding Darwin's God" by Kenneth Miller, a biologist and a devout believer in God.

The letter writers also have a problem with the fossil record, specifically the lack of transitional fossils. However, transitional fossils are being found. In 1994, for instance, paleontologists found three intermediate species linking land mammals to archeocetes, the oldest swimming mammals. According to the biologist Kenneth Miller, "the midpoint of these three intermediate species, a marvelous animal called Ambulocetus natans (the swimming whale who walks), displayed exactly the combination of terrestrial and aquatic adaptations that critics of evolution had called impossible, even in principle."

Every time a missing link is found, it is not enough for creationists and IDer's. They expect another missing link. It's like giving up half of an inch, then another half, then another half. There's is a continual demand for another half. Considering the circumstance of what it takes to create a fossil, I think we should consider it a miracle of sorts that as many fossils as we have, have been found.

I think Evolution is the best scientific explanation we have of life's origin and development. Evolutionary theory is observable and predictive, and has been challenged and retested countless times in countless ways without being falsified. The theory has had unexplainable issues because our knowledge has been limited, not because the theory is false. It wasn't until the late 20th Century that scientists understood about the union of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology to explain variation and novelty in organisms.

Creationism and ID looks at our world and concludes it's the work of a Designer. ID finds complexity in organisms as proof of a Creator. This conclusion is a leap of faith and not scientific. If intelligent design is scientific and has shown evolution to be false, then wouldn't this prove the existence of God scientifically? As far as I know this has not happened. If ID is science, then what does it predict? How is it tested? What research is being done based on ID? How has ID advanced scientific knowledge? Contributed to biology? To medical science? I think ID is not science, but is philosophy or religion.

Science should not be driven to have results that accommodate a belief in God. This doesn't mean evolution is incompatible with a belief in God. Francis Collins, a noted biologist who is also a devout evangelical, has stated that "the notion that evolution doesn't apply to humans gets you into a series of real problems. The human genome contains nonfunctional elements in the precise spot where they can be found on the chromosomes of lower animals. If God was creating humans afresh, why would He insert a pseudo-gene that has lost its ability to do anything in the same place that it appears in a chimp? Barring evolution, you're forced to the conclusion that God was trying to mislead us and test our faith--and I have trouble with that kind of conjecture. The evidence in favor of evolution is utterly compelling."

The letter writers link the Big Bang and Evolution to secular humanism, which they deplore. It is their contention that no good can come from secular humanism. I question this. Is it necessary to believe in God to have a moral code for doing what is right?

Undeniably, people of faith have done and are doing good works, but Christianity's track record, as that of other religions, is filled with wars, murder, rape, pillaging, torture, prejudice all in the name of God. On the scale of justice I'm not sure the balance is in favor of good works. Why is assumed that the influence of secular humanism may be worse than what has been done in the name of God?

Joe Stack


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