November 18, 2005
God, lemurs and intelligent design
Dover [Pa.] distinguished itself this Election Day by throwing out all eight members of its school board who tried to impose “intelligent design” – today’s tarted-up version of creationism – on the biology curriculum. Pat Robertson then called the wrath of God down upon the good people of Dover for voting “God out of your city.” Meanwhile, in Kansas, the school board did a reverse Dover, mandating the teaching of skepticism about evolution and forcing intelligent design into the statewide biology curriculum.
Let’s be clear. Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological “theory” whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge – in this case, evolution – they are to be filled by God. It is a “theory” that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species but also says that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, “I think I’ll make me a lemur today.” A “theory” that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science – that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution – or behind the motion of the tides or the “strong force” that holds the atom together?
In order to justify the farce that intelligent design is science, Kansas had to corrupt the very definition of science, dropping the phrase “ natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us,” thus unmistakably implying – by fiat of definition, no less – that the supernatural is an integral part of science. This is an insult both to religion and science.
Well, that’s probably gonna mean the end of those lucrative gigs on Fox News.
More on unintelligent design here.
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