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December 18, 2005

Intelligent Design

I'm embarrassed for my country. We are the most powerful, most advanced, most educated civilization ever, but we can't let go of superstition. The fact that we're even "debating" Intelligent Design as "science" is nauseating. I might punch the next person who says scientific theory isn't fact.

The Scientific Method is inductive reasoning. Practically everything you know you learned from inductive reasoning. As a child, you observed the world around you and inductively inferred everything from word meanings to how tall trees get. But you can never be certain that what you hold as "truth" and "fact" will remain static. New observations will change a word's meaning or your idea of what a "tree" is.

That's what Science does; it observes and induces explanations for how the natural world works. The theories of science, like most of our knowledge, sufficiently explain what can be observed, but always must be ready to change, to be falsified. However, once thousands of observations are made, and the theory explaining and predicting what is observed holds true, that theory, like your image of a tree and the meaning of "shirt," is considered fact. Theories do not cause or invent the facts observed; they simply explain them.

To introduce a supernatural explanation for natural phenomena puts us in the same intellectual strata as those who sacrifice virgins to the volcano god and dance for rain. The levels of ignorance on display about what science is and does are offensive and harmful to the sincere faithful who can reconcile science and religion without dragging the nation back to Salem Witch Trial levels of irrationality.

Posted by tat at December 18, 2005 12:38 PM

now that the theory of evolution is being replaced by "intellegent design", I'm still waiting for the theory of gravity to be replaced with "intellegent falling"...


to quote the article from the Onion: "there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by secular gravity alone, including such mysteries as how angels fly, how Jesus ascended into Heaven, and how Satan fell when cast out of Paradise"

with this kind of logic, it escapes me why we haven't come to this conclusion a long time ago...

[did you detect my sarcasm?]


Posted by: hareball at December 18, 2005 08:57 PM

Intelligent design is NOT a science. It should never be considered a science. It is a FAITH. Plain and simple. It can NOT be proven. And as far as that goes, neither can evolution. Sure, we have fossil records, but that does not PROVE evolution. All fossil records prove, is that there was, at one time or another, a thing that resembles a mixture of other things.

Now, I am not saying that evolution is a fallacy. It is a theory. And when we have definitive proof that all life came from one, single celled organism, then it will be law. Don’t believe me, check Newton's law of gravity. Proven. Gravity does exist. When the proof is presented, then those who disagree have the right to be called ignorant. Until then, let them have the faith that they so desire. It doesn’t hurt you.

I can understand that as a teacher, you have a personal vested intrest in this subject. I really don’t want my kids teachers teaching religion in the schools either. However, I also do not want them telling my kids things that have not been proven as facts.

Evolution... Intelegent Design...
NOBODY knows for sure.

But to teach our children that one or the other is a lie, that is wrong.

Posted by: Jason Alam at December 21, 2005 10:57 AM

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation is one of the greatest scientific discoveries ever made, but it’s not a law, it’s a theory. The main reason it’s a theory and not a law is that in his formula for Universal Gravitation, Newton estimated a “Universal Gravitational Constant”, that is given the symbol “G”, as approximately equal to 6.67x10^-11 (N*m^2)/kg^2 . Einstein had a problem with this estimation, and this led to his General Theory of Relativity (which is a more complicated and thorough extension of Newton’s Gravity).

To take this one step further, Einstein could not completely figure out gravity/relativity, and was never able to complete his Generalized Theory of Gravitation (the unification of the gravitational force with the electromagnetic forces). Work continues today on many competing theories that try to better explain gravity, electromagnetic forces, and the universe.

This example of an observation leading to a theory, theory leading to a law, then the law being challenged and refined into a more complete theory is a perfect example of what science is all about. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation opened the door to a new understanding of how the world around us, and the universe, works.

Just think about where we would be if Newton would have used “intelligent design” and said “Gravity, well, it’s too hard to figure out, it must be a higher power. Move along people, nothing to see here!”.

Posted by: hareball at December 22, 2005 12:30 AM

There is one thing that needs to be understood in this whole thing. The word theory means something totally different in science than it does in the real world. That they call it relativity theory or evolution theory does not mean that these are things just supposed or conjectured based on scanty evidence. Special Relativity Theory is probably the most proven thing in science today, but it's still called theory. Do you think that they call it the pythagorean theorem because we might one day find a triangle that doesn't fit the equation? The first definition of theory is this: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." It is not until the sixth definition that we come to this: "An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture." Over and over again scientists have been able to watch viruses and bacteria evolve in a matter of hours. That organisms evolve over time is a fact. What is in question is how life on this planet got from it's beginnings to it's present state. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming and it is only a matter of time before all the pieces are put into the puzzle. The problem is not that it didn't happen, just that there wasn't a lot of evidence left behind. And it is not as though they've ever found one thing that makes them re-think the idea. With every new fossil and every new dig they come closer and closer to having the whole picture. You can't just say that since science can't explain the whole thing, then it doesn't expalin any of it at all. Anyone with half a brain can see that the Grand Canyon was not created all at once by the Noah Flood. I also can't believe that an all-powerful, all-knowing god needs to stoop so low as to place dinosaur bones all over to trick people out of believing...

Posted by: ToddDrevers at January 3, 2006 06:05 PM