Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Intelligent Design on Campus

I really should read Nature more often. It's a rather interesting journal. Above, I've linked to a recent article about the influx of intelligent design advocates to college campuses, and how it is picking up momentum.

While I ought to give the article a thorough response, I don't quite have the time to do so. However, here is a pertinent passage:
Cordova's story is more common than many scientists might think, according to Keith Miller, a geologist at Kansas State University in Manhattan who is an evangelical Christian. "I think a lot of students go through a period of being very conflicted about their faith, especially if they have an innate interest in science," Miller says. He knows a number of students who have fallen away from their beliefs as a result of their university experience. "They've so identified their faith with a particular view of what creation means, that it becomes an all-or-nothing kind of thing," he says. "I do think intelligent design offers an alternative, although I would argue it's not a good one." . . .

Scott, who is perhaps the nation's most high-profile Darwinist, is frustrated by the scientific community's inability to grapple with the issue. "The point here is that Americans don't want to be told that God had nothing to do with it," she says. "And that's the way the intelligent-design people present evolution." Scientists need to
do a better job of explaining that science makes no attempt to describe the supernatural and so has no inherent conflict with religion, she argues. "College professors need to be very aware of how they talk about things such as purpose, chance, cause and design," she says. "You should still be sensitive to the kids in your class."

Pure bunk. First, remember the roots of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Many of its strongest proponents openly admitted that they accepted it because it freed them to choose whatever moral path they desired, especially sexually (I'll come back with some references later). Next, realize that the message is very contradictory. "We have naturalistic explanations for everything that has happened and will happen, including human origins, so your faith is incorrect." You don't think that's a conflict of interest with faith? To be told that your God is neither present nor necessary in the world really doesn't give one much to have faith in.

I haven't followed these issues nearly as closely as I should, given my professional interests. However, I can say this much: There would be less uproar and controversy over the teaching of evolution if the scientific community would be more honest about the theory's flaws. There is so much debate over how some things occurred or whether they did occur. Sometimes, scientists are willing to jump straight to a purely evolutionary explanation of some event or data without even asking if there is another possible explanation.

Not that I'm an expert by any means. But I'd like to think that I can, well, think. It's not just for the professionals, you know.

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