Friday, August 12, 2005

Intelligent Design...

...makes me angry. Its proponents pretend it's scientific, but there's nothing to prove or test about it. It's a metaphysical thing, a philosophical thing. They don't demand standards of proof for belief in ID, because you can't prove anything about it. But at the same time, they demand impossibly high standards of proof for belief in evolution, and say that if you can't provide those standards, then the only thing you can logically believe in is ID (which, as I mentioned before has no proof behind it).

I look at it like this. It's like you've got a bunch of data points on a plane, and you want to make a guess at what kind of curve links them all. So you make your best guess, based on what points you have, and you work from there. All of a sudden a data point comes along that doesn't fit on the curve you projected, so you modify your guess. That's science. Flexible and self-critical. That's evolution. It's the best fit they have for the data that they have. Intelligent Design is nothing but a collective throwing up of hands in the air, saying, "It's too complicated!"

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that science, and what should be taught as science, should be subject to the whims of a populace which is terribly uneducated on the subject. We wouldn't go asking John Q. Public about whether he thinks his children should be taught about irrational numbers and functions in class, or whether he believes in them, because that would be junk math. Why do we think that the public should be able to force junk science into the classroom?

Nobody can logically disprove the existence of a Creator, or an Intelligent Designer. The idea cannot be considered by any to be completely dismissed, at least with any logical consistency. There's always the possibility. But science studies what we can measure, what we can observe, and what we can conclude from these measurements and observations. An Intelligent Designer would have to live outside our observable universe (otherwise, he/she/it would necessitate his/her/its own Intelligent Designer), and as such, we cannot ever hope to observe or measure anything about him/her/it.

Philosophy classes are the places for such discussions, and I'd encourage them to take place there. It's an interesting topic, but one that's ultimately not viable as a scientific topic.