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August 22, 2005

Intelligent Design in the Crosshairs of the Mainstream

After listening last night with a great deal of fascination to my Bible study leader advancing the merits of the Gap Theory relating to the Genesis creation account, I was interested to read in the NY Times today that proponents of Intelligent Design recognize the gap between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2, and agree that the earth is billions of years old.

A long, skeptical article on the emergence of the intelligence design scientists reads:

“Unlike creationists, design proponents accept many of the conclusions of modern science. They agree with cosmologists that the age of the universe is 13.6 billion years, not fewer than 10,000 years, as a literal reading of the Bible would suggest. They accept that mutation and natural selection, the central mechanisms of evolution, have acted on the natural world in small ways, for example, leading to the decay of eyes in certain salamanders that live underground.”

This article and yesterday's are worth reading. The mainstream scientific community is trying their best to diminish the efforts of scientists who start with the supposition of a master designer. Those opposing intelligent design are facing still opposition from well-funded groups such as The Discovery Institute.

With the proper support and willingness to avoid wild rhetoric and short-term gains that will hurt the long-term effort, we may see tremendous progress in the teaching of ID alongside the theory of evolution in the nation's public schools.

Posted by Jim at August 22, 2005 07:59 AM

Trackback Pings


Jim, I just finished reading the (long) article and was thinking about posting. I think the article was pretty balanced because I'm willing to bet that proponents of ID and evolution probably walked away thinking their side wasn't fully represented.

Posted by: Rick Brady at August 22, 2005 09:23 AM

True. When both sides come away a little upset, the journalist has usually played it down the middle. I was getting a little irritated when the writer kept characterizing the anti-ID folks as the "mainstream," as though the others are weirdos. But I'm glad to see the generally fair, and extensive, coverage of this movement.

Posted by: Jim Jewell at August 22, 2005 11:49 AM

My question is this.

If the Big Bang is truly "what happened" at the beginning, what caused this BANG to happen?

Further, what was before the BANG?

No scientist can answer these questions, no matter how smart or well-learned.

Posted by: the daily missive at August 22, 2005 04:25 PM

Last I heard Steven Hawkins was "working on it." Now that is the height of human chutzpah. Pride comes before a fall... For many, the final fall will be a fall into the pit of hell.

Posted by: Rick at August 22, 2005 07:23 PM

Scientific materialism is necessary to produce usable results. The problem is confusion among many darwinist scientists between philosophic materialism and scientific materialism.

The daily missive's comments hit on a truth - science has limits. The truth beyond what science can discover is discerned by faith, using logic and philosophy. Naturalism/Materialism is faith, not in God, to be sure, but faith nonetheless.

See my trackback above - by the same standard anti-ID folks say it is not science, so too are the claims of Darwinism.

Posted by: Todd at August 23, 2005 03:16 PM

ID should not be taught in science classes of public schools for 2 simple reasons. There is no scientific basis for ID. And ID is based on religious beliefs.

Also, your continued use of the phrase "theory of evolution" is disingenuous. While literally correct, implicit in the use of the word "theory" is the notion that it is "just a theory", equivalent to alternative explanations. It is referred to this way by advocates of teaching religion in public schools, newspaper writers who try to give equal weight to both sides and people who don't know any better. As a biologist, I have only rarely heard other scientists refer to evolution as a theory. It is simply "evolution" to most informed people. It is no different than gravity or electricity or nuclear decay, which are never referred to as "theories", even though the explanations for these phenomena are theories in the same way that evolution is.

Todd, please provide some evidence to back up your assertions. I went to your trackback searching for your argument and could discern nothing but nonsense and misinformation. If you believe ID has as firm a scientific basis as evolution, then explain yourself, and don't just make up things you then proceed to criticize.

This brings me to another point. There is a humongous body of data and research to support evolution. That is how it can be taught in science class. If ID were taught in schools, what would be the curriculum? What science exactly would be taught?

Posted by: dem at August 24, 2005 12:36 AM

No scientist can answer these questions, no matter how smart or well-learned.

Well, obviously, neither can any priest.

The truth beyond what science can discover is discerned by faith, using logic and philosophy.

No, it is simply not discerned at all. Why invent gods and mythologies to fill in the things we don't know? Leave things of the imagination alone and concern yourself with reality as we know it.

Posted by: worldcitizen at August 25, 2005 12:50 AM