Monday, March 07, 2005

Intelligent Design

“When are people going wake up and realize that [evolution] is trash science,” said Pat Robertson today, 3/7/05.

It’s funny that fundamentalist put so much effort into trashing the Theory of Evolution. In the past, the only alternative that has been offered is the first two chapters of Genesis. Of course, the first two chapters of Genesis have two completely separate and contradictory creation myths. Fundamentalist try to pretend it’s one story, but is a sticky point that is often used to catch them in their lies (that is, taking only parts of the bible completely literally and ignoring or explaining away sections that contradict their beliefs).

So, Intelligent Design is invited. Intelligent Design attempts to prove that a creator must be the explanation for life on Earth, and its diversity, without making direct reference to the bible or a god. Intelligent Design promoters have come up with all kinds of trick formulae, mental exercises, and baseless assumptions in the effort to build up a body of support for their ideas. However, the biggest point that makes Intelligent Design nearly useless is that its promoters don’t use the scientific method to falsify hypotheses. It is not enough to say that one has evidence for a hypothesis. One must also try to find evidence that contradicts their hypothesis. Absolutely no one that is out promoting Intelligent Design has done that.

In my opinion, the people promoting Intelligent Design don’t care whether or not they are speaking truth. They are spurred on by money, taking advantage of the ignorant masses seeking a remedy to the contradiction between the bible and reality. Basically, Intelligent Design promoters are snake-oil-salesmen, pushing a do-nothing product on unsuspecting people.

In science, it is usually healthy to have opposing views battling out the facts until the truth is discovered. The 20th Century’s great example of this battle was between Big Bang Theory and Steady State Theory. Of course, the Big Bang Theory evidential won the day, but not before Steady State Theory studies had an impact on our understanding of the Universe. Steady State supporters made several important discoveries. Ultimately these discoveries ended up providing further proof for the Big Bang Theory, but without opposing views driving research, it may have taken much longer to understand our visible Universe.

Here’s my challenge to Intelligent Design promoters. Stop selling snail-oil and start taking science seriously. Only then is it possible that their contributions will play and important role in our understanding of the origin of species. Until that unlikely day, there is no practical use for Intelligent Design. Using the scientific method to study nature as it is (and not just how we want it to be) provides endless insights and benefits to everyone. The Theory of Evolution is practical science that is playing a role in making new discoveries. Intelligent Design provides no insights or benefits into anything because it ends the search for further discovery.

**Update 9/23/2013: I stand justified of my opinion according to this recent article: Discovery Institute is a con-profit scam.**

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