It’s no well-kept secret that I’m not fan of the pseudo-science known by some as “intelligent design”, yet it is a guilty pleasure following the ideological tennis match that’s been playing out in American schools this last decade. And so, I loved this — now somewhat old — documentary on the Dover trial on intelligent design. Watch it on your second monitor, and don’t be afraid, it’s got a happy ending.
The new guidelines for key stage 3 (11 to 14-year-olds), published yesterday, say: “This unit focuses on creation and origins of the universe and human life and the relationship between religion and science. It aims to deepen pupils’ awareness of ultimate questions through argument, discussion, debate and reflection and enable them to learn from a variety of ideas of religious traditions and other world views.
Ultimately, I’m a fan of knowledge, science and healthy debate. Since ID advocates the opposite, it won’t stand a chance when scrutinized!
What are your thoughts about the despair some people feel when they ponder natural selection and random mutation? The idea of evolution and natural selection makes some people feel that everything is meaningless—people’s individual lives and life in general.
If it’s true that it causes people to feel despair, that’s tough. It’s still the truth. The universe doesn’t owe us condolence or consolation; it doesn’t owe us a nice warm feeling inside. If it’s true, it’s true, and you’d better live with it.
However, I don’t think it should make one feel depressed. I don’t feel depressed. I feel elated. My book, “Unweaving the Rainbow,” is an attempt to elevate science to the level of poetry and to show how one can be—in a funny sort of way—rather spiritual about science. Not in a supernatural sense, but there are uplifting mysteries to be solved. The contemplation of the size and scale of the universe, of the depth of geological time, of the complexity of life—these all, to me, have an inspirational quality. It makes my life worthwhile to study them.
From an Open Letter on Intelligent Design:
“Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.”
The alternative being “intelligent design”, the idea that an “unseen force” created mankind. This is stupidity on a previously unseen level. Frankly, I’m astonished. Barry Lynn said it best: [student's hearing two viewpoints] “doesn’t understand that one is a religious viewpoint and one is a scientific viewpoint.”