Intelligent design is a theory of faith. Evolution is a theory of science.
Science is based on something called scientific method. A scientific theory requires something (or more realistically, several things) that can be proven or shown to be false. A scientific theory is never absolute “fact”: it is always subject to discovery of further data that could prove or disprove certain aspects of its truth. Science is strictly about the “how”, “what”, “where”, and “when”. Science demands perpetual intelligent inquiry, the continuous challenging of the status quo. Science does not guide a person’s moral choices, it does not make someone a kinder, better person. It does, however, require a certain amount of intelligence.
Faith is belief. It requires an act of will, and it abhors fact. Identifying contradictory information is anathema to faith. If something contradicts the matter of faith, it can be conveniently dismissed as heretic, or a lie. Faith can save a life or a soul, can guide one’s life decisions and moral choices. Fundamentally, faith is all about answering the “why” question. But Faith isn’t much good when trying to build a bridge or attempting to safely launch a man into space.
One does not “Believe” in science- science simply is. Faith is not challenged by science, unless one’s faith is doggedly attempting to explain natural occurrences. An intelligent religion could embrace science without giving up their fundamental belief: the “why” part of life.
Intelligent design can be taught in a church. It does not belong in a school, unless it is a school of religion. If someone choses to set aside facts and reason for a life dedicated to faith, they can educate themselves in whatever misinformation they choose: but public schools should stick to facts, not faith. Unless, apparently, you live in Texas, where a science curriculum director was suspended (and felt compelled to resign) recently for expressing the opinion that Intelligent Design is not a science.
I feel nothing but sorrow (and a bit of anger) that the U.S. has sunk to such a low state. Not only do 40% of Americans still believe that Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq (about the same percentage that believe in Angels, I believe…), but apparently a nearly equal number have no clue regarding the difference between faith and science.
And if you are reading this and muttering “heretic!” and “blasphemer!” under your breath, there is another faith-based “theory” you should check out: the theory of intelligent falling.
8 thoughts on “Texas school board fires administrator over Intelligent Design opinion”
What you have in the United States (and elsewhere, but thankfully not to nearly as great a degree .. though Mr Harper supports them here), is a small group of people that believe that Darwin’s ideas turned people away from God. They believe that the theory of evolution creates doubt, causes people to question, and to not give themselves over completely to God.
They feel that this has caused most of the ills in present society ( because everything was perfect back in the 1850’s right? ) and causes those that are “led astray” by such ideas to suffer here and in the hereafter.
But even more to the point, the core of these people, believe that we are all held back from heaven because some of us do not submit to God they way they do. These are “millennial” groups that believe the entire purpose of life is to prepare for the imminent coming of the Messiah (1st or 2nd.) Of course, when He doesn’t come, they need to find a reason, and that reason is people like you and me and our “bad” ideas.
So these core group of people consider it their holy duty to infiltrate school boards, and get rid of “Dawrinism”. If they have to misrepresent themselves, outright lie, and ruin the lives of others … all is forgiven because they are trying to bring heaven to earth.
It bears noting that this is *exactly* the belief of the Taliban: That heaven is attainable here and now if only they can get everyone to display proper faith and submission to God.
Your explanation sounds far too rational- I reject it on that basis 🙂
I wonder how many of the people who pursue the Intelligent Design concept and promote it as an alternative to scientific method have actually thought through their purpose. Does everyone really need to believe in God for the Rapture or whatever it is called to occur? I thought that there was a lot of unbeliever smiting and such going on in the whole second coming thing, which would imply a healthy dose of unbelievers to be …smitten 🙂
But then again, I don’t study this stuff. I have occasionally thought I should read the Bible, the Koran, and so forth, so I could understand where the thinking comes from. But it seems that so many influential religious people make stuff up as they go along: trying to take a scholarly view to understand the basis for their beliefs would, if I’m right, be pointless. That said, it has always seemed to me that there is a lot of wisdom in the Bible and (from what I’ve seen) the Koran- it is all the damn humans who choose to misinterpret or interpret literally only certain passages that screw things up so badly.
As an aside, whenever I see someone demanding literal interpretation of the bible, I think of this letter…
I’m sorry I could not get through the article based solely on the words evangelical physics. Since my head promptly exploded I figured that’s as good a place to stop as any.
According to American Heritage: “Of, relating to, or in accordance with the Christian gospel, especially one of the four gospel books of the New Testament.”
According to Oxford: “evangelist â€¢ noun 1 a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith. 2 the writer of one of the four Gospels. 3 a passionate advocate of something. ”
( It is interesting to note that American dictionaries have pages of words with slightly different meanings derived from the root “evangelist”, almost none of which are recognized by Oxford. )
Now, I have read the bible, though not thoroughly and certainly can’t claim to have studied it… but I can’t seem to recall the chapter on physics. I must have missed that part 😉
“He dun needed killin'” Enough said. I do believe this gem also came from the same red neck of the woods.
Don’t think all of those “nuts” live just down south…
“” Creation Science Museum just opened in Big Valley, in the western province of Alberta, in June. “”
Yup, we have them up here too 🙂
The bible (KJV), as much as I like to think it can be a good template for people who are too slow witted to know what the difference between right and wrong is, the problem is that people actually believe it is “god’s” writing.
The bible, whichever one someone wants to read, was put together by folks with a political and religious agenda.
Not just once, but slapped together by many different kings, monks, priests and author’s over a period of almost two thousand years.
Who knows what the “original” bible even says, and no matter what it says, it is still just a book.
I will refrain from making any comments about the Koran, for fear of having my house targeted by a suicide bomber. 🙂
Greetings, Shane 🙂
I’ve always thought that the problem with the Bible (or any religious text) should be immediately obvious to anyone with a working brain. That is…at best it is a human interpretation of the word of God. It is muddied, perverted, and twisted by all the human failings that we all suffer from.
Anyone who takes the time to actually read, or even *skim* (that’s the best I’ve done), the Bible will find hundreds if not thousands of outright contradictions. Everything before Jesus is smiting and begetting and thou shalt. It includes all sorts of nastiness about slavery and beating one’s wife appropriately. Then Jesus comes along, and its all forgiveness and turn the other cheek and tolerance. Jesus bathed the feet of beggars, and befriended a “sinning” prostitute, for heaven’s sake!
How can this all be the direct and true word of God? It obviously can not be. The Bible is terribly buggered up by all the humans that have tried to interpret his ineffable wisdom in the context of their own petty and sin-filled lives. There is lots of wisdom in there (and likewise in the Koran, and nearly any other holy book you can imagine), but you have to distill it through knowledge of the highly flawed people who had a hand in mucking it up.