Intelligent design redux
OK, I’ll take the bait, for this one time.
In five-and-half-years of never missing a Tuesday (except once when it was published on a Wednesday instead because ‘El Editor’ was too busy thrilling us with his firefighting escapades), I have never followed one column with the same subject as the previous.
At least I can’t remember doing so, if indeed I have.
Anyway, the tremendous response to last week’s subject of intelligent design ” somewhat lacking in the intelligence department ” was nearly a record setter, second in personal e-mail responses only to every single column I ever wrote containing the word “Kobe.”
Believe me, that’s saying something.
Literally dozens of e-mails magically appeared (through the “miracle” of electricity) in my inbox, and get this: Not a single one was negative.
Nope, the only negatives were the ones that made it into the Daily in the form of letters, tips and web blogs.
So, to begin with, if you wish to have intellectual discussions on this or any other subject, please quit wasting ink attacking me personally, as a few repeatedly choose to do. It cheapens your argument, and glaringly tells the reader that you have no response worthy of actual debate (this is what’s known locally as the Cacioppo Effect).
The theory of mankind’s origin will never be completely solved, period, and anyone or any group claiming otherwise needs to be standing in line for their tin foil hats. And come on, if you have a valid scientific basis supporting intelligent design, then please, by all means, share it with the rest of the class. Don’t insult readers by claiming there is not enough space or whatever excuse you come up with to not actually answer the questions.
For every claim by Michael Behe and his kind, Richard Dawkins and his can refute it line by line. Behe, a brilliant biochemist at Lehigh University, has been the unofficial scientific leader of I.D. claims for years now, yet he actually admitted that I.D. was non-falsifiable in his own creationist book “Mere Creation,” thus admitting that their scientific enterprise of I.D. was indeed, non-scientific.
Behe also wrote the fascinating “Darwin’s Black Box,” a must-read for anyone with an open mind toward the subject, but again, the flip side by Dawkins squashes Behe’s attempts at scientific logic with each turn of the page in “The Blind Watchmaker.”
Take sides or sit on the sidelines, I don’t care, but at least have the courage to approach both with a mind open enough to consider the possibility that your ideas might be wrong. I certainly do.
I have never suggested one should not read the Bible or the Koran or even the New York Times. Hey, whatever floats your boat. I do not knock religion for its existence, just the methods with which religious believers choose to try to force the rest of us to believe the same, as well as their attempts at sanctimoniously forging public policy.
And yes, religion gives purpose to those who cannot find it elsewhere, hope to the hopeless, joy to the depressed, strength to the weak, faith to the fearful, comfort to the needy, etc., but so does a hug from Mom or a well-timed shot of whisky. We homo sapiens are pattern makers, always seeking order out of chaos as a function of survival, therefore I do not browbeat those who embrace it. Indeed, some of my closest friends are deeply religious, yet they do not approach our friendship with a jaundiced eye simply because I do not have the same beliefs. How incredibly shallow that would be.
But to claim that science cannot prove evolution? Please, yes, science has proven it over and over (in theories, of course) for the last 150 years, each year becoming more conclusive. Yet science, being the always evolving creature IT is, will never be 100 percent sure of anything, as new data and improved methods of acquiring such will also continue to evolve. No religion I am aware of will admit the same.
Bacteria sandwich anyone? A very simple, testable, verifiable and falsifiable proof of evolution is to take a group of bacteria, place streptomycin resistance on a few, place them together on a culture with streptomycin, and watch them all become true-breeding for streptomycin resistance very quickly, sometimes literally in just a few days.
Need more proof?
Sorry, I wish to change the subject and return to my weekly sarcasm on whatever subject I choose (it is much more entertaining to write than this), so do the research yourself and you will no longer have to continue ending every pseudo-scientific debate with the phrase, “And then a miracle occurs …”
But if you choose to believe some magical being created something from nothing, then you are begging the rhetorical question of where that magical being came from. “It” certainly had an origin as well, right?
The argument itself is circular in nature (no pun intended) and always will be, but just because you cannot answer the question with a rational answer does not give you the right to claim your irrationality as fact.
As James Randi once said, “When a rational man throws up his hand to question a theory, a pious man simply prays. The rational man may or may not ever receive a reasonable answer, but most assuredly the pious man never will.”
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column, as in the case of all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.
Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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