Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Intelligent Design Letter

Here is a letter I recently wrote to the editor of our local paper. I think I did a fair job representing myself in some of the issues of ID.

Dear Editor,

I think it is interesting to think about some of the issues brought up by opponents of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. The judge said that it was just creationism in disguise and tantamount to teaching religion in schools, which, contrary to popular belief, it is legal to teach about religion; you just can’t have any alter calls or suggest one is better than another.

Consider this: a police detective come upon the scene of a dead body. Now, as the detective and her colleagues look around at the evidence for clues, they are trying to determine if what they are seeing is a natural or accidental death or if there is fowl play involved, thus making it homicide. That is, an intelligent agent-cause for this death. Think CSI.

Now, what the Evolutionist side has done is exclude any possibility that anything but natural causes (naturalism) has killed this person. This a priori worldview limits their choices. On the other hand, the ID side is looking at the evidence and trying to determine if the death could be explained in purely natural terms; if so, they have no problem with that. However, if there is an intelligence behind the death, this changes things a bit. They must then search out who-done-it.

Most of the scientists behind ID are not concerned with the answer to WHO-done-it. They are concerned with looking and seeing if it looks like someone or something did. In the schools, some scientists in the Discovery Institute don’t even support mandating teachers (objective volunteers are acceptable)to teach ID in the class nor do they think it is necessarily appropriate to consider the “who” question. But why should learning end upon leaving the classroom door. I would recommend Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton. (He’s not a Christian nor religious, it seems).

In this debate, it is important to make sure we have all the facts before we rule out homicide. However, just as important, it is important that the views of either side of this debate be represented accurately. It is not a case of faith vs. science, but rather of science vs. science. Reading some of the more reputable sources of the ID movement will show that this is not about religion, but about the evidence. I would also suggest that like detectives, scientists can interpret evidence wrong sometimes; that does not mean they always are if they suggest intelligence.

By the way, opponents say it is a guise to introduce religion into the public school. Which religion? ID does not favor any particular religion. It does favor theism, but that is a philosophy. Many religions fall under this umbrella. ID does not establish any religion in the Constitutional sense.


Tracy Bright said...

Good job honey. Very nicely put!

Kwame said...

Bravo! You are, of course, correct and even Dr. Behe was on CNN like, “ID doesn’t say that YHWH or just one god made the world. In fact, you have people saying that the life was indeed designed, by extraterrestrials.” Nevertheless, some members of the mass media do not do a good job of reporting on fringe, esoteric, and relatively unpopular ideas, phenomena, and practices. (Examples come to mind.) But again, bravo.