Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Intelligent Design Trail!

In late September 2005, Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District et al. went to trial in federal district court in Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs challenged the decision of the Dover School Board requiring that public schools teach that intelligent design is an alternative theory to evolution. The plaintiffs alleged that such a rule constituted the teaching of religion in public schools and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

It seems obvious to me that Intelligent Design (ID) is science, not religion. Creationism is a theological, religious concept; Intelligent Design points to observable physical empirical facts. The appearance of design in aspects of biology is overwhelming aspects of life are so complex as to be best explained as the work of a super-intelligent designer.

When Charles Darwin presented his theory of evolution, little was known about what goes on inside living cells. They were "black boxes," objects the insides of which were unknown. With the development of molecular biology, scientists have come to realize that cells are extremely complex. Darwin's theory fails to account for this complexity. For example, the unique information within an individual cell remains distinct from the physical structure of that cell in the same way that the message of a book is distinct from the ink and paper which records it. The question biologists must answer is, Where did this genetic information come from? Information implies intelligence. It can't be explained by physical mutations and natural selection.

Another finding which also is a major problem for Darwinists is what is called the irreducible complexity of living organisms. In other words, molecular mechanisms are made up of many parts that interact in complex ways, and all the parts need to work together. Any single part has no useful function unless all the other parts are also present. The eye, for example, requires the coordinated working of many different parts to do its work. Each of these parts, however, can accomplish nothing on its own. That being the case, why would the individual parts have been preserved through time by natural selection? If there were gradual development, there must have been some intelligence behind it to know what to retain and what to destroy.

These two factors, then - information content and irreducible complexity - are strong physical evidence for intelligent design. Information implies intelligence, and complexity can't be accounted for by mutation and selection. It requires design!

Interestingly, recent polls indicate that challenges to Darwinian evolution have substantial support among the American people. According to a July 2005 survey sponsored by the Pew Forum and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 60 percent believe that humans and other animals have either always existed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guidance of a Supreme Being. Only 26 percent agree with Darwin that life evolved through natural selection. Finally, the poll found that 64 percent of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in the classroom.
From CT weblog
  1. Museums take up evolution challenge Natural history museums around the country are mounting new exhibits they hope will succeed where high school biology classes have faltered: convincing Americans that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a rigorously tested cornerstone of modern science (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Local school teaches intelligent design alongside evolution Students in Cheri Hagan's advanced biology class at Asheville Christian Academy believe the concept of intelligent design has its flaws. But, they say, so does evolution (Asheville Citizen-Times, N.C.)

  3. Now arguing near you: the evolution drama Observing the 80th anniversary of the Scopes trial, Theater Works has begun a 23-city tour of Peter Goodchild's radio play "The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial" (The New York Times)

  4. Can faith, science coexist? Evolution and Christianity are not incompatible, many believe (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  5. From Dayton to Dover: Why is Darwin still on trial? When believers insist on 'proving' religion through science, they are playing on the wrong field (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

  6. Intelligent deception With the ongoing battle over intelligent design being taught in schools, Why stop there? (Steven I. Weiss, Radar)

  7. Inherit the baloney In Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial, by Marvin Olasky and John Perry, creationists try to settle a score with Darwin (Chris Lehmann, Reason)

  8. Leave science to schools, faith to us it is the job of my husband and me to instill values, faith and religion in our son as we see fit. My job. Not society's, not the school's and not the job of either fundamentalist Christians or secular liberals intent on changing the school curriculum to fit their agenda (Inez Russell, Free New Mexican)

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