"The Wondering Jew"
Nov. 18, 2005 - 17:16 PST
INTELLIGENT WHAT ?
Present day life begins, I think, to resemble an Escher drawing. One of two dogs, each with a strangle hold on the other's neck. Two schools of thought, one of which is that there are two schools of thought. And the other ? Well ask Pat Robertson and his ilk.
Today in Eugene, Oregon's Register Guard is a column by a The Washington Post columnist Charles Karuthammer which is his slant on creationism vs evolution> In full:
EVOLUTION NEED NOT BE THE ENEMY OF RELIGION
WASHINGTON -- "Because every few years this country, in its infinite tolerance, insists on hearing yet another appeal of the Scopes monkey trial, I feel obliged to point out what would otherwise be superfluous -- that the two greatest scientists in the history of our species were Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and they were both religious."
"Newton's religiosity was traditional. He was a staunch believer in Christianity and member of the Church of England. Einstein's was a more diffuse belief in a deity who set the rules for everything that occurs in the universe."
"Neither saw science as an enemy of religion. On the contrary. "He believed he was doing God's work," James Gleick wrote in his recent biography of Newton. Einstein saw his entire vocation -- understanding the workings of the universe -- as an attempt to understand the mind of God."
"Not a crude and willful God who pushes and pulls and does things according to whim. Newton was trying to supplant the view that first believed the sun's motion was the work of Apollo and his chariot, and later believed it was a complicated system of cycles and epicycles, one tacked on upon the other every time time some wobble in the orbit of a planet was found."
"Which brings us to Dover, Pa., Pat Robertson, the Kansas State board of Educaation and fight over evolution that is so anachronistic as to be a national embarrassment."
"Dover distinguished itself this Election Day by throwing out all eight members of its school board who tried to impose "intelligent design" -- today's tarted up version of creationism -- on the biology curriculum. Pat Robertson then called down the wrath of God upon the good people of Dover for voting "God out of your city."
"Meanwhile in Kansas, the school board did a reverse Dover, mandating the teaching of skepticism about evolution and forcing intelligent design into the statewide biology curriculum."
"Let's be clear. "Intelligent design" may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautoligical "theory" in which the only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific k nowledge -- in this case, evolution -- they are to be filled by God."
It is a "theory" that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species, but that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, "I think I will make me a lemur today." A "theory" that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science -- that it be empirically disprovable."
"How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution -- or behind the motion of the tides or the "strong force" that holds the atom together ? "
"In order to justify the farce that intelligent design is science, Kansas had to corrupt the very definition of science, dropping the phrase"natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us," thus unmistakably implying -- by fiat of definition, no less -- that the supernatural is an integral part of science."
"That is an insult both to religion and to science."
"The school board thinks it is indicting evolution by branding it an "unguided process" with no discernable direction or goal." This is as ridiculou as indicting Newtonian mechanics for positing and "unguided process " by which the Earth is pulled around the sun every year without discernable purpose. What is chemistry if not if not an "unguided processd" of molecular interactions without "purpose"? Or are we to teach children that God is behind every hydrogen atom in electrolysis ?"
"He may be, of course. But that discussion is the province of religion, not science. The relentless attempt to confuse the two by teaching warmed-over creationism as science can only bring ridicule to religion, gratuitously discrediting a great human endeavor and our deepest source of wisdom precisely about those questions -- arguably, the most important questions in life -- that lie beyond the material."
"How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein ?"
"Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too."
I make no claim of being an expert in the fields of religion or science, but as a child I could see inconsistencies in the stance of people who professed to know everything about God's will. Early on I could see the clashes of ideas on the book of Revelations, each preacher claiming to know what that book said, and each one differing in thought greatly.
I am a believer but will be damned in many eyes because I refuse to believe every word in the Bible. A book that has passed through many translations and whose words might have applied to times ancient, but in todays world have no similarity to reality, to my limited mind.
I too, can see no reason for religion and science to be at cross-purposes other than to further the thoughts and interferences of the "Pat Robertson" group of people.
To my way of thinking science starts out with theory which later becomes fact by proof of scientific investigation. Religion for the most part the way I see it is a method where people are expected to believe things by blind faith, with no actual proof.
Sure, I believe, and also think that in his infinite wisdom God created humanity, tried to help it along the way, but sooner or later -- having given us free will, expects us to grow up and live resposibly. I also think things like carbon dating, medical science, study of fossils show things that happened long ago, many of them showing evolution in process.
I once read that every mammal has as many bones as every other species of mammal. I would accept His intelligent design in that case and some others, but think that man as a whole is trying to fit things in a narrow box, label them according to how he personally believes. Those people also know every date that things will happen, the locations and the people involved. In a box, labeled, and a "Not to be opened until" date too. Seems to me that they take too much upon themselves, and allow no room for God to do his work.
I have often wondered how evil, debauched and utterly miserable humanity has to become before God says to himself, "Enough, this experiment is a failure," and poof our world vanishes without a trace.
So, I am a believer and honor the meaning of the words of Christ and wonder why persons who profess to be Christians fail greatly to act in a Christian way.
I cannot think of anyone or anything more intelligent than God and feel that his design is as perfect as can be done by any entity and also feel that many limit their percieved idea of truth by pushing forth their personal definitions and ideas so narrowly on God.
So, I often muse and wonder INTELLIGENT WHAT ? . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far