Thursday, October 27, 2005

ID Response

Why I think it is wrong to think that ID is a valid scientific theory:

There were many times in our scientific history where we could have stopped and said this is where G-d begins and science ends. If that was the case, Newton would never have discovered the laws of gravity and motion, Einstein would never have looked at the world in a different way and developed his theories of relativity, we may never have pushed that theory to the limit and theorized then subsequently discovered black holes. More importantly, we never would have found out about viruses, DNA, molecules and atoms had we never pushed a little beyond what we understood. There is an interesting theory of the G-d of the gaps. That is whatever we don't understand in science we attribute to G-d. The gaps we fill in with G-d.

This is dangerous not only for science but for religion. If we keep pushing G-d father and further away and limiting Him to the gaps then as we discover more of the universe G-d shrinks in his place. If that happens the significance of G-d become less and less important because we always attribute him to the latest thing in the universe that we don’t understand. As for the danger in science, if we say that this is where science stops and G-d begins then that prevents up from ever pushing the boundaries of human understanding. Remember in history when there was a recession in art and science? The church took a prominent position during that time, establishing itself as the authority on all human intellectual undertakings. This a time when astronomers were not allowed to say that the planets orbited the sun because it supposedly went against church doctrine. (Exactly what passage that states that the planets specifically revolve around the sun in the bible I am not too sure, but that was the interpretation at the time.) We lovingly call that time the Dark Ages and it’s not because of the weather.

I believe that Galileo was forced into house arrest for his beliefs along those lines. Luckily for us there were brave scientists who stood up for the principles of truth in their calculations and observations. Slowly but surely scientific truth won out over centuries of dogma. In 1981, the Pope John Paul II finally opened up an investigation into the persecution of Galileo. I think that the whole Galileo thing was more a personal thing between Pope Urban VIII than dogmatic response to the obvious truth that Copernicus was right. In 1990, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said, “At the time of Galileo the Church remained much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself. The process against Galileo was reasonable and just” Of course to put it in context he was saying that the Inquisitors were simply defending the Church because Galileo was such a loudmouth, spreading his anti-church rhetoric like let’s see, ummm, the Earth revolves around the sun…? Yeah, bad idea.

Now who am I to tell billions of human beings that they’re wrong? I think that religion has some really great qualities. But like anything else, take in moderation. Every time the church tries to put G-d into the equation they end up retracting that idea and moving Him a little further out, like a giant board game. I imagine the church’s pieces of G-d like silhouetted cardboard pieces looking like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel version of G-d with his big beard pointing at another cut out piece of Galileo. More science pieces get put on the board as G-d is painted into a corner surrounded by little cardboard Einsteins and Stephen Hawkings. Of course in the religious game bard G-d rules and scientists are relegated to a small corner of the board and no spinner or dice. Silly ain’t it?

I’ve been told that ID and Creationism are not the same thing. One, ID, is a scientific theory and the other, Creationism, is a religious idea. I don’t think that’s true. Any scientists I know or have read about have not considered ID a scientific theory. For the most part, I think ID is Creationism parading around as a genuine theory. It’s a way to infuse religion into science and make it palatable to the masses. It has failed. There is no way without verifiable and reproducible observation or experiment to consider ID a theory. Just because it “looks” like the world was created with intent by a supreme intelligent being doesn’t mean that it was. Philosophically, you can say that but scientifically you cannot. I am willing to agree with religious leaders who argue that the world was designed by a creator, or a first cause on purely philosophical levels. I am also willing to look at the very fine-tuned universe and evolutionary gaps that seem to point toward ID and say that perhaps that it is true. But as for empirical evidence, ID offers little. Creationism offers none. I’ve mentioned it too many times before and I am starting to sound repetitive but my argument is that G-d and religion require pure belief. There is not evidence of G-d’s existence besides our faith in the books we read and the prayers we say. Our collective faith and gathering together to celebrate that faith is enough for the proof of the existence of G-d. Anyone to trying to pin the existence of G-d on a scientific theory is engaged in futile endeavor. It will not happen. Science is not belief; it is fact. It is testable and reproducible. Evidence must be empirical and not ethereal. You can’t say that G-d exists because the scientific facts make it seem to be that way.



The Phoenix said...

Despite what many say, I've always considered intelligent design and creationism the same thing, just two different sides of the same coin.

ID will never progress past speculation, and if it does - it does so based on illogical and unscientific bases.

ObilonKenobi said...

I agree.