Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, February 07, 2005

A question

      Lately, there's been a lot of discussion about the "Intelligent Design" issue.  "Intelligent Design" is the theory that the known facts of biology render it impossible for Darwin's theory of evolution to be true.  There are, allegedly, just to many things that have to work together for accidental mutation and selection to create them.  Therefore, some intelligent entity created life as we know it.  The Intelligent Design advocates put this forward as science, not religion.

      In response, many critics say that science deals only in physically measurable causes and effects, and therefore Intelligent Design is non-scientific by definition.  In other words, science is "all materialism, all the time."

      Now, I favor no theory of the origins and diversity of life.  Darwin, Intelligent Design, and all other explanations I've seen proposed leave me unconvinced.  But try a thought experiment:

      Suppose that a supernatural Intelligent Designer of Designers did in fact create life on earth.  Then, by the definition of science as "all materialism, all the time," science can't tell us anything about the origins of life.

      So here's my question: how often have you heard any scientist say 'Science can only go so far in explaining the material world, and may never have a complete picture"?

      I have real trouble recalling anything like that.  What I always hear and read is "Just wait, and we'll explain everything."  That seems like as big an act of faith as anything the theologians ever asked for.

      So hey, fellas, why don't you all start distinguishing what you can prove, and what you just believe because it makes you feel good.



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