Monday, September 26, 2005
dover, pa & intelligent design
a school board here voted last year to require high school biology classes to hear about "alternatives" to evolution, including the theory known as intelligent design.
let's just stop right there.
intelligent design is a theory? that's news to me!
(a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena) "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
at best, intelligent design is an oxymoronic term, nothing more than a collection of ideas. whatever it is, it's not a theory.
students are "forced" to learn that the earth is a globe, orbits the sun, and is billions of years old, because those are the facts. the age of the earth and the solar system is about 4.5 billion years old, obtained by various independent dating methods, and this is unassailable - whether you like it or not.
i am reminded of:
"..another minority, conscious of the assault that science seems to make upon their cherished beliefs, seek actively to disprove scientific results that annoy or enrage them. they do so, however, quite outside the sceptical framework of science, as you can easily establish by asking one of them, "what evidence would convince you that you are wrong?"
- origins. neil degrasse tyson and donald goldsmith
(an excellent read for any open-minded homo sapien)