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Monday, May 09, 2005The Pseudoscience of Intelligent Design
Over the weekend, me and two other individuals had a discussion about Intelligent Design. Needless to say, none of us agreed when it came to the specifics of this issue although two of us were scientists. I believe in evolution, the non-scientific person on the other hand believes in Intelligent Design. The rational is that there must be something keeping this all together since everything is so complex. There are simply too many variables for this to have happened by chance. Although the third person is a science major – this person has a penchant for religious beliefs mixed in with scientific evidence. This person has written several articles dealing with science and religion. This person says that science can easily explain evolution, but science can't easily explain the conscious and since science can’t explain the conscious, there must be a higher power that created the conscious. The person went on to say that if you meditate, then you will experience this higher entity and only through meditation is this entity known. This person concluded that since I believe in evolution, this means that I’ve never meditated before - therefore, you couldn’t possibly know that God exist and if I engaged in meditation I would be convinced there is a higher entity that is not directly involved in peoples lives like everyone thinks, never the less, this god entity exists.
My question was this - what did you experience? Explain to me in laymen’s terms based on the sum total of your life experiences, what you saw or experienced when you became aware of this God entity. As expected, I got a cop-out answer that it is unexplainable followed by complete silence. I told this person, if God exists and one has an experience of God, then it seems feasible that one should be able to explain that experience in terms that fit their knowledge of life in the same manner that those individuals in the documentary "What the bleep do we know" did. Each individual was able to translate their God experience based upon their background whether it was quantum physics, biology, astrological, etc. etc. This statement was met with more silence. I was left with the feeling that maybe this person never experienced anything and is pretending to have experienced this God entity because they have some kind of need that can only be fulfilled with the belief in a god entity.
The Dover, Pennsylvania school board recently adopted a policy requiring that high school science teachers teaching evolution tell their students that evolutionary theory, a theory that has been shown to explain the origins of life time and time again, is flawed, and that intelligent design is a valid alternative. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), along with the AUSCS (Americans United for the Separation of Church and State), and 11 parents, are suing the school board, accusing the board of violating the separation of church and state (Banerjee A16). They are quite right. The sole purpose of "Intelligent Design" is to make creationism look like a scientifically credible theory, so that it can be perpetuated in public schools, among other places. Intelligent Design, however, is not supported by scientific evidence, and is invalid as a scientific theory.