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Tuesday, January 25

Intelligent Design and Checking Your Brains at the Door

I often wonder just how intelligent the people are who tout "intelligent design" theory or "creationist" theory. Those are theories too. Evolution is sort of a theory when it comes to humans but is scientific when it comes to other forms of life. There is a missing link between prehistoric man and modern man as far as I understand because they evidently lived at the same time. (I watch the Science Channel) I don't know what makes that a bad thing to teach in school. I don't know what the exact curriculum is these days. I know that it seems kind of stupid to teach kids the creationist story. That should be relegated to Sunday school. In Catholicism, we were taught that Genesis was not to be taken literally. We were just to take away from the creation part that God created everything and that the writers of Genesis were not scientists. Not to worry. Made sense to me. Still does.

You've undoubtedly read the stories about the areas where they want stickers put on science books saying that evolution is just a theory. Eeks. Now they are touting intelligent design. Well at least intelligent design is a little more intelligent than creationism but it's still a theory and it simply inserts God into the missing link part of evolution. My opinion is that they should teach kids what they know about evolution, the missing links, maybe throw in the intelligent design theory when they get to the missing link part and when kids grow up and actually give a shit, they can read more or take courses on it in college, whatever. I don't think anyone is teaching kids that we evolved from monkeys anyway, are they? My son took a monkey course in anthropology at college and loved it. He didn't come away learning that we evolved from monkeys though. But monkeys did evolve. That's evolution.

In the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday, they bring up the latest debate "In Dover, Pa., the school board ordered science teachers to "read to ninth-graders a statement written by the school board that criticizes evolution and cites a controversial approach called intelligent design as an alternative." There is a lot of proof of evolution though. There is zero proof of intelligent design however. All the papers are picking up this story.

The Washington Post on Monday brings up God and Darwin. They talk about the intelligent design people as "...this new generation of anti-evolutionists, arguing that children have a "right to question" scientific truths, has had widespread success in undermining evolutionary theory." Children always had the right to question science but this editorial says scientific truths. Hmmm. Do children really question scientific truths? They ask questions but they don't usually argue them critically until they get to college or beyond. The article goes on and this is alarming and has nothing to do with "intelligent design" this has to do with lack of common sense and these are our fellow Americans. You may work side by side with one of these people and not even know it- "...a startling 55 percent of Americans -- and 67 percent of those who voted for President Bush -- do not, according to a recent CBS poll, believe in evolution at all. According to a recent Gallup poll, about a third of Americans believe that the Bible is literally true. Some of these believers have persuaded politicians, school boards and parents across the country to question their children's textbooks."

The NY Times yesterday approached this subject opining that "A more honest sticker would describe evolution as the dominant theory in the field and an extremely fruitful scientific tool. The sad fact is, the school board, in its zeal to be accommodating, swallowed the language of the anti-evolution crowd. Although the sticker makes no mention of religion and the school board as a whole was not trying to advance religion, a federal judge in Georgia ruled that the sticker amounted to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was rooted in long-running religious challenges to evolution. In particular, the sticker's assertion that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" adopted the latest tactical language used by anti-evolutionists to dilute Darwinism, thereby putting the school board on the side of religious critics of evolution. That court decision is being appealed. Supporters of sound science education can only hope that the courts, and school districts, find a way to repel this latest assault on the most well-grounded theory in modern biology."

So does this mean that if people insist that 1+1=3 and it becomes a common belief, that the school boards have to put stickers on the math books? And why does belief in God have to make people so stupid? Well it doesn't in all cases, but in the majority of cases it appears to be so, doesn't it?

Americans are insistent on being misguided in all areas of life lately. This is an alarming trend. We used to be leaders in so many areas. Yes, the world is a scary place. Yes, it's dangerous even without human interaction. Yes, there has to be something more, an infinite justice-I hope. But this is no time to be downright stupid and yet, people are being led like sheep into the slaughterhouse of anti-critical thinking. What gives? Why are people just giving up? What squelched the human spirit in America? It wasn't George Bush. He and his ilk are just milking the lack of American will. Was it the media's constant drone of sensationalism that numbed the masses? What caused half of America to collectively turn off their brains? I wonder.

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