Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Republicans and ID

Republicans are getting nervous.

  • Bush's approval ratings are down even among his base of religious fanatics.

  • The GOP is having some difficulty in recruiting people to run for the 2006 Senate.

  • New York is almost certainly going to go back to a Democratic governorship.

  • I'm not sure what the overall House race outcome looks like, but I suspect that some GOP seats will be lost to Democrats, hopefully enough to break the back of the beast (one can hope).

Meanwhile we eagerly await some justice to come from the Fitzgerald grand jury.

Part II:

There are many opinion pieces flooding the newspapers these days supposedly showing how Evolution is flawed and Intelligent Design comes to the rescue of the objective mind. Here is one in the Detroit Free Press. I wrote a response as a letter to the Editor:

Re: "Comment: Intelligent design focuses on evidence, fills in origin gaps" (October 10, 2005, Brian Fahling)

Mr. Fahling's analysis of the flaws of the theory of Evolution is itself flawed.

I would like to specifically address some of the claims in his article.

1. The theory of evolution make[s] dogmatic religious or philosophic claims about the origin of life.
It does neither. The theory of evolution explains the observed process of evolution by means of natural selection. It makes no dogmatic claims since it is based on science not dogma. The only "dogma" of science is that we rely on observable phenomena not just speculation. Intelligent design speculates that only a supernatural intelligence could have created life, but has no proof of this intelligence. Science requires proof not just inference.

2. The theory of evolution, unlike intelligent design theory, [is] insular in [its] approach to science.
The theory of evolution is hardly insulated from other approaches to science but is instead integrated with accepted knowledge of geology, cosmology, organic chemistry and others. In fact, evolution is supported and corroborated by many other scientific fields of study.

3. Evolutionists...reason downward from an article of faith and conduct their science with the same dogmatic zeal and selectiveness [as creationist].
Those that understand the overwhelming evidence that supports the theory of evolution do not rely on any articles of faith except their faith in the basis of all science, which is the scientific method and observation. There is nothing selective about the theory of evolution. If there were any evidence that was contrary to the theory it would be discussed and debated in the scientific journals, as this is the method of peer review. No evidence has ever been found to disprove the theory.

4. It is not in dispute that one may infer an evolutionary process from the data, but that is not what the evolutionist does.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The theory of evolution has been validated from the study of millions of fossils, studies on DNA, studies of geology and various methods of dating, all of which work with available evidence, not mere speculation as does intelligent design.

5. The theory of evolution requires that a student affirm the creed that there is no God.
Again this is completely false. Many people who accept the facts about the theory of evolution also believe in God. The theory of evolution and science in general makes no such prerequisite.

6. There are gaps in Darwin's theory.
No scientific theory claims to be perfect. Even the Newton's laws have gaps that were exposed by Einstein's theory of Relativity, but it does not invalidate the model completely. Scientific theories use existing evidence to build and prove a hypothesis. Nothing has been shown to invalidate the theory of evolution.

Intelligent design relies on the concept of a supernatural intelligence in order to explain what appears to be unexplainable. By definition this reliance forces it outside of the realm of science and into metaphysics and religion.