Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Unforgivable Sin

I did wrong.

The Chronicle of Higher Education article I mentioned previously said "we shouldn't teach students about intelligent design" (emphasis added).

Without thinking of what I was doing, I made copies of this article that I distributed to my class for discussion. SO I HAVE TRANSGRESSED THE ARTICLE'S INJUNCTION. May the politically correct powers that be forgive me!

If this weren't a private school, I would expect an ACLU lawyer to haul me before a judge—and not for a wedding (unless of course the lawyer were a man and the case were across the border in Massachusetts. That's the only kind of marriage the ACLU seems to like nowadays. Ugh!).

PLEASE forgive me, PC Powers!


Harold Morowitz, Robert Hazan, and James Trefil, "Intelligent Design Has No Place in the Science Curriculum," Chronicle of Higher Education (September 2, 2005), B6-B8. [subscription required]

3 comments:

Ray said...

Your comments on Creationism are interesting but I wonder if they are consistent with the game of science vs. the game of theology. The key is in the definition.

My definition of science is, "A process by which we create a self consistent view of the universe."

So the idea that God can guide mutations can be self-consistent with the rest of Darwinism if you say that God guided the mutations.

However, the idea runs into problems in the details. For example, I wear glasses. Why? Because my eyes are not perfect. Why would God have created a system where I have imprefect eyes? Did I do something to torque off the Almighty when I was in the womb?

We come back to Occam's razor. It is more plausible that I need glasses because of random chance than because God wanted it that way. Of course, I cannot prove that God was not the reason for my nearsightedness. But one cannot prove a negative.

We can prove that mutations occur with the same frequency as other random processes (like rolling dice), so the self-consistent answer is to point to chance. This doesn't preclude a role for God, it just brings that role out of the realm of science and into the realm of theology.

'Thought & Humor' said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lawrence Gage said...

Ray,

Your definition of science, "A process by which we create a self consistent view of the universe," is the classical definition of science as (all) knowledge (including philosophy, theology, etc.). It's fine to define it that way, but then you change to the modern definition: systematic thought about the visible, moving world based on empirical evidence.

For example, I wear glasses. Why? Because my eyes are not perfect. Why would God have created a system where I have imprefect eyes? Did I do something to torque off the Almighty when I was in the womb?

Your talking about the problem of evil, which might plausibly be used to prove that God is not all-loving, but using it to disprove his existence is a stretch (for example, why couldn't an evil deity have created you just to torture you?).

For Christians, the answer to the problem of evil is Jesus Christ: God in human flesh brutally suffering the effects of the evil in His creation. It is not a verbal answer, but one of presence and example. Evil is a witness that good exists.

Atheists on the other hand have the problem of good: if there is no God, why should anything be good? Or why should anything exist at all?

In addition to the existential problem of good, there's also the moral problem: without God there is no "ought," no moral obligation? Why should I not engage in evil if I won't suffer for it?

We can prove that mutations occur with the same frequency as other random processes (like rolling dice), so the self-consistent answer is to point to chance.

Chance is not an explanation.