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August 02, 2005

Bush: Teach "Theory of Intelligent Design" Side By Side With Evolution

Balloon Juice is hoppin' mad.

With apologies to the religious, Intelligent Design is not science. It's not science when you're basing your "theory" on thousand year old books, and there is no way you offer to falsify your claims, etc.

This is a difficult argument to make -- it makes sense in my head but I can never quite convey it in words -- but think of it like this: Even if the religious WERE right that God had just designed everything, that would still not be a valid scientific theory, as it includes, inavoidably, the supernatural, which cannot be further questioned or theorized about. Magic -- and that is what we're talking about -- simply is. Even ID proponents would surely concede they cannot quantify and specify the powers and workings of God Himself.

Thus, even if God DID intelligently design everything, it would be nonscientific theory. There would, in that case, be a disconnect between two things that we usually think move in tandem-- truth and science. The truth would be that God designed the universe, but science could not admit this, as such a truth is inherently anti-scientific.

Science deals in natural, not supernatural, forces. It cannot explain or analyze supernatural phenomena, even if such phemomena were proven to exist or have existed in the distant past.

Even if it were mighty Thor creating lightning bolts and shooting them across the sky, science would still have to propose an alternative, natural, and, under the hypothetical, wrong theory about lightning-bolt creation. Something involving mundane forces like friction and static and localized abundances and dearths of electrons.

Science could not simply say "Thor makes 'em," even if Thor really did make 'em.

Religion and science do not need to be in conflict. But if some of the religious continue insisting on pushing them into conflict, I'm afraid I'm going to have to side with science.

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posted by Ace at 08:30 PM

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