Thursday, December 30, 2004

Good Science and Intelligent Design

The problem with this editorial is that it is not about good science. Good science starts with understanding what we can see and prove. It also starts with understanding a theory. So called "intelligent design" theory is not a counter to the idea of evolution. It assumes that evolution was guided or directed. It is based on the fact just as what John Polkinghorne calls "neo-Darwinism" is. Polkinghorne notes, in "the Faith of a Physicist" that neo-Darwinists, that is, those people who argue that all changes in species and the development of ever more complex organisms are the result of random mutations. Polkinghorne, speaking not as a man of faith but as a physicist, sees two problems with this theory. First, that biologists can offer no explanation as to how the changes which have occurred have managed to occur in what is, based on the scientific observations that have been made, a very short time in which they did in fact occur. That is, the time it takes to go from a light sensitive cell to an eye was very short based on observed changes in speciation in laboratories. Second, and much more of a problem is they why of it. The theory of the neo Darwinists is that these changes which survive make the organism's offspring more able to cope. Yet, as Polkinghorne points out, single cellular organisms seem to cope quite well and still exist, so far as we can tell, in exactly the same form as they did literally billions of years ago.

It would be better if scientists did a little investigation before they sounded off in public.

Midweek Perspecives: Keep the science in science class: "The school board of the Dover Area School District in York County voted in October to have so-called 'intelligent design' included in the science curriculum as an alternative to Darwinian evolution, and although a lawsuit has been filed against this decision, similar mandates are being considered elsewhere. As a scientist and a religious person, I hope that school boards will avoid mixing apples and angels in science classes."

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