An 'intelligent' planTalk about clinging to a belief. Neil Steinberg accepts, without question, a theory that is based on a relative handful of bone fragments found over the last hundred years that can be traced to an array of unrelated species.
Save it for Sunday
Once again, President Bush and I are in complete agreement on an issue and, surprisingly, that issue is "intelligent design," the pseudoscientific sham that the Religious Right cooked up to jam their beliefs into public schools, where they don't belong.
Bush told a group of reporters that he feels intelligent design should be discussed in school. So do I.
What the President didn't say was how it should be discussed, and so, in the spirit of public service, I offer my own intelligent design curriculum ...
"Okay, kids, as we now know, life on Earth evolved over billions of years, from one-celled organisms gradually developing into the complex animals we see today. The fossil record and biological evidence clearly support this understanding of our world and most scientists endorse it.
"Except, of course, those whose religious faith overwhelms their reason. They cling to a belief they call 'intelligent design' - basically the notion that, gosh, the world is so darn complex that God had to make it, He just had to. (link)
I don't know whether we evolved from one-celled creatures or not, but there seem to be some contradictions in the theory. And those contradictions are what drive scientists to postulate that the universe is far too complex to have simply evolved from an amoeba.
Here are my issues with the theory of evolution - for what they're worth.
1. I mentioned the fact that the theory is based on the discovery of a relative handful of bone fragments. Many of them are human; some are human-like. So where are those chimp-like skeletal remains that came from creatures that supposedly preceded apes - our "ancestors?" There are massive enough gaps in the bone fragment chain of evolution, that you could ride a Tyrannosaurus Rex through them.
2. Which brings me to my second point. How does an evolutionist explain dinosaurs? The theory goes like this, simply put: modern organisms have evolved through natural selection from older ancestral organisms. Tiny one-celled creatures became amoebas became multi-celled organisms became tadpoles became frogs became fishes became alligators became humans. I probably skipped a few evolutionary periods, but you get the point. A creature's interaction with its environment forces molecular - DNA - changes over time.
Thus, a multi-celled organism becomes ... a 33 ton dinosaur? Not just one either, but a plethora of dinosaur species? Creatures that - even though they supposedly evolved into the behemoths we've come to recognize as mastodons and raptors and the like - suddenly became unable to adapt (or evolve) to earth's environment? All of them? If the planet forces evolutionary change, was there a reversal of the process to bring about extinction of a whole host of dinosaurs? I invite those who are so set in their ways when it comes to the theory of evolution to make the case that a link exists between single-cell organisms and humans but somehow - what? - the process got off-track when it comes to apatosauruses?
3. The theory of evolution makes no attempt to explain life. It only extends to a discussion of how life evolved; not from whence it originally began. How do we explain the beating heart?
4. Then there is the argument put forth by Intelligent Design proponents, as outlined by Michael Behe (here). Essentially he argues that;
"Irreducibly complex systems appear very unlikely to be produced by numerous, successive, slight modifications of prior systems, because any precursor that was missing a crucial part could not function. Natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working, so the existence in nature of irreducibly complex biological systems poses a powerful challenge to Darwinian theory."Many people view Intelligent Design as a theory in competition with that of evolution when, in fact, it is no such thing. It is not intended to explain the origins of the universe but rather its aim is to ask vital questions about our understanding - and lack thereof - of life itself. It is a growing class of study that simply pokes monumental holes in the theory of evolution. IDers ask questions that evolutionists are unable to answer.
Darwin, when it comes down to it, was probably right. But, unlike Neil Steinberg, who has decided that the theory of evolution is "settled law" (and anyone who disagrees is a moron), I can honestly say I don't know. I still have too many questions that nobody has been able to answer. Uppermost: