Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Intelligent design


A good commentary by law professor/medical ethicist George Annas in this week's NEJM about the various guises in which creationists try to "sneak" their views into the classroom. I hadn't realized that "intelligent design" is just creationism repackaged:
By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge: (1) the definition for creation science in the early drafts is identical to the definition of ID [intelligent design]; (2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist) which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and (3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.
Quote if from Judge John Jones opinion in the recent Dover, PA case adn Edwards refers to a US Supreme Court decision overturinng a previous law requiring teaching of creationism.
Unfortunately, the creationists are gearing up for a new assault, this one predicated on the idea that students deserve to be exposed to both sides of the "controversy" between ID and evolution:It looks as if this next wave will jettison the creationist and intelligent-design baggage and concentrate exclusively on a "teach the controversy" strategy. That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned.
I don't see why everyone can't just accept that it was the flying spaghetti monster who created everything.

14 Comments:

At 5:22 AM, Blogger ollie said...

Hey, the FSM rocks!!! :-)

You know what is interesting? The type of creationism that we are battling really started only in the late 19'th century or so.

Interestingly enough, Darwin started off his intellectual life with the idea of becoming a minister.

This "religion/science conflict" is really artifical and does justice to neither.

 
At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

I'm surprised you didn't know ID was creationism in new clothes! I do think that "teaching the controversy" or whatever that means is not unreasonable. The more we encourage our students to think for themselves and realize that not everything is black and white, the better off they will be. The "truth" will naturally separate itself from the dross. Being a skeptic has served me well over the years.

The darwin fish, on the other hand, has always bothered me a bit. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek parody as well as the escalation of the "fish wars" (with christian fish being seen eating darwin fish, etc.), but I also think it can also be seen as somewhat offensive, akin to somehow twisting a Star of David into a swastika. I'd hardly be seen with a fish on my car (as my pastor once said, "nobody drives like a Christian"), but there are days when I don't appreciate the little Darwin fish.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger ollie said...

Huh? Twisting the Star of David into a symbol of a movement that murdered millinois is somehow comprable with the Darwin Fish?

I didn't know that evolutionist murdered Christians, or, for that matter, Christianity and evolution are somehow incompatible. I know that the clergy of the mainstream Protestant denominations and the Catholic priests would be surprised to know that.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I think his point was simply that it is offensive to Christians. It is a symbol that many hold dear and would not want it mocked.

Now I do agree that most people with fish on their cars drive in a way that mocks Christ as well. The command against "using the Lord's name in vain" is all about using God's name in a non-challant manner. It seems to me that sticking one on the back of your car is hardly an act of honor.

Regarding ID, I would say that there still are some of us who consider ourselves "Theistic Evolutionists." I believe that God created the world through evolution. The idea of "design" simply looks at creation and asks the obvious question: "Does it look like it was created, or happened by chance?" The analogy I have heard is: if a person found a watch washed up on the shore, would they look at it and say it was formed by chance, or that it was made with design? Personally I think it is obvious that the world was designed.

I don't however, think that ID should be taught in school alongside of evolution. I just don't think evolution is incompatable with Christianity.

 
At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

thanks rob, it was indeed what I meant. Obviously the Star of David and the swastika stand for opposite things. While I think there are many, many Christians who think evolution is a valid idea, I doubt many of them are using the Darwin fish to express that point. Rather, the Darwin fish is at best an insensitive parody and at worst meant to poke a finger in the eye of someone's beliefs. I just always wonder what possesses someone to put one on their car. Of course I wonder what possesses someone to put a regular fish on their car too...

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Kungfukitten said...

Honestly, I think if we were created by the FSM we'd have many more appendages. Still. Makes you think.

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Barbados Butterfly said...

Hi Dr Andy,
Thinking of you and hoping that you are well.
Regards,
Barb.

 
At 2:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The evolution versus creationism debate is a fallacy.The position of "theistic evolution" is perfectly compatible with The Bible,eg "A thousand years is like one day to the Lord".(or any time period)as the Universe is timeless and time exists only in your watch or clock or computer. Having studied DNA to the molecular level,all I can say is that DNA can be seen to behave in an "intelligent way" (ie self- repair etc.)which cannot be adequately described by science alone. Something appears to be controlling DNA. Cosmic Rays or God....take your pick...it doesn't matter. Likewise,evolution and creationism are just different manifestations of the same eternal Universe....like the facets of a diamond or the fact that water can also exist as steam or ice. There is no argument as far as I am concerned.

 
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At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Izzy said...

ID isn't repackaged creatinism. Read more about this!
http://www.evolutionnews.org/

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous diet calories said...

There are alot of ways to have creationism . Not not just the pre or post thing but more than that. ID comes from some source and evolutinise.

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Food allergies said...

The creativeness doesn't need much sources or packages. It can come any parts from our mind. As for me, the evolution just began to rises up concurrently and timely. We must have a lot of ideas to justified this evolution.

 
At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you know how molecules work, intelegent design makes a lot of sense. hydrogen and oxygen and all those different things can't simply by themselves turn into human organs like the heart and brain. If you could explane how molecules can change from say a frog to eventually a human being then you might have an argument. As for the spagetti monster . . .you woln't be laughing when people make a spagetti monster robot that puts cars together . . now will you??

 
At 9:45 PM, Anonymous How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath said...

flying spaghetti .. ahahha

 

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