I just got done watching Nightline and they were talking about the Discovery Institute and Cal Thomas and some other guy were on there, nicely, discussing how the President had endorsed the teaching of the theory of Intelligent Design in schools along with the theory of Evolution. Not to get into a huge debate or anything, but it was an interesting discussion. Cal’s main point was that there are many Christian parents who feel that their beliefs are not welcome in mainstream society and they are being marginalized and secularism is being forced on them. Now, there are plenty of arguments to go around about how the ‘Church’ has done the same to many groups of people here, but I’m not talking about the institution of religion, just people, who are Christians-big difference. Anyhow,(whole other tangent there), the other guy agreed that these people feel they are being marginalized and that’s why they are pushing more for Intelligent Design. I won’t get into too much what I think about either theory just yet, but I do have a few comments. One comment that Cal made that I agree with is that many in the scientific community have adopted a fundamentalism similar to that of some Christian fundamentalists that the public criticizes. Yet, because they are ‘scientists’ and ‘naturalists’ and test things and use big words like theory and hypothesis, and validity…they are always right. At least in the eyes of the public. Recently there was an article in the Lantern from ohio state about several professors totally trashing a guy for doing research on high school students concerning being taught more than one theory of how things came to be. He wanted to see if they were taught about evolution AND intelligent design (which he was legally able to do in ohio), whether that would empower them more to think for themselves rather than just believe what they were told. (Quite a novel concept I thought). I wrote up this whole response to the article because the professors had been so offended that this guy might be challenging (this is a straight quote) “one of the fundamental principles of science”. Now, I may be blonde, and those of you who knew me in 5th grade….or ever played a board game with me, know that I am a stickler for details. I mean I did argue for 2 days on the definition of a LINE. Anyhow, if I recall, when is an idea that is considered a “theory” also called a “fundamental principle of science”? ? Just curious. (I do know that “theory”itself is…duh.) I am not upset that there are many well-educated people who believe differently than I do. Duh, it happens, I mean, I’m a Christian social worker. In today’s world that is almost an oxy-moron. What upsets me the most is the hypocrisy. There are people, very smart people, who have faith and beliefs in theories like evolution and refuse to acknowledge how much they have become like those they criticize. When evolution was first becoming widely known and introduced into the mainstream as an alternative to biblical creation, it was the scientists who were the revolutionists! Rebelling against the status-quo! They do not realize that they have become the “establishment”. In all my experiences with the scientific method and all I’ve learned, one of the biggest ideas pushed was to CHALLENGE conventional thought. Don’t take things at face value, don’t just believe it’s true because someone important or someone else said it. Find out for yourself whether you believe there is sufficient evidence to support their statements! And it kills me that if anyone poses ANY new idea about the beginning of the world….not just intelligent design…that the scientific community defends evolution with such a passion as I can only describe as devoted and faithful. Funny, isn’t it. Think of the changes and updates in cancer research, what we’ve learned about diseases we once thought incurable…and then think about how little the science of evolutionary thought has ‘evolved’. There are scientists out there challenging each other and that is great. It just kills me how scientists can have faith in their theory…that in certain areas (not to go on another tangent….) isn’t REALLY testable. (Side note, I do believe in microevolution, just not macro). I just think people are upset because there are a lot of well-educated people who know about the facts and what the theory’s are and yet still believe in the concept of Creation. Secular folks just don’t get how people can be educated and still have faith in something that can’t be proven….or disproved.
What I feel is a major reason that this argument won’t be resolved for a long time is this:
The people who believe in Intelligent Design, or Creation, believe that God is interwoven into everything in the world. They believe that science supports their beliefs about God and that He should not be left out of the equation. Those who believe that the current theory of evolution, sans God, is the way things happened, do not see any argument against their point of view, that involves a deity of any type, as being valid or applicable. If someone wants to challenge their viewpoint, they need to do it on their terms, or they’re not listening.
Even still, I doubt that other argument would get much airtime with all the money and “brains” behind these folks.
One last little tidbit. I have done my own research on Darwin and whether it is actually HIS theory that is being taught. Partially, yes. The microevolution (which was actually discovered by many scientists, he was just the poster boy) concepts are Darwinian science…but he did not make the giant leaps that later scientists did with his research. If we are supposed to be learning about the theory of evolution, I would have found it fascinating to learn where it came from instead of saying “Darwin” and then teaching me about monkeys. There is a whole history of the ‘evolution’ of thought around this theory-and NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT! Consequently, I did look up a site on Darwin that had his own writings on it and he himself said that he wished he could see evidence of God everywhere like some people did. He wasn’t sure how, but he did think that an intelligent force had played some sort of hand in the shaping of the world. READ ABOUT THIS HERE! Funny stuff, amazing I never heard that in science class.
So, I’ve ranted on and on and I don’t know if I made a point at all. I wanted to just throw this out and get a few responses…but I may have done it all on my own. I guess since I never sent in the response I wrote, here was my chance. If anyone has any thoughts about this stuff, it doesn’t have to respond to my comments specifically, but any thoughts, feel free to chime in.
The biggest lesson I have learned as a social worker is that we need to strive everyday to learn to see the world through other people’s eyes. It makes me a better person when I can do that.
Sorry to get all serious and stuff, but I’m sure you missed it. It has been a few months. Enjoy!