Archive for the ‘intelligent design’ tag
Kansas State Board of Education member Ken Willard, who has in the past supported school materials that throw the fact of evolution into question, said this week that he’s now concerned with proposed materials that rightly describe evolution as established science:
In the past, Willard has supported standards for Kansas with material that questions evolution; guidelines that he and other conservatives approved in 2005 were supplanted by the current ones.
Willard said the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works. He said he intends to raise the issue Tuesday.
“That’s going to be very problematic,” Willard told The Associated Press in an interview. “They are preferring one religious position over another.”
This is the sort of stupidity that labels evolution, or even secularism, as religions alongside Christianity or Islam or Judaism. It’s not only wrong; it’s a preposterous notion. And statements like the above would be all in good fun if the people making them weren’t actually serious. That’s the truly problematic part.
… of the highest order. See for yourself.
I love Hitchens’ interjection here:
Excuse me, did you say autonomous centers of created life?
Hitchens goes on, in response to the question, “What does he think grounds the values of human dignity, respect, human value and so on if not the kind of theological foundation that I suggested?”
First, I think a fairly unsentimental realism which would consist of the minimum of a recognition that we are not created, That we are evolved and that we are, in fact, identifiable members of a primate species with kinship with other animals. Some people don’t like to believe this or think it would be unpleasant if it was true, but it just is. So, we may as well deal with that. I am generally tolerant. I love to teach arguments. I like to take part in arguments, but in this case, there is no argument (of) creationism versus evolution. It’s over. It’s been over since the debate of the National History Museum in this university in the mid-19th century.
Following my last post, I was just perusing through some of the comments on intelligent design by following the #intelligentdesign tag and came across this draw-dropping statement:
Occams Razor- the simplest answer is often correct. That’s why #intelligentdesign works for me
To which I replied to the user:
@terrycrews Evolution by natural selection is stunningly simple. Earth designed by a complex super intelligent being is not.
When I saw “Occams Razor” in his Tweet, I thought, “Oh, I guess he is going to say something critical of ID,” since natural selection is truly a simple and powerful mechanism by which humankind developed from lower forms. I was floored when I learned that he actually thought ID was the simpler explanation. No one with even a cursory knowledge of evolution by natural selection could utter such a statement. Obviously, he has yet to comprehend that a being capable of fashioning the world out of nothing would have to be many large degrees more complex than his creation. The potter is, after all, a million fold more complex than the pot. And so it must be with any creator.
Here is a video sent to me from Robert Luhn, director of communications with the National Center for Science Education, Inc., about the various attempts in the last few years to pass “academic freedom” laws across the nation, the purpose, of course, being to get “alternative theories” about how the world works into the classroom. Phrases like “academic freedom” and “alternative theories” are really just code words that shade the real intent: to pass legislation that would allow intelligent design to be taught in the classroom. Believers point out that intelligent design is an “alternative theory” that should be given lip service in the classroom alongside evolution. But whereas intelligent design is actually a theory in the secondary sense of the word and a bad “theory” at that, evolution is a scientific theory in the first sense,
a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.
I’m not terribly comfortable with the title of the video: “Why we still have to take creationism seriously” because as a thinker, I don’t have to take it seriously. It is only from a legislative and legal standpoint that the distinction must be made and the argument won that evolution is the established scientific explanation for how humans developed into complex organisms from simpler forms and that intelligent design is a first cousin of creationism and is directly linked to religion. Thus teaching it in the classroom would be a violation of the first amendment.
NCSE executive director Genie Scott is speaking from the recent Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism in April in New York City: