Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"Intelligent" Design?

I was tired yesterday, and grew both tired and depressed today as I read the news. Dear Leader (you know who - George Dubya Bush) came out in favor of something called Intelligent Design, which he said should be taught alongside evolution in the public schools. Several states have already written this into the public school curricula - Texas and Kansas, to be precise.

Now, ordinarily I'd say let these two states wither in their own illiteracy, but the advocacy of ID (spurred on by the Eeeevangelikal Christofascist crowd) is spreading throughout the country. Look, it's bad enough that we're insisting on kids all be educated just enough to pass a freaking skills test (which won't equip them for the outside world any way) - now we're going to abandon science altogether.

Let's look at ID for a moment.

Intelligent design postulates that life did, in fact, evolve, BUT the entire process was steered/presided over/manipulated/what have you by a "Designer." Who that "Designer" might be is left blank, but come on, people! Who the hell do you think it is?

That's right. God. Jehovah. YHVH. Allah. The Big Invisible Whatsit Up In The Sky. Call it what you will.

Houston, we have a problem.

ID fails the test of simple logic.

Simple logical process starts with a hypothesis (or theory). Then you find evidence that supports, disproves or changes that theory. Then you base a conclusion on the evidence that you have found.

Evolution passes the test of simple logic.

Intelligent Design starts with a conclusion ("Everything is the product of The Designer"). It tries to find evidence to support that conclusion, and ignores or tries to 'spin' any evidence that might change or disprove that conclusion. Bad logic, bad science.

Intelligent Design fails the test of simple logic.

Let's look at it another way. The British philosopher David Hume (hopefully no relation to the Faux News blowhard Brit Hume) suggested that simply observing the universe around us would disprove any notion that a "Designer" or "Deity" had anything to do with it.

Think about it - is there evidence of "design" in the fact that we have nonfunctional muscles to move our ears?

That men have nipples?

That we come equipped with an appendix that is quite literally good for nothing?

It doesn't surprise me that Dear Leader advocates this mishmash of religion and bad logic. It suits him and enables him to play to his "base" - the uninformed and the rapidly growing ranks of the uneducated.


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