Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Intelligent Redesign?

Intelligent design is the theory that intelligent causes are responsible for the origin of the universe and of life in all its diversity. Intelligent design advocates interpret natural selection as implying that the universe could not have been designed or created. Thus, natural selection is inconsistent with intelligent design advocates’ interpretation of the Bible and their belief in an omnipotent Creator. This sounds like creationism involving a biblical interpretation of life, which the Supreme Court ruled in the 1987 case, Edwards v. Aguillard, could not be taught in the classroom.

President George W. Bush recently said that schools should teach “intelligent design,” as well as the theory of evolution. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” President Bush said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.” The Kansas State Board of Education also recently drafted a report that proposes adding intelligent design to its new teaching standards.

If students “ought to be exposed to different ideas” regarding the origin and development of life, in addition to Darwin and Genesis, shouldn’t our schools be covering the Hindu, the classical Greek, and the Ute accounts of the origin and development of life? I am not clear how the theory of evolution is inconsistent with the Christian Bible. There seems to exist rather convincing evidence of evolution, though.

In a Friday, August 5, 2005 Wall Street Journal article, “Very Old Eggs Reveal a Fast, Changing Path Through Evolution,” Sharon Begley reports about the work of biologist W. Charles Kerfoot in the new field of science that he refers to as “resurrection ecology.”

Professor Kerfoot examined insect and crustacean eggs from cores taken from a Michigan lakebed. Although some of the eggs dated to 300 years ago, they would still hatch under proper conditions. For Daphnia, or water fleas, three hundred years would encompass 3,000 generations, which is equivalent to 120,000 years of evolution for humans, according to Professor Kerfoot. By hatching the eggs and comparing the generations to one another, Professor Kerfoot was able to observe “evolutionary” change.

The water fleas Professor Kerfoot studied shared the lake with predators, whose populations fluctuated, as evidenced by their rate of occurrence in the strata of the lakebed. Fleas taken from the muck with a high population of predators were clad in a “helmet” and had long spikes on their tails. As the numbers of predators diminished, the fleas’ helmets and spikes also diminished.

If this is not evidence of evolution, could Intelligent Redesign be occurring?

2 Comments:

  • I think you're right. I'm not really following these things right now (the news), but if schools are going to teach creation stories from one culture such as those found in Genesis, they should also teach a sampling of the creation stories from other cultures.

    What boggles me is that I didn't even know other cultures had creation myths (save the Greeks) until I was in college studying folklore. The colorful array of creation myths is amazing. The problem is that people usually don't want to look at their central creation myth as just a story. It's truth. And so you get a majority, like in America where the majority of people are from a Christian-type background and believe in Genesis, and that's the true creation story. The bias of the majority wins out and other creation stories are overlooked.

    It's hard for me, being from a Christian background, to look at the Genesis story as a story and study the elements of it that make it a perfect folktale. But it is. This fact doesn't have to ruin my faith. Others are not able to do this. If they have a problem with what the public schools teach, they should take their children out and home-school them. Or put them in a private school that supports their religious beliefs.

    By Blogger Aries327, at 12:00 PM, August 09, 2005  

  • The interesting thing about ID proponents, it seems, is that they're willing to accept evolution for pretty much everything EXCEPT humans. Because, you know, we're special.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:09 PM, August 09, 2005  

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