Thursday, May 26, 2005

Peeve Farm On Intelligent Design

Good post by Brian Tiemann. He takes to task a condescending Reason article highlighted (approvingly?) by Instapundit. Brian even coins a couple of cool terms: Buddhasota and Jedifornia.

He also doesn't seem too concerned with explaining how it's hypocritical or indicative of imminent theocratic takeover for someone to say in public that intelligent-design theory is totally agnostic as to the specific nature of said design, but to admit in private that "ID has theological implications. ID is not strictly Christian, but it is theistic". WooOOOoo. Spooky. At least for Reason readers it is, apparently. This guy seems a bit too pleased with himself for discovering that intelligent-design advocates in America tend to be Christians. Shocka! Gee, I thought they were all pure-hearted solipsistic atheists who wanted kids to start from I think therefore I am and deduce the existence of rice pudding and income tax by twelfth-grade graduation.

What he's so horrified by is simple acceptance of reality. When you've got someone fighting for the right to teach that science by its very nature cannot disprove that which it cannot observe, and therefore science cannot disprove the existence of supernatural elements in the Universe, the fact of the matter is that in Kansas, the way that will manifest is with "theistic" vocabulary—even, horror of horrors, Christian vocabulary. If it were in a different state, such as Buddhasota or Jedifornia, perhaps that would be different.

Federalists ought to enjoy seeing this happening, it seems to me. But however each state handles it, its upshot would be that kids wouldn't have to go to school and be told by their teachers that their parents are fools, and then go home and be told by their parents that their teachers are lying to them. And that seems like a rather positive thing for the minds of kids looking for trustable authority figures—more so that ensuring that any hair-splitting whisper of the "theistic" is blockaded from a reluctantly adopted acknowledgement of the place an intelligent-design hypothesis might play in an understanding of how the Universe works.

Who knows? Kids might even learn the proper scientific definition of the word "theory", and be properly equipped to identify one when they see it later in life—instead of the current popular definition, which is "Scripture that you learn in school instead of church".

BTW, there is a nice round-up of recent ID blog posts here.

Also check out this excellent rebuttal to a Tech Central Station column I referenced here.

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