September 27, 2009
I sometimes read newspaper editorials. One by Mr. Leonard Pitts caught my “highly evolved” eye some time back; it’s been on a back burner ever since. In the article Mr. Pitts tried to make a case for allowing only science to speak in the broader culture on matters of our beginnings and how we got here. He stated that attempting to “undermine” the teaching of Darwin’s theory with any idea of intelligent design would be a step in a campaign to turn out “stupid kids”. In other words, kids taught to believe in origins of other than naturalistic evolution are stupid. We gotta keep things neutral; get that religion out of the classroom!
There are no neutral schools. Every educational institution is a religious one. It’s inescapable. Neutrality is a myth and is impossible. That is because the people running every school, college, or university have a belief in an ultimate authority: whether God, gods, the State, their own unapproachable brilliance, or whatever else. The only difference is what faith is being propounded. (I suspect the State and personal unapproachable brilliance are the main competitors to the God of the Universe. Poor hapless competitors.)
Mr. Pitts said Intelligent Design is a faith, which, in his opinion, means it must be banned from the classrooms of any but smart kids. Consider: evolutionism likewise is a faith. The beginnings of this universe are not repeatable. Not observable. No one alive was present in past eons when the worlds were formed and the species came into existence. So “science versus faith” is an invalid argument. They are both faith systems. However, scientific investigation can lead to evidence for the efficacy of either.
Real scientific inquiry is resulting in Darwinism falling out of favor. With scientists. Increasingly they are having to grapple with great holes, and with the shortcomings of Darwinism’s ability to explain really anything. Mr. Pitts regards Intelligent Design as “not science”. He must have been astounded at the news of Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who was considered the world’s best-known atheist, when he said the following: “My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species … [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms.”
The whole foundation of science coming into being was the fact that men knew there was observable order in the universe, which would be the natural result of an Intelligent Person bringing it into existence. There is noticeable intricate order and design. Christendom was the birthplace of science, and provided fertile ground for its growth. How ironic that people working in that discipline now want to disallow the very root and ground for the existence of their calling.
Regarding the idea that educational systems recognizing Intelligent Design will produce “stupid kids”, can anyone, even a looney bin dweller, come up with a more stupid statement than this one by Dr. (notice – Doctor) Richard Lewontin, the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University? “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door” (Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 28). Aahh, now we are getting somewhere! We have reached the heights of intelligence! (Did you notice that we who hesitate to go along with a philosophy where you have to make up the facts and concepts as you go to fit the pre-determined conclusion are named “the uninitiated”? “Step right over here to be initiated into the ‘Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts, My Mind’s Made Up’ Club! You too, can excel in self-deception!”)
Let’s ponder: is Lewontin’s pronouncement expressive of philosophy or of science? Please tell me. Quotes from committed Darwinists revealing similar presuppositions can be multiplied. (They are people of faith too, though I admit I’m a skeptic: I don’t possess the great squeeze-your-eyelids-hold-your-nose-and-take-a-leap faith it takes to swallow what they teach.)
- Which is more “stupid”: to believe that the eye happened randomly over millions of years because of molecules in chaotic motion, or that Someone had understanding about light and prepared an organ to receive and process it? (In the first case, I wonder what those poor blind creatures did for eons, waiting for the beneficial mutations that would finally result in that very complex organ, so they could finally find a bite to eat. Or an eat to bite.)
- Which is more stupid: to notice design in all directions, and conclude there is a designer; or to decide ahead of time, as Lewontin does, that “there can’t be a designer because we have decided we don’t want to deal with one, and that settles that.” How scientific, Mr. Zoology Professor.
I don’t know if Lewontin went to school in Kansas, which is one place Mr. Pitts said is campaigning to turn out “stupid kids”. The statement, however, is one an educated fool might make. (A truly Intelligent Being wrote in His Book about people who “professing themselves wise, become as fools”.)
- Which is more stupid: to observe, record and report actual events in nature, or to glue dead peppered moths to trees to teach kids, in their biology books, an untruth that the “scientists” themselves know is untrue (otherwise they wouldn’t be making stuff up to “prove” their miserable point)? Once again, Science reigns supreme! Forgive me for not emitting loud cheers.
Just to be consistent in regard to Mr. Pitts’ feelings about “science” versus “faith”: It surely cannot be true that the article I read in the paper that morning was put together by any intelligent being. It had to develop over time by random movements of electrons in a word processor (which, by the way, had to come into existence by random molecular movement and beneficial mutation), because we can’t allow a “writer’s foot in the door”.
It’s exponentially much more likely that this very elemental thing happened (the writing of a brief article by random naturalistic matter-in-motion), than that the entire universe in which we live and which we are seeking to know came about by that same process. Get some random movement and mutation going, and eventually there you are: an editorial. Time is our friend. Oh shoot, let’s make it even easier. Throw in a monkey jumping on the keys, just to speed up the process! (There are deadlines, after all.)
A self-consciously committed Darwinist is compelled to believe that. Is he not? I’m a lot more inclined to give the God of the Universe credit for intelligence and the ability to design, than certain Possessors of Doctorates who seem to think design is only random at best.
Let’s hope those Kansas kids (and more) remain just stupid enough not to follow such anti-logic. I hope I’m that stupid, too.