Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin @ 200

First of all, isn't it amazing that two of the greatest figures in history - Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day?

Darwin is a deeply divisive figure among conservatives as is the whole Theory of Evolution.
Whatever shortcomings Evolution might have they pale in comparison to the flaws inherent in Intelligent Design.

When I first heard the term Intelligent Design I thought to myself that this was nothing more than creationism dressed up in the clothes of the new millenium. This was the height of the controversy that erupted with the school board in Dover, Pennsylvania a few years ago. In 2007, the PBS program Nova broadcast a documentary titled Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. ( In commemoration of Darwin's 200th birthday the program was re-broadcast this week on PBS stations throughout the country.

Whatever the liberal bias of PBS, I have watched this program several times. I can say without any hesitation that the advocates for Intelligent Design were given a fair hearing. Their arguments just aren't very persuasive.

Simply put Intelligent Design is not science and ought not be taught in science class. However, if the proponents of ID could find a mechanism by which their theory can be tested it would be worth another look. But until then ID has no place with bunsen burners. This doesn't preclude ID from being discussed in civics, current events, social studies, etc.

Of course, it has been noted that both former President Bush and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin have publicly said both evolution and ID should be taught in the classroom. I will say here that those who oppose ID are being alarmist here. Neither Bush nor Palin have turned their personal views on ID into government policy. You could call their thinking on the subject, well, evolved.

No comments: