Not science

As in, what intelligent design is not, according to a rather egocentric and arrogant federal judge. The basic story is here, and it involves the usual suspects in opposition to any mention of You Know Who. In a fit of judicial activism, Da Judge went a few steps further. Must be an atheist, to judge from this:

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed by President Bush, did not confine his opinion to the missteps of a local school board. Instead he explicitly sought to vanquish intelligent design, the argument that aspects of life are so complex as to require the hand, subtle or not, of a supernatural creator. This theory, he said, relies on the unprovable existence of a Christian God and therefore is not science.

Note that “Republican appointed by President Bush.” As if this would indicate that the judge was some sort of knuckle-dragging, Bible-thumping Fundie. Also note the swipe at a “Christian God.” Somewhat gratuitous, don’t you think? After all, if memory serves, the Jewish God came first. Does this mean that if I’d remained Jewish I could teach intelligent design?

Despite all of this, the thinking Christian (or Jew) has to admit that any theory that can not be proven in an objective, repeatable experiment, and whose validity ultimately depends on an unprovable assumption, should not be taught as “science.”

Hey, wait a minute. Does this not also describe Darwin’s theory of evolution? Isn’t the basic assumption, that all life evolved into its basic forms today through utilitarian adaptation to its environment, equally unprovable?

I say, let’s teach both intelligent design and evolutionary theory as it is now assumed (ha!) to be true. Both require assumptions; both can be taught as science. Students are free to believe, or disbelieve, in the assumptions.

What I’d like to know from some unbelieving evolutionary biologist is this: given that great apes still exist, and have nowhere near the intelligence of homo sapiens sapiens, it’s clear that apes did not and do not need our big, fat, chess club brains to survive. Yet we have them.

Thanks, He Who Must Not Be Named.

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