Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What would Darwin know about it?

On Tuesday, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania school district yesterday from promoting "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolutionary theory. In a scathing opinion, he criticized local school board members for lying under oath and for their "breathtaking inanity" in trying to inject religion into science classes.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed by President Bush, did not confine his opinion to the inanity of the local school board. He also sought to debunk “intelligent design“, which argues 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 unproven and unprovable existence of a Christian God and therefore is not science. "The overwhelming evidence is that Intelligent Design is a religious view, a mere re-labelling of creationism and not a scientific theory. It is an extension of the Fundamentalists' view that one must either accept the literal interpretation of Genesis or else believe in the godless system of evolution."

This case arose because the school board in Dover voted last year to require ninth-grade biology teachers to read a four-paragraph statement casting doubt on Darwin's theory of evolution and proposing that intelligent design offers an alternative theory for the origin and evolution of life.

Well just hold on a minute there, Your Honour!

If we accept the evolutionary model as espoused by Darwin, then it’s not just survival of the fittest but supremacy of the best. The Alpha Male is the leader of the pack, the top dog. He will typically be either the best physical specimen and/or the most intelligent animal.

So let’s look at the human race. The most powerful man on the planet, the Alpha Male, is George W. Bush. Not a stand-out success for the evolutionary model, is it? You might argue that it also doesn’t do much to support the “intelligent design” theory either, until you remember that, if God really is a woman, logic would not be a critical success factor in the design.

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