Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jocko Homo

Don't get me wrong, I think the notion that there is a plan to the way things have been placed in our world is a very comforting one. My wife, bless her, is exceptional in her willingness to see the best in all things and people (her husband included) and she wanted to know why this whole Intelligent Design thing was bad and wrong.
At its core, I maintain that the suggestion that someone smarter than us (humans, not dolphins) is presently or has in the past slapped together this Rube Goldberg machine of a universe. There are plenty of coincidences and parallels that make the smartest apes stop and ponder: Must be something bigger than us.
Or not. Here's where I fall of the ID bandwagon: It's not science. It's rationale, justification, philosophy, comforting notion, but not science. The State of Kansas just approved an Intelligent Design curriculum for its schools. The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology. In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena. Here I will cite an open letter to the Kansas School Board from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: "If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith." The COFSM goes on to say that we have been tricked into believing that our world is older than it truly is - "For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."
Now, don't you feel better about this whole uncertainty about evolution? One Kansas ID proponent wondered, "I have a question: if man comes from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why do you waste time teaching something in science class that is not scientific?"
To which I can only reply with the words of the prophets from Akron, Ohio:
"God made man
but he used the monkey to do it
apes in the plan
we're all here to prove it
I can walk like an ape
talk like an ape
I can do what a monkey can do
God made man
but a monkey supplied the glue"
- DEVO

1 comment:

mrs. id said...

The way they gave us the news on the radio was by saying "Kansas has chosen to teach evolution from a doubting position." This feeds in to my rose-colored notion that it will all be all right in the end, since all of science, particularly that of evolution, is based on doubt, skepticism, and triple-checking every fact. If kids are taught to doubt science, they will sooner or later think to doubt faith, and science will continue to roll on and expand into all the fuzzy boundaries between the known and the unknown (Spaghetti Monster's) domain. In other words, I have faith in the failures of faith.