Sunday, January 30, 2005

Panda's Thumb Picks up the Opinon Journal Piece - & Newsweek Speaks a Truth....


And apparently there's a fair and balanced Newsweek piece, too!

Eighty years after the Scopes trial, in which a Tennessee high-school teacher was convicted of violating a state law against teaching evolution, Americans are still fighting the slur that they share an ancestry with apes.

Slur? I guess the apes would be insulted at sharing an ancestry with humans, but...?

This time, though, the battle is being waged under a new banner—not the Book of Genesis, but "intelligent design," a critique of evolution couched in the language of science. And in this debate, both sides claim to be upholding the principle of free inquiry. Proponents of I.D., clustered around a Seattle think tank called the Discovery Institute, regard it as an overdue challenge to Darwinism's monopoly over scientific discourse. "To say, as Darwinians do, that everything has to be reduced to a chemical reaction is more ideology than science," asserts Discovery's John West. Opponents, led by the Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Science Education, regard I.D. as an assault on a basic principle of the Enlightenment, that science must explain nature through natural causes. "Intelligent design is predicated on a supernatural creator," says Vic Walczak, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging Dover's introduction of the concept into biology classes. "That's not science, it's religion."...

A 2002 resolution by the American Association for the Advancement of Science called I.D. "an interesting philosophical or theological concept," but not one that should be taught in science classes. In fact, the Discovery Institute doesn't call for teaching I.D. in school either, only the "controversy" over Darwinism. But most scientists don't believe there is one. The institute's "Scientific Dissent From Darwinism," whose operative sentence reads "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life," has been signed by about 350 scientists. (AAAS has 120,000 members.) Scott's organization has circulated a countermanifesto asserting that "there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is [the] major mechanism ... " As a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, they signed up only scientists named Steve. At last count they had 528.Behe points out that while most Christians accept a God who set the universe in motion according to natural laws, evolution raises more difficult existential questions. People want to feel that God cares for them personally. British biologist Richard Dawkins has written that Darwin's theory "made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." But that's not what most Americans want for their children. Margaret Evans, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, has studied religious beliefs in children and seen the appeal of creationism. "We are biased toward seeing the world as stable and purposeful," she says. "I don't know what to believe," one parent told her. "I just want my child to go to heaven."

(Emphasis mine)
It comes down to not accepting what seems to be, if only tentatively, but rather whining for what one wants, apparently.

1 comment:

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