Sunday, 7 September 2008

Governor Palin And Creationism

Well if she wants to believe that she can. However, just as using 22/7 as an approximation for pi is only good as far as rough carpentry, so creation stories from whichever religion are little use when studying biology at any academic level. To anyone who is prepared to look with their eyes open the evidence for evolution by natural selection is abundantly available.
As I said at the start of this post, people can believe in creationism and intelligent design if they wish but if America wants to avoid being Sputniked again, it should not grant religious stories the same status in schools and universities as rigorously examined scientific theories.

4 comments:

William Gruff said...

What was the Big Bang if not an act of creation (before it, we are told, there was nothing)? What is the limited understanding of evolution that is Darwinism if not an understanding of the process of 'intelligent design'?

Many moons ago I read of a 'scientific' attempt to generate, with a computer, a new form of spider from a simple 'digital' type. I recall that it required ten thousand generations.

Evolution is not accidental, and cannot be. There must be a conscious element and that is intelligence. I'm absolutely certain that life evolves by design and not by accident. That does not mean that I believe in white haired old men or seventy two virgins in paradise or unending cycles of rebirth or the great serpent who shat on the moon in a dispute with the sun. It simply means that living things evolve by design.

This is rather more complicated and there are stages and platforms and Mrs Gruff is patiently waiting to go out for a Chinese so I'll come back to my ramble later.

Gallimaufry said...

Enjoy the Chinese but consider that there is no intelligence behind evolution merely the net result of the equivalent countless coin tosses. Evolution doesn't set out to produce a creature or plant to fit in a particluar niche, but natural selection weeds out those least suited to the task. Thank goodness humanity has reached a theoretical level of wealth and self awareness that the "nature tooth and claw" selection procedures no longer applies to homo sapiens. We can pick partners using different criteria now if desired.

haddock said...

Darwin's Theory remains resolutely, a theory. Much is made of the supposed fact that she is a 'creationist' a word bandied about as an insult much in the same way as being a 'denier' or a 'nazi'.
She has, it is reported, Christian beliefs: she would therefore tend towards believing in God, not surprisingly, and The Bible, and the stories therein. Very few Christians believe Bishop Usher's calculation of the age of the earth or the literal interpretation of Genesis.. Some Christians, like me, think that a clever God would set in motion a scheme of things that Darwin twigged and began to understand. I just cannot see why science and Christianity are thought to be mutually exclusive; God can do science.
If you were to study one particular branch of biology you would find use for religion in your studies as it is part of man's biology from his primitive beginnings.... unless religion is to do with the 'spirit' of which there is not a shred of scientific knowledge.

William Gruff said...

I haven't forgotten this issue and was composing a 'follow up' but had to abandon it when software updates on my PC clashed with the absolute imperative that is my obligation to my colleagues.

Without rereading or rehashing previous comments and answering them in detail, and from memory, in brief my argument was that Darwin undoubtedly explained why giraffes have long necks but not why gut worms flourish in an environment that is 'designed' to kill everything other than those bacteria that are essential to digestion.

Evolutionists tend to overlook the fact that any form of life can disappear in just one generation, and 99.99% of all forms of life that have ever existed on Earth have disappeared. 'Oh', they say airily, 'it takes millions of years' but it doesn't: The Earth isn't old enough and mankind far too recent a development (our sub-species of Homo Sapiens has a 'history' of just 65,000 years, and we haven't changed much in that time) to explain the survivals.

There are fish that thrive in the near boiling waters of volcanic springs (waters at temperatures at which their surface water dwelling relatives should be inedibly overcooked). The ancestors of those fish were not dipping a flipper in for 'millions of years' while they adjusted themselves to the heat.

The notion of 'intelligent design' is not necessarily founded on the necessity of planning for an intended outcome.

Death comes quickly to those who cannot adapt and the uncertainties of favourable genetic mutation in the short term require rather more input from those who would survive. Lacking any scientific training beyond failed O-levels and wildlife documentaries I've come to believe that those species that survive today have either been incredibly lucky or very cunning.