Thursday, May 12, 2005

ID, Creationism and Evolution

As we say in my family, "Help! I've fallen into a nest of weiner dogs."

Bill at INDC Journal posts evenhandedly on Intelligent Design pointing to a pretty badly argued article here and a coherent piece here. Intelligent Design is the ugly step child of the Evolution v. Creationism wars; it doesn't belong to either and gets scorn from hardliners on either side. (Yes, I'm mixing my metaphors) Mr. McNicoll's point, I think, is that Evolution hardliners are just as dogmatic as Christians who stick to the literal 6000 year timeline for the earth. He says:
I guess what I am asking for here is a little humilty from the "scientific community," a little acknowlegement that you've been wrong before and will be again.
I once made the mistake of bringing up ID with an internet correspondent of mine. (I won't exactly call him a friend more like polar opposite.) You'd have thought I was advocating the flat earth theory. His obcenity laced response was over the top but unfortunately all too similar to the general response I see to ID. I have a theory on why evolution absolutists have a beef with ID - God scares them. God is scary so if I don't think about God; He will go away like the monsters under my bed. More part and parcel of taking any whiff of a Creator out of the public square.

Bill of INDC presents the argument:

Man will never "know" God through anything other than the most personal "evidence," therefore the belief in a sentient Creator is a topic that naturally sists outside of the parameters of a science education. Theology? Philosophy? Yes. Not science.
ID does not endorse a particular flavor of religious belief. Philosophy and Scientific thought are complementary to each other; striving to answer the same questions different ways. I do not think that philosophy falls outside the parameters of a science education. Whether our pathetic public education system is able to facilitate a curriculum of thinking is another ball of wax altogether.

So far I have addressed the evolution faction and to be fair I must address the Creationists also. The problem is there are many brands of creationism beside the easily targeted 6000 year folks. My own particular brand of creationism can accomodate geological dating as not conflicting the Bible and is protean enough to grow more if need be. God is not hindered by what man thinks and is not bound by what man discovers.

Point of scripture for those interested in geological dating vs. literal Bible. In Psalms 90: 3-4:

You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men." For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

This is reiterated in 2 Peter 3: 8-9a:

But do not forget this one thing dear friends, With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day. The Lord is not slow to keep his promises, as some understand slowness.

No comments: