I’ve compared Christian fundamentalism favorably with Fundamentalist Islam a couple of times lately, and that, combined with a conversation I had the other day regarding the GOP gubernatorial candidate here in Michigan, is today’s somewhat twisted muse.
Even if he believes it, and I think he does, Dick DeVos did not have to say out loud that Intelligent Design needed to be taught in Michigan high school science classrooms. This probably cost him my vote. It is sort of a final straw. His commercial bashing big oil for high gas prices was the start of my disaffection. (I know, Jennifer did that too – and worse – but he’s supposed to understand business.) I think I’ll pass on that ballot choice.
But back to Intelligent Design. I have difficulty with this being represented as science because any theory which pleads from supernatural causes cannot, by definition, be falsifiable. Ultimately, you have to accept the explanation; “that’s the way God made it.”
It isn’t just that no experiment has been suggested which could test this theory, it’s that no experiment can possibly be proposed that could test this theory. I reject direct revelations from a Supreme Being. The available literature suggests those to be intensely private in common practice.
I am confused as to why, scientifically, the “theory” is even necessary. Surely God could have used the mechanism of natural selection if he wanted to? Why must Darwin be false? Intelligent Design is only necessary to accomodate the literal biblical account of creation.
A practical problem is giving other creation myths equal classroom standing. Like other religions, Voodoo has a creation myth; Danbhalah, the Serpent, and Aida-Wedo, the Rainbow, taught men and women how to procreate, and how to make blood sacrifices so they could become the spirit and obtain the wisdom of the Serpent. Polytheistic religions apparently will need their own special unit in our science classes.
In common with conspiracy theories, any objection is assumed to be proof that the theory is correct. Why did God plant all those fossils if the world is only 4,000 or 10,000 or 1,000,000 years old? To test our faith. Why does ontogeny (mostly, sort of) recapitulate phylogeny? To test the faith of those who took high school biology in the 60s.
Natural Selection is probably wrong in many particulars. Darwin thought so. It may even be wrong in fundamental ways. If so, we will find out because predictions made by the theory fail experimental test.
I would like to hear news of an experiment which could falsify Intelligent Design, or even a prediction based on it. Until there is a testable prediction, ID cannot qualify as science.