Wednesday, November 22, 2006

evolution is cleverer than you are
I was having lunch yesterday and while flicking through the channels on the tv came across an excellent BBC Horizon programme examining the debate about Creationism (now cunningly renamed 'Intelligent Design') versus Darwinian Evolutionary theory. There is, in fact, no debate - it's an open-and-shut case against the Creationists - but the programme underlined the insane lengths fundamentalist Christians will go to in order to indoctrinate children with their loopy ideas.

I've read about it all before, but it was interesting to see a bunch of assorted nutters who support and promote Intelligent Design actually expounding on the subject. It reminded me of the quote I posted recently by Coleridge about Nature being the devil in a fancy waistcoat. This is what happens when you try to prove the existence of God by sleight of hand, you end up with the devil himself. And what a sad bunch the Creationists are - not one of them had a clue as to how misguided and just plain daft their theories appear to anyone able to grasp the basic tenets of scienctific investigation. Only in America, you may say. Well let's hope so.

There's a clear, and suitably scathing, explanation of why these lunatics (and George Bush is, unsurprisingly, numbered among them) must not be allowed to keep peddling their quasi-scientific twaddle here, and a plausible explanation for everything science doesn't yet understand here.
Intelligent design is not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one. It might be worth discussing in a class on the history of ideas, in a philosophy class on popular logical fallacies, or in a comparative religion class on origin myths from around the world. But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class. In those cases, the demand for equal time for "both theories" would be ludicrous. Similarly, in a class on 20th-century European history, who would demand equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened?
Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne