Feb 132017

As an atheist, I find it difficult to be polite and not fall about laughing at things like “Intelligent Design”, but for the duration of this blog posting, I’ll try.

On one side are the scientists who spend their working lives investigating biological processes who have their theory of evolution. Now that word “theory” needs a bit of explanation; it does not mean that evolution hasn’t been accepted as fact by scientists. Evolution is one of those rare scientific theories that has never been disproved; merely refined. Essentially the word “theory” here is a challenge to disprove evolution and come up with a better theory – if you think you’re hard enough!

On the other side are a collection of religious leaders (admittedly Charles Thaxton¬†trained as a chemist) who have spent their working lives telling people about god; and coming up with the theory of “Intelligent Design” in their spare time. The suspicion is that these people are letting their religious beliefs influence their “scientific” thinking.

When I want to know about plumbing, I ask a plumber. When I want to know about welding, I ask a boiler-maker. And when I want to know about biology, I ask a biologist.

Sep 102008

First I laughed, and then I thought “well good” when I heard that some Creationalists are complaining about a game that supposedly pushes the theory of evolution down kids throats. See http://antispore.com (don’t send abuse – being brainwashed and dumb doesn’t mean you deserve abuse).

Given that Spore has a human pushing the buttons to control the “evolution” of creatures in Spores, it seems somewhat imaginative to claim that it represents evolution. But perhaps it is close enough after all a simulation of “proper” evolution would be a little hard to call a game and would probably be so slow as to be pretty boring to watch.

Even if it does work as propaganda for the theory of evolution, it is pushing a theory that is accepted by every serious biological scientist out there. Creationlists like to claim that evolution is just a theory (and God’s creation is fact because it was written down in the Bible), but whilst the theory of evolution has not been proved, it does fit the available facts.

In fact evolution cannot be proved … scientific theories are never proved; merely rejected when they cannot predict observations. Currently evolution is a validated theory.

Evolution has lasted for almost 150 years which is an astonishingly long time for a scientific theory to last. It has of course changed in that time through minor improvements, but nobody has discovered something and gone “Oh dear! This knocks evolution on the head; time for something else.”. If you think of the changes in our understanding of the biological world since 1859, the fact that evolution is still accepted (by scientists) is quite remarkable.

If you think evolution is wrong, you don’t understand it. Or worse you won’t accept clear facts because they conflict with your view of the world.

Jun 302007

There are some knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (and I’m being insulting to Neanderthals making that comparison) who when they can stop drooling, parrot some nonsense about how they have come up with a “scientific” demonstration of how the evolution hypothesis is wrong and that the ages old creation myths given a quick paint of pseudo-science is a suitable explanation of how life came to be.

There are supposedly several arguments for “Intelligent Design” …

The first of course is the dumb religious prejudices of those who support “Intelligent Design” in that they cannot bring themselves to believe that the theory of evolution is compatible with a creator. This is principally a failure of imagination. Assuming you go with the Genesis creation myth, the dumber believe that God created the world exactly as depicted in Genesis. Just imagine for a minute, God trying to explain how he created the universe to a less educated man of pre-history … he would almost certainly resort to a simplistic explanation to avoid having to spend years at the task. If the Genesis myth is real, then it is most likely to be as described … a simplification suitable for man. There are many religious people who accept this and accept evolution as a reality.

The second argument is that evolution is an unproven theory over which there is considerable debate amongst the scientific community. Well the scientific community is wondering where all the argument is. As to whether evolution is unproven, well of course it is. There is supporting evidence, and nobody (with any credibility) has disproved evolution. It is the currently accepted theory as to how life came to be as is now.

There is also the complexity argument … those who argue for a “designer” claim that there are elements in life which are too complex to have evolved and this demonstrates that a designer was necessary. Not so … believing that a system is too complex to have evolved is again a failure of imagination. We may not understand how something could have evolved, but that does not mean it did not evolve.

Those in favour of “Intelligent Design” are anti-scientific bigots (it has been demonstrated again and again that there is no science in the “theory” of “Intelligent Design”) who want to turn back the clock to a time when anyone wondering about nature would be told “God made it that way” and to stop wasting their time. They want us to return to the dark ages.

Laugh at them. Spit on them. And ignore them.

And if you live in a country where they are corrupting the education system, fight that corruption!

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