I wrote a shorter version of this in the comments on the quickies the other day, but I want to bring it out as a post on its own.
I donâ€™t have a problem with intelligent design.
I believed in something like intelligent design when I was a kid and it allowed me to be both a creationist (believing God created the universe) and to accept science and evolution (God set the ball rolling, set up the rules, and used evolution as a tool). Eventually this led to me dropping the creationist beliefs.
I support ID as a philosophy because…it gives fundamentalist and evangelical kids a way to accept evolution. Born-again Christian kids are going to be taught some form of creationism whether skeptics and atheists and scientists like it or not. I for one would like that to include at least a rudimentary acceptance of evolution as a concept. And since ID is basically a â€œGod of the gapsâ€ theory, it will eventually collapse under scrutiny by those who take the time to think, and the individual may be left with naked evolution.
Literal young earth creationism on the other hand, is part of a mindset that does not leave much of a window for thought at all, and it is a much more insidious philosophy.
I can live with people thinking that God started the evolutionary ball rolling, and even with the idea that he tinkers with it a little bit — as long as they keep their religious beliefs out of public school science classrooms, unless they actually scientifically discover verifiable evidence of God’s tinkering. And so far, ID proponents have not done any real science. They seem to think that PR is adequate, that if they can get enough people on board, then they can skip the hard work of actually doing science.
A lot of bloggers find ID to be nothing more than a deceitful way to disguise creationism and get it into the classroom. While that may be the intention of people like Michael Behe, William Dembski, and other ID evangelists, I don’t think it’s true of the average Christian sitting in the pew. I’ve never found lay Christians to be anything like televangelists or well-known preachers. They are much more honest. If they want creationism to be taught in public schools, they will come out and say so. And it will get thrown out as the blatant constitutional violation that it is, just as it did in Dover when the ID evangelists were outed by the school board members who could not, or would not, hide the fact that their goal was entirely religious in nature.
I support ID. Just not in the science classroom.
This afternoon, I added this update:
Even if ID were taught in public schools, the world would not end and America would not turn into a third-world country. All kinds of garbage has been and is still being taught in public schools. Yes, I want to improve education, but I’m really tired of all the fear mongering of the left and skeptics over this stuff. I spent half of my life being afraid of liberals and secularists dragging the world to hell and I most certainly am not going to spend the second half of my life being afraid of conservatives and religionists dragging the world to hell. Let’s get a grip on the actual severity of these problems and stop blowing everything out of proportion.
UPDATE June 21, 2008 After reading and considering the comments to this post, I would like to add the following statement: