Friday, August 19, 2005

Intelligent Design Debate

WARNING: Incoherent Babbling follows. I wanted to record some thoughts, so this post may or may not make sense....

How do you prove evolution or intelligent design in order to know which is correct and therefore, should be taught in schools? Why can't these two concepts simply co-exist?

Any lawyer will tell you that you can't prove a negative, and that's what creates the atmosphere for debate. Trying to prove a negative, like that ID is wrong, is like trying to prove that a species of fish is extinct: just because you can't find one today doesn't mean that they're all dead--just means that you haven't found one yet, but someone off of the coast of Australia might catch one twenty years from now.

So, you must prove the affirmative. Instead of trying to prove that Bigfoot does not exist, you must prove that it does exist. That's going to mean capturing a specimen (dead or alive) or obtaining some other form of empirical evidence.

Likewise, you can't prove intelligent design until you capture the creator....Or become a creator.

Let's say that you have hundreds of beakers full of different primitive protein structures. If you, as an intelligent being, can create a living organism from these proteins and maybe some 110VAC from the nearest wall outlet, then you have in essence proved intelligent design from that organism's perspective at least (and millions of microbes will worship your existence).

If you design that organism to be able to reproduce, and as part of that, you can observe mutations, and survival-of-the-fittest behavior, then you've also demonstrated Darwin-like evolution. AND, let's say that you're also able to create a virus that would attack your organism and drastically change its genetic makeup (i.e., adding chunks of new genetic data) so that the next reproduction cycle results in a totally separate organism that could not have otherwise "naturally" come from the previous genetic sequence. Well, now you've demonstrated another part of evolution's theory that explains extreme mutations and new taxonomy changes (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species).

The point being, that the scientific community does not support intelligent design because of the Supreme Being aspect (does not exist until you have empiricle evidence), and because Creationism basically says that all living animals were created as they exist today (and we know that mutations are very common). The religious community does not support evolution because it basically says that life spontaneously formed out of a bunch of naturally occurring non-living proteins, which evolved over millions of years to the world today (they tend to stick to the "God created Man in His image" teachings).

Me, I think I'm somewhere in the middle and actually support a little of both theories (ID is not exclusive of evolution).

Side note: It disturbs me, though, that Atheism is becoming our national state-sponsored religion. (Is the anti-religion in fact a religion in of itself? That's a totally different topic, and I'm not about to go there...).

UPDATE: I just read Slashdot, hours after writing this, and the top story is entitled: Scientist Creating Life from Scratch. Strange coincidence?