Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Talk about an upset worldview

"Understanding Intelligent Design Theory", an article in the Conservative Voice by Babu Ranganathan was an interesting read, but it also completely illustrates a point made by many people. scientists and theologians alike, that the main argument against evolution is an emotional argument because the very idea of Evolution completely upsets some fundamentalist religious believers view of themselves and their special relationship with their Deity. Not only does he completely misunderstand the role chance plays in evolution but is convinced that a natural process could account for life. In a single sweeping statement "Chance physical processes can produce some level of order but it is not rational to believe that the highest levels of order in life and the universe are by chance." he disregards all scientific evidence, explanations, and experimentation.

His also disregards the physics involved in amino acid bindings and falls on irreducible complexity, even if he doesn't use the term by saying "If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane." No one is saying the cell was partially created and just sat around for millions of years. There is no such thing as 'partially evolved'. The theory of evolution says that pieces and parts were forms and served other purposes and eventually formed a cell. That would be an example of mutation. When the cell reproduced, now we are getting to the actual evolutionary part. He is assuming that the cell is some complete and perfect biological organism, but as evolution says, all current forms are an intermediary between the past and the future. Who knows someday the cell might be replaced by a different type of biological mechanism. At least science is open to the idea.

My favorite quote is one he takes out of context form a Newsweek article, "What if we should find evidence of life on Mars? Wouldn't that prove evolution? No. It wouldn't be proof that such life had evolved from non-living matter by chance natural processes. And even if we did find evidence of life on Mars it would have most likely have come from our very own planet - Earth! In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity which could have easily spewed dirt containing microbes into outer space which eventually could have reached Mars. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility." I said in another post that if life were seen on another planet and even if we were there to observe the actual formation of primitive life from non-living matter, someone like Mr. Ranganathan would say something like "Just because it happened there, doesn't mean it happened here." Well what if life on Earth is the result of life coming about on another planet. Just one organism, it doesn't have to be a cell, maybe just a replicating collection of amino acids. How would that upset your view of the world, Mr. Ranganathan?

Obviously, from the rest of the article and links Mr. Ranganathan is one that places his faith at the forefront of any rational thought. He links to ICR, a Creationist organization, he quotes Duane Gish, another with the same world view. To them evolution is impossible and they make sure they believe it by piling on argument after argument that mean absolutely nothing. To them the only way to prove it is if there was someone standing there watching life form and then watching evolution in action over the billions of years. And from what I heave read of his writings, Mr. Ranganathan would only believe it if he was the one standing there.

The most fun thing about this article was that it did nothing to advance the understanding of Intelligent Design 'Theory" as the title says. It was another attack on not only evolutionary theory but other disciplines as well. My suggestion is to leash your toothless attack dogs, quite repeating the same old tired rhetoric and go back to the lab and prove your case. Just because you don't accept evolution doesn't mean you have advanced the cause of Creationism/Intelligent Design one little bit.

Sorry to upset your world view, but you have done nothing to prove your narrow view of Creationism. You do little more than put a box around your Deity that says that he is not omnipotent, but limited to flash-bang magic tricks to have created life. Luckily science will keep working and explaining the How and the What and theologians with a much more open mind and clearer view of the Cosmos will continue to help Man understand the Why.

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