Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

I've been meaning to tackle this subject for a while now and finally a few brave people in my department did it for me in the local school paper.

I feel compelled to comment.

Although there are a few well-trained scientists who don't believe in evolution, as a general rule us science geeks find it difficult to reject the well-established and rarely questioned evolution principles. We see it every day, therefore it would be difficult not to believe in it.

What we forgot to do was explain it to everyone else in a language they can understand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who wouldn't listen to us even if we did explain it to them in a language they could understand. An excellent example of this are those rare individuals who study evolution for a living yet won't admit that's what it is.

Here is the current debate in a nutshell. There is one aspect of evolution that has not yet been thoroughly tackled by science, and that is of "macroevolution" - the development of complex organs and evolution of new species (i.e. dogs and horses and people). Opponents of evolution have chosen to narrow their scope to this one last remaining piece that hasn't been worked out and claim that this process occurs by "intelligent design." I am a scientist, and I know that it hasn't been proven yet that the development of complex organs and new species occurs through evolution, but I can say with great confidence that the evidence supporting this is quite good (see the above-mentioned article). There are many examples that I think about daily that support this idea of macroevolution, and anybody that does science at the level I do would be severely disadvantaged if they closed their minds to any aspect of evolution. As was said in the article, "when we throw up our hands and proclaim that biological complexity cannot be explained by science, we prevent ourselves from coming to a better understanding of our universe."

I'm not saying we can't believe in God, or that we have to stop believing in God if we accept evolution. That may be what everyone is afraid of. Science may disprove intelligent design, but it has so far supported a variety of other interesting aspects of religion (for example, the healing powers of prayer, researched thoroughly by the late Elisabeth Targ) and vastly increased our understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. Why can't we accept what science deals us and move on, adapting our religion as we go? Scientists are encouraged to keep an open mind about new ideas, and I encourage the world to do this as our long-standing religious beliefs get rocked by new scientific findings. By letting go of the old ideas, we may find ourselves moving into something new and better, or at least more accurate.

1 comment:

eaglith77 said...

Yeah, it's actually a very interesting topic. I did an "opinion essay" for my English teacher last week, and it was fun researching the topic. I have been waiting for you to write about this!!! BYE!!