Aug. 3, 2005

Un-intelligent Design

George W. Bush, America's least intelligent President, seems to have come out in favour of Intelligent Design aka neo-creationism. It's probably just a sop to his core of hard-line religious supporters, but it's a sad thing to see someone in a position of authority do.

So what is "Intelligent" Design? Proponents maintain that the existence of life "cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that it exhibits features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence." "Intelligent" Design emerged from Christian creationist beliefs, but supporters like to say that it's a rational theory, same as Darwinian Evolution.

Of course the theory of Evolution is supported by over a century of rigorous scientific scrutiny that has both proven the basic principle and refined its details. "Intelligent" Design is merely a comforting idea (it sure would be nice to "know" that our lives had intrinsic purpose and direction) that relies on unprovable postulations. A theory, by the way, is a logically consistent model that accounts for and can predict observed facts. "Intelligent" Design as a theory is best described as "wild supposition."

But heck, if George W thinks "Intelligent" Design is worth considering seriously then perhaps we should advise our children to wear bullet-proof diapers at all times. After all it's possible that monkeys could fly out of our butts when we least expect it, and that would be embarrassing. All this time I thought that was a smirk on his face. He's actually trying to keep the monkeys from escaping!

Here's a great article from the New Yorker magazine on the subject on Intelligent Design: Master Planned. Why intelligent design isn't. Want the "gospel" version? Try The Discovery Institute. Make sure you chew before you swallow though.

Update: The New York Times also has a useful summary of the issues that has inspired me to describe Intelligent Design as "creationism wearing a joke shop lab coat."

Listening to: How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths from Meat Is Murder.

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