Friday, November 18, 2005

Krauthammer's right

An excerpt from his column today.
Let's be clear. Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological "theory" whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge -- in this case, evolution -- they are to be filled by God. It is a "theory" that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species but also says that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, "I think I'll make me a lemur today." A "theory" that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science -- that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution -- or behind the motion of the tides or the "strong force" that holds the atom together?

In order to justify the farce that intelligent design is science, Kansas had to corrupt the very definition of science, dropping the phrase " natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us," thus unmistakably implying -- by fiat of definition, no less -- that the supernatural is an integral part of science. This is an insult both to religion and science.
Yes. Yes. Yes.

I'm embarrassed by my state's actions.

(One quick nitpick though. Krauthammer writes this:
Newton's religion was traditional. He was a staunch believer in Christianity and a member of the Church of England..."He believed he was doing God's work," James Gleick wrote in his recent biography of Newton. Einstein saw his entire vocation -- understanding the workings of the universe -- as an attempt to understand the mind of God.
If you read Gleick's entire book, you'd find that Newton's religion was far from traditional. He disbelieved the trinity as well as other beliefs of the CofE. Newton would have been required to enter the priesthood to retain his position at Oxford, but had that requirement waived in his case as he could not commit to his church's beliefs in good faith. He wrote voluminously about religion and questioned everything, even refusing to take the sacrament on his deathbed. As Professor Robert Hatch of the University of Florida has argued, Newton was for all intents and purposes a Unitarian.)


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