Thursday, 11 August 2005

Evolution and education

Today's Herald has a piece on the growing popularity of intelligent design within education. A recent Gallup poll found that almost half of Americans believe that God created humans pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago (which is consistent with the Bible).

President Bush thinks that intelligent design should be given equal prominence in the curriculum as evolution. On Tuesday, Kansas Board of Education passed a vote to do exactly that. But a powerful lobby argue that the Spagetti Monster created the universe.

This podcast asks if evolution is compatible with religion. Darwin didn't think so. He buried his Origin of Species for 10 years believing that it would destroy faith in God.


  1. Anonymous9:40 am

    I like old Issac's theory that matter can neither be created nor destroyed therefore there is no debate. The universe in it's entirety has always existed although it's appearance may have changed. We are merely one of a myriad of forms which matter has existed in and as such are transient. Don't waste your time trying to figure where you came from just enjoy the sensations which are accessible in your present form. It's all you've got. And love one another.

  2. "Proofs" of the existence of God include the argument from design. It is one that I feel relaxed with. None of the proofs prove His existence but it can't be disproved either. I quite like the debate. I personally think that those who believe in an all powerful creator see the world very differently from those who don't believe. I am unsure about evolution certainly the basic thrust seems correct but I am not sure as to why conciousness would evolve? The rest of the animal kingdom seems to get by quite happily without introspection - did its lack in them stop their survival. Also I have difficulty with talk about genes etc. It is always phrased in terms of them having a purpose and somehow I think talk of purpose belongs in design. Also if we evolved from apes why are there still apes and why has evolution stopped?

    Also is it possible to get rid of syax86xomo. If evolution is right would such a moron have evolved?

  3. Gerry - This link addresses several of your points:

    Consciousness is a function of our brain size/complexity. So your question comes down to "Why did our brains evolve to its present size/complexity" which has a fairly straight-forward answer (because it gave us an edge over competitors).

    Genes have no inherent purpose - except to reproduce themselves. Errors in their replication produce the huge varieties that exist.

    And when did evolution stop?

    The burden of proof lies with believers - otherwise the Spagetti Monster is as valid as Christianity.

  4. Read the Blind Watchmaker to explain how design does not need a designer.

    Evolution takes a long time, it hasnt stopped (with the exception of rabid huns),its just that our timeframe is so limited.

    I agree those who believe in a powerful creator see the world differently, thats why the world is in the state it is.

    If god exists and is all powerful then god is responsible for everything, good and bad, heavan and hell. (Dont tell me about free will, would you let your child put its hand in the fire to allow it freedom of action or to teach it a lesson). If god is not responsible for the bad then god cant be all powerful and hence not god.

    I agree that science only explains what it can measure and that the important things in life like love and compassion cannot sit easily within science (despite some who say its to do with genes and game theory).Why cant we accept that we should treat human beings as we would expect to be treated as someone called Jesus said, but he was not the first one to say that. We dont have to construct a deity to act on that principle.

    As to self awareness in animals and introspection, who says that they dont exist in animals. Some scientists suggest that animals cannot feel pain.

    I only have to look at my cat to see who won the game of evolution, buddha like in its qualities, he spends most of his time playong and sleeping when he is not eating.

    When I get reincarnated I want to come back as a cat living in a lipstick lesbian household.