October 19, 2005

Evidence concerning intelligent design

Obviously, biology isn't my field. Being a computing lecturer, I probably know a little more about evolution than the average person, just because I'm from a scientific background and I like to peruse information about science in general, but I really don't know the details of the finer points of the arguments that evolutionists use to explain where we come from .

What I do know is that it makes me steaming mad to hear about all these school boards in the US who want to have intelligent design taught as a respectable alternative theory. There is no evidence for intelligent design. Everything I teach in my classroom, I can back up. Anytime I make an assertion, I can back it up with evidence. Any time that a student has a doubt about why something is like it is, either it's a typo in one of my slides - "Thanks very much for pointing that out, nice to know someone is awake :-) " - or I can either back it up right there with evidence from my own memory, or I can dig it up from other sources after classes.

How dare they try and teach something to children which doesn't have evidence to support it. Teach the controversy? Sure, take it to the religious studies classroom. The only theory that their "evidence" supports is the one that says that supporters of intelligent design aren't intelligent enough to understand the details of how evolution can result in the existence of complex creatures which look like they have been designed.

Also, being a computer scientist, one other point that bugs me is their logic. They aren't using it. They don't have evidence, all they seem to have is questions concerning things that evolution hasn't explained. That by itself is not evidence. You can't just deduce "there are questions still unanswered therefore this theory is all wrong". That's like someone pointing to the whole big "NP = P?" question and saying "Therefore complexity theory is wrong". It's not wrong, it's just got open research questions. Having open research questions is NORMAL for perfectly respectable theories.

So I was very amused to read this debate on Intelligent Design from The Abstract Factory, from a fellow computer scientist, exposing the flaws in their logic. Brilliant!


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