Monday, July 15, 2013
Is God the Voldemort of Science?
In the popular Harry Potter books, Lord Voldermort is often referred to as 'He Who Must Not Be Named." In the 21st century when it comes to discussing science, especially on the subject of the origin of life or evolution, God is "He Who Must Not Be Named."
In the 19th century when Charles Darwin introduced his theory of evolution, his ideas were at odds with the dominant societal belief in creationism as explained in the Bible. People accepted that the creation story in the Bible was literal and that the earth was no more the 6,000 years old. There was strong opposition to evolution and it was not until 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, that the United States Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. Since that time supporters of the theory of evolution have worked with religious zeal to suppress any debate that would raise doubts about the validity of evolution.
The theory of evolution has two major problems. The first is that it has not been able to explain how life began. It is one thing to use evolution to explain how to create new breeds of dogs or pigeons, it is quite another to use evolution to explain how life originated. In 2009 Stephen C. Meyer wrote Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design which addressed the difficulty of relying on random evolution to adequately explain how the very first life form began. The second problem is that evolution, which Darwin assumed would be gradual and random, is not well supported by the geological record. There is not evidence of gradual evolution creating new species in gradual steps. The geological record shows entirely new species showing up in a geological blink of an eye. This subject is covered in Meyer's new book, Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. These books put forth the theory that a better explanation for both the origin of life and the creation of new species is the existence of an intelligent creator rather than random mutations.
The science community is very disparaging and thin-skinned about the intelligent design movement. Despite the fact that evolution does an inadequate job of explaining the origin of life and new species, many scientists act like ostriches with their head in the sand and refuse to debate the intelligent design argument. The usual reaction is to state that evolution is a unquestionable fact and that intelligent design is just creationism with another name. With such close minded, false statements it is clear that defenders of evolution want to avoid this debate like the plague.
I think the reason they fight so hard to avoid this debate is that they are afraid they will lose popular support.
Even in this increasingly secular country, a clear majority of Americans (80-95%) continue to believe in God. While there may be some of these that still believe in the Bible creation version, most have no problem accepting that the universe is billions of years old and God is the creator. For atheists who overwhelming accept evolution as gospel, this is a threat they want to stamp out. If it turns out that intelligent design is a better explanation to explain the origin of life, God is the obvious candidate as the designer, not something atheists want to deal with.
My challenge to all people who accept the reality of God is to continue to call for a debate of intelligent design and evolution. The secular humanists have used evolution as a beachhead to tear down conservative institutions and values. Conservatives have been successful in challenging the truthfulness of man-made global warming. Liberals have not been able to implement carbon taxes that they think can help control the climate. We need to push for similar action regarding evolution.
For an entertaining and informative way to study the intelligent design - evolution controversy, I invite you to read my play Inherit The Wind: Overturned by Design.