Join Date: February 14, 2006
Back on topic
Science is the search for natural explinations to observed phenomina. DFsg, go ahead and ask your professors or TA's. They will probably nod and then elaborate because all professors love to elaborate. Since creationism, and ID are supernatural explanations they are excluded. If no natural explination is found, then it remains a puzzle to be solved. It is just to early to give up on the search and chalk up what we don't understand to supernatural causes.
You will find that evolution is the organizing principle of biology. Without it you will not be able to understand any of modern biology. You can go the catholic way and accept that because God is natural you will never find evidence of supernatural explination. Incedently, Pope John Paul the second made Evolution official church teaching, along with the Big Bang as official church teaching on the origin of the universe. Since the big bang involved alot of light and no testible cause, God could have been the motivating or prime factor. Science is silent here because there is no way to know what existed before the universe, as the before is not part of the universe and can never be observed. So if your Catholic, you get to join the twentyith century.
Some of the difficulty you may have Dfsg might well relate to evilution. Richard Dawkins considered that the reason evolution was so hard to discover in the first place is because it involves time scales outside of human perception. Our brains are evolved to deal with events that occure in secconds (catching a fly ball), minutes, days, seasons, years, and at most decades. We have to write down history because in general it occures on a scale that is not easily comprehended. Natural history uses scales that are so abstract as to be truely inconcievable. We don't live for eons so there is no reason for our brains to be equipt to percieve events on that scale. Dawkins suggests that evolution itself makes sure that our brains only develop capacities relavent to our survival, and percieving time over such a huge scale has absolutely no bennifit that would promote the ability through evolution.
Any ways, I personally recomend Dawkin's "Ancestor's Tale" if some one needs a book that is easy to understand. What I learned that I never suspected was that evolution is a physical property of itteration. All you have to do is favor one variation over another and any reiterating action will evolve, even without life being involved at all. As long as there is replication through multiple generations evolution will occure, even if the replicating thing is not alive.
Sounds weird, but consider that viruses are not alive. They don't grow, they don't consume food, and they can't reproduce UNLESS they invade a cell and insert their own DNA into the machinry of the cell. And yet, viruses evolve, developing new strains that are better at infecting cells, can infect different cells, and avoid imune systems and bacterial antiviral chemicals. So even lifeless things can evolve.
So evolution happens, from unliving things to elephants. Stars might even evolve. Our sun is a third generation star. It uses less fuel and lives longer then its parent star. Perhapse it will someday create a nebula that will serve as the incubator for a red dwarf star, billions of years from now. But stars are not alive and even the shortest lasting brightest stars burn 170,000 years. O type for those keeping score, versus our G type star the Sun. Our sun is the only star within 20 lightyears that is a single-star star system.
Kiros, gravity holds the planet together but electromagnatism is the force that keeps the earth from colapsing into a black hole. It is also the force that keeps your body from colapsing into a black hole. It is the force that makes solid objects solid. It also is the force that causes air preasure, so it holds up airplanes, and it makes it harder to run through water then through air. Electromagantism makes your bones rigid and your skin an effective barrior between inside and outside. It makes DNA a double helix, and governs all chemistry. All visable properties of matter are a result of electromagantism, ranging from color, to density, hardness, odor. Radioactivity is controled by the weak nuclear force, but it isn't visable or even detectable with any of your five senses, which all use the electromagnetic force to percieve the world. You have no sense organs for Gravity, the Strong Nuclear force or the Weak Nuclear force. These forces can't be observed directly by humans, much as eons of time can't be observed by humans.
So bringing the point back around, an intelligent designer, if such a beast had ever existed, left us unsable to percieve huge amounts of the universe. We have to percieve them by what they do to the parts we can percieve and make inferences about causes. The infernces employed in evolution are the same sort used to observe gravity. We can see what it does to those things we can see. Like Newton, who made the huge elap that the force that causes an apple to fall and the force that holds the moon in its orbit are one in the same is no more irrational then new species evolved from species with similar anatomy across generations. We simply are not equipt to observe these things directly so we observe them indirectly through taxonomy and now DNA sequencing. We admit going in that we can make mistakes, and we'll fix them, eventually. Thats why Science is a SEARCH for natural explinations. It is not a weakness or any given theory but a strength of the method that will eventually yeild the best results. But mistakes will be made, wrong ideas will take time to be disproved. But atleast there is a process in place. And that is what is supposed to be taught in classrooms. ID is a surrender and retreat to ignorance in vane hope of bringing certainty where there is none. But you have to choose, Knowledge or Certainty, to our collective disapointment we have discovered you can not have both.
Science can provide you with knowledge about the universe. It is knowledge that can be put to practical use for both the betterment and detrement of mankind. But you will never be certain that what you know is true, requiring you to learn all your life what new discoveries have been made and new ideas. Certainty feels nice, you don't need to think about the topic any more. But it cuts you off from the valuable knowledge the universe has yet to reveal to our inquiring minds. ID is certainty. It is thrown in the face of Science, attacking it where it is rhetorically vulnerable, its continually shifting body of knowledge. But when you atack that you attack science itself, and that is an act of evil and malice.
If I were a believing man I would call ID the devils work. It attacks science for being science, demanding certitude that only Faith can provide. While at the same time it denies God and Christ, obliterating the sacrafices of the savior and the covenant with the jews behind some nameless designer of indeterminant moral nature. So it hurts science and draws the believer away from the salvation of of Christ. "Whosoever beleives in me shall have life everlasting in the kingdom of heaven." or words to that effect. The Designer is not Christ, if you accept him you reject christ and condemn yourself to death everlasting in a place wher fires burn but do not consume. ID hurts everyone, and was first formulated by a lawyer who dodn't like Richard Dawkins book "The Blind Watchmaker." ID is evil no mater which side of the debate your on.
Denounce it and return to your faith and your science and let thios evil troubel us no more! Out ID OUT. The Power of Science Compells you! The Power of Christ Compells you also! Back to the pit of hell from which you were spawned foul perversion of all that is good. Damn you ID back to HELL!