Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My man Neil

in response to this...


I haven't checked your site in a while, bub. Today I read the article you posted about Intelligent Design, and while I'm not willing to say that Intelligent Design itself is crap, I will say that the article is a bit goofy.

Here's the thing: "An imaginative person would find it difficult to believe the world begins and ends in the things that can be tested scientifically." That's the crux of the whole article, and it's here that I have to call bullshit. Bullshit! There, it's been called.

Let me start by saying that I know that you and I have talked about this before, and you know my stance. I don't really disbelieve in God, per se, but I don't really care if there is one or not. If he's out there, he's not doing a very good job. If there isn't one, that's just fine. I don't think there's any sort of force shaping our universe, but I can't really convince anyone of this fact. I read what I can about physics, and the origins of everything, but basically, popular science still says that it all began with a "bubbling chaos" and that still doesn't tell us why there was any energy out there in the first place. Neither position makes any sense to me. Maybe that makes me an agnostic, or maybe it just a really lazy atheist. Either way, I got nothing.

But to say that somehow believing in God or Intelligent Design is a sign of intelligence and imagination is garbage. Kurt Vonnegut, Ambrose Bierce, H.P. Lovecraft, Spaulding Grey, Ernest Hemingway, and Aldous Huxley - disbelievers all. Read their stuff and try to tell me it's not imaginative. Want some scientists who are "lamed" by their lack of belief in a higher power? Noam Chomsky, Richard Feynman, Bertrand Russel, Carl Sagan - hell, even Darwin had some problems with this. And don't even get me started with your philosphers - Neitzche (I can never spell that), Hume, Sartre, etc... but you know more about that than I do. I can understand if just creating a list of some dudes that don't believe in Intelligent Design seems specious to you, because the point is that using a few naked examples of authors and scientists to set forth a point (like the author of that editorial did), is garbage.

I agree with the author that "Intelligent Design is a worthy subject of personal introspection," and that it's currently getting bad press because of some nutbags that live in the Bible Belt. That still doesn't change the fact that it's irresponsible to pull a few quotes from famous people to support your position.

You can't be "too rational" in the scientific sense. Science depends on imagination and rationality, and the two aren't mutually exclusive. And hey, neither one depends on faith.

Here's a quote for you:"The most serious parody I have ever heard was this: In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and the nonsense was God."

Betcha know who that is. In the end this quote is useless, because it doesn't answer anything. It's just a guy saying "no," which is not how things should be done. The guy who wrote the article is also saying "no", only in more words. In any case, quotes and anecdotes can be used any way you want, and that's how I got through college with a B average. The search for answers - scientifically - should be conducted with the belief that science can answer anything. That's what the scientific method is all about.

In conclusion, Peter Scowen can suck my balls for trying to sneak a point past us all.



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