God: scientist or magician?
There’s been much debate lately whether or not “Intelligent Design theory” should be included in our schools’ science curriculum. I say no. Not because I don’t believe in creation; on some level, I do. More because teaching intelligent design would be redundant. Real “intelligent design” would be science. This is just re-labeled fundamentalist creation myth. And though I harbor no ill will toward people for believing what they wish, I highly resent socio-political power plays in the name of religion.
The term intelligent design implies a systematic order. Working in systematic order just happens to be the very basis of scientific practice. Whether or not you’ve analyzed the term intelligent design, it basically infers that God is the supreme scientist. If that’s the case, isn’t it only reasonable to assume that God’s way of doing things would be an orderly way, a blindingly brilliant method that resulted in the wonderful complexities of the structures in the universe? Yet, the typical fundamentalist Christian concept of how the world began more closely resembles a familiar, “Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat… Nothin’ up my sleeve…(celestial drum roll) …Presto!”
Yeah, well, I’d prefer that God was more scientist than magician. And really, if you’re throwing the term “intelligent design” around, what business do you really have criticizing science? Though embryonic in comparison to what God’s might be, it is still science; still developing, still trying to get a firm hold on the nature of our world through scientific methods. This is living as close to the will of God, and perhaps closer, than swallowing precepts without question. At least scientists, whether intentionally or not, are honoring the creator by trying to increase and actually use the greatest gift bestowed (if you will) on mankind: Intelligence.
Though I support the right of people to believe in intelligent design as a matter of faith, it hasn’t yet met the criteria to be considered viable scientific theory. Regardless of that, where in the Bible is man instructed to substantiate the way the world came about? Christians are implored to have faith. It is promoted as being essential to the Christian belief system. In turn, scientists are looking for proof, or at least logically substantial evidence.
If the “I.D.” viewpoint is to be included in the school curriculums of science classes, perhaps there should be a stipulation that scientific methods of evaluation must be applied to the viewpoint in the classroom. After all, to get to the real truth, all of the evidence must be considered, not just the evidence that supports your agenda.
Ironically, in either case, through science or religion, I believe the truth that will ultimately be discovered by each will be the same.