Friday, April 18, 2008

expelled for a reason

I promise that this will be the only time I talk politics on this blog.
I saw a commercial for Ben Stein's documentary- we'll use that term loosely as I'm sure it amounts to Moore-esque propaganda- "Expelled" so, I looked it up online.
Turns out this "edgy" film is fighting for teachers who want to teach intelligent design. And so I followed the links on the site to read about these professors and teachers. As I suspected, these people were fired not for showing fairly both sides of the story, intelligent design vs. evolution, but for basically trying to disprove evolution- citing experiments that failed and bringing up every gap in the theory. They are upset that their beliefs have gotten them fired.
The question this film supposedly asks is why science cannot include religion.
My answer is this: religion is the pursuit of faith- to believe that which we do not understand is not for us to understand.
science is the pursuit of knowledge- to understand that which we do not understand by any means necessary.
They are, by definition, almost opposites. I'm not saying scientists can't be religious, they can believe what they like- but they cannot include it in their studies or it will taint them. To assert that intelligent design is the truth is to assert there is a single "God" making things up as he goes. This then becomes a slippery slope of "Which God is it?". Is it the Jewish God? The Christian God? The Muslim God? Buddah? Surely it cannot be the many Gods of some religions, unless they're all lab partners. If they decide God exists simply because there are things we cannot explain, will we then abandon our pursuit of explanation? If they decide the Christian God exists, will they decide that because God exists, Jesus must have existed, too? Will we need to take the holy writings, referring to whatever God they decide intelligently designed the world, as the literal ultimate truth?
(Side note- while I type this Bear Gyles, on my TV, is peeing in a canteen and drinking it. He said he never has had to do it before, I doubt that.)
So I hope you see why this whole intelligent design promoting movie concerns me. I cannot believe that you can present arguments for both evolution and intelligent design in the classroom. They are contradictory, but we have no "concrete evidence" that either are true, so why not make up some more theories of how it all happened while we're at it? Have you heard of the Invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster? He's my favorite so far, much more personality than Darwin or God.
The thing that worries me the most is the absence of the intelligent design theme in the advertisements for the movie. Basically, they're afraid if we know what it's about, we won't go see it. The commercials are also obviously aimed at young people, the use of the bright colors, Ben in the school uniform acting as if this documentary is "edgy" and "rebellious". Lenny Bruce was edgy and rebellious, Darwin was edgy and rebellious, intelligent design is not edgy and rebellious. It is the belief that creationism- a theory thousands of years old- can re-packaged and bolstered by the simple fact that evolution isn't an air-tight theory. Sure, evolution might not be the answer- but the decision that if evolution is not responsible then it must have been God isn't exactly scientific. If you don't believe evolution is plausible, do some research and decide what is plausible while not needing to involve mysticism. Our cells, our very molecules, contain all of the intelligence needed to build the universe. They do not need to be divided into the fit and the unfit, they are all fit. The molecules have the intelligence, they built you, they built me! They are uniquely put together in every thing on Earth, including Earth! We are individuals because so are they, carbon knows it is carbon, and you cannot make it into something else, only add onto it. It is the miracle that is math- which is not a miracle, just an absolute.
A woman in one of the articles linked to by the site says that the reason she believes in intelligent design is that evolution doesn't explain souls. She also says humans have souls, which separates us from animals. She wants to be a veterinarian. I don't know about you, but I know my dog has a soul, and I don't want any vet who thinks that he doesn't to treat him.
Back to my molecule theory, since everything is made of of the same elements, this means they all must be recycled. Since we are all made up of a unique combination of our intelligent cells- made up of these elements and molecules that have been on Earth for all of time- then we must contain parts of different objects, plants, animals and humans. Thus re-incarnation is the ultimate truth. We will die, we will decompose, things will feed on what we are made of and the intelligence of all those cells- our 'soul' if you will- gets dispersed into nature. Some of my molecules will be part of a rock, some of them part of a plant, a plant is eaten, some of its molecules staying in the creature that eats it, they might become part of the baby it will have. Each of our molecules will go through this process an infinite number of times. We are as the beings in "Slaughterhouse 5" we have been, we are and we will be. Our molecules can not be unmade, so they will "live" on, and so shall we. If my dog is made up of the same things I'm made of, it makes no sense to think he has no soul. My soul must be a result of my organic make-up. God didn't need to create it, it was always there, just waiting for this particular, unique formation of cells to be as they are, working as they are, and so here I am. My molecules will exist forever, my soul will disperse among them and go on to part of a new soul at some point. I am a firm believer that if it has an active brain, it has a soul. This is necessity. How could you have thoughts and not have a soul? How could you have memories and not have a soul? This is the point brought forth in "Blade Runner" and "Artificial Intelligence"- if it can think and feel, it has a soul and it is only arrogance that makes humans believe that there is a God who made us special. We are not special, we are the current result of the never ending math equation. Religion can drive us apart, science can bring us together. You can argue about what God is or wants or thinks, you cannot argue the scientific fact that we are all made up from the same ultra tiny building blocks.
Scientists, whether they believe in intelligent design or not, need to pursue their own theory and try to prove it. They cannot simply try to argue each other until they're blue in the face, it impedes progress. Go do some work! Go do your job! You think God/Evolution exists? Then just go and prove it, don't just argue about it. You're not helping either cause by arguing. Ben Stein is not helping by churning out propaganda, propaganda provides just as much ammunition for the enemy as it does the ally. Just look at any of Moore's work.

No comments: