"Today, Darwinian fundamentalists fight to keep the evidence of intelligent design in the diversity of life on earth out of the classroom, because that would be at odds with a strictly materialist view of the world. Eighty years ago, the thought controllers wanted no Darwin; today's thought controllers want only Darwin. In both cases, the dominant attitude is authoritarian and closed-minded -- the opposite of the liberal spirit of inquiry on which good science depends."
Mr. Richard Dawkins renowned for his memorable writings on various enlightening issues that science can explain in such a grandeur beauty, written, "''It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane."
With all due respect bestowed to Mr. Dawkins for his enormous contributions in contemporary intelleginsia, it is bothersome noting his and many others' "absolute beliefs" on various dogmatic scientific issues, where absolutism of any form can pretty safely be put into the same disposal bin set aside for now thoroughly discredited creationists.
Our knowledge of the "reality", the surrounding mysterious universe, its time old question of cosmic expansion, collapse, singularity and many other issues where there are plenty of disputes still reside among the leading physicists of our time, is still growing from its prolonged infancy. When there are plenty of unresolved scientific mysteries remain in our backyard, like the vast ocean, various geological earthly puzzles, and also our own solar system, that still feels like too colossal for human to explore with deterministic certainty less alone getting a solid grasp on our expanding universe, quantum misery, even our helpless stature in the face of demolishing hurricanes, earthquakes and many other natural disasters unfolding right here on earth, the acerbic absolutism sputtered like religious dicta by the leading scientists and thinkers seem like quite preposterous, at best.
Let's have a good laugh about the flying spaghetti "God", but let's not silence the liberty of its proponents to present their ideas to the mass, however ludicrous it sounds to many. Indeed, the inquisitive minds throughout history, from Newton to Einstein and beyond, blasting the traditional "scientific" absolutism of their days have propelled the entire humanity to progress so much that now we can at least do not take supernova as the appearance and disappearance of deities, but what it really is, elegantly explained in scientific quest, we can all marvel at the pictures from distant planets sent by human's own ingenuity led technologies, and we all can be proudly resist the onslaught of microbial aggressions on our fragile human bodies, composed of millions and millions of mindless atoms.
Science has shown us the way and glimpse of reality, but it is an on going story, not even close to the end of the first miniscule passage of a seemingly long, quite possibly a colluded tale of trillions of words, like the countless stars and dark matters.
The Timeless Truth of Creation
HAVE YOU heard about Flying Spaghetti Monsterism? FSM is a four-month-old ''religion" founded on the belief that the universe was created by an invisible flying clump of spaghetti and meatballs. This blob of pasta, FSM's ''followers" say, uses its ''noodly appendage" to play an ongoing role in human affairs. For example, it tampers with carbon-dating tests to make the planet seem older than it is, so that any evidence of evolution is actually the work of the spaghetti monster.
FSM was concocted in June by Bobby Henderson, a recent college graduate with a degree in physics. When the Kansas Board of Education took up the question of teaching intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinian evolution, Henderson wrote an open letter (posted at www.venganza.org) demanding equal classroom time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism as well.
As religious spoofs go, it wasn't exactly Monty Python's ''Life of Brian," but it was good for a chuckle or two. No doubt that was all the reaction that Henderson was expecting. If so, he underestimated the eagerness of many Darwinists to paint supporters of intelligent design as either moronic Bible Belters or conniving religious fanatics. Henderson's ''religion" became a cult hit, promoted on other websites and covered with relish in the press. The
At least Henderson couched his disdain for intelligent design in humor. Other Darwinists, many steeped in ideological antipathy to religion, resort to insult and invective.
''It is absolutely safe to say," the Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins, a leading Darwinist, has written, ''that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane." Liz Craig, a member of the board of Kansas Citizens for Science, summarized her public-relations strategy in February: ''Portray them" -- intelligent design advocates -- ''in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc."
Ironically, Charles Darwin himself acknowledged that there could be reasonable challenges to his theory of natural selection -- including challenges from religious quarters. According to the sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, when ''The Origin of Species" first appeared in 1859, the Bishop of Oxford published a review in which he acknowledged that natural selection was the source of variations within species, but rejected Darwin's claim that evolution could account for the appearance of different species in the first place. Darwin read the review with interest, acknowledging in a letter that ''the bishop makes a very telling case against me."
How things have changed. When John Scopes went on trial in Tennessee in 1925, religious fundamentalists fought to keep evolution out of the classroom because it was at odds with a literal reading of the Biblical creation story. Today, Darwinian fundamentalists fight to keep the evidence of intelligent design in the diversity of life on earth out of the classroom, because that would be at odds with a strictly materialist view of the world. Eighty years ago, the thought controllers wanted no Darwin; today's thought controllers want only Darwin. In both cases, the dominant attitude is authoritarian and closed-minded -- the opposite of the liberal spirit of inquiry on which good science depends.
As always, those who challenge the reigning orthodoxy face repercussions. In April, the science journal Nature interviewed Caroline Crocker, a molecular microbiologist at George Mason University. Because ''she mentioned intelligent design while teaching her second-year cell-biology course . . . she has been barred by her department from teaching both evolution and intelligent design." Other skeptics of Darwinism choose to keep silent. When Nature approached another researcher, he refused to speak for fear of hurting his chance to get tenure.
If intelligent design proponents were peddling Biblical creationism, the hostility aimed at them would make sense. But they aren't. Unlike creationism, which denied the earth's ancient age or that biological forms could evolve over time, intelligent design makes use of generally accepted scientific data and agrees that falsification, not revelation, is the acid test of scientific validity.
In truth, intelligent design isn't a scientific theory but a restatement of a timeless argument: that the regularity and laws of the natural world imply a higher intelligence -- God, most people would say -- responsible for its design. Intelligent design doesn't argue that evidence of design ends all questions or disproves Darwin. It doesn't make a religious claim. It does say that when such evidence appears, researchers should take it into account, and that the weaknesses in Darwinian theory should be acknowledged as forthrightly as the strengths. That isn't primitivism or Bible-thumping or flying spaghetti. It's science.