Wednesday, November 16, 2005

'Tellygent Design on the Horizon

Looks like the Utah Senate Majority is preparing a statement on teaching evolution.

Personally, I don't expect much. The modern push for Intelligent Design is primarily a Baptist cause. It is not an LDS cause. My guess is that the Senate Republicans will draft up an "enlightened" statement that basically approves of the Utah Departments of Education's decision to teach evolution, but with enough of a pro creationism twist to sound well rounded.

In Utah, there is a LDS Ward next to every single public school. LDS children leave the public school for religious education. There is zero need to modify the public school curriculum because this second school system can counter anything taught in the public schools.

Anyway back to ID.

Give the Creator Credit

My understanding is that the basic argument of the guy pushing intelligent design is that he sees the hand of the divine creator in gaps in the current data set used by biologists.

The ID argument is a little like Plato's cave. The author of the intelligent design theory is saying that he has exited the cave and now has a special knowledge and can see the hand of the creator in the gaps of the creation.

If I believed in intelligent design, my thoughts would be different. My thoughts would begin with a perfect creator. A perfect creator would not be so daft as to leave gaps in the fossil record. A perfect creator would have created a perfect fossil record that indicated a complete evolutionary history. As such, there would be no gaps in the fossil record that shows the hand of God.

Give the creator credit. Trying to point to unknowns in our current understanding of evolution to show divine intervention is an insult the creator. A divine creator would not leave such telling marks on the design.

The existence of non-existence of a divine creator would not affect evolutionary theory.

Personally, I doubt the Utah Senate will be silly enough to over turn the Utah Board of Education's commitment to teaching evolution. The Mormon view, after all, is that the God of earth really is not the ultimate creator. He is more a proprietor. Our God lives on the Planet Kolob (the central office of the Celestial Kingdom). The earth God acquired our planet some three thousand years ago. The earth is a staging ground for new Gods. Those who follow Joseph Smith are saints on earth and will be Gods themselves in the Celestial Kingdom. The rest of us get scrapped in some pit somewhere.

This polytheistic view of a celestial kingdom really leaves the creation of the planet itself as a minor event. The matter of real importance is one's position in the political hierarchy. One's position in the political hierarchy determines the size of the planet you get in the here after.

Evolution v. Intelligent Design would not be that big of a deal in the LDS theology. For that matter, the Mormons I've talked to on the issue pretty much agreed that God was given the earth pre-created. God's whole goal with the earth is the separate the righteous from the trash. (Me, I am part of the trash.)


~ Cyndi F Nicholson said...

you left a comment on my page, which I have never seen done by someone I didn't know....

you're interesting... just reading through random blogs?? I guess I should try that sometime....but it makes me feel creepy, as does this.

Anyway, its refreshing to hear someone intelligently express themselves, whether they agree or not.
so thanks.

y-intercept said...

I have to apologize for being mean in that comment. I have the nasty habit of arguing the counterpoint. If I am in a group bashing group A, I usually defend group A.

The reason I wrote a message was because I agreed with your sentiment. The post itself had a nasty logical fallacy in that it projected faults of one group onto another.

I saw the post you wrote last night. That was very well written. Unfortunately, it was gone when I came back today. At least I couldn't find it on Chicago Cyn.

These semi-public blog thingies give us a forum where we can think through ideas in public. The actual sentiment you were conveying was so different from what the post actual said, that I figured you would appreciate a comment.

BTW, one of the most interesting things in history is that the ideas that one era holds as being open minded and reasonable is often rejected by the next as stagnant and oppressive. It is difficult to search through ideas and find those that really do promote an open society in the long haul.