Friday, May 16, 2008

More Slings and Arrows for Expelled!

John Vandehey writes in the Daily Emerald that Ben Stein's movie Expelled is not well thought out. He ask what effect the adoption of ID as a workable theory would have on science:

But what would happen to religion? Intelligent design proposes the existence of an overseer, a guiding, intelligent force which directs evolution. Every deity-based religion would point to it and say, "Ho! There's proof that we are right."

And therein lies the stumbling point. The moment religion gets proof, it's not religion anymore; it's fact. There's no faith; everything is given. There's no wonder; there's just a footnote in a school biology textbook that students will read, memorize for the test, and quickly forget.

To me, the greatest gift that religion and spirituality can give is hope, the ability to do the right thing and work for good without any expected personal gain, to do it just because you have faith in the inherent goodness in the world. If we give proof to religion, then doing the right thing becomes no different from paying taxes: it becomes mechanical and without meaning. While I would love to see more people doing the right thing, I can't appreciate a good thing done just because it had to be done; if a person must endure some hardships for doing the right thing, then it shows me that he or she cares about what they do.

In some senses, this is similar to the argument I make that if the YEC supporters really got their way and had creationism taught in public schools, it would be devastating to Christianity. All of those badly-formed, out-of-date arguments would be taught in science class and held up to scientific scrutiny. The results would be catastrophic. They don't really want what they think they want.

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