Monday, March 19, 2007

Then call it God


From a very visceral point of view I understand the Creationist or Intelligent Design position. I think it's moronic, but I understand it. This was highlighted by a blog comment the other day, and I can't even tell you where I saw it.

A writer objecting to evolution wrote a long screed sarcastically demanding that any defender of evolution attempt to explain how it "just so happens" that we are fortunuate enough to live EXACTLY far enough away from the sun, with EXACTLY the right atmosphere, and EXACTLY the right amount of water, and EXACTLY ... to support human life, if it weren't for some form of higher power designing everything for us. I started to write something sarcastic right back, and what came to mind was something like- can somebody explain how it is that my hat is EXACTLY 5'9" in the air? You see, we are not perfectly situated for the only kind of life by some miracle, we are perfectly situated for our kind of life because this is the environment in which we evolved. My hat is not at exactly the right height by some miracle of design- that's just where you can find the top of my head.

Then I realized what I was really doing was making fun of ignorance powered by insecurity. Arguments about God are, today, what they were a century ago, a millenium ago, an eon ago. "God" is shorthand for "I don't know." "God" is what we can't explain. At one time "God" was fire, the sun, rain. Later, "God" was the guy who killed Bob when Bob ate undercooked pork or never washed his hands before he ate (voila! Kosher laws). "God" made the sun go around the world, and made apples fall from the sky.

Then something odd happened. We started to really understand things. The scientific method made "then call it God" obselete. The scientific method meant we might not know, but it was okay to keep looking until we found out. That was okay for scientists, but it was terribly disturbing to two sets of people. The first were those with tremendous investment, economic, spiritual, or personal, in "God." The second were those who could not understand the science and, more importantly, could not stand not understanding.

Creationism, and it's little brother Intelligent Design, are mechanisms created by those with a tremendous investment in "God" to manipulate those who can't stand not understanding.

Or at least, that's one guy's point of view. And I have a brightly-colored cartoon to show it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

People don't believe because of reason and they won't disbelieve because of reason, either.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Storm said...

So D, have the bruises healed yet?


10:00 PM  

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