The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The fallacy of intelligent design

No. 7: You should have probably figured it out by now that these articles aren’t necessarily going in order in terms of the level of inanity, considering intelligent design is No. 7. Intelligent design has to be one of the greatest plagiarisms of all time: creationism with a new cover. We’ll get to this later. Let us begin with the history of intelligent design.

In the beginning, there was this myth called creationism. All that stuff about how the earth is 6000 years old and that “The Flintstones” was actually a documentary. In 1987 (fittingly my birth year), the court ruled in Edwards v. Aguillard that the Louisiana law requiring that the teaching of creationism or creation “science” alongside evolution in public schools was unconstitutional because the law specifically intended on advancing a certain religion. I won’t go into all of the details, but right around that time creationism became extremely unpopular and intelligent design became strangely popular.

Intelligent design is not just a theory, but primarily a religious movement in order to redefine the definition of science to accommodate creationism in the classroom. Michael Behe at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial even said that his definition of science would accommodate astrology. “It’s second period kids, remove your chemistry books from the desk and take out your alchemy book.”

Speaking of books and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, a textbook was revealed during the trial, called “Of Pandas and People.” When previous manuscripts of the book were revealed, they contained the words “creationism” and “creator,” and only in later manuscripts (undoubtedly with some find-and-replace feature on a word processor) did the words “intelligent design” and “designer” show up. I wish my philosophy papers were that easy to write off. I could call existentialism, existence theory and phenomenology, phenomena theory. Feel the wrath of my Microsoft Word, Sartre and Husserl!

If that wasn’t convincing enough of a hidden agenda, a document called the “wedge document” was leaked through the Internet, discussing the intentions behind The Discovery Institute (the leading proponents in the ID movement): “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” Not to mention, “To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life”.

I know many of you do not know what the theory of evolution is. Why? I went to public school and I know I didn’t learn crap about evolution in ninth grade. Sometimes people will argue that evolution is a completely random process, which brings me to the fallacy of the day: straw man. A straw man fallacy is committed when you misrepresent an idea or theory so you can easily knock it down. For instance, “Darwin himself said the eye couldn’t have formed by evolution. Therefore evolution should be rejected.” Evolution is not a random process. There are three parts to evolution: mutation, reproduction and natural selection. Mutation and reproduction are more or less random, but natural selection is a guided process that could hardly be considered random. But of course, there are so many great biology professors at SMU who would be more than happy to teach you what evolution is.

I suppose the biggest problem is best illuminated by the comment that an acquaintance of mine uttered when I was speaking of the young earth creationists being ridiculous. She said, “but it’s true if you believe it.” Apparently there are people who think belief constitutes reality; there lies the problem. To those who think in this way, it doesn’t matter how many bacterium flagellums or human eyes are explained by evolution; there is nothing that can convince them otherwise. Science prides itself in a tentative progress toward truth. Through criticism, evidence and new developments, we get a better understanding about the cosmos, biology and the natural laws. If there is no way a theory can be refuted (intelligent design), then it is not scientific and thus has given up on trying to find truth. When we give up on finding truth, you get B.S., and that is a tragedy that no scripture can console.

About the writer:

Ken Ueda is a senior math, physics and philosophy major. He can be reached for contact at [email protected].

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