Friday, November 6, 2009

Intelligent Design


I received an invitation in the mail the other day to a party. I love parties! This one was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Kansas Citizens for Science, a group that has fought very hard for the right to teach science in science classrooms. I like this group. They are mostly middle-aged, mostly academic, ardently passionate science professors and other science types who get together to talk about science. They discuss the politics of evolutionary biology and make jokes about trilobites and nematodes. I generally have no idea what they are talking about.

I know a lot about them because I innocently showed up at a meeting one day with a friend and somehow ended up being their Board Treasurer. I didn’t participate in their sciencey discussions. I just made sure their books balanced. But I was pretty clear on a few things. They didn’t much care for the Kansas State Board of Education. They knew the difference between a theory as it is used in scientific terms to denote a body of principles and a theory as it is used by your Uncle Mo to conjecture that he can hit that squirrel by that thar stump with the heel of his boot. And they absolutely didn’t care for Intelligent Design.

While I was happy to concede on points one and two, I was a little perplexed by number three. When I look around me, I’m able to recognize intelligence at work in the design of many aspects of our world. Take, for instance, the human body. It’s a miracle of design. Some may argue that childbirth is not a particularly intelligent process. Every year millions of women suffer terribly as they try to force a baby, whose large head holds what has evolved to be a great big brain, through an opening that has never evolved to comfortably deliver said head. Many women die in the process. Us lucky ones only experience unbearable pain. Intelligent Design, you ask? Yes, I would argue. If we, as women, didn’t go through this process, how else could we fully appreciate the excruiating hell our male counterparts experience when passing a kidney stone?

Okay here’s another example of Intelligent Design. Gel bras. What a great idea. They look and feel like the real thing, you can increase you bust size by a full cup, and best of all, you can take them off at night and have natural boobies. Marvelous! I know, I know, they are designed by a company (Victoria’s Secret™), not a supreme being. But at one point in time, that company was created by a person. And that person (Roy Raymond™) was created by God! Ipso facto…

Alright, maybe I don’t really understand the whole Intelligent Design theory/conjecture. I told you I wasn’t really paying attention during all those science discussions. It’s probably best if you do your own research. Besides, what person with even a passing interest in science wouldn’t have a healthy appreciation for research? (Well, me.) For a good overview of the argument against Intelligent Design, visit the National Center for Science Education’s site, www.ncse.com. There you can find a number of links to other related sites. Probably the best pro Intelligent Design site I’ve found is this: www.venganza.org. It’s the site for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Actually, it’s not really about Intelligent Design. But like I said, I don’t like to do research. Whatever you do, make sure you visit www.kcfs.org, the site for Kansas Citizens for Science. It has nice colors, a sharp logo and some information on science, too. I haven’t been on their board for many years. When I had children, my free time evaporated (along with some of my intelligence, but that’s another post). However, I’m planning on crashing their big science party. And if they serve enough wine, I might even laugh at their nematode jokes.

4 comments:

  1. Great seeing you Saturday. Liz sent your hilarious post. Love it!

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1. Birthing babies is difficult because of Original Sin, not flawed Intelligent Design. You have not spent nearly enough time with Kansas Citizens for Intelligent Design!

    2. Men might find gel bras slightly less satisfying for the exact same reason you applaud them: because you take them off at night.

    3. If you want to see both intelligent design and evolution at work, you should glimpse the masterpiece that is my compilation of finances via Adobe Acrobat. The design is elegant, funtional and pleasing, and it's always evolving toward greater usability. It is where science and spirituality finally reconcile!

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1) I'm always open to new theories on why women should suffer during childbirth that are put forth by those who haven't birthed children.

    2) I think you're edging into the debate between magic and realism here...

    3) Your pdf's rock, baby!

    ReplyDelete
  4. If there is such a thing as Intelligent Design how do you explain Glenn Beck?

    ReplyDelete

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