The recent ruling
(WPost,Dec 22/2005,Page A28) by Judge John E Jones III looks very much against the right to freedom of expression. When we were taught about the creation of the universe and life, we were informed about all theories including evolution and creationism, and "intelligent design" wasn't a package available then. Today, there are advocates who claim that "intelligent design" is a possibility and is also highly probable. I see no harm in informing the future generation that there are groups who believe that "intelligent design" is highly probable considering the harmony of the Cosmos. It definitely doesn't go against the scientific theory of evolution
which is proven to have happened and in a continual progressive state. Advocates of "intelligent design" merely hypothesise that this process is possibly bounded and is not progressing at the pace it should be because of several reasons they mention. Those advocates may even withstand a trial in front of a scientific committee with papers (which they have not yet accomplished). Clearly, creation science
as the judge refers to this, already has strong critics
from the scientific community who can easily disprove on the basis of scientific fact and established theory most of the arguments put forth (not all). However, there is no convincing proof that "intelligent design" is entirely false and scientists (including many eminent physicists and astrophysicists) would agree; the same as there is no convincing proof that "intelligent design" is fact. Until someone can concretely prove that no entity within or without this universe could not have had any part in creating cosmic harmony and the "evolution" of intelligent life forms, this is a possible
alternative. I am ill informed, if this has already been strongly disproven, but I know this much that Darwin did not kill the idea of "intelligent design
". He proposed the "Theory of Origin of Species
", "Theory of Common Descent
" and "Sexual Selection", "Survival of the Fittest" (attempting to explain extinction, which is under constant debate) to which we have sufficient evidence. He did this by observing the process of island speciation (and island dwarfism) unique to the Galapagos islands aboard the Beagle
. Taxonomical classification
was already achieved and in progress before Darwin's theory was in effect.
Unless the kids are informed of another alternative, how could they go ahead tomorrow to prove or disprove it. Scientific method
is based on argument and necessitates the existence of an antithesis for every thesis. No judge can pass a judgement
to label creationism religious or otherwise because there are neo-modern religious doctrines that do agree with the absence of any intelligent design. Only a scientist (or a scientific research group) with enough research and findings can concretely establish or eliminate a theory, no matter who proposes it (a priest, Saddam Hussein, G W Bush, a kid in kindergarten), not a Judge. The USA is getting more and more ridiculous day by day. Further the news items do not mention whether the schools actually taught "intelligent design" as established fact, which would be wrong and needs correction. The panel proposing the syllabi for education should be reviewed as they would be responsible in that case. "Biological Evolution
" too is a theory that has sufficient proof, but there are areas inside evolution like the process for speciation, the reason for speciation and the time taken for speciation that are difficult to explain and hence are scientifically debated.
Freedom of Idea and Thought let the ancient Greeks of Ionia
create many of the fundamentals of science. Most remain anonymous and unknown (as Carl Sagan mentions in "Broca's Brain") except Homer (author of the Illiad, not from the Simpsons:TV Show). Many of their postulates were later put down by many half scientist-teacher-lawmakers (Aristotle, Demosthenes, Plato,
...) in later years. It took us a whole process of renaissance to get back to that freedom and therefore to explore freely with scientific method many different theories and propositions (even though some might have seemed ridiculous at first, like Einstein's theory of General Relativity.) In the middle ages, "Christian" Religion influenced Government and hence freedom of thought, ideas and reasoning. In 1992, the Vatican accepted that the World was round (not Flat.) Now I see Government and Judiciary influencing idea (whatever it might be). This is definitely repeating the same erroneous process that happened prior in history to set humans back by a millennium. Creationism was an early fad that did not attempt to rest on any scientific ideals. "Intelligent Design" attempts to fit within the structure of scientific thought, but instill similar (if not the same) ideals and is advocated _not_ by the Church or Religious orders or their Brethren. Any questions and alternate proposals to scientifically published fact is usually answered to by scientists and critics in a proper scientific manner. I have no idea, how the US Judiciary can rule or rule out any idea, however strong or frail. Rome laughed at an idea and politically fought it, "that humans could co-exist with just peaceful means" (it was absurd, for Rome was built by organised military, the sword and brilliant Generals.) Rome succumbed to it later and included it in their political agenda (as the Holy Roman Empire). I would also want to ask, would the judge have ruled the same had he been a mormon or the jury was in majority creationists?
The true problem is not whether to teach Intelligent Design or not, or whether to send your child for education in a state that does so or not, but to encourage schools to teach "Scientific Method" and "Organised thought process". The ability to question every theory & idea (however fundamental) alongwith the techniques to use must be instilled within the syllabi taught in schools. It is a shame that no article dealing with this recent shake-up over "intelligent design" stresses this. Sadly, education in India has in my opinion plummetted to one of its lowest levels I have ever seen. Few take up education as a respected profession any longer. The "Guru" of the past is history, "teacher" is no longer a capitalised word but merely one of the last resorts to earn one's keep. It is taught that knowledge was born in the east and spread by great teachers, I hope that time and circumstances will return to bring back such an era where knowledge is born, ideas questioned and debated and spread to a thirsting people. The information age is not truly about money, but about knowledge in all its forms and how best one can find & use it. The worst point is people expressing happiness that their state does not teach "intelligent design", without understanding that the point is not about this particular idea. Tomorrow another Judge may rule that religious parts of history like the crusades may no longer be taught or remove Salahudin's name from history textbooks and people may be jubilant. What Rot!