Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Evolution Schmevolution

In all the debate around evolution and intelligent design, one thing has been lost--does it really matter what is taught?

Evolution is a fact; intelligent design is poorly supported opinion. That's my bias on this. Darwinians can't necessarily give evidence-supported explanations of all the complexity of life. This doesn't mean that it didn't happen. Put all that aside though. Who cares?

Geologists care. Evolutionary biologists care. From the standpoint of most science and engineering though, it doesn't matter at all.

Solid state physicists don't care about evolution or the age of the earth; they care only about how semi conducting materials respond to electrical current. Software engineers don't care. Even doctors don't really care.

What happened a million years ago on earth, and whether humans and apes have a common ancestor has zero impact on most people's daily lives.

We do know that evolution happens at some scale. It is the reason bacteria become immune to antibiotics and why the exterminator needs to change ant poison from time to time. But these are real time (relatively) observable effects there is no room for doubt. Even anti-evolutionists must concede that these effects are real. But all professions that deal with those effects deal with them.

Maybe this whole debate is not really about science, but rather about separation of church and state. Evolution may not be important per se, but the issue behind it is extremely important. That's where the focus of the discussion of this shiould be. A judge and jury should not be deciding on which science is more correct, but rather who should be setting the curriculum.

In my opinion, Intelligent Design, aka Creationism has no place in public schools. It is thinly masqueraded religion. The science curriculum should be designed by scientists, and should represent scientific method and philosophy, not by lay people who represent a religious point of view.

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