...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day 2255: Lunar Eclipse NOT proof of divine intervention


We stayed up late to watch the moon eclipse. We enjoyed it lots.

But then along comes Mr Clifford Clongley on the The Today Programme's Fart for the Day and says:

"Oooh, pretty – there must be a god!"

Worse than that, he talked about INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

"I don't mean whether it is good science – which I don't believe it is – but whether it is true – which I do believe."

Well, WAKE UP Mr Clongley: Intelligent Design CLAIMS to be a SCIENCE. If you DON'T believe it's good science then you DON'T believe it's true!

(Or possibly you don't know what you are talking about.)

If you're just an old fashioned CREATIONIST, then you believe that all of the different animals and plants and fungi were all individually created by god by hand:

Poof: humans. Poof: elephants. Poof: brontosaurus, no, scratch that one it's not going to fit on this ark plan I've got…

But then along comes PESKY science and says: well, actually there's another explanation which accounts for the reason why some animals are so like one another (like why create lions AND tigers when they are essentially the same evil cat monster?) or why some creatures do the same sort of thing but are totally different (like why create bats when you've already got birds?).

That explanation is called EVOLUTION.

It says (in really basic terms) that all creatures in a family are slightly different, and if some of them have a difference that gives them a better chance of having babies then over time the whole family will come to be more like that. Because different advantages apply in different places (say in one place there's lots of insects and in another there's lots of fruit) this causes what was one family to change into two different families.

This is why some creatures are similar (it's not been long since their families were one family) and why some different creatures end up doing the same thing (they've both been selected from having the right advantages to do that thing).

Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. This means that it is a set of rules that are based on observed evidence and makes testable predictions that have been confirmed experimentally.

Creationism is not a scientific theory because you can't test it.

(Actually, Creationism's basic tenet that all life was created in the first six days of the world IS testable in the sense that the appearance of any new species ought to be impossible… except there are SO MANY species that it's difficult to PROVE that.)

Anyway, more importantly (if you are a CRAZED THEOCRAT) Evolution gets taught in SCHOOLS in the science class and Creationism doesn't.

This is true even in America thanks to their Constitution wisely having a SEPARATION of CHURCH AND STATE written into it. (And alarmingly it is not always true HERE where there's nothing to stop Lord Blairimort's bonkers, nutty friend Mr Vardey teaching creationism alongside the national curriculum in his city McAcademies!)

This, however, is a bit of a THREAT to the Creationist way of thinking. What, they correctly realise, will happen if our kids start thinking for themselves. Why ANYTHING could happen!

So they campaign very hard to get evolution banned from being taught or to get biblical creationism taught alongside it or to insist on stupid stickers on textbooks saying "This is only a theory".

(As I have said before, you may try putting the Theory of Gravitation to similar test by jumping out of a window and shouting "this is only a theory… arrrgh splatt!")

And then they hit on a BRILLIANT NEW WHEEZE: Let us create a "Science" that gets creationism into the classroom by the back door. This they called "Intelligent Design".

The wheeze (it's not a theory) goes like this: if you find a watch in the desert it is such a complicated thing that your assumption is that it must have been made by someone and left there; it is certainly more likely than it having appeared spontaneously out of the movement of the sand and wind.

Similarly (THEY SAY) there are some parts of living things that are "too complicated" to have come about by random rearrangement of genes and proteins. So, in the same way, they would have you assume that living things (or at least the "too complicated" bits) must have been made by someone.

Of course, it's NONSENSE. If you find a watch in the desert you assume it's designed BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT A WATCH IS AND YOU KNOW THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED!

(And by "KNOW" I mean "have established as a fact based on observation and capable of being proved by reference to evidence" and NOT "a feeling you've got based on a story in an old book"!).

Almost every one of the things that the supporters of I.D. have come up with as "too complicated" or "irreducibly complex" as they call it, have in fact been explained by evolutionary science. Their big favourite used to be the eye and that was explained AGES AGO.

And it's STILL not a proper scientific theory because it STILL doesn't come up with testable predictions. It just gives them something new to whine on about.

So, anyway, for Mr Clongly's benefit: Intelligent Design's BASIC CLAIM is "this is a science" (hence: you must teach this in school).

So if you don't thinks it's a science YOU DON'T THINK IT'S TRUE.


(That's science talk for: Quick Elephant Demolition!)

And meanwhile, we have been very much enjoying Mr Stodge keeping us up to date with the latest mental loop-the-loops in I.D world!

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