I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should see this new Ben Stein movie “expelled.” Ben Stein describes the movie as saying that evolution is most definitely true, only that still no one knows how the entire thing got started. Still, many reviews online describe the movie as “Creationist propaganda.” I’m a Christian, but I want to know what I belief and know how to phrase it rationally, so I’m not that into the idea of being fed false arguments or “propaganda.” The problem is that many other reviews say that it’s true and that “big science” is just hating on the people who disagree with everything that’s come up in light of the subject in recent years.
For me, I hate the entire debate, because (as with many other debates) I think that the issue at stake really isn’t about Evolution or about God, it’s about science and the limits of science. Here’s an example, science can tell us all the components that make up chicken soup, and all the ways in which these components are created and prepared. However, science cannot tell us how chicken soup tastes. Isn’t this strange? We look at all the complicated components of the chicken, or the water in the broth, or the salt or the vegetables, but then something so basic and simple such as taste we can only perceive, we can’t describe with formulas or equations.
Some condescending Atheist once remarked “I think it’s strange how there are all these descriptions of miracles and monsters are in the Bible, but we’re never noticing them today.” Never noticing them today? What do you call UFO’s and alien abductions and ghosts and Marian apparitions and miraculous healings and bigfoots and yetis and exorcisms and other “paranormal activity?” The exact same strange, inexplicable phenomena happen now the way they always have, the only difference is that we often throw the cover of science over this “paranormal activity” to validate it. We can’t make an honest case for anything now unless we have scientific reasoning for it, and it irritates me because some of these things are not scientific questions. Honestly reader, can you imagine a day in which we find conclusive scientific proof of ghosts? Of course not, but can you imagine a day in which inexplicable ghost sitings aren’t going to occur? I know I can’t! These things aren’t scientific because they aren’t SUPPOSED to be scientific, and in fact, whether or not they’re “real” ends up making very little difference. I believe it was Carl Sagan who, when asked about the origin of the Universe, remarked that the universe was “just one of those things.” While I think this is a cop-out explanation for why we’re here, I think it does apply to things like “paranormal activity,” it’s just there. What’s the point of worrying about it?
So we can see that creating science where science shouldn’t be isn’t a good thing, I feel that’s what the real problem with Intelligent Design is. There are problems with the theory of evolution, especially with newer ideas such as “Evolution of Psychology,” which I must admit, does seem pretty flakey to me. However, despite the gaps in evolution, it’s coherent, and it makes sense. Please stop saying it’s only a theory because it’s the “theory of Evolution,” because in science “theory” means a hypothesis that is past the hypothesis stage and is now accepted as an explanation, just under further study. Evolution is true, and it’s a fool’s dream to think it’s not. However, as I said, there are gaps in the theory, and newer ideas such as “Evolution of Psychology” do not seem (in my own, humble opinion) as coherent as good ol’ biological evolution. Evolution is what should be taught as science in biology courses in high school, and it should be taught without having to undergo any admissions of gaps in the theory making reference to God.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with intelligent design. I know that there are certainly aspects of it that I believe, often aspects that relate to gaps I see in evolution. Intelligent deign is perfectly good, it just isn’t scientific, because how can you test it? There’s no way to experiment with intelligent design, it’s really just a roadblock in the scientific sense. This is what I was talking about before with the whole “paranormal activity” thing, we’re so desperate to now validate everything as some sort of science. What’s the point? Most people believe in some sort of intelligent design, if they don’t believe that the universe was created in some sort of multiverse complex or that something can come out of nothing. However, there are gaps in evolution, and there is the question of what “got the ball rolling” in terms of the universe, life, and our own morality and all the other stuff we often take for granted. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing an evolutionary view with a little bit of intelligent design, it’s just important to remember that ID isn’t science, and it shouldn’t be taught as if it were science. I’m a devoted Christian, but even I would be confused if in Biology class some teacher had said “well, usually this happens, but sometimes the Holy Spirit comes along and…” There’s nothing wrong with intelligent design, we should just admit that it’s not scientific. It’s the focus and admission on what we don’t know, while science is the focus and admission on what we do know. How confusing would it be in a Biology class to only talk about all the things that we didn’t understand? That’s not very productive, don’t you think?
As for “expelled,” I guess I’m going to go see it, but I wish both sides would just drop this politicized stupid issue. All the biology textbooks in the world isn’t going to get rid of what truly religious people feel to be true, and all the extra trappings that we can put on religion isn’t going to make it look like science. The two fields are different, and ask different questions, and I wish that people would be more willing to admit that. I consider myself a sincere person, so I just find it frustrating when I’m really trying to figure out what I believe, and it’s being complicated by various parties with their own agendas. In any case, I hope “expelled” won’t turn out to be “Creationist propaganda.” It will be another one of those things making our cause to spread hope and peace yet more difficult.