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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

If Evolution Is a Matter of Natural History …

… then it makes sense to treat it in the same manner as history.

For example, the claim that the patterns we see in history are due to Intelligent Design makes sense in a purely-religious context but not elsewhere. There's nothing wrong with claiming that history is a matter of God's guidance in a sermon on Saturday/Sunday/whenever. On the other hand, claiming that there's secular evidence that history is due to someone's design (usually expressed as a conspiracy) makes the theorist look like a crackpot.

There's a possible counterargument. Human history is the sum of millions of small-scale intelligent designs. On the other hand, those designs have nothing to do with large-scale patterns. For example, no human being planned for the United States to start looking like a new version of the Roman Empire. (Those nations that were planned to be new Roman Empires failed at it.) The small-scale intelligent designs should be regarded as the equivalent of Darwinian microevolution, which most Creationists accept.

Meanwhile, the fact that somebody thinks God is guiding evolution does not mean he/she is an ignorant twit any more than somebody who thinks God is guiding history is a conspiracy theorist. Similarly, a scientist who disregards Intelligent Design is not necessarily any more anti-religious than a historian who disregards conspiracy theories.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kent said...

There's been a long debate on this over at Debunkers.org. I guess I'm in the school that believes God made it all, but cleverly and subtly enough that we are not going to be able to "out" Him.

4:47 PM  

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