Monday, August 08, 2005

Wading Back Into the Primordial Swamp.....

If you want to guarantee an argument in the blogosphere, especially in the gay blogosphere, the best thing to do is to bring up the subject of evolution vs. creationism. However, what it also does is bring up the dark, scary underbelly of how science, and especially science as applied by many gays, has turned into some sort of intolerant religion even worse than the ones they use it against.

To whit, this morning's commentary by Blog Neutral Michael of Gay Orbit, discussing the opening of a museum devoted to the creationist viewpoint features some very interesting commentary and comments.

Got that? Museums are now about beliefs - not fact. Sad. It’s little wonder that the vast majority of people who study math and science in U.S. colleges and universities are not U.S. citizens. Not surprising at all - especially when you’ve got a president who endorses this crap. Yup. Eve didn’t get thrown out of the Garden of Eden. She was flown out on Air Pteranodon.

Earth to Michael.....unless you know something I don't, all of your museums devoted to evolution as the only means by which life came about are based on beliefs -- not on fact.

You see, in order for something to be a "fact", it has to be observable and repeatable. If you let go of your laptop, it will always go crashing to the floor. That's the basis of the theory of gravity. Even if you were up in orbit and dropped it, gravity would still send it falling pell-mell towards the floor; the only difference is that, since the floor is falling at the same rate as is the laptop, if conditions stay the same, the floor will always be one step ahead of the laptop.

Now, evolution, as strictly applied, is a fact. Over time, the rates at which certain traits are expressed in populations tend to change, genetically and physically, in response to environmental and other pressures. If I relentlessly breed fruit flies in a controlled environment, I can bring about changes in their gene combinations and their physical appearance.

However, the problem is this. Unless I use methods other than standard reproduction, i.e. that which would be found in nature, I have yet to be able to turn fruit flies genetically or physically into bats. I have yet to turn bacteria into protozoa. I have yet to turn a series of organic compounds into a bacterium.

Thus, since I have been able to do none of those things without severe artificial enhancement (or some even WITH severe artificial enhancement), I can only say this.....arguing that evolution is the only means by which life came about looks a lot more like a belief and a lot less like a fact.

As long as you put appropriate limitations on each, neither evolution or creationism disproves the other. The extremes of both -- namely, saying that evolution is the only way or that creation is fixed -- are indeed completely incompatible, but when you sit in the pleasant middle, you can see how they BOTH could be true.

In short, what's to say God didn't just set things in motion from a starting point? As I've blogged before, the fact that I was educated almost completely in religious-oriented institutions hardly precluded my being taught both, as well as their respective strong and weak points. It also didn't seem to impair me one bit when later on I went to a thoroughly-secular setting -- indeed, it made me more apt to question, probe, and try to understand both.

Really, the issue here is two sides that are so vehemently opposed to each other that they are beyond reason -- and their attempt to influence the middle to eliminate the other side. The Left's goal in this is the complete elimination of God as a viable concept, and the Right's goal is the complete imposition of God (as they define Him) as the ONLY concept.

Personally, I have no problem with acknowledging both science and God. The fact that the world tends to run in an orderly, scientific fashion does not preclude God from intervening or doing as He chooses; at the same time, the fact that God is the wildcard in the universe doesn't mean that science is a completely invalid concept. By the very definition of His being God, God is beyond human comprehension; therefore, since science is only what humans can comprehend, the concept of God is beyond science.

What I would suggest that my gay brothers and sisters do is to examine why it is so important to them that science reign supreme over God. My feeling is that this has more to do with knee-jerk opposition to religious fundamentalism than it does to their particular feelings or introspections on the matter. Questioning evolution, while it is a hallmark of religious fundamentalism, does not necessarily make one a religious fundamentalist.

Really, I thought John Pike's (of the blog Pike Speak) comment was the most relevant here.

this is sad beyond belief…AND THEY ARE SURGEONS!!! They must fall in that <1% of hard-scientists that reject Darwin.

Would you want them as your doctor?

Let's put it this way. These people were smart enough to get through high school, university, medical school, residency, AND their board certifications to become not just physicians, but surgeons. If believing wholeheartedly in evolution was a necessity to be able to learn scientific concepts and practice medicine well enough to do all of those, you'd think at least ONE of those levels would have caught them by now. One wonders if the people screaming about how, since these folks don't believe wholeheartedly in evolution, they can't be good doctors, regardless of the fact that they obviously are more than qualified in every other respect to practice, follow the reverse -- that, as long as someone believes in evolution, they can be as qualified as Dr. Nick Rivera on "The Simpsons" and still be a good doctor.

Really, I think anyone who tries to ban creationism or intelligent design from being taught is just as ignorant as someone who tries to ban evolution. I also was rather impressed that the President took the time to say that teaching both was a good idea. However, this is a life-or-death struggle for the loony Left and the radical Right, and in the process, they're making a LOT of people ignorant.

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