The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Cast the First Stone

The only intelligent aspect of “intelligent design” is the marketing campaign driving it into the science classrooms of America.

Last Tuesday in Kansas, the Board of Education voted 6 to 4 to approve new science standards that will expand the definition of science beyond natural explanations, (yes, including supernatural explanations) and incorporate criticisms of evolution into the state curriculum.

The now accepted designation of intelligent design as a science, a part of science, or an alternative to science, is a scheme and a blatant and timely lie that is riding on the coattails of an uber-conservative, right wing Christian movement.

Aren’t theologies considered to be supernatural explanations?

On the other hand, intelligent design is the assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things result from “an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection,” according to the Discovery Institute, a public policy think tank that supports and promotes intelligent design.

Supporters argue that any phenomenon or feature of life that cannot be fully explained by conventional science is evidence of supernatural intervention. They claim that intelligent design stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life and the origin of the universe.

Sounds like theology to me.

Citizens of Dover, Pa. offered the country a bit of hope this past Election Day when they voted out eight school board members, who in Oct. 2004 required students in their district to hear a prepared statement about intelligent design before learning about evolution.

In response to their votes, Pat Robertson, the American Christian televangelist who in 1993 said “There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore,” offered a similarly ridiculous statement to the residents of Dover.

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city,” said Robertson as quoted by CNN.com. “And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because He might not be there."

I can understand battles over pornography, obscenity, abortion, school prayer, and taxation of private Christian schools, but to inject a religiously based theory into the science classroom, and then to chastise people for not accepting it is abhorrent.

Also, in response to opponents of intelligent design, Pastor Ray Mummert of Dover, Pa., was quoted in Esquire Magazine as saying, “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”

As students of St. John’s University this should be of particular importance to us, the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.

First the word “liberal” was vilified to mean weak and immoral. Now the intelligent and educated are the enemies of this city on a hill.

I am a Catholic and a man that believes in the presence of God in all aspects of life.

I believe that much of reality is unknown to humanity and that science cannot explain everything.

I also have full knowledge that this is my religion and not something that everyone in this country accepts and shares.

I cannot prove the existence of God even with all the wonders that are apparent in this world. That is where my faith steps in and it is also where the faith of proponents of intelligent design should be.

Teach the bible, teach intelligent design, but do not downplay a time-tested theory with a tremendous amount of empirical evidence behind it simply because you think it pushes God out of creation.

In my freshman year of high school, I asked a member of a Catholic order, Brother Benjamin Knapp S.M., a man who has devoted his life to God, and a science teacher, about how a Catholic can accept science while keeping their faith.

He responded by saying that there was nothing within the theory of evolution attacking or disproving the existence of God.

Darwin established a means by which creation can create itself, in effect evolve. The theory was never forced to ask what type of God could create pain, suffering and disease.

This is the nature of science, to explain things with empirical evidence. The rest is up to religion.

Intelligent design should go home and mind its own business.

 

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