Monday, April 28, 2008

Intelligent Design In The Classroom?

Funny man and economics guru Ben Stein’s documentary, “EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed” has once again shined the limelight on intelligent design and if it should be allowed to be taught in the classroom.

Many supporters of the proposed new course believe that students should be made aware of different notions of how man came to be besides evolution. And one can almost see why there needs to be an alternative to evolution, since it has one glaring problem.

The problem with evolution, as well as its many supporters who claim there is scientific research to back it up and de-evolves intelligent design, is that many forget the real name of it: The Theory of Evolution. Yes, it is a theory.

No human, to my knowledge anyway, hanged around the Earth for 4.6 billion years and actually witnessed an ape turn into a man. (Of course, if one is truly interested in researching de-evolution, one only has to go to a local college frat house on a Saturday night to see a group of young males quickly turn into a bunch of drunken monkeys.)

What we have are educated guesses, but that’s all they are. We have no idea how humans came to be and we don’t know how the Earth was formed or even if there was really a big bang. (And let’s not forget that popular “event’s” name folks: the Big Bang Theory.)

Many scientists have a limited understanding of how the universe works, but they hold that understanding as the absolute truth. I always get a chuckle when I read a story about how a group of scientists found a new solar system and what they really have are radio pictures, not actual pictures, of a couple of dots. Or better yet, they see some swirling dust in space and they get so excited to tell us that it’s really a group of planets that are forming that they are nearly wetting themselves.

But no one knows what that dust cloud is. Unless there is a trillion-year-old scientist who has studied and actually saw some dust form into planets, I just can’t get excited over something that I normally use my vacuum cleaner to get rid of. And I actual love astronomy too!

But let’s be grateful that these scientists’ observational skills aren’t put into practice in journalism. For example, if I saw Mr. Jones walking over to Mrs. Smith’s house after her husband left for work and Mr. Jones didn’t come out of the house all day, then I would write a story (without speaking to either Mr. Jones or Mrs. Smith) about a steamy affair between the two of them. If I did that, I would have been fired and for all I know, Mrs. Smith hacked up and cooked Mr. Jones’ body for dinner that night for her husband.

Many at this point are incorrectly thinking that I’m in favor of intelligent design to be taught in the classroom. Sure, I personally believe in intelligent design and in God, but it’s not because of the Bible, which should probably send many born-again Christians either condemning me to Hades or running for the hills.

No, I believe in God because of people with unusual situations. Such as near-death experiences, where a man has briefly died on an operating table and finds himself floating in the air and watching in shock as his doctor is calling for the time of death, only to return to the land of the living and tell his astonishing tale to awestruck medical staff.

Yes, I know how that sounds and many are writing me off as some type of loon, but let’s keep this in perspective: One half of you believe in an all-seeing god who created Earth and the other half of you believe that humans came from apes with no solid evidence.

Now, does this mean I want my little belief in God taught to my son when he goes into the first grade next year? No. I don’t think intelligent design should be forcibly taught in public school, unless there is a course on the study of religions. But to actually teach this as a type of science course contradicts what God is supposed to be about: Faith.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the purpose of Sunday School to teach children about God, how He created us and Earth and what His plans are for us?

Do I think evolution and the big bang should be taught in public schools? Sure I do, as long as people remember to put in place that very important word: Theory.

I think other alternative theories based on science should be accepted. In fact, there are a lot of unknowns out there that scientists don’t even bother to study because they think it’s beneath them. And these aren’t true scientists. True scientists have their minds open and explore and search for the truth. If they can’t find it, then they offer different theories so we knuckle-dragging nitwits can have a good variety to choose from and expand our minds; not limiting them to a few popular theories.

Listen, the truth is most of us really don’t have any idea how we got here. For all we know, God could have told some space aliens to use their evolution ray on a group of monkeys. And personally, that’s one of my favorite theories because it takes a funny and critical shot at a lot of those self-righteous supporters of the theory of evolution and intelligent design.