Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Evolution of Gravity and Other Myths

Holes in the logic of Chicago's Field Museum President, John McCarter, are apparently evident to most Americans according to a recent Zogby poll. I'm suspicious of most polls because of their misuse by the old mainstream media. The Zogby sample used here is smaller than I'd like to see, but they strive to put together a poll base that produces accurate results by testing the accuracy of the polls during political elections. Nevertheless, John McCarter made some logically inaccurate statements recently. The article is short and I'll republish it here:

Chicago's Field Museum chief says teaching "intelligent design" in science classes threatens America's position as a technological leader.

"Everything in science is based now on evolution," said museum President John McCarter. "If these kids don't get that in middle school and high school, we're going to lose a whole generation of scientific inquiry and minds." He spoke during a preview of the museum's $17 million evolution exhibit "Evolving Planet," the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

McCarter blamed the intelligent design movement on conservative Christian Bible literalists. He said the Bible's account of creation should be celebrated as "great stories, rather than demanding we impose those ideas on scientific research in the 21st century."

Intelligent design theorizes that since life is so complex, it must have been designed by a higher intelligence and not the result of natural selection.

McCarter praised the evangelical Christian movement as "a wonderful force for faith and behavior," the Sun-Times reported.

"But there is another dimension to it and it's this literal interpretation of the Bible," he added. "We have to say those are stories done at that time by people trying to understand the complexity of the world."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Do you see the holes?

First, everything in science is not based on evolution. Last time I checked, the law of gravity didn't have any basis in the theory of evolution. It certainly didn't evolve from some less complex law. If it did, then physicists would have to change the way they think about the formation of the universe. If there were only some primordial law of physics from which the many laws we know today evolved, then what shall we say caused the formation of suns, galaxies, planetary bodies, nebulae, etc. No. Of course I'm being ridiculous, but only because John McCarter's statement is.

Second, if kids have to blindly accept evolution, how will that foster scientific inquiry? If video games and television doesn't turn their minds to mush, not being able to scientifically question the veracity of evolution will.

Third, he expects theology to stay out of the laboratory when he complains that the ideas in the Bible should not be imposed on scientific research. Yet he would impose his naturalistic philosophy on scientific research. Scientific research needs to have a basis in understanding. What he is concerned with is that his understanding should be the basis and he is worried that the Creator would be held as the basis for scientific research by wild-eyed Bible-thumping idiots. The Creator having some bearing on an understanding of the created? Is it really a stretch? He did add that Christianity is a "wonderful force for faith and behavior," but holds that the informational authority (the Bible) of Christianity isn't true. I suppose he believes that good behavior is contingent on the amount of lies one can believe with a straight face.

If that's the case, he should be well-behaved indeed.


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