"Darwin said nothing about how life originated."
Who wants to have some fun today? The above quote is from Ben Stein during his appearance on the Glenn Beck show back in 2007. Stein, famous for his classroom-cameo monotones (and speeches for Nixon), released a film in February called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The "documentary" argues for the inclusion of "Intelligent Design" discussions in the public realm, particularly in the classroom.
Although I’ve yet to see the film, Stein’s primary objective seems to be questioning Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Stein suggests that since it hasn’t yet explained the origins of existence, Intelligent Design should be entertained as an alternate hypothesis.
Nothing seems to illicit as much bitter back-and-forth as Creationism vs. Evolution, but no one ever talks about how fundamentally STUPID and INEFFECTIVE the entire dispute is. In fact, actual debate between these two worlds is simply impossible. Supposition and science are totally different things.
Now, I’m not an expert. But from my understanding, a theory is an argument that can be falsified through processes of experimentation. In some cases, a theory becomes law, such as the Law of Gravity. Intelligent Design is a claim stating supernatural power(s) deliberately created all Life. It is not a theory, since it can neither be proved or disproved. It’s merely somebody’s assertion.
Of course, some in the scientific community posit that Existence is the result of a Big Bang, Cosmic Egg, or Electrical Bolt to the Mud Puddle, but these are only guesses. Frankly, this is all anyone can do. Yet there are key differences between empiricism and assumption. Intelligent Design is a conjectural activity with a supernatural worship agenda. Evolution is a theory regarding an ongoing process of adaptation and survival. Evolution utilizes a different critical framework than Creationism, rendering debate between the two futile.
Stein is troubled that Darwin didn’t answer how life began or how cells came to be, and his counter-proposal is Intelligent Design. On a recent Bill O’Reilly segment, Stein claimed that supporters of ID are failing to be heard. Hey Stein, guess what? Since at least the days of Thales, every fucking thinker has been discussing and speculating about the supernatural or natural origins of life. The mythological arguments have been made and are certainly well known. They continue to be claims and guesses; that’s all they will ever be.
To be fair, Stein is mostly concerned with modern frames of discourse. Scientists and other professionals do run a risk of harassment if they voice religious beliefs. Freedom of speech still stands, but pointing out the possibility of God or Tiamut is frowned upon in the scientific community, mostly because it’s irrelevant to their work. The aim of experimentation and research is to achieve results, and simply saying the world may have been created is unnecessary.
I’ve said it before: if Intelligent Design wants a place in the classroom the teachers better be prepared to address every single Creation Story known on this planet, as they are all equally possible and impossible. You say Jehovah, I say Uranus.
O’Reilly asks: "Why can’t you just mention in Biology class, or whatever class you want, that there are theologians who believe a higher power was responsible for first life?"
Most children do, in fact, know there are theologians who believe in higher powers. Hell, even Secular Progressives are aware of the concept. If you are wondering why public schools don’t educate on supernatural primogenitors, it’s because we have churches for that. So if you want spoon-fed answers to the unanswerable, you’ve got a place to go, and plenty of flavors to choose from.
I’ve heard it suggested that Stein is only in this racket for the money. By rallying for controversial Creationism, Stein is guaranteed attention, publicity and a fatter wallet. Now that’s a decent theory.