Intelligent Design is the fighting of a battle between theology and science … on the battlefield of science. Where honest scholarship prevails, theology loses — not because it is less worthy, but because it is barking up the wrong tree. The question that must be asked eventually is why there is a battle at all. Science is assumed to be atheistic because it is not partial on the God issue. This is, of course, wrong. That would be like saying religion is all superstition, an ignorant stance some atheists make, usually because they are measuring it the same way some Christians are trying to — with science, instead of it’s own merits outside the realm of things science deals with. But is the drive for a “scientific” basis for a Creator really productive, or might it be an abandonment of home field advantage?
The Darwin Code
For example, let’s get one debate out of the way: The argument that genetic “code” had to have have been designed intentionally because code by definition requires a “coder” is a simple, semantic misunderstanding. DNA is a metaphorical “code” — a pattern, and hardly even a perfect one. And patterns form and change naturally according to known laws of nature everywhere we look. Given countless trial-and-error combinations over countless eons will produce what appears to be highly ordered phenomenon because only some combinations of circumstances can be sustained or self-sustaining, such as the ability to replicate and survive. Therefore, DNA is not proof of God, but Evolution in it’s most basic method — it is Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”, a principle realized by a man who lived in a world before electron microscopes and the discovery of the genetic chemistry and process we now take for granted.
That said, God hasn’t been given a bloody nose, only his believers who use a bad argument ABOUT God. We could go though books of other false facts and bad thinking, but let’s go to our more human reaction to creation. Is our appreciation of beauty a sign of God’s existence? My answer is ‘Yes’, in its own way. But is the existence of beauty a scientific or even rational argument? No, it has absolutely nothing to do with it, and that’s okay — except with Creationists (most recently re-branded as advocates of “Intelligent Design”). Beauty is misused as a serious argument as to the origin of creation, rather than a truth within itself, or ourselves rather — a meaningful perspective.
Does God Need Science So Badly?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve invariably found that people using Science to prove God not only don’t understand Science, they don’t understand God.
When we try to force scripture to be a science textbook, perhaps we are just harboring an unconscious belief that science is all or addresses everything. We are unintentionally admitting that our relationship and understanding of the world MUST be by Man’s methods of thinking — Science. Of course it isn’t our conscious intention, but that is the unintended result of theologians hijacking science to “prove” God, as if it needed to be done in the first place. This is reactionary at best.
Instead, I say give to Caesar (science in this case) what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.
Science and Theology CAN go hand in hand, but when they are mistaken for each other, we find ourselves fools. They are separate things entirely, approaching different matters of truth from different frameworks. God had no reason to give us a science lesson — that is not the point of scripture at all. And science has no business dealing with issues of salvation — it’s not the right tool, at all.
And yet we have modern, distinctly “American” Christianity with a litany of colleges and congregations full of people who twist scripture into something it’s not, and then twist science to fit it when it does not. Plainly they reveal their lack of knowledge in one, lack of faith in the other, and dishonesty in both. If anything, they idolize the Bible, ironically under the authority of science, not God.
Not Disproof Either
The debunking of “ID” arguemtns and falsified evidence is not a hole in Theology, because it isn’t theology at all, just bad science. Evolution has nothing to do with how beautiful we think things are. Evolution has tons of answers, just not about the same things as the Bible. Why would God waste his time explaining DNA, astrophysics, and geologic time to ancient people? Could they have comprehended nearly any of the things we do and see every day in our own time?
The problem is that when we hear today’s Creationists talking about science, they don’t have the slightest concept of Darwin’s theory, what it REALLY says, what it REALLY means, ignoring how it is easily demonstrated by genetics, husbandry, and denying the constant discovery of transitional fossils and lifeforms. They pretend it’s a whole bunch of straw-man things that are easy to discredit, “case closed”.
No, it isn’t that things like Darwinism and the Bible disagree — because they DON’T. It’s that we are not only ignorant of science, but being unwise about the message of scripture. We insist what we know pretty darn well of science is somehow an affront to our faith if it doesn’t line up exactly with our archaic or childish (mis)interpretation.
All this demand of science as proof is devoid of faith, which by it’s nature does not require proof. If it was not dependent on scientific validation in the past, why does it need to now? Has faith already lost the war for people’s lives, moving the battleground from heart to brain? It seems the very existence of Creationism, Creation Science, and now Intelligent Design shows a cowardly move in some God-fearing circles from solid faith to weak reason, trading angelic wings for broken feet of clay.