The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The War on Irrationality – Part III

A small battle in the War on Irrationality was won this morning, when a US federal Judge ruled that Pennsylvania's Dover Area School District had violated the constitutional ban on teaching religion in public schools and cannot teach “intelligent design” (ID) as part of its science curriculum.

There is little question that the fight in favor of ID is an effort by the Religious Right to introduce religious teachings as part of public school science curricula. By substituting the word “intelligence” for “God,” the Religious Right advocates the biblical story of creation as science fact.

But a broader issue is at work here. Stated simply, the effort to introduce ID is an attack on science, an attempt to misinterpret a lack of perfect knowledge as a weakness in proven science.

Evolution is a factually-based scientific theory supported by thousands of detailed scientific studies. Yet, some inconsistencies and knowledge gaps continue to exist. That’s true of virtually all science, but it doesn’t mean that because we lack perfect knowledge, we substitute a “theory” that has no basis in science, no factual foundation, and is supported only by “belief.” If we were to travel that road, we’d transform science from a rational investigation of our world into an irrational morass.