Thursday, September 22, 2005

Getting the IDea

The Intelligent Design issue bubbles away in the media. The columnists are having a field day.As well they should, since the Federal Education Minister said that, if parents and schools wanted the option of teaching it, then they should teach it. If that is scarey, the real worry is that Australians in general simply are not taking ID seriously. Well, except the Creationists who are loving it, I imagine.
Stephen Matchett wrote a lovely Wry Side column in The Australian today. Sadly, the column is not online and I can't link to it, so I quote a few very pithy pars:

Cynics suggest the man responsible for reforming Australia's university system would not recognise an intelligent design of anything without a flashing neon sign. But what can you expect from cynics?
So, if intelligent design is the popular choice, perhaps we should just get used to it.
Because as smart politicians such as Nelson (who was obviously away the day they did scientific method at medical school) seem to have sussed out, there may be an angle in the argument against evolution. If we are all subjects in some cosmic Sims scenario, then it is hard to blame politicians for anything.
Of course intelligent design advocates may not like the downside to their idea, that whoever is doing the programming is clumsy or cruel.
Biologists have all sorts of explanations that do not involve an active designer as to why so many human functions, from pregnancy to prostate problems, can be so uncomfortable.
But if there is an element of intent in either, somebody needs to explain to the designer that suffering is a program problem, not a plus.
And why stop at biology: petrol up, shares down, hurricanes headed your way?
Sorry, nothing to be done, it's all down to the designer.
It will be so much easier for educators if instead of having to explain the laws of economics or meteorology, all they have to do is attribute everything to ID. And there is the problem: perhaps the explanation is that we are all part of a cosmic computer game, an unimaginably vast version of The Sims. But one being played by a bonobo.

Then there is Paul Rudnick in New Yorker with his 7 days of ID creation. It begins:

Day No. 1:

And the Lord God said, “Let there be light,” and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, “Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?”

“I’m loving that,” said Buddha. “It’s new.”

“You should design a restaurant,” added Allah.

It is lovely that everyone is laughing - but perchance it is like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns.

No comments: