Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Annie Gottlieb has designed a cute little fish symbol for proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) and displays it on her blog (scroll down to find it on the right). While she doesn't take a position on the subject, she also offers interesting commentary in the debate about ID.

Most biologists have concluded that proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) are anti-evolutionists as reported by Natural History Magazine:

Most biologists have concluded that the proponents of intelligent design display either ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of evolutionary science. Yet their proposals are getting a hearing in some political and educational circles and are currently the subject of a debate within the Ohio Board of Education.

A PBS series concluded:

A concept known as "intelligent design" (ID) has been used as an argument against Darwinism from the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 right up to the present day. Quite simply, ID states that living organisms must be the product of careful and conscious design, so perfectly formed that they cannot be explained by the random workings of evolution alone. Modern ID theorists contend that this is a new and novel scientific alternative to evolution.

ID, however, has been rejected by the modern scientific community for the same reasons that it failed in the 19th century. When closely examined, the living world is filled with evidence that complex organisms not only could have evolved through evolution's trial-and-error mechanism, but must have done so, because their structure, their physiology, and even their genetic makeup are all inconsistent with the demands of intelligent design.

I think it's safe to conclude that proponents on ID have a political agenda and if their theories are accepted in the science curriculum of schools, Zecharia Sitchin's theories of Intelligent Design should also be taught. Sitchin's study of ancient Sumeria led him to conclude that our planet was occupied by ancient astronauts who arrived here to extract minerals from our planet. These miners needed slaves so they genetically engineered our ancestors from primates. Thus these astronauts were literally our creators giving rise to our worship of a God who resides somewhere up there in heaven. Sitchin is delighted with the debate about ID, but Bible literalists will not like his theories:

... the famed independent Sumerologist and writer on ancient Mesopotamian mythology, whose 6+ volumes of the Earth Chronicles have revealed an astonishing interpretation of the ancient myths; the "gods" or Anunaki of the Sumerians were extremely long-lived extra-terrestrial humanoids, who colonized Earth from their planet Nibiru, and genetically engineered an Anunaki-primate hybrid, to be worker slaves; we humans are the descendants of these hybrids, still dealing with the fateful consequences of this mixed ancestry in our genes...

Sitchin says Intelligent Design and Evolution are not mutually exclusive:

As my readers know, what I have said in my books went beyond the common origin of Life (=DNA) on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. I showed that according to the Sumerian texts (on which the biblical account of Genesis was based), Evolution took its course both on Nibiru and on Earth. Beginning much earlier on Nibiru, it produced the advanced Anunnaki on Nibiru but only early hominids on Earth when the Anunnaki had come here some 450,000 years ago. Then, I wrote, the Anunnaki engaged in genetic engineering to upgrade the hominids to Homo sapiens (to be in their likeness and after their image, as the Bible says).

Then he quotes a Times article dated April 2001:

Adherents of intelligent design carefully shun any mention of God in their proposals. They simply argue that humans, animals and plants are far too diverse and complex to be explained by evolution and natural selection, so there must have been an intelligent designer behind it all. Whether that designer is God, AN ADVANCED CIVILIZATION FROM ANOTHER WORLD, or some other creative force, is not specified.

My conclusion is: When we stop teaching science to our children, we can all echo Preznit Chimpy's question, "Is our children learning?"