"Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial"
I like the term "Cdesign proponentsists"
As I watched Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial I couldn't help but think about all the times creationism (also known as Intelligent Design) has made its appearances throughout history... It seems when groups of people who aren't exposed to science or when there have been times in our history when we don't yet have the proper tests to prove or negate a theory some of us resort to invoking a divine entity or calling something "intelligently designed" when it appears complex. Maybe it's a failure of imagination or just a simple lack of awareness of the underlying principals of how things work which leads to a "design" argument.
At one time we believed the Earth was flat. At one time the Earth was the center of the universe. Aristotle had very convincing arguments stating the heavens moved around the Earth. The orbits of planets was believed to be circular. All heavenly bodies were attached to 56 concentric spheres, made of crystal. The Sun was the center of the universe. Copernicus suggested the Earth rotated, this idea didn't come out until he was about to die in fear of how crazy it sounded. The Catholic Church was going to torture Galileo if he kept up the nonsense about the Earth moving and not the Sun. Even Newton thought that the hand of God helped keep the planets moving around so regularly. Later (even today), some say the Earth is 6,000 years old. The Earth is few thousand million years old. If you ignore the facts, the rigorous worldwide carbon dating and testing numerous independent scientists have confirmed and choose to believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old, it's probably also hard for you to accept that although things are complex now, they started out simple. Over millions and millions of years some organisms thrived. The ones that thrived had traits better suited for their environment. These organisms reproduced more - and after many, many generations small changes become very ordered and seem "designed." Darwin called this "natural selection" and it doesn't need a designer to exist. Each time something needed "divine intervention" to explain it, but eventually it turned out that we just didn't yet understand what was actually happening. The latest case in Dover wasn't surprising and I suspect we'll see more examples in our lifetimes, hopefully less.
I suppose what disappointed me the most was that when the advocates of Intelligent Design during the trial said that the book "Of Pandas and People" had nothing to do with creationism, they lied; it turned out the original drafts were all about Creationism. After the drafts were subpoenaed (thousand of pages) it was discovered that a simple search and replace was used to change the text from creationism wording to something, well, less creationism sounding. It was changed because the Supreme Court in 1987 ruled it was unconstitutional to teach creationism in public schools. When I say "search and replace" I really mean they found examples of where the words didn't exactly get changed enough. You can see it here...
Wherever the word "creationists" appeared it was replaced with "cdesign proponentsists" - that's merely creationists without the "reation" and with "design" and "proponents" replaced in.
If you're interested, read the pages and pages of the decision the judge said--
"The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism"
"The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."
"Throughout the trial and in various submissions to the Court, Defendants vigorously argue that the reading of the statement is not "teaching" ID but instead is merely "making students aware of it." In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members' testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree."
"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy. With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."
I don't think we'll see the end of Intelligent Design, but it's encouraging to see our laws are being upheld despite repeated trickery. All of this doesn't mean science will answer every question, looking in to the sky on a clear night contemplating the millions of galaxies with the millions of stars or marveling at the structure of DNA brings an enormous amount of joy to me, we've accomplished so much in such little time as a species, understanding and testing ourselves along the way -- I'm excited about what the next discovery will be and hope more people find these types of things as compelling as many of us do.