In 2006, Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, added her voice to prominent politicians demanding that schools teach intelligent design along with evolution so that students can learn about both sides of the “controversy” and decide between the two.
In response to the topic, former president George W. Bush said, “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. … You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”
When asked about intelligent design, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney replied, “I’m not exactly sure what is meant by intelligent design. But I believe God is intelligent and I believe he designed the creation. And I believe he used the process of evolution to create the human body.”
Die-hard Darwinists, on the other hand, have suggested that intelligent design is a thinly-disguised attempt to give scientific respectability to creationism, which has been used to support the literal truth of the story of Genesis.
The theory of intelligent design states that the complexity of life on Earth could not happen by chance or, as Charles Darwin suggested, by natural selection. Instead, it was manufactured by an almighty super intelligence: God.
The core of the argument is that intelligent design is a legitimate alternative to the theory of evolution, which has been unfairly dismissed by Darwinists as being unscientific. This claim ignores the difference between a hypothesis, an explanation of how something came about, and a theory, which is supported by evidence, can meet certain levels of proof, and is capable of being disproved. Evolution meets all these criteria and has over 150 years of evidence behind it, all published in reputable scientific journals. Intelligent design, however, lacks such qualifications as a theory in its short lifespan of not quite fifteen years. It remains a largely unproven, and possibly unprovable, hypothesis.
Rather than burdening the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals with proofs to support intelligent design, its proponents’ main weapon is a DVD presentation called Unlocking the Mystery of Life, or, in a more conversational mode, “I was a Teenage Darwinist.” The video adeptly puts the nails in the evolutionists’ coffin.
As a result, this gave me cause to reconsider and to treat intelligent design with more respect. So, I decided to put aside my scientific nitpicking and run with this hypothesis.
First, I looked around me at the exquisite complexity of nature. If its wonders were engineered, then it was done with imagination and flair, if not sometimes with a sense of humor. By way of analogy, I looked around at how earthbound designers go about their work in order to gain insight into how a more ethereal designer may have gone about His or Her task. I can’t pretend that I have a good understanding of the finer points of fashion created by Gucci, Coco Chanel or Christian Dior, other than to note that they are all quite different from one another.
Then it hit me. I could add my own contribution to the intelligent design hypothesis: There is not one celestial architect, but many, each with a unique style and motif. One had a fondness for green and did His or Her best work in the plant kingdom. We can thank another designer who was into soft fur and large liquid eyes for lamas, pandas and seals. Some very fine, if not a tad fussy, work was done by another creator on ladybugs, butterflies and hummingbirds. I could see that this new hypothesis would have my previous friends, the scientific fundamentalists, in a lather. How could they, however, prove me wrong?
Next, I wondered who these inventors might be, something that would undoubtedly be part of the new syllabus of intelligent design. Who ever heard of studying Pride and Prejudice without also knowing something about Jane Austen?
Unfortunately, this meant bad news for adherents of the major monotheist religions. If there is more than one architect, then support for the story of Genesis would be scientifically untenable. That really leaves us with two options. Either the designers of all living things are a team of extraterrestrials or, as the ancients celebrated in their legends, a veritable pantheon of gods and goddesses.
So let’s agree with Palin and include it in the school curriculum. In addition, let’s combine it with some new subjects, also built on some related and equally credible scientific hypothesizes: “Paganism” and “Creatures from Outer Space”.