Cuddihy's Cut

Cuddihy's Cut on the events of the day....


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

ID Debate boucing around the Blogosphere

It looks like the Tsunami, along with calling God into question for some simple souls like the Archbishop of Canterbury, has spawned a monster Intelligent Design debate. The best discussion is over at Rand Simberg's blog, but lots of others have weighed in. Rand's obviously thought about this a lot more than I have, and despite the fact that I'm a very committed Catholic, I don't disagree with a single point he makes about the ID 'debate,' especially this:
The problem with creation theories is not that they're inconsistent with the evidence--they are totally consistent, tautologically so, as Eugene [Volokh] says. The problem is that they tell us nothing useful from a scientific standpoint. In fact, there are an infinite number of theories that fit any given set of facts. I can speculate not only that all was created, but that it was created (complete with our memories of it) a minute ago, or two minutes ago. Or an hour ago. Or yesterday. Or the day before. Or, as some would have it, 6000+ years ago. Each is a different theory (though they all fall into a class of theories) that fit the observable facts. They are all equally possible, and all (other than some form of naturalistic evolution) untestable.


As a Catholic I've always been curious just what exactly the thought process is behind fundamentalist philosophies to explain why a God who created the world in seven days and seven nights would leave around so much evidence that it took..well, rather longer. Did the Devil come along after the fall and go around salting Mongolia with dinosaur skeletons and the Galapagos with evolutionary oddballs? Did Jesus do it? Maybe it was the angel Moroni, fresh from telling Joseph Smith that one woman really wasn't enough, and still a little miffed that Joe had saddled him with a name that looks like the second declension plural of 'moron.' So he put evidence of evolution in there just to bedevil the doubters. It's a test, you see:

UPDATE: ok, I just spent about 40 min looking for some coherent reasoning from a solid creationist source for why so much evidence exists that contradicts the '6000 yr old earth' theory. I'm looking for a substantial counterargument. There is none. Apparently, creationists do not deal with the existence of evidence as a whole--that would be ceding the point I guess. Instead they offer lots and lots of internally inconsistent reasons to doubt specific pieces of evidence, ranging from the scientific bonafides of geologists and physicists to the sinister motives of a secret cabal of paleontologists that have been passing off artisitic fakes as dinosaurs, undiscovered for over 150 years. hmm. I've given up on finding a creationist who at least admits the existence of contradictory evidence and deals with it rationally. Even 'the devil did it to make people doubt the existence of God' would at least be rational.

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