Creationism/Intelligent Design is an example of a pseudo-scientific way of thinking for people who are unable, because of what they have come to believe is the truth, to accept a different and actually provable truth. It is pseudo-scientific because it pretends to be a scientific theory in competition with Darwinian evolutionary theory, however, unlike Darwin’s theory, originally set out in “On the Origin of Species Through Natural Selection”, which has been confirmed by science using evidence-based tests, Intelligent Design has no scientific basis, and cannot be tested. This means it cannot be classed as an alternative scientific theory.
The term ‘theory’ needs a few words of explanation, and I will quote Douglas J. Futuyma here:
“A few words need to be said about the “theory of evolution,” which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, “theory” often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, “theory” means “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors–the historical reality of evolution–is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved “facthood” as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century.”
Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15
Currently religions are saying, “We accept that the Earth goes round the sun, and we know that germs cause disease, but we can’t accept that the Earth is billions of years old, and that man has been on this planet for over a million years. And we can’t accept the relationships that scientists have established between different species through their common genes, because we know how we got here, and the Bible lists all the generations of man to the birth of Jesus.”
Difficult though it is for some people to accept, evolution is fact, and as active today as it has always been. The flu virus evolves so fast that we can scarcely develop vaccines fast enough to keep up. Such mutation is at the core of evolution. Antibiotic resistant bacteria become resistant through evolution. Birds in isolated communities develop beaks suitable for changing food supplies in surprisingly few generations. Rats grow larger and have bigger offspring in areas where food is plentiful, and become smaller and have smaller offspring where it is scarce. Women in areas of plenty give birth to bigger children who grow taller – for example, inAustraliathe height of the average man, at adulthood, is increasing by over a centimetre every ten years. Whilst that process must eventually reach its optimum, it is living proof of evolution in humans, in action. Isolate Australians for long enough, and they would no longer be able to interbreed with non-Australians. This is not something I am advocating, you understand…
It is inevitable that eventually all major religions will accept the facts of evolution, and will have to make ongoing concessions to science, until one day the religious and their wealthy institutions will have nothing left but blind dogma, with that only retained by keeping people in ignorance of the vast truths science has uncovered.
A more sinister result of being primed, almost from birth to believe without any proof is the mindset of gullibility it develops. This allows easy manipulation by politicians and others who seek to deceive. If you don’t think for yourself in every aspect of life, you are far more likely to defer that thinking to priests, rabbis, mullas, and politicians. If a politician says there are Weapons of Mass Destruction inIraq, or that the events of 9/11 were not initiated by the US Government as an excuse for war, and you already believe the unbelievable, you are more likely to believe what they say. If a Mullah says that it’s a good thing to blow yourself up and kill others in the process, you are more likely to believe him. If a magician performs a magic trick, or an amazing healing takes place, or an unlikely coincidence occurs in your life, religious people are more likely to think it miraculous. After all, they’ve been primed to be gullible, probably from birth.
However, as has so often happened in the past, the arguments religions are currently using will have to be abandoned sooner or later, just as the Catholic Church had to abandon their opposition to the fact that the Earth is not flat, that it moves around the Sun, and is not the centre of the universe. And both the Protestant and Catholic faiths had to stop torturing and burning people for choosing to hold a different point of view. And now that we know diseases are caused by micro-organisms, only the credulous and the manipulators of the credulous see them as God’s way of punishing individuals or groups. I’m not saying that’s always a bad thing. If an evil pervert thinks that he is going to be punished for eternity if he does that bad thing, it might stop him when nothing else would do the job. But when people think they are going to hell because they’ve used contraception, it’s time to think about whether or not any god who made man would be so concerned about our sexual habits. Why does anyone even think that way? The gullible will believe anything they are taught to believe. That religions persuade the gullible to take up the cause of Intelligent Design is a bad thing about religion.