Support for Intelligent Design

BY: SUN STAFF

Lord Shiva Gives the History of the Solar Races


Dec 23, USA (POST) — In the wake of this week's Dover decision against intelligent design, supporters of the concept are re-affirming their widespread support for ID. A recent webpoll was conducted to gauge the level of support that Americans possess regarding a radical change of current federal and state policy toward the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.

"When asked whether alternative theories of the beginning of life should be taught in public school 61.6% said yes. An additional 68.4% said that all types of philosophy, including religious philosophy, should be taught in public schools as an “elective class.”

Most Americans consider that the concept of intelligent design does involve scientific facts. Six out of ten Americans feel that there are aspects of intelligent design that are based on scientific fact. Many Americans are also aware that the subject of evolution is based on a theory. When asked about how they would best describe the field of evolution as developed by Charles Darwin, 45.3% said that it is a theory that is based on some scientific facts. 34.4% feel that Darwin’s theory has some significant contradictions within it that don’t make sense."

While numerous organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have made strong public stands against intelligent design, many others are standing in support. Doctoral scientists, researchers and theorists at many universities, colleges, and research institutes around the world support ID. Among these are prominent biochemist Michael Behe at Lehigh University, microbiologist Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, biologist Paul Chien at the University of San Francisco, emeritus biologist Dean Kenyon at San Francisco State University, mathematician William Dembski at Baylor University, and quantum chemist Henry Schaefer at the University of Georgia.

Research papers and academic articles supporting intelligent design continue to be published in peer-reviewed publications. The Design Inference (Cambridge University Press) by William Dembski and Darwin's Black Box (The Free Press) by Michael Behe are two well-known examples from the early phase of the public ID debate. These were followed by many more peer-reviewed books about design theory. Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design is a peer-reviewed journal that focuses entirely on design theory. With an editorial advisory board of more than 50 scholars from relevant scientific disciplines, the journal has been an important source of information on intelligent design research.

An explanation of intelligent design by Biochemist Michael Behe is reminiscent of Srila Prabhupada's comments on the subject. Behe said:

    "A man from a primitive culture who sees an automobile might guess that it was powered by the wind or by an antelope hidden under the car, but when he opens up the hood and sees the engine he immediately realizes that it was designed. In the same way biochemistry has opened up the cell to examine what makes it run and we see that it, too, was designed."

Srila Prabhupada said: "Therefore, as soon as we speak of nature, the next inquiry should be, "Whose nature?" Nature means energy. And as soon as we speak of energy, we must inquire into the source of that energy. For example, if you speak of electric energy, you must accept its source, the powerhouse. How can you deny it? Electricity does not come to us automatically. Similarly, nature is not working automatically; it is under the control of Krsna."

In a recent National Geographic article on evolution theory, author David Quammen quoted Srila Prabhupada on the subject:

    "The late Srila Prabhupada, of the Hare Krishna movement, explained that God created "the 8,400,000 species of life from the very beginning," in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls. Although souls ascend, the species themselves don't change, he insisted, dismissing "Darwin's nonsensical theory."

Quammen went on to discuss the interesting poll results on American opinions about evolution and intelligent design, which have been carried out over a number of years. He wrote:

    "Other people too, not just scriptural literalists, remain unpersuaded about evolution. According to a Gallup poll drawn from more than a thousand telephone interviews conducted in February 2001, no less than 45 percent of responding U.S. adults agreed that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." Evolution, by their lights, played no role in shaping us.

    Only 37 percent of the polled Americans were satisfied with allowing room for both God and Darwin-that is, divine initiative to get things started, evolution as the creative means. (This view, according to more than one papal pronouncement, is compatible with Roman Catholic dogma.) Still fewer Americans, only 12 percent, believed that humans evolved from other life-forms without any involvement of a god.

    The most startling thing about these poll numbers is not that so many Americans reject evolution, but that the statistical breakdown hasn't changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999. The creationist conviction-that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans-has never drawn less than 44 percent. In other words, nearly half the American populace prefers to believe that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most."

While the recent Dover decision was a disappointment, it was not a surprise to many intelligent design supporters. This was just an early skirmish in a battle that's only beginning to get underway. As the above poll results indicate, intelligent design is a concept that will not go quietly into the night simply because a judge or school board votes against it.

Intelligent Design is rapidly becoming an international issue that is crossing the boundaries of science, religion and metaphysics. University students and researchers are increasingly focused on the discussion, and we can expect a wealth of 'new thinking' to emerge on the subject. As students of the science of Krsna Consciousness, we anticipate that such increased academic attention on the topic will eventually bring it back around to 'old thinking' -- and particularly, to the ageless Vedic understanding of intelligent design and the Supreme Designer behind it.



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