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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Unintelligent Design

David Galbraith posits the theory of Unintelligent Design as a counter-hypothesis to Intelligent Design (ID). Galbraith's article is rather snarky, though it does bring up the interesting point that it explains just as many facts just as well as ID, and serves as an amusing follow-up to the persuasive and devestating piece written by Jerry Coyne in The New Republic: "The Faith that Dare Not Speak Its Name."

While the ID's are nutty in their way, and are seriously deficient in any reasonable sense of scientific rigor, I think that I appreciate their concerns more than Coyne or Galbraith, mostly because I take those concerns seriously. The ID folks worry that evolution begs the question of the soul and inherently rejects any theistic conception of the universe because of its fundamentally mechanistic explanation of human development. If mankind is descended from some lower animal, and we accept that lower animals do not possess faculties of free will, conscience, or morality, where did mankind develop such a sense? If mankind is just a more highly developed example of the same common ancestor we share with the chimpanzee, how and why are we fundamentally different from the chimpanzee?

Like the scene early in 2001, did God act in history at some point, imbuing an otherwise dumb animal with a soul and the capacity for free will?

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