ADVANTAGES

Right now there is a federal trial under way in Dover,Pa., USA,over a school policy requiring teachers to explain to students about"Intelligent Design" before teaching evolution. as a scientist and as aChristian wha do you think about "Intelligent Design" being taught inscience classes?
Evolution clearly happens and there is very strong genetic evidence forthe evolutionary connection of most animals including man. Howeverbecause evolution is a mechanism based on 'randomness' it isfundamentally non-deterministic and thus it is quite possible for otherprocesses to be at work as well, alongside evolutionary ones. Also itis quite impossible to calculate the likelihoods of evolutionaryoutcomes of any complexity, so it is impossible to know the likelihoodof the observed evolutionary outcomes. If a toss of 4 coinscomesdownwith 1 heads and the rest tails you have no strong reason to supposethat there is anything else happening than randomness: if a toss of4,000 coins comes down with 1 heads and the rest tails it is not, ofcourse, that this has happened by chancebut you'dcertainly be more inclined to look for additional factors - even moreso with 4 million coins. This would still be true if you hadatrillion trillion samples of 4 million to choose from - the likelihoodof this event with a fair coin is 2^-4M or roughly 10^-1.2M

Similarly, the idea proposed by some ID advocates that certainbiological systems couldn't possibly have evolved is almost certainlywrong. But it is quite reasonable to point out that many biologicalsystems are of such complexity that the likelihood of 'random'evolution with natural selection being the story of theiremergence seems small and is certainly inscrutable. In some ways we cancompare evolution to gravity and Dawin to Gallileo (not Newton, becauseNewton worked out an amazingly accurate theory ofgravity). Gravity is an extremely important physical force,butit isnot the physical force. Indeed one of thereasons thatleading physicists of the 19th Century were so cautious about Darwinismwas that, on the basis of what was then known of the physical forces ofnature, the sun could not be old enough to allow time for evolution tohave occurred. It was only when Einstein's corrections toNewton'stheory of gravity uncovered the possibility of massive energy releasein nuclear transformations that the source of the Sun's energy wasunderstood.

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