Since Pat Robertson has now damned the good voters of Dover, PA last week and the state of Kansas has turned back the clock there by about 80 years, I thought I might put forth my opinion on the concept of Intelligent Design. Personally, I am all for the the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools: in philosophy class. In the end, the leap between the hard facts of science and the assumption that all the universe around us has been created by a higher being is one of faith. To diminish this by demoting faith to some classroom instruction does a disservice to those who believe in such things. While it may be a very remote analogy, let me ask this: my wife and love one another very much, and it is the reason we are married and together (arguably) for the purpose of reproduction (parents, don’t get your hopes too soon, I’m just making a point). However, it would be ridiculous to teach love in biology class. It is psychology.
And so it is with Intelligent Design. I, as a Christian, believe in a higher being and that He created the universe and all the things, both living and non living, in it. I also believe in science. These two have never felt like a conflict to me, as one requires facts and the other faith. Science is the pursuit of truth based on evidence with blind ignorance toward preconceived notions. Faith, on the other hand, is a belief of something that cannot be known. I do not believe in a God because of some proof laid about before me, but often times, in spite of all evidence that may actually contradict such a belief. That is what makes one’s faith special and unique: belief without knowing (that is, in fact, the very definition of religious faith).
Let’s applaud the people of Dover, PA (not curse them, Pat). They’ve decided that they’re religious beliefs (and their right not to believe if they so choose) and they’re children’s beliefs need not be ingrained in science class. Biology will continue to be based on the clearly defined theory of evolution and religion— religion will be held in its traditional high regard, as something that transcends the physical world we learned about in biology and physics.