Science, Evolution and Intelligent Design

I’ve been commenting on a recent thread on Facebook: I agree about science and the absurd assault on it in today’s political climate. But true science is about questioning. All are true from this list, but I would give a few items an asterisk. For example, evolution via natural selection is real, but in more recent times I’ve become open to the possibility of intelligent design in the development of the human species. Evolution alone does not seem to support the evidence for it. But at the same time intelligent design does not equal creationism.
Thanks for the opportunity to explore this interesting topic further. The essential point I’m making is a subtler one than a blatant argument for intelligent design. My point is an epistemological one about how we think about science and an unyielding adherence to the ranking paradigm. Intellectual history is replete with examples of the ranking paradigm being shown wrong or at least augmented in some significant way. If we don’t remain open and objective in that way, then we are almost as bad in the other extreme as the detractors who reject science with no basis in reason, as appears in our political climate today. Not only does the ranking paradigm occasionally get overthrown, but that is the process of progression of science itself. Evidence for the ranking paradigm stacks up and is brought to the forefront while evidence to the contrary is ignored as aberrant, and gets stored in the basements and vaults of museums out of public view until the ranking paradigm can stand up to the body of evidence no longer. It often takes people and scientists of bold vision to bring this about, like Galileo declaring the earth is round when the rest of the world believes it is flat. An example of this in modern science is the progression from Newtonian physics to Einstein’s Relativity. While the building blocks existed in Newtonian physics, some surprising new realities where revealed in the new paradigm, such as light having the same speed in all reference frames and that time and space can ‘bend’ in the General Theory of Relativity. To my point, imagine telling a Newtonian physicist in their time that time and space bends. Also, Special Theory established a speed limit on light. Now it appears that paradigm is up, as quantum entanglement suggests physical forces acting nearly instantaneously on subatomic particles at great distances. Physics by example is a more precise science in that not only does it conform to the physical evidence, but has the credential of mathematical confirmation. Evolutionary theory is a bit dicier in that regard, mostly only fitting together genealogical, anthropological and geological data as far as I understand, and uses logical induction to draw its conclusions. I believe the debate on it is far from over. While intelligent design (not talking creationism or religion) is a minority hypothesis, it remains a legitimate hypothesis within the model of scientific method. And to answer your question, what is a claim without proof? It is, as defined by the scientific method, a hypothesis. The body of knowledge is not defined by what we know but by what we don’t know. To me the question of who we are and our history on this earth is far from over.

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