We are still sometimes inundated by dangerous messages that reject science and promote ignorance. Michael Behe has claimed that Intelligent Design is more scientifically valid than Darwinian evolution. He argues that some aspects of biology are so complex that he can’t understand how they could have evolved, so they must have been designed. He carefully avoids calling the designer “God” so he can pretend the argument isn’t religious. Behe implies that some things are too amazing to understand so we’ll say an even more amazing designer made them. His speculation adds nothing to our understanding and is a logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance – incomplete knowledge about evolution is proof of intelligent design. Lack of evidence for one thing is never proof of another thing.
Some people argue that our nation’s education system is failing, that we no longer have intelligent, well-informed discussions, and that science has degenerated. Then they jump to the illogical conclusion that more “interest in a literal six-day supernatural creation” will help solve the problem.
Other people imagine that the conflict between evolution and intelligent design is a genuine controversy, that intelligent design is unfairly ridiculed by educators, reporters and scientists, and that we need to “teach the controversy.” Actually, the “controversy” between evolution and intelligent design is no more real that the controversy between the round-earth and flat-earth proponents or between the concept of a sun-centered solar system and an earth-centered solar system. There is no legitimate controversy. Scientists and other well-informed people ridicule intelligent design for the same reason they ridicule those who believe the earth is flat or ridicule those who think the sun revolves around the earth. Although no scientific theory is infallible, there are many theories we know beyond a reasonable doubt and are no longer controversial, including a round earth, sun-centered solar system and evolution.
It is unreasonable to think that the scientific method works in every area of science except evolution. Intelligent design proponents argue that the science of evolution cannot be trusted, but then they try to claim scientific validity for their beliefs. Intelligent design violates principles of science and logic by beginning with a belief and using lack of understanding as proof for that belief. Science requires every idea to be testable in a continual search for evidence that the idea is false. Unless it is possible to disprove that something is produced by a designer, the idea is not scientific.
Science does not disprove God’s existence. Anything supernatural is outside the realm of science, not because science is trying to “murder” God but because including supernatural forces makes predictions impossible and stops further inquiry. “We should not research the smallpox virus because smallpox is God’s punishment for sin.” End of discussion. “We know the sun revolves around the earth because the Bible says Joshua stopped the sun’s movement and Psalm 93:1 says the world cannot be moved.” End of discussion. “We cannot determine a spacecraft’s path because God will direct it wherever He wants.” End of space exploration.
Science provides a never-ending, self-correcting method for overcoming inherent human biases and errors in understanding how our natural universe works. Danger lies in believing in an inerrant source of absolute truth because then critical thinking stops, reasoning becomes circular, and errors and incomplete knowledge cannot be corrected. Human intelligence has not developed enough for such arrogant certainty.