Intelligent Design

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Intelligent Design

I went to public school until fifth grade and at that point my parents decided to move me to a private Jewish school where I could learn Hebrew and religious teachings along with my secular education. The education I received was much better than public schools as my classes were smaller and there was a much greater culture of learning in the school. I also became religious at this school

The only thing that didn't sit well with me was dinosaurs. I couldn't figure out how the story of creation left out hundreds of millions of years of dinosaur evolving, eating each other and doing the sorts of things they do. One of my Rabbis told us the definition of the word "day" was likely different back then. Perhaps "day" meant a number of years -- or something like this. Hey it was fifth grade; I don't remember the exact words.

Whatever his exact words, that was good enough for me. I started to keep more kosher, not eat shrimp, mix milk and meat, etc.

Then I went to college and studied anthropology at the University of Connecticut. I couldn't figure out how evolution and proof that a series of skulls getting bigger and changing over millions of years fit with my religious upbringing. Here I had a story of the world being created and on the other hand hundreds of skulls dating back hundreds of thousands of years.

The point is that science and facts decreased my ability to identify with the story of creation. I subsequently became much less religious as evidenced by the cheeseburger I just ate.

I was reminded of this when I read a story about how President Bush has said recently that he favors teaching intelligent design with evolution -- together.

The president specifically said, "Both sides ought to be properly taught ... So people can understand what the debate is about."

What is Intelligent Design? It promotes the idea that an unseen force is behind the development of humanity.

According to the article, scientists claim intelligent design has no supporting evidence and is an attempt to introduce religion to students.
I tend to agree but even if this isn't the intent that Bush has, it will likely increase the level of religion in this country. I base this on my own education of course.

I suppose it also boils down to how science teachers go over these ideas in class. If they smirk, giggle and wink when teaching this new concept, as I suspect many will, the effect will be no change in the level of religion.

Part of me doesn't like the fact that the US as a whole is becoming less religious. I am not so concerned with people going to houses of worship and performing rituals as I am about families getting together regularly and people being good to one another. I tend to think religion helps people be better people and in a way I think if President Bush gets his wish, the US will become a better place.

Ideally a world with a single religion that focuses more on how we are similar and less on differences and teaches us that helping each other is the most important thing we can do will one day emerge. But enough rambling on my personal utopia.

Do I feel there is anything to intelligent design? I have a friend who is a religious Jew and when I bring up evolution and DNA strands and mutations he hits me with a higher power using the same building blocks (DNA) to create a slew of animals.

Although natural selection happens in nature all the time, my friend's definition of intelligent design is not one I can scientifically disprove either.

One day we will have the opportunity to discuss the matter with our kids ourselves and put our own spin on this concept depending on our feelings. I am just tipping you off that the idea seems to be taking hold. At least that seems to be the President's desire.

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