Intelligent Design Debate Continues

Certain museums see that they must deal with the debate about evolution versus intelligent design. The way to combat the controversy varies by museum. Some museums ignore the issue — stating their purpose is not to debate visitors while others are sending museum workers to special training sessions where they will be taught how to interact with patrons who confront them with the debate or who have genuine questions. Story.

  • John Jainschigg
    December 26, 2005 at 10:29 pm

    I think this is great! What fun (and what an interesting challenge) for paleontologists and other scholars to be obliged to figure out ways of explaining the theoretical underpinnings of their craft to laypersons. The nice thing about science, after all, is that it doesn’t depend on dogma — so you can explain things pretty well without ever having to say “And then, a miracle occurred.”
    As regards Intelligent Design in general — the post-millennial fundamentalists have handed science a marvelous tool for the eventual conversion of millions away from theism. Exploiting it, however, means taking over the dialogue and turning it away from evolution and towards ‘intelligence.’ We know enough, now, about computational emergence, complexity and biological state machines to make some pretty compelling assertions to the effect that intelligence (or at least ‘semantic-processing behavior and problem-solving’) springs up routinely in any fairly-energetic and heterogeneous organic or inorganic system, and that most biological processes are Turingesque. Showing how a leaf forms, in all its fractal complexity, from a very simple state program executed repeatedly by a phalanx of intercommunicating cells should throw a good deal of sand in the mental gears of folks who feel the need to presuppose that the universe is run by a micro-managing God who sees when every sparrow falls. A rational answer, in effect, to Q’uran’s assertion that “a mouse is miracle enough to stagger septillions of infidels.”

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