Monday, October 17, 2005

Awe Inspiring Article

You can find another amazing article by Mike Argento here.

I strongly encourage you to go and read the whole thing, but here's the part that I like the most.
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The science of evolution is the unifying theory of biology, and it is the result of the practice of science, the practice of methodological naturalism.

Now, I have a personal stake in this.

Because scientists reject supernatural causes for natural phenomena, because researchers apply methodological naturalism in their pursuits, because evolution has provided us greater insight into how the human body functions, my father is walking around today.

He has cancer.

That’s not exactly right.

He’s had three separate cancers and has endured three major operations over the course of five years. He has had chemo. It’s been terrible.

But he’s still with us, still able to root on his beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish and New York Yankees (OK, I didn’t say he was perfect), still able to substitute teach at William Penn, still able to take his little dog for walks, still able to irritate my mother like no one else can because nearly 2,500 years ago, some old Greek named Hippocrates rejected the idea that disease was caused by vengeful gods and sought to treat illness by applying methodological naturalism.

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You see, the ID/Creationist crowd like to posit anecdotal evidence as reason to believe their version. That's bullshit, but if that's how they want to roll, then it's good to see that there are commentators out there that are starting to fire back with the same thing. And the best part is that he prefaced it with a solid backing for real scientific enquiry.

Once again, Mike Argento is showing how cool he really is.

But he points up something that has always bothered me. Creationists just love to poo-poo science when it comes to biology (evolution), astrophysics and cosmology (age of the universe), geology and geophysics (age of the earth), nuclear physics (radiocarbon dating), chemistry (ice core dating), hydrology (lake varves) and even botany (dendrochronology).

But boy oh boy will they ever run to the doctor when they're sick, or drive their cars to church on Sunday morning, or whip out that cell phone when it rings. They seem to forget that biology, chemistry, botany and nuclear physics all lead into the medical help they seek throughout their lives. The seem to skim over the fact that without geology and geophysics, the oil for the car would have run dry a long time ago. They definitely don't understand how a knowledge of astrophysics and cosmology helps to insure good cell service.

These greedy idiots just suck up the efforts of science in technological form, never thinking about the fact that the people who invented antidepressants used evolutionary biology to do so, even if it was indirectly. They use the TV, the computer and the cell phone without ever putting any thought into the fact that the plastics and ceramics in these devices wouldn't exist if we couldn't find or create the right materials, and that would be impossible without some of the scientific fields that Creationists love to deny and decry.

Creationism is an attack on all of science, because it attacks the way science is conducted. "God did it" is not an acceptable scientific answer to a question, because it doesn't explain anything, it just pushes responsibility off onto some Unseen Father Figure In The Sky. People used to believe that the mentally ill were touched by invisible spirits. I, personally, am glad that some scientists and doctors decided that the "invisible spiritis" were really the chemicals in my brain, and that those are open to manipulation. Otherwise, I would still be suffering from my mood disorder, instead of spending my days being happy and getting healthy.

Biology is one of the cornerstones of scientific inquiry. Evolution is the binding theory within biology. You can't discard evolution without terminally damaging biology. Do the math, Creationists. I don't think that's against your religion. Yet.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu