Open Letter on Intelligent Design

From an Open Letter on Intelligent Design:

“Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.”

6 thoughts on “Open Letter on Intelligent Design”

  1. Ah, so this is a “People who hold ideas that are contrary to the mainstream are idiots” post?

    I am sure that Galileo and his ilk would have something to say about that my friend.

    I am not meaning to insult here, but I thought we had moved past this notion that I am not allowed to hold a theory or idea contrary to what popular science dictates?

    Am I and those like me not allowed to believe that there is too much beauty, wonder and mystery in the world for there not to be something more beyond this world of disease, decay and death?

    Or are you reacting against the irrational zealots who deny what is obvious, that science has proven that evolution does exist, in some form, and it is happening even today? I would just like some context so that I can know if I am offended or not 🙂

    Oh and technically you can’t have a coincidence that has been ‘put in place’… it would no longer be a coincidence at that point!

  2. Joen says:

    Thanks for your comment Chris, I appreciate it.

    First of all, let me state for the record that you are one of the Christians that I respect the most. Your openness and intelligence is a credit to your line of belief. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I generally do not respect religious people, but I find it rare that they are as open for discussion as you are.

    More often than not, I find it, people who hold strong beliefs are wedged tightly in their faith, and interpret any line of questioning as a challenge of their faith. I also find it usual, with this type of people, that they respect me less because I am an atheist.

    Or am I? Maybe I’m agnostic, in the sense that I do indeed hope that there is more wonder in this world, than the death and decay you speak of. I just don’t believe it. But hope can be powerful, can it not?

    To the point. No, this is not the “people who hold ideas that are contrary to the mainstream are idiots” post. Maybe the context of this was vague and wrongfully suggestive, but to be honest, reading the article in question I laughed my ass off. The reason being: it illustrates in a hilarious way, exactly part of the problem I have with Intelligent Design being taught in schools.

    The first part of the problem with ID being taught in schools alongside Evolution, is the fact that I do not consider it a scientific theory. I consider it a religious belief, that has no scientific basis nor shed of evidence.

    The second part of the problem, which this article questions, is the fact that there are myriads of such theories of creationism. _If_ we were to teach a religious idea alongside Evolution, why the Christian belief? Why not the Buddhist belief? Or the Muslim belief? Or indeed, as this article makes fun of: the belief that a giant spaghetti monster was responsible. To be honest, I find it arrogant and singleminded, not to mention suppressive of “people who hold ideas that are contrary to the mainstream”; the mainstream in this case being the Christian faith.

    In short: I sincerely believe that we cannot teach any religious belief as a scientific theory, for a number of reasons. When I hear opposing viewpoints, I get passionate about it, and reading this was the comic relief I needed.

  3. Jonas Rabbe says:

    *Chris,*

    The FSM is an attempt to inject humor into a discussion where it is sorely lacking, while you could react by being offended, it would show more maturity to laugh it off. You could always make up your own parodies to contradict your “enemies”.

    While I could easily get into the discussion, I’d rather refer to “The Panda’s Thumb”:http://www.pandasthumb.org/ which tells it like it is.

  4. Joen,
    Excellent, that is what I was assuming you were getting at, but I have learned the hardway that to assume is a very bad habit to get into.

    I appreciate your kind words, I love science and the gifts that it has given us. The pursuit of knowledge is one of the most important that we as humans have embarked upon.

    Along the same lines as you, the majority of those men and women I meet that are engaged in the pursuit of science dismiss and look down on those of us who have chosen the road of belief as simple or ignorant, the list goes on. And I agree completely that religion should not be taught as science, or taught at all in our schools. But I do think that it should be allowed to be in our schools. If I wish to have an Icon of Chris on the wall of my classroom, I should be allowed to have it. If a teacher wants to have an image of Ganesha on his/her wall they should be allowed to have it.

    Jonas,
    I disagree, there is nothing immature about being offended when something you care about is belittled (at first glance). Must I laugh off attacks against my Native American Heritage?

    Would it be immature of me to be offended when a women is objectified in my presence? I think not. I have a right to feel the way I feel, the question is what I do with those feelings.

    The mark of maturity is how you deal with your feelings and emotions. How I dealt with them was to give Joen the benefit of the doubt, and ask him for some context and clarification.

    Good discussion all around, I do so love talking about these issues.

  5. Joen says:

    Chris,

    I’m glad you didn’t feel offended, and that we settled this.

    But I do think that it should be allowed to be in our schools. If I wish to have an Icon of Chris on the wall of my classroom, I should be allowed to have it. If a teacher wants to have an image of Ganesha on his/her wall they should be allowed to have it.

    Most definitely. I am a strong proponent not only of the freedom of speech, but of expression and religion as well.

    In a, once again passionate — maybe too passionate, comment I left on a similar post, I wrote:

    In Denmark, where I come from, we had a hour of ?religion? class every week from I was 12 til I was 15 (as far as I remember). It taught us about Hinduism, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, and all the other religions. It told us each of those religions view on evolution, and of those religion?s stories of how the earth, the sky and people were created.

    I go on to say that this is how it should be. Religion is interesting, and it is an integral part of our history. As such, I see plenty of reason to teach kids about religion in school. So I definitely agree with you.

    I only fear when religion and science are mudded together.

  6. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Some people might view a picture of Jesus or Ganesha in the classroom as pressing your religion onto the children, especially by people not sharing your religion. Personally, I don’t really care in matters as miniscule as this particular example, but there are people who would surely get their panties in a bunch.

    I don’t remember if my classes were religion or christianity, but I do remember that we were tought about all of the major religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and ? Of course, there are now people in Denmark who think we should not teach anything but Christianity.

    As Joen hinted, there are really to seperate topics here. Teaching of religion in school, and teaching of science. And of course the third topic, the relationship of the two.

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