Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Who buried my fossils?

In another amusing instance of showcasing its collective ignorance and dogmatic thinking, creationism seems to be making a comeback along the American Bible belt with the opening of a multi-million dollar creation museum in Kentucky recently. This, along with the gaining popularity of a book claiming that the Grand Canyon was carved by the retreating waters of the biblical Noah's flood rather than by natural erosion, are once again extending the heated debate between creationists and evolutionists.

Theres no telling how much more time it will take for mainstream consciousness to understand that whatever it is, the Theory of Intelligent Design (ID) can not be a science because its not falsifiable. Falsifiability, is a critical feature of scientific hypothesis and can be simplistically thought of as an inherent disclaimer stating that a given hypothesis or theory is only true, until proven false. An embodiment of rationality, it says: attack me with facts and I am ready to change in whatever way to accommodate those facts. Just being called a 'theory', doesn't give it instant membership to the science club. The Falsifiability card has been played against ID hugging creationists for some time now, but they seem to be coming up with more mightier yet sillier propositions as their grip gradually loosens.

Ironically, prominent voices of science from the past century have been guilty at times of decorating the frontiers of scientific advancement with some divine creationist references (i.e. Quantum Mechanics - God does not play dice, Cosmology - understanding the mind of God, etc), often viewed as aspirational and conformist by the creationists. The tables have now turned, and it seems like we've completely entered the age where the creationists boldly reference terms and methods of science in their interpretation of scripture.

I wonder, if and when science survives this, what is the real price that we'll have to pay as we watch this lengthy battle unfold, apart from the occasional insane attempts to bury back the fossils?

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