Intelligent Design.. or Else!

by The Good Reverend on December 7, 2005 · 52 comments

in Uncategorized

I don’t know how national of a story this is, but here in the Kansas City area everyone is following the antics going on at Kansas University right now over the Intelligent Design debate.  You may be aware that – in a tip of the hat to 1400s Dark Ages Europe – Kansas has opted to make Intelligent Design required teaching as an alternative to evolution. 

That’s right, while it is possible that we became human through a series of tiny genetic changes in response to our environment over millions of years, it is equally possible that God sprinkled some magic fairy dust into a garden and there we were.  While it is possible that mental retardation is the result of those very genetic mutative processes discussed by evolutionary biologists causing recessive genes to pair up in a way that is disadvantageous to that organism, it is equally possible that God just has a really twisted sense of humor.  Who am I to say who is right?

But I can tell you this – those God-fearing folks kick some ass!  When a K.U. professor chose to get creative with the required teaching issue by including I.D. in his “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies” class, some Christian “community activists” decided to spread a little Christmas cheer to the professor – via savage blows to the head and torso.  To Hell with turning the other cheek and loving thy neighbor!  Sometimes the only way to make people truly understand the glory and power of the Lord is to tail their car until they pull over, then beat them mercilessly!  “And you shall KNOW that I am the LORD when I lay My Vengeance upon thee!” All I can say is, kudos to the Ass-kickers for Christ.  I know how hard it must have been for you to put aside your lifetime of Biblical instruction in order to show a little tough love to the heathenry.  Hey, if we’re resorting to pre-Age of Reason teachings in our schools, who says we can’t bring a little Inquisition along with it?  I’m for it!  And hey, why stop there?  Those gravity theorists are a little too smug for my taste.

Thanks to Joe Perkins for the links

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  • killdozr

    one of the saddest things here is that the extremist right/fundamentalist wing who read about this automatically assume that it wasn’t fundamentalist wackos who did this, but pissed off Darwinists who were mad that Mirecki cancelled the class.

    I’ve posted this story on a couple of forum boards, and it must already be a talking point, because two different people have suggested that.

    if you suggest that it’s violent fundamentalists, they ask what proof you have that it is. “these guys quoted mirecki about his statements on fundamentalism and creationism before beating him.”

    and the question already pops up “how does that mean that these guys were christians?”

    awesome – let’s just pretend that buddhists stalked him and beat him on a roadside because of his position on fundamentalist christianity.

    fuck the fundamentalist plague. i’m tired of playing along.

  • The Good Reverend

    haha i hadn’t heard that people were blaming Darwinists.  Well, at least if it had been them they could have claimed they were in keeping with their beliefs: “Survival of the fittest, bitch!”

  • .alphamonkey.

    Waitaminute.  So some people are claiming that violent Darwinists beat up the prof for cancelling the class?  The same class that was cancelled only after he was beaten up?

    My mind is so blown.

  • The Good Reverend

    I believe he cancelled the class after the row created over his email.  Then got beat up.

  • .alphamonkey.

    What a sissy.

  • The Good Reverend

    Yeah, I’ve always easily gained the upperhand in a fistfight with fundamentalists by simply pointing over their shoulder and saying, “Oh my God, it’s Jesus!”

    works every time.

  • rebre

    Does History prove an upsurge in organized religion during wartime, or is the blame for this frightening turn towards faith based everything resting solely on GW’s shoulders?

    Or maybe because everything (including religion)is cyclical?

    Are there really that many Jesus freaks out there, or do we just hear about their antics more often because, let’s face it, God is totally hot right now?

    Let’s all just close our eyes really tight, and hope that this embarrassing time in history passes quickly and without a holy war.

    Oh wait…

  • The Good Reverend

    Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but I’ve always considered religious zealotry to go lockstep with the level of fear in a society.  I’ve been thinking about the latest resurgence and what the fear is this time that is causing it.  Certainly the whole “war on terror” gets some credit (as the Bush re-election campaign was clearly aware of), but evangelism reared its ugly head before the WTC attacks.  And I think Alvin Toffler hit it on the head back in 1970 in his book, Future Shock.  I believe Americans are afraid of the pace of technology.  I think Toffler mentions the upswing of cult activity – and let’s face it, evangelicals are basically a Christian cult – as a reactionary trend to accelerated tech. progress.

    I think Evangelicals are lashing out against evolutionists because we’re constantly saying that the weak don’t survive for too long.  And let’s face it, Evangelicals are the weak. smile

  • Shadow Stalker

    Maybe I’m cynical, but I think it’s more nefarious than that.  First, religion has historically been at odds with technological progress.  Witness Galileo v. Pope.  For a more obscure example, massive earthquakes in New England near the end of the eighteenth century were blamed on the new fangled lightning rods by local preachers.  God, they reasoned, had to find a new way to punish them since man had thwarted lightning.

    Second, fundamentalist Christianity in particular is at odds with science, because critical thinking and critically reading texts are antithetical to their way of life.  The joke on us is that by merely talking about “the church of science” and the “flawed theory of evolution” so much, they’ve already turned many students against learning any science at all.  In many ways, they’ve already won this fight.  I think we’re slipping into a very dangerous time for this country.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    first off you are talking about a huge segment of the population that attribute anything good or bad to G~d.

    2ndly, these people are not truely catholics or christians. they don’t study the bible, they let someone else feed them snippets of the bible.

    3rd, it’s just like anything the lunatics and extremist always get the bulk of attention. and rightly so, the are the most passonate about whatever they are into.

    not to mention the huge double standard we have w/ religious bias. if a christian or jew calls someone heretical/terrorist/evil it’s basically taken as truth, not so for the muslims. think about what a stink would have happened if salmund rushde would have wrote a book claiming jesus was actually the son of satan. think we would have helped him hide out for a decade? the problem is american’s and europeans are just as guilty of allowing religious extremist to stabilize and gain strength. our inability to put checks out our own fringes has put as at war w/ each other.

    and I’m the rev. most of the newfound religious ferver is based on fear.

    check out the catholic post sometime. for the last 10 years or so they have been putting huge emphasis on the the # of catholics is dwindling, especially in europe, do to a decrease in family size. these people are scared shitless about not being the majoiity in the world.

  • kalorx

    Yes my Transbuddha friend, who ARE you to say who’s right? Were you there at the dawn of time? I know I wasn’t. And personally I’m more inclined to believe those who existed closer to that period than anyone living in the contemporary world.

    All I know is that scientific theory changes its mind every six months in some fashion, and that there are more holes in the theory of evolution than can be found in the worst swiss cheese. Yeah… there are. But we common folk just don’t hear about them because, well, we don’t need to. We should have faith in our stalwart scientists: the priests of the modern world.

    I’m not saying science and technology is bad, I’m just saying that it’s become something not unlike a religion unto itself. It must be understood that science and God are NOT mutually exclusive. God created science, after all. When we study science, we study the very face of God Himself.

    I have friends (some of them not Christian) who gained their masters degrees in biochemistry (at Yale no less) and even THEY feel, in their research and studies, that it all couldn’t have happened by accident. Did you know that the chances for the simplest protein to form by accident would be 10^160,000 to 1?

    Lastly, don’t judge the whole religion by a few bad eggs. That’s like saying Islam is evil just because it houses some terrorists. EVERY religion houses some terrorists and cruel individuals… not to mention EVERY belief and philosophy, religious in nature or not.

  • .alphamonkey.

    There are buddhist terrorists? Seriously?  ‘Cuz, uh…there’s not exactly a bevy of news reports about ‘em.

  • Shadow Stalker

    They only burn themselves up.

  • The Good Reverend

    Considering that the dawn of time is currently estimated at around 13 billion years, I think trusting someone who lived even several thousand years before me because he’s “closer to the dawn of time” is kinda splitting hairs.  And yes, that time estimate is proven through something known as the Doppler shift of galaxies.  If you can swing some scope time at Keck, you can verify it for yourself.

    Those in the hard sciences are the first to admit that we fumble along in our pursuit of knowledge.  That is a natural byproduct of the difficult puzzle of putting together a coherent understanding of our universe, using nothing but the observable universe and logic as our source of that knowledge.  But the beauty is, every conclusion that is reached has repeatable experimental evidence behind it.  That evidence may not lead to a clear answer as to what is true, but it can rule out what is patently false.  While evolution does have some gaps yet to fill in, what has been established is fairly irrefutable.  It’s the best explanation we have going.  And while God – or I should say, a bunch of ancient guys that attained some clout in their tribe and decided to write a book “on behalf of God” – provides a nice and neat explanation of our origins, it has no basis in fact.  It requires a leap of faith that is increasingly hard to make in light of what we as a species know.

    You might be surprised to find out that I believe in a “God” of sorts.  Evolutionists are not trying to take away God from people.  We’re just saying that the old books from 6000 years ago are maybe just that:  old books from 6000 years ago.  They have to be appreciated more for what they did for the people of that time, and not taken literally here in the 21st century.

    I agree with you – the further I got into my scientific studies, especially physics, the more I saw the face of God, as you put it.  And who knows, maybe this God set the equations that allowed the big bang to happen – we’re pretty clueless as to what happened before the big bang, so you can fill it in with whatever you want.  But what pisses me off is when fundies refute observable fact.  The evolutionary tree is almost completely filled in.  Species mutation has been observed.  Saying that “scientists are the priests of the new religion” is just mental laziness.  Scientists have to publish their results as well as the sources they used to arrive at their results.  You can trace the stream of logic all the way back if you wish.  Perform the experiments yourself and see for yourself.

    Lastly, I am not condemning all Christians.  In fact, most of my family is Lutheran.  I am condemning the fundamentalists.  And while yes, all belief systems have their bad eggs, some have more than others.  Christianity and Islam seem to have a knack for providing safe harbor to the wackos.  Once a faith exclaims that it has cornered the market on God and Righteousness, the table is set for Holy Hell to break loose.  And those of us in this country that are constantly enduring diatribes claiming we’re the heathen Hell-bound, all the while watching women get killed at abortion clinics, gay men dragged through the streets, kids get raped by their priests, televangelists robbing our grandmothers of their social security checks and praying for the assassinations of foreign leaders, and now professors getting pulled over and beaten… ya know, we’re just getting fucking sick of it.

  • Shadow Stalker

    Yes, evolution is still a developing theory, just like every other theory in science.  That’s the point.  If we already knew all the answers, we wouldn’t need the scientific method.  But, unlike intelligent design, evolution is a scientific theory because it can be falsified.  The theory can be tested, compared to empirical evidence, and then improved or abandoned.

    Most people that talk about the “church of science” simply don’t understand science.  It might seem like we don’t discuss alternatives to major theories, but that is only because most “alternative theories” either aren’t falsifiable theories at all, or simply don’t have any evidence to support them.  History has shown that a solid theory that will advance the prediction power of science will be accepted.  Very few people believed that quantum theory could be correct, even Einstein.  But it became the most rigorously tested theory in science and now virtually every working physicist accepts it.  If your friends think there is something wrong with evolution, then they should do an experiment to prove that they’re right, or develop a real scientific theory that explains things better than evolution, then publish their work in a journal.

    To accept intelligent design in science would undo two-hundred years of progress.  The purpose of the enlightenment was to restrict science to accept only natural causes.  At first this may sound close-minded, but just think about it for a minute.  What intelligent design boils down to is “god/Mr. X/Flying Spaghetti Monster did it.” That very well could be true, I don’t know.  What we do know is that “god did it” can be an answer for any question, and an unimpeachable answer.  Okay, so let’s say that’s my theory, and no one can show that I’m wrong, because my theory isn’t based on logic so I can easily expand it to include or explain any omission or criticism without worrying about logical inconsistency.  What do we get from it?  It doesn’t tell us what else god might do, so we can’t use it to predict future outcomes.  It doesn’t clarify any other theories, so it doesn’t give us an insight into how seemingly distinct phenomena fit together.  It doesn’t provide an intuitive model for a complex process, so it doesn’t give us an easy entry into a hard topic.  It gives us nothing, which is exactly why we don’t accept supernatural explanations in science.  When it comes down to it, science is about understanding how the world works and how it will react to our changes.

    Not to say there is anything wrong with a supernatural explanation.  People can believe whatever they want, but religion and science are two distinct topics.  If you want to believe that an intelligent designer had a hand in evolution, or gravity, or anything, that is up to you.  But it isn’t science, it doesn’t have to conflict with science, and it doesn’t belong in science classes.  Truth is the domain of philosophy and religion.  Fact based, predictive, falsifiable models of natural phenomena are the domain of science.

  • .alphamonkey.

    I’m tired of you messing up arguments with your irrefutable ‘facts’ and ‘logic’.

  • Souped_up_on_Jihad


  • drgonzoguitar

    Holes in evolutionary theory? I keep hearing this comment, but no one will say what the damn holes are.  Science is about explanating our world in OBSERVABLE terms, not ethereal crap.

    When Christianity started, it was viewed as a cult by the Romans. You had to practice the Roman religion (sun gods and such) or Judaism.  It wasn’t till a Roman emperor converted to Christianity that they were no longer fed to lions (and other forms of entertainment).

    When Christianity gained physical power through the Catholic church, you saw the persecution and house arrest of Galileo over his support of Copernican theory.  It wasn’t until 1992….let me repeat…. 1-9-9-2 for Pope John Paul II to apologize for Galileo’s persecution and official acknowledge that the EARTH IS NOT THE CENTER OF THE FREAKIN’ UNIVERSE. 

    I am a practicing Catholic, but there is some crap you just have to laugh at….LIKE INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

  • rebre

    So, it is possible to believe in God and Evolution?

  • Shadow Stalker

    Darwin did.

  • .alphamonkey.

    But according to ID, he was fucking loony.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    most christians do believe in both and don’t have a problem w/ seperating the science and the book. much like a movie or story, there is a suspension of belief. most people do not take most of the bible literally and for good reason it’s an oral tradition that took hundreds of years to finally be put down on pulp. I don’t know about you, but ask an older relative to recant a tail of their grandfather… and see how accurate that is. the point is if you want your kids to learn theology sent them to catacism or church, not to a science class.

    and the odds…10^160,000 to 1…. lets see how big is our universe??? wait for it… wait… wait… oh that’s right way fucking huge and ever expanding. so huge, I’d gamble, it’s happened many times.

    and damn you dragon for pulling out the that fact b4 I did.

  • .alphamonkey.

    Don’t forget the jews!  Einstien was a religous man as well.  (So much so that he hated the ideas behind Quantum physics because, as he so famously put it, ‘God doesn’t play dice&#8217wink

  • killdozr

    “All I know is that scientific theory changes its mind every six months in some fashion, and that there are more holes in the theory of evolution than can be found in the worst swiss cheese. Yeah… there are. But we common folk just don’t hear about them because, well, we don’t need to. We should have faith in our stalwart scientists: the priests of the modern world.”


    I have to butt in here and say this – you’re not doing your credibility any service here by starting out your whole argument with 2 ridiculous generalizations.

    1. Scientific theory changes its mind every six months.

    A: completely false, and it also sounds like you’ve been reading a lot of talking points on creationism sites. there have been paradigm shifts in modern science (theory of relativity is one of the most famous), but to suggest that theoretical refinement is equal to the entire scientific discipline “changing its mind” is lazy at best, and patently offensive at worst. the base tenets of evolutionary theory are still intact, and what’s even more impressive about Darwin’s work is, that it has almost completely held up through the advent and maturity of genetic mapping.

    2. We should have faith in our stalwart scientists: the priests of the modern world.

    A: Again – practicing the discipline of the scientific method isn’t some sinister cabal shrouded in secrecy. It’s lazy comments like this that simply demonize an institution that has NO INTEREST in conflicting with, or taking over any religious dogma. you’re simply content to demonize the scientific community as being closed to outside scrutiny, when this is simply not true.

    every accepted scientific study has to endure the rigors of peer evaluation and repeatable procedures, often in professional journals that are available to the public.

    if you think you can find a disputable outcome, get crackin. no one’s stopping you, and most scientific societies encourage dissent from outside parties, as long as they have a repeatable and testable result that proves an opposing theory.

    the problem is – not many fundamentalists ever DO issue a profound challenge to any scientific theory – because being a fundamentalist basically signals the character trait of being undisciplined at critical thinking. a fundamentalist clings to a religion’s basic dogma, simply because he lacks the discipline to devise higher ideals within his faith.

    so that’s where we land with Creationism – this is not a scientifically testable system, and is merely content to live in the potholes of evolutionary theory, because it can’t survive out in the open, on its own. it appeals to uncritical thinkers because it doesn’t require any real discipline to understand because it’s based on the doubt from an absence of fact, instead of actual fact.

  • Shadow Stalker

    Back on topic, did anyone else find the first paragraph of this story (the one on unreadable?  I would say that in regards to the article which was linked from this site, that is the one your browser is currently displaying, the primary, being the first, paragraph of the article found by following the afore-mentioned link was obfuscated beyond readabilitiness and comprehension, the fault most probably in all likelihood lying with, as it were, an unnecessary proliferation of parenthetical statements, and a general over-lengtheningness of sentences.

  • Shadow Stalker

    Oh, and I just found out this guy resigned the chair of his department.  It was pretty stupid to send an email belittling a religious majority, but now it looks like this guy is just a pussy.  Definitely not what you’d expect from a theology and/or philosophy professor.

  • killdozr

    he was forced to resign by vote of his departmental peers. i guess you can chalk this up to a victory for the Xtian Taliban, since Merecki never wanted undue publicity for anything, yet got it in spades.

    how can you teach your classes when you have to wonder if you’re being followed or stalked every day?

    you can’t – you simply move on to a university that doesn’t cowtow to fundamentalist dickheads, nor has to deal with them on a daily basis. that just isn’t possible in KS.

  • SonSon2


  • .alphamonkey.

    You would, you godless freak.  Go back to Belgium!

  • SonSon2

    Actually, I am part Belgium oddly enough…

  • labrazio

    Well then that’s the part that needs to have its ass kicked by some Shaolin monks. They’ll take your damn waffles, too…because they’re sick of that IHOP shit.

  • Morceau

    HOORAH! A random event to make me laugh amidst all this damned to hell controversy! You are my hero SonSon2. You’ve never failed.

  • BADD

    *Note to self*

    Never ever ever ever, challenge the guys at to a theological debate, ever.

    *end of note*

    Guys, you are brutal.  I love it.  Could you all join the forum I moderate on and kick some ass for us?  We have fruity pebbles……… wink

  • firehead

    As a Christian I would like to apologize for my brothers and sisters.

    A lot of them are misrepresenting Christ, and wasting their time and ours with these useless debates. The moralization of America (or any nation) is not something that the Bible talks about.

    So yeah. Sorry we’re idiots sometimes. I’m trying not to be, because I don’t believe being like Jesus means being a right wing hardliner.


  • fealty2dahriyah

    see this is where we need the pontif and the vatican to step in and reel these turds back to shore. is that any more than we have asked the muslims to do? I’m not saying all christians need to take the blame for a handful of tards, but who is going to? I don’t recall the church ever apologizing for the IRA. do we investigate as many christian charities as islamic ones for support of “terrorism.” we all need to take care of our own, and well no one seems to be owning up.

  • kalorx

    Oh, don’t be naive. Have you never heard of militant buddhist monks? These days they’re not doing so much, but in the past they’ve made people shed a few tears.

  • labrazio

    The monks of the Shaolin temple would totally kick their ass.

  • .alphamonkey.

    I’m relatively certain that if you rounded up all the murderous militant Buddhist terrorists, you’d still be shy of a water polo team.

  • The Good Reverend

    Kalorx, I would actually like to read up on these militant buddhist monks you speak of.  Do you have refs?  No “Christian news” sites allowed.

  • Morceau

    Holy Sh*t on toast people! Let’s not get fired up about religion right hyah. I know the lord-a will not be mad-a for you’re sins-a. Let’s leave religion alone-a on transbuddha-a so we can all live-a in peace on prosperiteeeee-a. Let’s not be calous assh*leeos here and knowck down persoanl, sacred, and justified belief please. We believe what we want to, leave it at that. And I swear in the name of the holy Chakar-Kamscurty Monster that the next time i see 38 frickin comments about a religious post I’m so out of here. (meaning probably not comin back to this site)

  • Shadow Stalker

    I’m impressed, we haven’t had this many Marissa-free comments on one post in awhile.

    I’m not sure you could call this a religious post, or a theology discussion.  More like the true meaning of science.

  • The Good Reverend

    hehe yeah, I was starting to miss those Comment free-for-alls.  The professor beating article was just too good to pass up. grin

    The Buddha is so much more fun when everyone’s having at it, imho.

  • The Good Reverend

    Morceau, we sincerely apologize.  So much so that I am extending to you a 30% discount on your Transbuddha viewership dues for the next 3 months.  No need for action on your part!  I have already made the arrangements with our offshore accounting firm.

  • Shadow Stalker

    Oh that reminds me.  I need the info for our offshore accounting firm so I can help an exiled prince get his family fortune out of Nigeria.

  • The Good Reverend

    DeLay, Libby, and Cunningham, CPAs

    235 Banana Republic Dr.

    Port Au Prince, Haiti

  • Morceau

    wow, anger made me typo lots… And no, i didnt really read the whole thing, just some of it. But a religious post with 38 comments is going to have some tears and anger thrown into it. (It’s bound to, there will never be such a post without controversy) But know that I am, and will stay, religiously neutral on this site. (even though i am a ********* myself) *See? Me blockey da name* So, have a good night.

  • labrazio

    I want militant buddhist monks for Christmas.

  • Shadow Stalker

    You’ll shoot your eye out.

  • labrazio

    You’re right. Make that a militant buddhist monk “action toga” with lever activated power punching headlock excitement.

  • Laughing Man

    While the militant Bhuddist monks certainly were scary (notice the past tense), they never came anywhere close to the attroicites committed in the name of God or Allah. That said I invite everyone here to

    Its a site dedicated to philosophical, religious, and political debate. (People wont have to vent here anymore).

  • Shadow Stalker

    I didn’t know this was a philosophical or religious debate.

  • labrazio

    People need to vent here, ok? It’s damn entertaining.

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