Science is not religion
To the editor:
Mr. Phil Drietz raises an interesting question in his letter dated May 17. Why isn’t intelligent design theory taught in schools instead of evolution? This question does have an answer, which I will get into later. First, let’s briefly examine what intelligent design theory is and the forms it can take. Some believe that an intelligent designer, who many consider God or Gods, created the entirety of the universe. Others believe the intelligent designers are extraterrestrials who visited our planet millennia ago. And others believe this intelligent designer is an artificial intelligence which created an elaborate simulation which we all inhabit. And yet others believe that the universe is a dream of the Gods, while also acknowledging that those Gods could just be a dream of humans.
These theories lead to a question, “Who or what created the intelligent designer?” Which then brings another question, “Who or what created whatever created the intelligent designer?” While many people claim to know the answer to these questions, they do not. There is no proof that there is one or many intelligent designers, that aliens visited Earth, that this is one elaborate simulation, or that we’re a product of a dream. And no one can unequivocally prove these as false either, which makes all of these equally as possible.
There is, however, 3.5 billion years’ worth of evidence that backs up evolution. We can see the evidence in the fossil record, in the many varied species that have inhabited our planet, in genetic data, and with our own experimenting with evolution. This is why evolution is taught as a science in schools, while intelligent design is a belief, usually based on religious or spiritual views. I appreciate that there are questioning individuals out there that challenge what is known and what is not, because I am one of those individuals as well. But we must base what is taught in science based on what is provable by empirical data and replicable experiment, not on the philosophical thoughts of what might or might not be. Science is not philosophy and is definitely not religion.