invariably occur during the development of practical devices. 2 Since bionic enhancements pose a threat to human society,,we should strictly regulate research into their development.
3 Although science fiction paints a bleak picture of the future,,the threats that bionic breakthroughs create will most likely
4 The technology is not without risk,but its continued
development seems to be inevitable.
Market the Creator
“I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos,”said
Einstein many years ago. These days,the greatest scientist of all time is often quoted by people who believe that the universe,and especially life,cannot be the product of unguided,random development. Under the banner of Intelligent Design,they have mounted one of the most remarkable public campaigns in recent times against orthodox evolutionary theory and its tenet that life is the result of random mutations and natural selection.
Intelligent Design holds that conventional science is unable to
explain adequately the stunning complexity and elegance of our world,and that a designer must have guided its growth. Its proponents,affiliated with the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture,point to“gaps”in the fossil record and use a simple mechanical analogy to explain the cosmos:a watch implies a watchmaker. In the words of the institute's William Dembski,a mathematician and philosopher,“There are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence''The 1991 book Darwzn on Trial,by Phillip E. Johnson,a retired UC Berkeley law professor,is the text that sparked the movement. It criticizes Darwin's theory of natural selection primarily because of the theory's opposition to the idea“that the world(and especially mankind)was designed,and exists for a purpose” Johnson argues that this assumption in Darwinism constitutes a philosophy in itself-one that is against religion,and thus biased.
After analyzing complex phenomena such as blood clotting,,Lehigh University biochemist MichaelBehe proposed a key concept for Intelligent Design,“irreducible complexity''This means that a system with interacting parts that must all be present for it to function cannot have evolved by chance because it cannot be broken down into smaller functioning systems. A simpler illustration he provides is that of a mousetrap,a system that could not work without allot its parts:base,catch,spring,and hammer.
Despite its proponents'efforts to couch their arguments in
scientific terms and to avoid direct references to Christian tenets, such as the view that God created the world(the Discovery Institute,
though,admits its views are informed by“a belief in God-given reason and the permanency of human nature”),many researchers have condemned Intelligent Design as a mere pseudoscience that lacks supporting evidence. They point out that no articles about it have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Leonard Krishtalka,director of the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas,famously dismissed the movement thus:“Intelligent Design is nothing but creationism in a cheap tuxedo''Richard Dawkins,a noted Oxford University evolutionary theorist.writes:“It is not a scientific argument at all,but a religious one. It no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class or the stork theory in a sex education class”Eugenie Scott,a physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education,writes that it“has been called an'argument from ignorance,'as it relies upon alack of knowledge for its conclusion:lacking a natural explanation,we assume intelligent cause. Most scientists would reply that unexplained is not unexplainable,and that'we don't know yet'is a more appropriate response than presupposing a cause outside of science''Opponents also include Christian clergymen who stress that faith and science are not mutually incompatible but are two different aspects of human understanding.
But to the horror of its critics,Intelligent Design has found
traction among many U.S. school boards that have responded positively to the Discovery Institute's claims that evolution is a theory“in crisis”and its calls for educators to'teach the controversy”For instance,in November2005,the Kansas Board of Education modified its standards to mandate the questioning of the validity of the theory of evolution. However,a landmark ruling in December2005 by a U.S. federal court,in a case brought by a group of parents over a similar policy in Pennsylvania,stated that Intelligent Design is a“religious and not a scientific proposition,”and that a school-board mandated policy to teach it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. Ironically,the judge, John E. Jones m,had been appointed by a politician who advocates that students be exposed to Intelligent Design-U.S. President George W.Bush.
Part of the remarkable success that Intelligent Design has
enjoyed among laymen is due to the fact that its exponents dress it up in scientific terms while eschewing the standard peer-review process for scient前c ideas. It is also proof that the 140-year-old evolution-
creationism debate won't die anytime soon. Perhaps Einstein,whose spiritual beliefs defy easy classification,illustrated the best attitude to take when dealing with the conflict between science and religion when he said,“Science without religion is lame,religion without science is blind”
(38)Supporters of Intelligent Design claim Darwinian theory is
biased because it
twas developed at a time when scientists could no longer
avoid religious influences on scientific theory.
2 assumes,but is unable to prove,that life developed through
natural processes without the intervention of a higher power.
3 ignores the extent to which natural processes can be
explained in scientific terms.