Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wrestling Camp and Intelligent Design on Nightline

*Note: the photos referenced in this and other back entries are still posted on my msn space, also called Minister's Study.*

August 14th, 2005

The Lehigh wrestling camp ran this past week at the local high school whose wrestling program I assist. It was a terrific clinic with some top-notch wrestlers and coaches. On the last day, world silver medalist and several time national champion Kerry McCoy ran the clinic. Kerry is a really impressive young man. He single-handedly demolishes the steriotype of the heavy-weight wrestler as a mindless heap of muscle and flab. He was a top-notch student, an accomplished cellist, and is a lean, quick 225 pounds of destruction. He's retired from wrestling competitively and is going to Stanford to be head coach there this season. I've posted a couple of pics from the clinic, and he's a super guy. I especially like the one where he's autographing the shirt of the most difficult kid in the clinic.

The other night I was up late enough to see the start of Nightline with Ted Koppel. Since they were talking about the Intelligent Design controversy (stirred lately by President Bush's remarks), and since I've done a lot of interested reading on the subject, I stayed up to watch. I was terribly disappointed. Koppel and co. permitted the opponents of I.D. to make their strongest case, while limiting the I.D. proponents to disjointed and largely irrelevant clips of interviews that didn't answer the arguments of their opponents (and it's not that the I.D. proponents don't have excellent answers; they've published them and spoken them all over the place -- the show simply didn't present them). The entire program seemed bent on forcing the issue into the old "religion vs. science" mold. It made constant mention of the scientific credentials and positions of I.D.'s opponents, while never mentioning the superb scientific credentials of its supporters. In fact, the show never made mention of any of the scientific or mathematical challenges that I.D. is making to purely naturalistic evolution. It entirely permitted the Darwinist establishment to dictate the terms of the debate, ruling out as unscientific any evidence suggesting any mechanism not entirely naturalistic. The Darwinists said, in essence (and the show never challenged them on it), "It doesn't matter if there is evidence that the earth and everything on it did not reach its current form through purely natural processes -- that evidence is not permissible, even if it is true. Truth about origins is less important than doing science according to the philosophy of naturalism that we dictate." Ironically, I.D.'s opponents then went on to claim that it is the theory of Intelligent Design that is not falsifiable (in spite of the fact that some of I.D.'s proponents have published criteria by which their theories may be falsified). Yet evolution, even purely naturalistic, Darwinist evolution may not even be questioned in a classroom. I know of no widely regarded criteria of falsifiability. Kids must be taught to think critically -- but not about the dictates of the scientific establishment. Those must never be questioned in a classroom. But Koppel and co. never challenged the scientific establishment about these apparent contradictions. Even if he and his show come to a different conclusion than I do, I'd sure like to see fair and honest journalism that takes the best arguments from both sides, and asks the hard questions of both sides. And he and his show did not do that with this issue. There may well have been design in that show, but I didn't see much intelligence.


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