I have been an avid supporter of Darwin’s theory of Evolution since day one of Scientific Revolutions. I openly expressed and defended my opinions of this subject in class discussions. This pattern also rang true when the topic of Darwin’s competition, the idea of Intelligent Design surfaced in class discussions. I opposed the theory from the start, stubbornly ruling out the validity of the theory’s ideas. In a passing conversation with a fellow student on our way out after the class, I realized I had little to no knowledge on the idea I was so brashly denying as logical thought. While browsing through some popular videos in the defense of Intelligent Design, I came across a trailer for a documentary on the subject. The film, "Expelled: No Room for Intelligence" stars Ben Stein and stresses some key points about how things are far more complex than we could ever imagine. The documentary mentions that recent advancements in technology have enabled us to now observe things so microscopic they were previously beyond the scope of any technology to observe. With this new technology came new experimentation and observations. What it revealed is that there is a literally an entire universe of complexity within every cell. Unimaginably small structures are somehow performing tasks necessary or life with mechanical precision. What the video tries to express with this fact is that there must be some source of information that is telling these tiny little things what to do.
When I first watched this trailer, my stubborn biased thoughts clouded my openness to the ideas that were being put forth. I felt the trailer had too many loose ends and therefore couldn’t be considered reputable. And than as if snapping out of a cognitive stupor, I remembered that what I had just watched was a trailer, and that all trailers have loose ends. Punching myself for being such a space-case, I began looking for more information on the documentary. I came across several other brief chapters from the film. Upon watching these additional clips, questions began forming in my head. My conceptions of what I was so stubbornly accepting as the only plausible logic was suddenly full of holes. Intellectually shaken and a bit perturbed, I pondered the ideas still burning in my head. After quite some time of further introspection, (several days in fact), I was able to gather myself logically and come to a realization. Darwin’s theory has some shady spots. That fact is undeniable. Some things are left unexplained, and at the moment it may seem the most logical explanation for some things in fact is divine presence. However then I remembered the pattern in human existence I had studied in depth for an earlier project. Religion seems to always be the explanation for something that we can’t understand yet. Many years later, with appropriate technological advancements and scientific experimentation, humankind usually tends to find a more reasonable scientific explanation. What I hope is that upcoming experiments involving the Hadon Collider will bring about some new scientific advancements in the field of the universe’s origin. For now I will remain skeptical of intelligent Design, and when further advancements in technology will permit, I will make further conclusions at that point. Nonetheless, I must acknowledge the potential for fallacy in Darwin’s ideas. It’s important to give some space for research into theories possibly opposing the ideas expressed through Evolution.
"Expelled: No Room for Intelligence" trailer:
As Stein’s documentary reveals, teachers and scientists are being outright shunned and discredited amongst their peers in the various fields of science for questioning Darwin’s ideas. What I’ve come to realize is that by being such an immovable supporter for Darwin’s ideas, I’m no better then the members of the Inquisition in the time of Galileo. As my roommate discovered while flipping through the various writings in Appleman’s Darwin, Darwin himself was quoted saying, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge,”(Appleman, 525). This quote was used in far different context during Darwin’s time. However, it still applies in today’s society, though with different applications. In my case, this quote implies that by being such a stubborn Darwin supporter and remaining ignorant to the pleas of other logic, I am far more likely to convince myself that what I know of Darwin is the absolute, undeniable system of reason. In stead, I should rely in what ‘knowledge’ has to offer. In this case, it is the recent observations on the most complex microbiological process that are beginning to expose potential fallacies in Darwin’s reasoning. As Pope John Paul II stated in his “Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences”: “A theory’s validity depends on whether or not it can be verified; it is constantly tested against the facts; wherever it can no longer explain the latter, it shows the limitations and unsuitability. It must then be rethought.” He goes on to say, “rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution,” (Paul, 528).
Through the discussion of intelligent design and possible holes in Darwinian Theory I had a revelation in which I realized that as technology stands now, and with the current level of advancement in Microbiology, There are some things out there that don’t necessarily fit in with Darwin’s theory. I realized that I have been far too close-minded on the entire subject of existence.
This is the trailer that originally go me interested in the subject
For additional videos on Intelligent Design and trailers for "Expelled" click here
Darwin, Charles, and Pope John Paul II. Darwin. Ed. Philip Appleman. New York: Norton Paperbacks, 2000. 525-28.