Life is kind of like a can opener

Matthew Carroll's view

Last month a federal judge ruled that labeling textbooks with a disclaimer about evolution was unconstitutional. His claim was that it violates the “constitutionally mandated” separation of church and state. He went on to say that calling evolution a “theory” is confusing to students. Confusing? Students? To? The truth may hurt, but it is far from confusing.

If someone walked up to me on the street and said, “The world is flat” I would probably smile politely, put a quarter in his change cup, and continue on my way. Why should I debate something that has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt? To my knowledge there has been no grassroots movement calling for a disclaimer on textbooks regarding the shape of the Earth. The fact that scientists have differing theories about the origin of man is enough to put it firmly in the realm of theory.

Intelligent Design advocates such as Michael Behe have proposed an alternative to evolution. They claim that the parts of the body are “irreducibly complex” and therefore could not have evolved slowly over time. Granted, the term “irreducibly complex” sounds like something easily remedied with a chocolate laxative, the idea behind it does have some weight to it.

Take, for instance, a can opener. What happens if I decide to take away one of its components? Say I remove the little gear-looking thingy purely out of spite. It ceases to be a can opener — or anything else useful for that matter. The same principle can be applied to biology. If you remove any component of the human eye it no longer functions. What you are left with is a squishy white orb that makes a funny sound when you poke it with a stick.

How do evolutionists explain this? They use fancy phrases like, “the probability exists that (insert biological component) could have had another use” which is scientific jargon meaning “we don’t know yet.” I could, in turn, say that “the probability exists that Michael Jackson did not coerce little boys into submission with ‘Jesus Juice,’” but who’s going to believe that even if it is true?

But is Intelligent Design any better? Despite its compelling argument, doesn’t the claim that God created us belong in church, not the laboratory? It is true that science will never be able to prove — or disprove — the existence of God. It is also true that the theory of evolution does not necessarily deny the existence of an intelligent creator. However, evolutionists cannot just write off Intelligent Design as “Bible-thumping” in scientific form.

Is the only alternative to evolution that it must be God directing it all? No, but what it does suggest is that this evolutionary process may not be the best answer. Evolution and God are not all that there is. There is a good possibility that scientists are only scratching the surface with the evolutionary theory, and much of what we believe today will be laughed at 200 years from now. It would be ignorant to believe that science has all the answers — people really did think they could fall off the edge of the world. Remember that next time you scoff at a warning label on a textbook.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].