From Chris Wayan's journal, 1997/12/19
I'm watching a TV debate between Creationists and Darwinists, but I soon lose my temper. Creationists are maddening, sleazy reasoners--you can dig up a hundred missing links and they always demand one more...
Slowly, though, I notice the evolutionary speakers have an odd blind spot, too: because natural selection is so solidly established, they're certain there can't be ANY other factors. One woman who was otherwise admirably clear and fair-minded suddenly gets patronizing and ad hominem when Fred Hoyle gets mentioned--won't even address his arguments for dormant bacteria in deep space--it's "mysticism" and "dragging God in, and that's religion, not science." Huh? I read Hoyle's theory--he just proposed dried-up bacteria to explain the peculiar spectral signatures of certain dust clouds! To dismiss that as mysticism shows an intolerance of cranks and odd theories--odd, that is, at this moment. Next year's orthodoxy, for all she knows. Scientists can be as conformist in their way as high fashion. I'm a bit bothered by the disengenuous evasion of the question of design--that's religion, put it over there--science over here. Who says it's religion, who says the designer has to be God? What an assumption!
Why is it necessary, to fight plainly counterfactual Creationism, to ALSO mock the notion that ANYONE could have a hand in spreading life by seeding or by designing certain hard-to-bootstrap mechanisms to speed up evolution, or by enriching biospheres, or terraforming worlds? And not just outsiders: Loren Eiseley pointed out decades ago that if individuals or species or life as a whole has the ability--by ANY means--to push themselves in some evolutionary direction, whether by
Because somewhere out there are builders--and meddlers. If primitives like us can already envision life-seeding, it's almost inevitable that SOME species marginally more advanced has actually designed and spread seeds. The question is, are we entirely wild, feral, or managed?
And if you don't even ask the question...
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