Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

A Few Words About This Blog, Evolutionary Biology and Personal Happiness

A few weeks ago I saw some old friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. Some of them have been reading my blog since before it was a blog. One of them said to me, “You only write about .NET and technology these days… why don’t you write about anything else anymore?” I didn’t really have a good answer, but I had noticed it myself. So I started writing a little more about me, my life, the world around me, etc. And for me, it has been refreshing. I was getting stuck in a rut and I’ve been enjoying writing about other things. Maybe I’ll even write a post in my Haiku category again soon. Who knows?

My post titled “Intelligent Design Loses in Dover School District Case” was nothing more than me congratulating a team of hard-working people whose case I believed in; a case that I think has important ramifications to our society. But as always happens when the topic is religion or politics (or both as in this case), people have come insisting on arguing the creationist case and quoting verse. Oh well..

The first commenter quoted the bible. “Paul, the bondservant of Jesus Christ” wrote:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Our commenter is either St. Paul the apostle come back from the dead to comment on my blog, or just a plagiarist quoting Romans 1:20 and trying take credit for it. Other readers, however, wanted to argue. As an example consider this comment:

“FACT: evolution theory cannot explain a lot of things happening around us. In fact, life and everything around us, is so complicated, that still many questions can be asked. We already know however, that the evolution theory isn’t the answer.

…

While it’s a fact, proven, etc, that evolution cannot be the correct answer, even though it seems to go a far way.”

As a scientist and a philosopher, I am excited about these kinds of statements. Wow. You have found evidence that proves that evolutionary theory&nbsp_place_holder;is wrong? That is exciting. I would love to see those references. All I want is to have a better understanding of the world around me, so I’ll take any scientific evidence you’ve got. But there won’t be any arguments that stand up to the standards of science.

But&nbsp_place_holder;let me be clear about what I believe: I believe that the modern theories of evolutionary biology are correct. I believe they are facts.

Fact means, “the truth or actual existence of something, as opposed to the supposition of something or a belief about something”. Notice that the definition of the word fact includes the idea that there is evidence to support it. Evolution has countless experimental and empirical studies to support it. I suppose I could spend a few hours digging up links to study after study, but I’m not going to.

You see, I don’t think there is actually any point in doing that. Why? First of all, there are lots of other sites that do this much better than I ever could. But more importantly, in my experience people who disagree with evolutionary biology aren’t going to be persuaded. In fact, I don’t want to try to persuade them. If they want to actually do the research and find the information, it isn’t hard. Grab your favorite search engine and look it up. Go to the library. Or don’t. Keep believing what you believe. I don’t care. All I care about is that people are happy with themselves. If it makes you happy to believe in creationism, great. I don’t. No biggie. Be happy. Please.

If you really want to argue evolutionary biology, I would suggest that you visit any of the forums for such things. There are newsgroups, web forums, mailing lists, etc. that are much better suited to this topic. But let me be clear, this is my blog and I will write about things that interest me. Sometimes these things will be religious. Sometimes they will be political. Sometimes they will be about my family. Sometimes they will be about nothing. I’m not going to apologize for this.

This blog is mine and it is about me. I don’t go to creationists blogs and attack their beliefs. I would appreciate the same consideration here.

–Peter

PS. For what its worth, I’ve closed the comments on that post. If you really think you can prove Intelligent Design, get it published in Nature. It will be much more effective for both of us.

PPS. If you are only interested in my technology posts, then I would suggest you subscribe to my Technology feed (rss) or my Geek Notes feed (rss) and not the main feed. For a full list of the available categories/feeds (and their RSS URLs), visit the Archive.