Editor, Daily Nexus,
I’d like to comment on the lecture of Walter ReMine on Jan. 14, which was advertised in the Nexus. The talk was titled “A Scientific Theory of Intelligent Design,” and it was under the umbrella of the Veritas Forum.
ReMine has created a theory to explain biodiversity. It is called “message theory” and claims that a creator is sending a message in the biodiversity of life. It hinges on the premise that “life resists explanation from other theories — evolution, etc.” So if one cannot explain a phenomenon, it must be attributed to a divine creator. I would guess that 10,000 years ago, people thought that lightning came from the creator because it could not be explained by other theories as well. But science has come a long way and explains much that was once attributed to religion. However, science will probably never explain everything. One has to accept that there are things we may never know instead of using unsubstantiated theories.
The Veritas Forum is a Christian lecture series that seeks to interject some credibility to religion by having scientist lecturers. However, all religions must be taken on faith. Christians will freely admit this fact. Since faith is a belief that does not rest on logical proof, there is absolutely no burden of proof for any of their claims. The disparity between science and religion is that religion will never admit to being a theory. It would be rational to say that religion is a theory that one finds probable, but it is irrational to say that one is 100 percent certain that one’s religion is true.
Today we live in a global society with many religions that are mutually exclusive. The true danger of religion is that it sets a precedent for making decisions on an irrational basis. Let me list two examples. 1) 9/11 occurred because of our foreign policies starting around 1945 — not because they hate our freedom. But I don’t think they could have flown planes into buildings without completely believing in their Muslim faith and that they would be going to heaven. 2) Christian faith played a central role in electing Bush.
In conclusion, religious thought will be a hindrance to the long-term survival of our species.