Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Place for Intelligent Design

Before picking up the current edition of Tikkun Magazine, I most likely would have told you that I believed the best place in our school systems for the teaching of Intelligent Design was the nearest waste basket. I've had a change of heart though, after reading the column, "Evolution & Science Under Attack".

This unsigned editorial has embraced an idea central to Taoistic thought -- seeking change just as water silently changes its environment. As the editorial points out,
...there is another danger if progressives make the scientific account of evolution the only acceptable explanation of the origins of nature. Evolution is the only legitimate scientific narrative, but not the only acceptable account, because there are other ways to understand reality that science cannot reach.
This same message is conveyed again and again in Taoist writings. There is nothing wrong with employing our intellect to learn more about the world we live in, but it is a mistake to believe this is the only and best way to learn. Each person is apt to learn more about the mysteries of life by casting aside desire to meditate or contemplate the Tao.

Another basic concept of Taoism is that reality is so vast that the human mind will never be able fully to grasp it. No amount of scientific exploration will ever be able to quantify it. No scientific theory will ever come close to encompass it.

Therefore, there are ways that move beyond science that can help us understand the nature of Tao. And Tikkun has proposed an excellent methodology to incorporate both science and belief systems into school curricula.
...that we insist that alternatives not be taught in science courses, but instead be taught in mandatory courses on world religion and philosophy. In the context of such courses, the biblical creation story should be taught alongside the creation stories of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Scandanavia, India, China, Africa, and Native American cultures, and they should be assessed in terms of how well they provide foundations for a framework of meaning to our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Fundamentalist Atheist Scientists piss me off as much as any other fundamentalists.

    Unfortunately, for those of us who are spiritually minded on the left of the political spectrum, we sometimes find ourselves allied with folks so angry at religion that they miss the spiritual wonders of the forest because of a few, bad Pat Robertson trees.

    As I mentioned in my email to you, I'm a long time Tikkun subscriber, and Michael Lerner is a hero of mine. (He actually personally counseled me, albeit via email, when I was struggling with the question of whether or not to circumsize my son.)

    Anyway, Tikkun's work in this area, coming together in the new organization they established - The Network of Spiritual Progressives - is very exciting. The pieces in the most recent issue, excerpt from the national conference they held, are wonderful, inspiring, hopeful.


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