Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Believe in Joe Pesci.

I just finished watching the PBS Nova episode chronicling the Dover PA. school board battle over evolution. While the result of the case is already well know (YAY!), the background that this show gave us was fantastic. It makes me feel good about humanity.

Regardless, something about the show rubbed me the wrong way. It's something about the ID debate in general, and that is the use of the word "believe."

A local journalist, talking about her personal battles with her father, recounts a question he directerd at her; do you believe in evolution? She responded with yes, that she believed we came from monkeys, and all that good stuff.

I have problems with that because I do not believe in evolution, I believe in science. I damn well should believe in it. It's what lets me write this. It's what's lighting this room. Evolution follows from science and all the other interconnected theories that support it. To reject it is to reject science, and one cannot accept science without accepting evolution.

And yes, on a brutally philosophical level, science is a "faith." I'll spare you all the technicalities, but the boils down to having faith that my own perceptions are accurate. I have no evidence, nothing testable to say that what I see and hear are what I actually see and here. There are many arguments against this, but I'll give the faith-foundation proponents the benefit of the doubt.

Still, science's goal is to strip as much faith as it can from reality. It strives to reduce it as best it can. Religion bolts on more faith; worse still, a faith that contradicts other faith. At least my faith in my own perceptions isn't contradictory on its face.

So yes, I believe in evolution. Of course I do. Because I have faith that I am not insane and the world is, roughly, as I see it.

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