Diseño inteligente

Los defensores de las ideas del diseño inteligente sostienen que las características del universo, de nuestro planeta y de la vida sólo pueden explicarse asumiendo que todo ello ha sido creado de manera dirigida por un ser (o seres) de inteligencia superior. Sin embargo, el mundo científico y académico no consideran estas ideas como una auténtica teoría científica. La teoría de la selección natural, enunciada por Charles Darwin hace ahora más de siglo y medio, explica muy satisfactoriamente, y de manera sencilla, la evolución de los seres vivos mediante variaciones genéticas aleatorias que no requieren ningún mecanismo dirigido de manera intencional.…  Seguir leyendo »

The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish.

The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate — all make life on our planet possible. Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere. And as to the diversity of life on Earth — as Darwin described more than 150 years ago and experiments ever since have validated — natural selection in evolving life forms can establish both diversity and order without any governing plan.…  Seguir leyendo »

The imam of a mosque in east London, Dr Usama Hasan, was earlier this year subjected to death threats over his support for the theory of evolution. Whatever the underlying reasons, and there are clearly other tensions within the mosque, we must categorically condemn tactics of intimidation and the suppression of diverse opinions within the Muslim community. Those in Europe who see Muslims as a threat to western values will see this episode as a further validation of their stereotypical viewpoint of Muslims. We should take care, however, not to let extreme positions on both sides define the issue.

The reality of Muslim attitudes to evolution is more complex.…  Seguir leyendo »

Adistrict court judge in southern California has ruled that a teacher who described creationism as "superstitious nonsense" was making a religious statement, which is impermissible in US public schools. On the face of it, this is completely absurd, even for southern California. Creationism is superstitious nonsense, and teachers should be able to say so. But when you look at the background, the case becomes in some respects less absurd, but also more threatening – especially for hardline rationalists such as Richard Dawkins, who would like to dismiss creationism as beneath contempt.

The first thing to say is that Judge James Selna seems, from his 37-page ruling, to be no friend of fundamentalists.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week we will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, one of Britain's most extraordinary scientists. His theory of evolution, one of the greatest discoveries of all time, gives us a way of understanding the connectedness of all life and the uniqueness of human life within it. Together with other branches of scientific exploration, evolution begins to unfold and illuminate the interplay of forces that make our universe such an extraordinary dynamic reality. In this sense, science is itself a journey of learning and exploration. This I find exciting and humbling.

Towards the end of his life Darwin wrote: “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist.”…  Seguir leyendo »

In our sound-bite political culture, it is unrealistic to expect that every complicated issue will be addressed with the nuance or subtlety it deserves. So I suppose I should not have been surprised earlier this month when, during the first Republican presidential debate, the candidates on stage were asked to raise their hands if they did not “believe” in evolution. As one of those who raised his hand, I think it would be helpful to discuss the issue in a bit more detail and with the seriousness it demands.

The premise behind the question seems to be that if one does not unhesitatingly assert belief in evolution, then one must necessarily believe that God created the world and everything in it in six 24-hour days.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Polly Toynbee (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):

The DJ wasn't joking when he burbled: "Happy Good Friday!" His audience probably didn't wince, since a recent poll showed that 43% of the population have no idea what Easter celebrates, with the young most clueless. Eggs, bunnies, lambs?Even an old atheist like me sees no good in this ignorance of basic Christian myths. How do you make any sense of history, art or literature without knowing the stories and iconography of your own culture and all the world's main religions? Total ignorance of religion and its history could make people more susceptible to the next passing charlatan offering Kwik Save salvation from whatever it is people want to be saved from.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Madeleine Bunting (THE GUARDIAN, 27/03/06):

On Wednesday evening, at a debate in Oxford, Richard Dawkins will be gathering the plaudits for his long and productive intellectual career. It is the 30th anniversary of his hugely influential book The Selfish Gene. A festschrift, How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think, has been published this month, with contributions from stars such as Philip Pullman.A week ago it was the turn of the US philosopher Daniel Dennett, second only to Dawkins in the global ranking of contemporary Darwinians, to be similarly feted at a series of lectures and debates across the UK launching his book on religion, Breaking the Spell.…  Seguir leyendo »

Juli Peretó, profesor de bioquímica, Universitat de València, Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, secretario de la International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, Issol (LA VANGUARDIA, 12/02/06):

La polémica sobre evolución y creación ha dado una buena cosecha en el 2005. Por un lado, en Estados Unidos se dictó la primera sentencia contra la reintroducción del creacionismo en la escuela pública. Por otro, no sólo se confirma que los antievolucionistas han cruzado las fronteras estadounidenses, sino que encuentran eco en la Iglesia católica.

La sentencia que el juez Jones dictó contra el consejo escolar de Dover (Pennsylvania) es impecable: el diseño inteligente (DI) es una falacia.…  Seguir leyendo »