Intelligent Design

Two cheers for Darwinian evolution . . . and for the ether

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In the Scopes trial appellate opinion, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Chambliss noted that Scopes’ lawyers prominently featured this statement from Prof. E. N. Reinke of Vanderbilt University: “The theory of evolution is altogether essential to the teaching of biology. . . . To deny the teacher of biology the use of [evolution] would make his teaching as chaotic as an attempt to teach . . . physics without assuming the existence of the ether.” (Go here. Didn’t Einstein’s fundamental work predate the Scopes trial by two decades?)

It’s comforting to realize that critics of ID like Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, and Daniel Dennett stand on the shoulders of such towering intellects as Prof. Reinke.

3 Replies to “Two cheers for Darwinian evolution . . . and for the ether

  1. 1
    Red Reader says:

    Dr. Dembski wrote:
    “It’s comforting to realize that critics of ID like Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, and Daniel Dennett stand on the shoulders of such towering intellects as Prof. Reinke.”

    Yes. Einstein’s theory had been out about as long relative to the Scopes trial as ID has been out relative to the Dover trial. And it wasn’t that people didn’t know about Einstein’s theory: it was either that the didn’t understand it or they didn’t like it.

  2. 2
    jasonng says:

    And yet now we realize how absurd it was to invent some nonexistant thing to explain away something deemed unacceptable by physicists of the time.

  3. 3
    jimbo says:

    The ether wasn’t absurd at all – it was a resaonable hypothesis at the time, given the then known properties of electromagnetic waves. Now, quantum mechanics and relativity ARE absurd – and so is the idea that some invisable, unknown intelligent agent designed something like the bacterial flaggellum. Unfortunately for us, the universe doesn’t always accomodate our own definations of absurdity…

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