Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Ignorance and bliss

In my blog yesterday I said: "No one yet knows how proteins compel and instruct the spider to spin its web."

If I were a well-known biologist -- a Stephen Jay Gould, for example, or a Richard Lewontin -- the anti-evolutionist crowd would yank that comment out of context and use it to suggest that naturalistic science can't explain the spider's web, therefore "creationism" or "intelligent design" should be taught in science classes as a viable alternative.

But to say "God did it" is a cop out. An honest "I don't know" does not mean "we'll never know." With "God did it," thinking stops.

It may well be that evolutionary theory as it is currently understood will need to be supplemented or changed if we are to understand in all of its detail the origin of the spider's web, but whatever scientific explanation comes along, it will be naturalistic, falsifiable by reproducible experiment, and embraced by a consensus of working scientists...

...because that is by definition what we mean by "science."