Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Radio: Intelligent Design

Called in to WZGM 1350 AM to make comments in response to a letter to the editor in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

This is the letter:
Regarding the various “scientific” explanations for “intelligent design,” I have only one thing to say: Reason is for people who do not believe. --Tom Sherry, Candler

Talk show host Ken Bagwell read the letter on air and asked if anyone understood what the writer was trying to say. Here are my comments made on the radio:
Essentially, what the writer is saying is that the rational mind is inferior to mysticism.

He is saying that the theory of intelligent design is constructed in order to appeal to the rational mind--the same way other scientific theories are meant to be grasped and understood by the rational mind.

Reason is that faculty of the mind that identifies and integrates sensory perception of the real world. Mysticism means believing in something in spite of the absence of any evidence of its existence.

Mr. Sherry is claiming that he has no use for the rational mind and does not need arguments that appeal to it. He feels secure that his religious faith is sufficient for understanding the the whole of reality.

Usually, the flaw in this kind of argument is that, in order to convice someone to dismiss reason and logic, you have to appeal to the faculties of reason and logic. However, Mr. Sherry avoids this flaw. He is actually being consistent in his letter by providing no rational arguments to back up his claim: "Reason is for people who do not believe."

Anyone who believes that Mr. Sherry knows what he's talking about would HAVE to rely entirely on faith and would certainly have no need for the rational mind.