Intelligent Design? George Bush certainly didn't start this debate. It began a long time before the delegate fight in Florida.
And the Scopes Monkey Trial didn't start the debate either. And it certainly didn't end it. And neither did the great Spencer Tracey in "Inherit the Wind."
In fact Charles Darwin didn't start the debate. If you don't believe me, just ask Galileo. Or Copernicus.
The debate didn't even begin with the birth of Jesus. It raged long before then. The debate began even before the Greek and Roman gods were born.
My guess is that the great debate started when the first human pondered the meaning of life and the certainty of death. That first man's mistake was that he told his neighbor about his observations. The debate has been raging ever since.
Intelligent Design versus Darwin's "theory" of evolution is just the latest skirmish in the debate. And it's a pretty minor skirmish at that.
Charles Darwin's mistake wasn't that he made detailed observations and applied scientific principles to his observations. And his mistake wasn't that he discovered what every farmer and every livestock breeder of his day already knew. His mistake was that he wrote a book. He told his neighbor.
You see Darwin's neighbor already had a book, the Bible. And he already had good crops and healthy livestock. And he had faith.
Plus, the neighbor had already lost a whole series of debates. He lost the debate about the "theory" that the Earth wasn't flat. And he lost the debate about the "theory" that the Earth wasn't the center of the Universe. He lost the debate about that crazy "theory" that Earth revolved around the sun.
He sure as heck wasn't going to lose a debate about a "theory" that creatures adapted to their environment. After all, it was God's will that his cows were bigger and gave more milk.
Creationists, like the great William Jennings Bryan, like to compare the the Earth to a fine pocket watch. With all its small gears and tiny cogs fitting and working perfectly together, a watch couldn't possible just evolve. That's just silly.
The problem with Creationists is that they think too small. You see God has made lots of laws, not to mention a lot of gears.
God didn't just make big laws like the Ten Commandments. There are lots of little laws too, like the Law of Gravity.
Compared to a watch the universe is very large and the cogs are very small . Many are so tiny they can't be seen, not even with the best microscope. Yet ever gear and ever cog works perfectly. Every movement of every gear is covered by many laws. Physics books are full of them. Science hasn't even scratched the surface yet.
If God made every rule, every particle, and every proton and electron, it had to be one great job. A simple watch is no comparison to the complexity of the universe.
If God went to all this trouble, why would God not use the magnificent machine he (or she) created? Why go to all the trouble to make all the rules if you're simply going to break them?
No, I believe God follows the rules. It's simple really. If you're going to build a wondrous Universe, why not let the Universe do it's job? It's so well designed, it's bound to get the job done.
In other words, why would God build such a wonderful watch and then not use it to tell time?
William Jennings Bryan, you were on the right track. You just didn't give God enough credit.
Personally I'm glad God made our rules, like the Ten Commandments, rather easy to understand. I think he recognized out limitations.
So let scientists work on understanding the other laws God created. They will never understand them all. Every time a scientist uncovers a new law, we should all be amazed in it's wonder, complexity and beauty. The debate between science and faith is meaningless.
I was blessed to attend a church is a small southern town many years ago when a great minister, Reverend Renfro, preached, "It's science's job to tell us where and when, it's religion's job to tell us who and why."
Once you know who and why there's really no need to debate where and when.