Saturday, March 31, 2007

False Dichotomy

If you come down dogmatically on either side of the evolution/intelligent design debate, you don't understand the issues. If you come down dogmatically on either side, you are professing an allegiance to a doctrine. If you are dogmatically allied to a doctrine, you are lost. The web page shown above is a good example of the false dichotomy that typifies discourse surrounding the debate. The first set of questions is
Evolution or Creation? Did the Vast Universe Evolve, or was it Designed and Created?
as if the choices posed were mutually exclusive. But a designed universe (and the life in it) could evolve as well as any other universe. An evolving (developing) universe (and the life in it) might be designed or not. The choices are not mutually exclusive. The assumption of their mutual exclusivity is an artifact of the warring doctrines. Same thing with the second set of questions:
Does God Exist? Would He expect us to assume? Or does He expect us to Prove it?
There is no logical contradiction in answering all of these questions in the affirmative: Yes, God exists. Yes, God expects us to assume His existence. Yes, God expects us to prove his existence.