Make equal time for Intelligent Design
"Last month, the [Australian] federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, gave intelligent design ministerial imprimatur, telling the National Press Club he thought parents and schools ought to have the opportunity - if they wished - for students to be exposed to intelligent design and taught about it. ...His interest had been pricked by a parliamentary visit on June 20 by Bill Hodgson, head of the Sydney-based campus Crusade for Christ, who left a copy of a DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life with Nelson.
The DVD featured a US mathematician, William Dembski, and other leading American intelligent design proponents claiming the complexity of biological systems is proof of an organising intelligence.
"ID is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence," Dembski said." http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/09/23/1126982233685.html
I would assume that the "study of patterns in nature" that might be "explained as the result of intelligence" will of necessity give equal considertion to these assertions:
"Questions pertaining to humanity's origins and our uniqueness concern each and everyone of us over and over again. The world is full of mysteries: the the pyramids at Giza, Egypt, Stonehenge in England, or the lines of Nazca, Peru. Since the general sciences have the tendency to ignore or underestimate the message behind those mysteries, they are excluded from our daily lives. Therefore, these mysteries become some of the greatest uninvestigated areas which remain unsolved for our youth and coming generations.
"Questions arise, such as
did aliens visit Earth a long, long time ago?
could the knowledge of apparently highly advanced technology in ancient civilizations be related to alien contact?
did extraterrestrial visitors interfere with or influence human and cultural evolution?
what traces do we currently find on Earth or in our planetary system possibly indicating such visits?
what are the implications and consequences of proving "We are not alone - and never have been!"?
are we really the pinnacle of creation?
If the "visitors-from-space," or Paleo-SETI (article by Giorgio A. Tsoukalos), hypothesis is eventually proven and accepted by the larger scientific community, the A.A.S. R.A. legendarytimes.com will not only have assisted in bringing this research to the general public, but we will also be continuing to incorporate it into our daily lives. (see article "Paleo-SETI: Interdisciplinary and popularized - Arguments, Logic and Consequences" by Ulrich Dopatka)." http://www.legendarytimes.com/
"Hierarchies of innumerable angels still populate the universe. These angelic non-human intelligent beings built civilizations in our solar system -- even upon the Earth -- before Adam. ANGELS ARE INTELLIGENT BEINGS WHO ARE NOT HUMAN, MYSTERIOUS BEINGS WHO ARE "ALIEN" TO US. Angels are non-human intelligent beings who have superior technology and comprehension of physics, having been present at the creation of the material universe." http://www.mt.net/~watcher/
One Fox news channel evidently had a line on this strain of thought:
"On the ten o'clock news, after we are told that the pyramids have never been a tomb, correspondent Garcia continues, "Still, modern day scholars debate not only what they are, but why they are-who, or what, built them?" He treats both claims as if they are exemplary of real scholarly debate. Does Garcia really think that? He could not be reached for comment. Then we see a man identified onscreen as "Fadel Gad, Egyptologist." What news does he have for us? Why, just this: "Were the Egyptians thinking of UFOs at that time? Yes! A very sophisticated, highly intelligent species that had intercepted this planet Earth and had caused the evolution and the exploration of the human consciousness." http://www.csicop.org/si/9909/fox.html
So, if there is intelligent design behind the unexplained patterns in nature, might it have come from "aliens"? Isn't that just another leap of faith that deserves as much time and effort in class as any other theory of intelligent design? Once you start down that path there is only imagination and faith. The study of evolution from a scientific framework of analysis just doesn't have to go there. There is no place for such considerations in such a study; in other studies (religion, philosophy, logic, theology), yes, but in the study of evolution, no.
And while on the matter of the pyramids, I ran across this interesting paper (http://wrt-intertext.syr.edu/I2/graeff.html) with excerpts following:
"In 1865 Piazzi Smyth measured the Great Pyramid and synthesized many of John Taylor's ideas and theories presented in 1859 in The Great Pyramid, Why was It Built and Who Built It into his own theories (filling 600 pages of calculations) grounded in his measurements about extraordinary relationships between the Great Pyramid and the Earth and events supposedly prophesied in the measurements of the inner passages of the Great Pyramid (Mendelssohn 206). The basic unit of measurement (the pyramid inch) apparently used by the designer, turns out to be exactly the five-hundred-millionth part of the earth's polar radius. This is significant because the pyramid has five sides. The Pyramid's designed base square has a side measuring just 365.242 of these same units - a figure identical to the number of days in the solar tropical year - and the same figure can be found in other features of the design. Further measurements appear to give exact figures for the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, for the mean distance of the earth from the sun, for the period of the earth's full precessional cycle (a period of over 25,000 years), as well as the mean density of the earth (Lemesurier 8). It also turns out that the ratio of height to its base-perimeter as a circle's radius to its circumference is 1/2 pi. Also present is phi - or the Golden Section ratio of 1 to 1.618 . . . (supposedly discovered by Pythagoros). If one wished to have an architectural symbol for the planet Earth itself one could scarcely do better than to take the Great Pyramid (Lemesurier 8). All of these amazing facts seem to suggest that it is no mean feat for an ignorant, superstitious, semi-prehistoric architect to achieve by mere accident.
"It also may all be a grand accident. The Great Pyramid probably wasn't designed with these relationships in mind. There are three explanations for the "coincidences" found through the numerical experimentation of Smyth and others. The relationships, especially with pi, may have come about through the measuring tools used or it could be the choice of the slope angle because of a construction failure with a steeper angle. Most of the relationships can probably be explained by numerical experimentation. An interesting article by Cornelius de Jager, an astrophysicist with the Laboratory for Space Research, called "Adventures in Science and Cyclosophy" points out some of the main errors of pseudoscience in the "religion of the Great Pyramid" based on the accidental coincidence of certain structural data of the pyramid with fundamental astronomical data. He then finds coincidental relationships between his bike's measurements and physical constants such as the speed of light. One of the errors of pseudoscience in the Great Pyramid is that the measurements are expressed with the accuracy of three to four decimal places. This does not seem possible with the measuring equipment of the Egyptians or even the equipment of 100 years ago. A more surprising statement that he examined was that a precise mathematical formula could be found relating the base length of the pyramid in pyramid yards with the distance between the earth and the sun in kilometers! This would mean that the builders of the pyramid already knew the length of the kilometer before the introduction of the metric system. He goes on to explain that "Coincidences occur regularly in numerical experiments, as in daily life. Those who do not realize that such coincidences are not 'rare' often incorrectly use them to imply paranormal events. Most people greatly underestimate the enormous amount of possible combinations between numbers. And that has helped make it easy for many pseudoscientific misconceptions to arise and grow, and gain public appeal." (De Jager 172).
"But there is probably even more evidence that illustrates the conjectural nature of the numerical experimentation of Piazzi Smyth. Its seems that Piazzi Smyth was one of the most ardent supporters of the system of British measurements, weights, and standards. He was against the decimal and metric standards that many wanted to adopt at this time. He wished to find a connection between Britain and the Bible. According to his math and theories the Great Pyramid was built in British inches. His argument was that the profound mathematical truths shown in it show that its construction was inspired by God. Hence the inch is a God-given measure and as such necessarily superior to the centimeter which was inspired "by the wildest, most blood-thirsty and most atheistic revolution of a whole nation, that the world has ever seen." - that being the French Revolution - originator of the Metric system.
"As for the occurrence of pi in the Pyramid's measurements, the Egyptians may have arrived at this transcendental number without realizing it. Most scholars believe that the Egyptians didn't know the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle to a greater accuracy than three for more than a thousand years after Khufu. Therefore, the occurrence of pi may be due to the fact that the Egyptians may have measured long horizontal distances by counting the revolutions of a drum. In this way they would have arrived at 3.141 . . . without realizing it. A drum would be more accurate than ropes of palm fiber since they tend to stretch. It seems that the Egyptian architects never did anything more sophisticated than to build Pyramids in the simple gradients of 4:1 or 3:1. Out of these angles come the gradients 51 degrees 52' and 43 and 1/2 degrees (Mendelssohn 64-73).
" It is agreed that the construction or "how" of the Great Pyramid is a great wonder and a fantastic achievement of humankind. It is also agreed that there are still mysteries about some of the techniques used by the Egyptians to build the pyramid with such great accuracy. But ongoing research, especially that of Mark Lehner, of the whole Ghiza site have recently shed, and continue to, great light upon the methods of construction.
"A couple of paragraphs about the construction of the pyramids does not end all the controversies. There are many conflicting views of how it was done in the field of Egyptology. But Mark Lehener does seem to be making progress through empirical scientific method and a survey that looks at the whole picture. Of course there is no way to disprove the theory that space aliens aided in the construction of the pyramids. But there isn't any concrete evidence to make it likely either.