Monday, October 03, 2005

INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS CREATIONISM WITH ITS OWN K STREET LOBBYING FIRM.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS CREATIONISM WITH ITS OWN K STREET LOBBYING FIRM.

An interesting war rages between modernity and religious fundamentalism. It is the masquerade of discredited creationism under the pseudoscience of “intelligent design”. The topic of so-called “intelligent design” is not debatable in the discursive space that is the Desert of the Real. “Intelligent design has been called “creationism in a tuxedo”. The Author prefers his own analogy. It is “creationism with its own K Street lobbying firm.”

THERE IS NO ECONOMIC GOD. AND THIS IS NOT A CALL TO WORSHIP THE “ALMIGHTY” DOLLAR. OR EVEN THE YEN OR EURO.

The Author is an unabashed advocate for free markets. He also believes in the concepts of the welfare state where people are provided with a base income, education, housing and healthcare. He further believes that the environment be protected and that the cultural heritage of peoples’ should be respected.

The Author also believes that the twin goals of a free market and the welfare state are not incompatible. But in the pseudeomoralism that passes for politics in America, these topics exist in a shatter belt. But this is not a political site. If the politics do not relate to economics, they will be muted.

With that out of the way, the reason the Author believes in free markets is because they are efficient systems for production, distribution and communication. The market is bigger than any commissar or “intelligent designer”. The Author found an article on ABC News online[i] that discusses the parallels between the spontaneous and emergent systems of a free market and evolution. The article also addresses the peculiar paradox quoted below:

“[S]ome of the most ardent opponents of Darwinian evolution -- for example, many fundamentalist Christians -- are among the most ardent supporters of the free market. These people accept the natural complexity of the market without qualm, yet they insist that the natural complexity of biological phenomena requires a designer.’
“They would reject the idea that there is or should be central planning in the economy. They would rightly point out that simple economic exchanges that are beneficial to people become entrenched and then gradually modified as they become part of larger systems of exchange, while those that are not beneficial die out. They accept that Adam Smith's invisible hand brings about the spontaneous order of the modern economy. Yet, as noted, some of these same people refuse to believe that natural selection and "blind processes" can lead to similar biological order arising spontaneously. “


The author of the ABC Online News article also makes the following point to discredit “scholars” who embrace “intelligent design” in the face of overwhelming evidence for Dawinian development. Consider the following quote:

“What would you think of someone who studied economic entities and their interactions in a modern free market economy and insisted that they were, despite a perfectly reasonable and empirically supported account of their development, the consequence of some all-powerful, detail-obsessed economic law-giver? You might deem such a person a conspiracy theorist.”

The father of value investing, Benjamin Graham said that in the short run, the market was a voting machine. Particiapants vote with their purchase and sales about which organizations will win and lose. But in the long run, markets are weighing machines. They reflect the collective intelligence and choices of the participants. Prices evolve in response to the economic environment. Winners are sorted from the losers.

The same things happen with species. There are short-term winners and losers, and a very small pool of long term survivors. Those that do survive for the long-term, and it is no sure bet that Homo sapien sapiens will be one of those species, have better genetic tools to compete and succeed.[ii] They have better “information” in their genomes to react to the conditions they face. They succeed in the market of natural selection.

Evolution, to our human sentiments, may seem a cruel process. But it does reflect the natural order. And what would anything be without it? At best, there would only be proto-life, just chains of amino acids with crude reproductive algorithms.

An analagous condition would exist (North Korea) and did exist(the Communist countries) without free markets. Desirable goods would be of short supply and likely be of shoddy quality. Even the basic neccessities would be rationed.

Finally, this is not a call to abandon people to the harsh effects of the market. But that is a task for the voters and the politicians, a task that many have overlooked for far too long.

THAT WHICH YOU DO FOR THE LEAST OF US YOU DO FOR ALL OF US HERE IN THE DESERT OF THE REAL!






[i] The link to the article is below:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/WhosCounting/story?id=1077586&page=1
The Author of the article is Professor of mathematics at Temple University, John Allen Paulos , the author of best-selling books, including "Innumeracy" and "A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market." His "Who's Counting?" column on ABCNews.com appears the first weekend of every month.
[ii] Extinction is the fate of nearly all species. Consider the fact that all other hominid species, whether an ancestor of modern humans or an evolutionary dead end, are extinct.

1 Comments:

At 7:11 AM , Blogger Sir Oolius said...

Excellent post: exactly spot-on with mentioning that those who tend to favor intelligent design often also tend to favor Darwinian economics!

hehe: K street lobbying firm! I'll have to remember that!

 

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