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April 6, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Intelligent Falling: Teach the Controversy!


2009 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species, and so many people have taken the opportunity of this anniversary to highlight the cause of intelligent design. It is another year of successes for intelligent design, with Texas, one of the largest textbook markets in the United States, recently inserting several arguments from intelligent design into the state’s education standards – standards which must be reflected in textbooks used in Texas schools. However, in this column, I would like to bring your attention to the sadly-neglected cousin of intelligent design: the theory of intelligent falling.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself: “oh yeah, intelligent falling, that’s just the Hand of God theory in sheep’s clothing”, so I’d like to disabuse you of that notion right now. Intelligent falling merely posits that the fact that we remain upon the surface of the Earth is due to an intelligent agent that holds us there. It does not posit that the agent is necessarily God, nor Buddha, nor the Flying Spaghetti Monster (praise His noodly appendages). Intelligent falling does, however, represent a rational and scientific alternative to the theory of gravity, a theory that, as I’m sure you know, is full of so many holes that it is a surprise to many rational and reasonable people that it continues to be taught – even in our own university.

No-one disputes the fact that things fall when dropped, and that we are held to (or pushed towards) the ground. But why is this? Newtonists would have you believe that this is due to an invisible force called gravity. Sounds pretty wacky huh? The uncomfortable fact is that gravity is far too weak a force to account for the fact that we do not fly off the face of the Earth. Another problem with the theory of gravity is that it does not account for the things that do not fall. Think of the many things that do not fall towards the ground but float in the air: feathers, dust, clouds, birds. Why allow the inconsistency that gravity should cause some things to fall and others to float? If falling is caused by a blind force, shouldn’t all things fall equally? An alternative explanation is that an intelligent agent chooses what things should be gently held to the ground, and what things are allowed float free.

The most serious problem with the theory of gravity, and one that illustrates how internally inconsistent it is, is the fact that classical mechanics is inconsistent with quantum mechanics. To this day, rather than abandon their belief in gravity, physicists chose to work around this inconsistency. The wikipedia page on quantum mechanics notes “inconsistencies arise when one tries to join the quantum laws with general relativity, a more elaborate description of spacetime which incorporates gravitation”. Even the Newtonist apostle Stephen Hawking has been unable to resolve this inconsistency.

Douglas Adams, the respected author of the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, hinted at the ludicrous situation of the continued belief in gravity when he wrote that the “knack to flying … lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss”. Newtonists would likely find such an idea blasphemy, but for the intelligent falling proponent, it is a good illustration of the problems with the theory of gravity.

Newton himself spoke about the limitations of his theory when he said: “I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.” A closer reading of this quote also reveals that Newton all but admits his theory is unscientific when placing it firmly in the realm of philosophy, not science.

So why isn’t the theory of intelligent falling taught alongside the theory of gravity? Two words: academic censorship. Victoria University is supposed to be an institution that “Makes You Think”, so why not teach both the theory of gravity and the theory of intelligent falling, and let students make up their own minds? I say, teach the controversy Victoria! Intelligent falling should be outlined as an alternative theory to gravity, one that lacks the inconsistencies of the theory of gravity.

I’m sure you’ll join me in signing the petition, and pray with me for a better day; a day when intelligent falling takes its rightful place alongside the theory of gravity in our university’s curriculum. But until that time, take heart from the words of Charles Darwin: “False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.”

Further reading:
The Onion


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