Thanks be to Hugh, who asked for more clarity in that last post.
I meant "Charles Darwin" as the "original Chuck D." Chuck D was part of the group "Public Enemy" in the 1980's and 1990's, and also had a song entitled "Public Enemy #1", which you might expect from a group of the same name. I was playing off the fact that Charles Darwin seems to have become "public enemy #1" these days, at least among certain types of people who believe that their own religious views should those of everyone. In their eyes, Charles Darwin is the proponent of the theory of evolution, which these people misrepresent as a theory that we are "descended from monkeys," as assertion that is patently untrue.
Of course, most of the people who attack the theory of evolution as "just a theory" or as the "theory that humans are descended from monkeys" actually don't even understand 1) what a theory is, and 2) what the theory of evolution actually is about. In fact, many scientists don't even understant why it's a debate, since many scientists, including Albert Einstein, believe(d) in a Judeo-Christian God.
If we were to take everything in the Bible at its word and worry about every instance that would seem to contradict Scripture, I mean, we'd have to ban our kids from seeing anything about dinosaurs, space travel, aliens, or just about anything fantastic and interesting that wasn't specifically mentioned in the Bible or would seem to go against the way God is described to have created the world.
So research that has to do with the formation of other planets and possible life on them might just contradict the Bible. Why are the Rightists not attacking that as well? Anyway, I think it's because people don't seem to even understand the theological point that to even think that God put down everything for there is to know in the Bible, or that humans can profess to know God's greater plan, whether He may have created things outside of our ken, or even that the humans who took down the word of God may have added or subtracted elements according to human failing – no one on the ground considers this (although real theologians do).
In any case, this is political posturing and vying for control, rather than a real, substantial debate over religion and science. In the big picture, someone with a decent layperson's knowledge of both should see that in almost all areas, science and relgion don't overlap that much, and that in the sheer beauty and elegant structure of the natural world, one could very much see the touch of an "intelligent design." But this inspiration is the same motivation that moves someone to gasp in awe of the Grand Canyon. It is shockingly, starkly beautiful – and is explained as having been created by the slow erosion created by a small river moving along a slowly winding path over millions upon millions of years. The scientific explanation of it doesn't take away from the sheer feeling of awe one has in seeing it – in fact, to me, it makes the sight all the more spectacular: All this from a little running water? One might just think, "Wow – what an amazing tool the Creator has chosen to carve such a wonderful work!"
OK - so my dialogue comes out corny. But you know what I mean. To a scientist who has gotten down to the point past molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, quarks, and even to the "strings" these things are supposed to made of – the universe seems perplexingly complex – yet superbly and surprisingly simple. To a scientist who knows what she's looking at, a realization made in terms of pure math may inspire the same spiritual awe that a massive canyon might, because both are wonders of the natural world. The only difference is that in once case, it takes an egghead to see it.
So I think that DNA may smack of "intelligent design" because it is so elegant in its ability to duplicate itself, yet deliciously full of just enough inherent replication errors to put the spice into life required to make diversity, mutation, and adaptation possible. If you teach biology with the right verve and excitement that it deserves, nothing about science should take away from the religious view of the world. In fact, it simply offers more possibilities for the "wow" moment.
However, this does not make "intelligent design" an actual scientific theory. In fact, trying to qualify as such actually proves the point of their opponents, although most of the people on the side of "intelligent design" are actually too unintelligent to recognize this point. In a complete absence of evidence of value to a scientific theory, there can be nothing left but pure faith. Isn't it this "leap of faith" that makes gives the endeavor of religion its real value? Trying to prove the existence of God via science is, as I mentioned before, just as dumb as scientists arguing that God does not exist, which no scientific theory tries to do.
Even the Big Bang theory of the universe cannot peer into the very moment of Creation itself; we do not know the instant of and exact origin of the first DNA molecule; we cannot peer past the limits of our senses and the limitations of the devices we have to measure the universe, at least directly. Good scientists know this, and some are inspired by the elegance of the physical universe. I am, to some extent, as well. I haven't taken the leap of faith yet. But it certainly isn't science that's preventing me, nor will the idiots behind "intelligent design" politics convince me.
I just wish we had more intelligent, reasonable people in the world who would be able to just sit down and realize that actually agree on far more than they disagree about. But politics and ideology speaks louder than reasonableness, so dumb-as-dirt political tussles continue. Such is the American way, I guess.
Anyway, Darwin needs good, reasonable people in his posse. You gonna join?