Typically, it is a literary travesty to reveal the end of a book to those who have not read it. In this case, however, I think it is justified. Readers seeing the words “INTELLIGENT DESIGN,” on a book are likely to mistake its meaning and importance. Ironically (and unfortunately) the term has become toxic, in part because of some Christian Fundamentalists who like to use it as a euphemism for God in an attempt to sneak Him in the backdoor of public schools. The term has also been obfuscated by skeptical, secular biologists who distrust all visions but their own.
Therefore, the last paragraph of Meyer’s extraordinary book reads:
“The theory of Intelligent Design is not based on religious belief, nor does it provide a proof for the existence of God. But it does have faith-affirming implications precisely because it suggests the design we observe in the natural world is real, just as a traditional theistic view of the world would lead us to expect. Of course, that by itself is not reason to accept the theory. But having accepted it for other reasons, it may be a reason to find it important.”
Modern scientists who are devout Darwinists can be just as guilty of narrow-mindedness as some literal interpreters of the Old Testament. Neither side of the evolution debate can withstand a word-for-word dissection. Galileo was aware of this when he properly suggested that the Bible includes many metaphors that are obtuse and difficult to comprehend. One of them is the Earth being created in 6, 24-hour days. This is problematic with the sun not being created until the fourth day. Another involves the procreation of Adam and Eve’s grandchildren, without some kind of “sinful,” incestuous behavior.
However, Darwin himself admitted in, Darwin’s Autobiography: “This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having and intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”
Furthermore, he conceded that his theory could not explain the origin of life, the emergence of flowering plants, the emergence of the human brain and the role of spirituality in human beings.
Isaac Newton wrote about the universe (circa 1677): “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an Intelligent and Powerful Being.”
Approximately 150 years later, Thomas Jefferson agreed with Newton and thought that there was scientific evidence for design in nature. In 1823, he insisted so in a letter to John Adams: “I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition.” As a classic renaissance man, Jefferson was a brilliant scholar, skilled in both letters and science. As one of the most gifted “founding fathers,” he was a major contributor in the writing of the Declaration of Independence and US constitution. He was a strong supporter of the laws that separate church and state, however, he was also an advocate that; “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These rights include freedom of thought and expression.
“Darwin’s Doubt,” should be required reading for all college/university biology majors. Furthermore, all college/university biology professors, pastors, priests and rabbis should read it as well. Of course they are free to take issue with any of Meyer’s positions, however, if they can temporarily set aside their petty prejudices, they may discover that more questions than answers remain in the evolution debate.
When “Intelligent Design,” “creation” and “evolution” are all presented to students as the mysteries that they are, they neither favor nor disfavor any religion and therefore do not violate the laws of separation of church and state.
However, this kind of “open-minded” thinking is not encouraged in most high school, college or university biology curricula. An overwhelming number of schools have either adopted an overt or tacit policy that bars the discussion of “Intelligent Design.”
Lowell H. Young
Author: Biodesign Out For A Walk