31 January 2006

Under your nose

A friend and I were vigorously debating Intelligent Design some time ago. After finally admitting (some of) the shortcomings of evolution, he asked me a question. He said, "Do you have any reason to believe that when we do discover how life came about that it will not turn out to have been by some natural process?" Wow, that was an eye opener. Of course, my answer was no. Everything else we've found so far follows predictable laws of nature, so I've really no reason to expect anything different in this case. You can't rule it out entirely, of course. But, if I was betting on it, I'd definitely have to say that the origins of life will be found to follow some laws of nature -- very likely including some that have yet to be discovered, based on the current implausibility of "evolution".

And, the thing is, I've got to be deeply concerned about people that are putting too much energy, and even hope, into the Intelligent Design theories. I think that Intelligent Design theories still have great value as a check on the sometimes outrageous claims of radical evolutionists. I also believe that some of the ideas behind Intelligent Design could further our understanding of the origins of life one day. But, when push comes to shove -- and sooner or later it always does -- we've got to ask this question: could there ever be a fact, uncovered and proven, that is so revolutionary that it causes committed materialists to renounce their metaphysical world view? I'm guessing not. Many of these people have shown themselves to be so devoted to a God free universe that it's hard to imagine what discovery they would be unable to explain away to maintain their, well, religion.

The more pressing question is this: are there believers that are waiting for such a fact? Or claiming that such a fact is found already in Intelligent Design theory? I hope not! Don't get caught waiting for the train that's already arrived. The proof of God's existence is abundant and all around us. It would be a big mistake to make the evolution-ID debate any part of that decision, so to speak. Without a doubt, the beauty and wonder of the natural world is a testament to God. But, how exactly things, especially living things, got to be this way continues to befuddle everyone as far as I can see. If and when we unravel this mystery, I don't expect to find any evidence for God that's much more striking than what we already have. Such as what man is, what he is not, and what he ought to be.


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