Lunch with Dr. R.

I met with Dr. R. for lunch again. He is persuasive, even charismatic, in his advocacy of orthodox evolutionary biology, yet always respectful. I’m not persuaded (or is it “convinced?”), but his views do call for a response. I jotted some notes after our last conversation, and here are some of his arguments, as best as I can recall them:

“Randomness is fundamental to the fabric of things, without which we could not be here. If it is God who creates, then she cannot create without it, just as she requires entropy for his creation.”

“When God said, ‘Let there be randomness’, he essentially confessed that he must relinquish his capacity to determine specific events in order to create.”

“Randomness provides the ‘slipperiness’ that permits evolution to proceed. This is true whether or not evolution is guided, unless you argue that God somehow also planned all the apparent environmental happenstance of earth history, and the myriad evolutionary adaptations to it, from the moment of creation. Or perhaps he guides events step by step. God sits up and says, ‘I’m tired of big dinosaurs. Let’s smash a meteor into earth’s breadbasket and give the mammals a chance. Either view collapses under its own unwieldy bulk.”

“Aren’t elaborate fantasies such as Christian Heaven and Hell clearly human attempts to look away from reality?”

“If randomness and entropy are essential to creation, then they cannot be the enemies of order and life. We accept accident and loss as precondition of life and love.”

“Only fools believe that the universe is strictly limited to phenomena that may be inspected with the tools and rules of the game of science. ‘Nothing but-ism’ has nothing to do with science as such, though some advocates of science with shallow understanding do indulge that smug, limited habit. By the same token, smugly waving aside the findings of science as ‘merely material’ is the same offense.”

That’s a heady brew, certainly misguided, but Dr. R. is intense and convincing. The challenge to me, and indeed to all advocates of intelligent design science, is to articulate our vision with equal force and passion. That’s something I am working on.

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