Sunday, May 13, 2007
Richard Dawkins’ insightful book The Blind Watchmaker aside, believers in an Intelligent Designer of the Universe, and mankind (God apparently) have to concede that creation has been not only murky but also a bit psychotic.
The process of creation begins with the Big Bang (estimated to have taken place 13.7 billion years ago) and really gets underway for the eventual residents of Earth when the Earth is formed (about 4.57 billion years ago).
With the origin of bacteria and archaea 3.8 billion years ago, life on Earth began.
The “evolution” of life -- various plants, insects, mammals, and dinosaurs – took various paths that Darwin’s Origin of Species recounts, and the hominid ancestors of man appeared (Sahelanthropus tchadensis: Toumai), 7 million years ago.
Now the question to ask is what were all the permutations about? What Designer, intelligent or otherwise, would hem-haw around so diligently, seemingly experimenting with life-forms, before coming up with the species (man) that is supposedly the Designer’s masterwork?
But let’s go back a bit….
Dawkins and his ilk give enhanced purposefulness (Chance by any other name) the accolades for the Big Bang and subsequently the evolution of life on Earth, culminating in man.
The theory that Darwin proposed and his supporters tout is fascinating but contrived. Yes, the process of evolution is scientifically sound, but putting all of the processes in place, from the Big Bang through the dynamics of the geologic ages, to man, is really a stretch. Too many things had to adapt to too many natural vicissitudes to make sense.
That’s why Creationists and fellow travelers (proponents of Intelligent Design) still get text-book space in some quarters.
However, believers in an Intelligent Designer have to admit (or should) that the folly of their Designer is palpable, if one examines the evidence, and we’re not taking about the fossil evidence.
What, for example, was the purpose of the dinosaur eras, and the eventual extinction if the Designer had some ultimate plan in mind?
Either the Designer is operating with a plan that was and remains an enigma to rational beings, or the essence of the Designer is madness. (Yes, we mean essence, in the Thomistic sense.)
Dawkins’ proposal [The God Delusion] that the God of faith was (and is) a psychopath goes to the heart of the matter.
Either we have Darwin’s quasi-rational explanation for life (evolution) or we have an Instigator (God or the Intelligent Designer) that has created in fits and starts, indicating that the Mind of the Instigator is overly convoluted or seriously flawed.
How can reasonable people come together, philosophically, when their choices or belief systems are contrary in ways that seem insurmountable?
The Intelligent Designer is quirky, maybe even insane, while Darwin and his supporters maintain evolution is the only way that life can be explained.
The clue may reside in a the mystery of DNA, which forms life on its own, and was put in place by a prime mover, one with consciousness, or one without.
But that for another time….