Monday, August 18, 2008

Why not every scientist worships at Darwin's feet

This is an excellent piece in today's SMH.

The writer is John Lennox, who is a visiting scholar of The Centre for Public Christianity.

I thought his last three paragraphs were particularly good:
One scientist views images captured by the Hubble telescope of the unimaginably large scale of the universe and remains convinced of the random nature of a godless existence. Another stares through a scanning tunnelling microscope at the unimaginably small and complex entities of molecular biology and feels compelled to worship the creator. It isn't the science itself that is definitive for the question of the divine.

The late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that science simply cannot "adjudicate the issue of God's possible superintendence of nature". For Gould, it was a mistake to apply scientific principles to questions of metaphysics.

In 2009, when the champagne is uncorked in celebration of Darwin's legacy, we might pause to consider the presuppositions we bring to the question of what his theory tells us about God. There are essentially only two options. Either the wonder of human intelligence ultimately owes its origin to mindless matter; or there is a creator. It remains a mystery to me why some people claim it is their intelligence that leads them to prefer the first to the second.

I also thought this was worth reporting:
Scattered among the world's top scientists are those who do believe in a conscious intention behind nature's processes. I think of people such as Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, and Professor Bill Phillips, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997.

Indeed, the fact that there are brilliant scientists who believe in God and brilliant scientists who don't makes it clear that the conflict is not a simplistic one between science and religion, but between opposing world views - naturalism and theism.

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