What I don’t understand, and have not understood one little bit since I was a lad with a small part in a high school production of Inherit the Wind (Jesse H. Dunlap, farmer and cabinet maker, thank you), is why the two approaches are forever seen as mutually exclusive.
As the gloriously evolved Charles Dickens said—I paraphrase—there can be no enlightenment without God’s hand in it. It has always struck me that those who resist evolutionary, or just plain scientific, explanations for the origins and shifts in life around here do nothing but limit the power of God. They certainly keep a firm hand on the reins of just what He may do and, more significantly, how He may do it. That is to say, they seem to hold that, if there’s no clap of thunder, there ain’t no Almighty at work. If man didn’t come about pretty, he didn’t come about.
I submit: Maybe there is majesty in muck. Maybe there is divine sway over genetic encoding, and a voice we cannot hear in the ear—so to speak—of the lichen and the paramecium. None of it may be as grand as the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Or it is, and we do not appreciate it fully.
Teach evolution, teachers. Keep up with the latest thinking, especially that which notes inconsistencies with Darwinian theory, and teach that science must ever be a perpetually expanding thing. But no child need be conflicted between what the folks say and what the classroom puts forth, because, if God is behind all of it, it is audacity of, quite literally, the highest order to suppose that we are privy to His curriculum.
Fact Stranger Than Belief
Behe makes a compelling argument that “irreducible complexity” of the systems (he calls them molecular machines) that make up all living things could not have come about under the Darwinian model. Irreducible complexity is the concept that some systems are made of many parts, and if any one of them is missing or damaged or not fully formed, the entire system does not work and therefore would have been selected out of existence under the Darwinian model. Such examples in Behe’s book are the bacterium flagellum, cilia, the blood clotting cascade, etc.
Intelligent Design does not necessarily argue for a Christian God, or make a pitch for any other particular theology. It merely says that the 150-year-old Darwinian model is inadequate for explaining how life arrived here on Earth.
The argument today is couched such that it appears it is limited to two opposing sides—Darwinists and Creationists—both of whom, by the way, base their beliefs on faith. Those who desperately cling to Darwinism are as fanatical as their Creationist opponents.
What if there were a third (or fourth!) way of explaining life and the astonishingly complex bio-molecular systems that make it up? Who or What the intelligent designer could be is rarely addressed in the better articles, essays, and books I have read on the subject. Is it God? Aliens and advanced beings from elsewhere? Interdimensional beings? Pure consciousness acting on matter to create life in the physical world? Something else that we humans could not conceive of? Take your pick. But alas, our educators don’t think outside the box, nor will they allow children in the public schools to think outside the little two-sided argument we’ve constructed of biblical creationism vs. 150-year-old Darwinian evolution.
If we ever do figure out the mysteries of life (and I suspect we will, eventually), I believe that the truth will be far stranger and more astonishing than any of the current “explanations” now suggest.
Didn’t Hitler Cheat?
Slow It Down
A few minutes later, a van slows down and stops. The woman driving the van yells out, “I was going the speed limit.” You are amazed that someone would actually drive back through the neighborhood and confront someone for yelling slow down.
Now, picture this: You are in a wheelchair. Yes, that’s right. I suffer from multiple sclerosis and take my dogs out using a jogging leash. I have never, never had someone be so “rude” and inconsiderate as this woman was. I can only hope and pray that she never has to use a wheelchair to get around.
In closing, even if you are driving the speed limit, when you see someone walking with children or dogs, slow down so that neither the dogs or the children get scared. Try to visualize how a van looks to a little child or to a dog.
Remember, driving the speed limit is one thing everyone should do. But use common sense when you are in a neighborhood. Going 25 mph does not actually give you enough time to react to a child or a family pet from darting out into the street. Better to drive slowly in a neighborhood and keep everyone safe.
Connect the ‘Burials’ Dots
The main point, however, revolves around Border Patrolman Norton, whose sins range from inconsiderate sexual activity with his wife, to cruel treatment of people crossing the border illegally, to recklessly killing Estrada. Unknown to Norton, Estrada had had an intimate encounter with Norton’s bored and debased wife (and we are left to ponder the exact nature of the intimacy). For this killing, Jones, as Pete Perkins, forces Norton through Purgatory until, after the third burial and at the end of the line, Norton.... Oh Hell, see the flick!
Arnold G. Cohen
Guidelines for Incoming Mail