Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Quotes on "Intelligent Design"

I have two more weeks left in my Sunday school class. It has been a lot of fun, and also a lot of work. I have covered some fairly controversial topics, but so far I have not had to fend off any mobs with torches. Although there have been rumors…

Having completed an abbreviated look at the Day-Age view, I plan to give a brief introduction to Intelligent Design, or the so-called Anthropic Principle. Hugh Ross (who has been shamefully vilified by ignorant pharisaical fundamentalists) has written extensively and cogently on this subject, and I have a number of his books.

In The Creator and the Cosmos (NavPress, 3rd ed., 2001), Ross presents quotes from scientists (mostly astronomers and physicists) on the mounting evidence for intelligent design. Today I will not comment on the evidence, but rather share just a few of the quotes about the evidence from Ross' book (which contains detailed references).

From Arno Penzias, who shared the Nobel Prize for the "discovery of the century", the 2.7K cosmic background radiation:
Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say "supernatural") plan.

Renowned Chinese astrophysicist Fang Li Zhi, and coauthor Li Shu Xian wrote (regarding the Anthropic Principle):
A question that has always been considered a topic of metaphysics or theology has now become an area of active research in physics.

George Ellis, colleague of the world famous Stephen Hawking and mathematician Roger Penrose:
Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word "miraculous" without taking a stand as to the ontological status of that word.

Amazingly, from the great man himself, Stephen Hawking:
It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as an act of a God who intended to create beings like us.

Fred Hoyle, anti-theist:
A superintellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as the chemistry and biology.

Ross quotes one of my professors, Heinemann prize winner Robert Griffiths:
If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.

And from the agnostic Robert Jastrow, a delightful lamentation :
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been waiting there for centuries.

There are more in Ross' book. I can’t say it too many times: science and Christianity are natural friends, not adversaries.

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