Agreeing Only to Disagree on God’s Place in Science
By GEORGE JOHNSON
… On matters scientific, Dr. Dawkins, who came from Oxford, and Dr. Conway Morris, a Cambridge man, agreed: The richness of the biosphere, humanity included, could be explained through natural selection. [I’ve corresponded with Conway Morris; he regards natural selection as an engine that powers evolution but not as what gives it direction. –WmAD]
They also agreed, contrary to the writings of Stephen Jay Gould, that evolution is not a crapshoot. If earth’s history could be replayed like a video cassette, the outcome would be somewhat different, but certain physical constraints would favor the eventual appearance of warm-blooded creatures something like us, with eyes, ears, noses and brains.
Then, just millimeters from complete accord, they forked in orthogonal directions. For Dr. Dawkins, an atheist, the creative power of evolution reinforced his conviction that we live in a purely material world. For Dr. Conway Morris, a Christian, nature’s “uncanny ability” to converge on moral, loving creatures like ourselves testified that evolution itself was the handiwork of God….