The winner of the # 2 Question: “Why does Earth’s unique situation for science discovery threaten many?” is Bruce David. For a free copy of The Privileged Planet DVD, Bruce David needs to send a snail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will not be added to a mailing list. I do not have a mailing list.
Sorry I am a bit late judging; I was rushing off to a conference.
Here is his entry:
To vastly over simplify the actual state of affairs, there are two kinds of people in the world: those whose highest value is truth, and those for whom being right is more important than anything else. <!–more–>
Imagine that you have grown up into a smug atheist, secure in your beliefs, looking down your nose with benign condescension on those benighted souls who, being either ignorant, stupid, insane, or (dare I say it) wicked, persist in believing in that ancient superstition, the existence of a Creator. Now imagine that suddenly, without warning, science itself has begun to turn on you–cosmology has determined that the Universe had a beginning, the fundamental constants of physics and cosmology are turning out to have been incredibly fine tuned to support the existence of life, the stunning complexity and sophistication of the cell beggars any naturalistic explanation of its origin, and the neo-Darwinian synthesis is being called into question by unanswerable attacks on its explanatory power.
In such a situation, if you are one of those for whom being right is your highest value, one who has identified yourself as a member of the elite who know the obvious truth of things, all this evidence for the existence of a Creator will not just be a threat to your beliefs, it will be a threat to what you imagine is the very core of your being.
And now Guillermo Gonzalez adds fuel to this blaze by providing powerful evidence that the earth itself, the home of and support for human life, is in a highly improbable position perfect for the pursuit of scientific inquiry. Is it any wonder that this is a threat?
The great thing about Antony Flew is that his life has been devoted to a genuine search for truth, and he has always respected those with whom he disagreed. Thus, he had no emotional stake in the outcome of his inquiries, and when the evidence became overwhelming for the existence of a Creator, he happily changed his mind. He is one of my heroes.
(Note: I share Bruce David’s admiration for Antony Flew. Not only did he change his mind but, because of his age, he had the additional humilation of young yay-hoos proclaiming that he had gone senile.
As a person who deals with a number of seniors coping very effectively with brain problems, while remaining lucid, I can only suppose that the yay-hoos’ ignorance is their best excuse. I can easily think of worse ones.)