Part of the reason I compartmentalized my faith was because I was a science guy and science told me I was just an evolved chemical. I, like many of my medical colleagues, uncritically accepted evolutionary theory and failed to see our hypocrisy as we did very un-evolutionary things like caring for extremely premature babies on the edge of viability and repairing infants with congenital birth defects.
I felt that my faith was important, but instead of reconciling the two, I adopted Stephen J. Gould’s concept of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), where religion and science are acknowledged as sovereign powers but never allowed to establish embassies within each other’s borders. Unfortunately, rather than creating a warm sensation of peace, I shivered with cognitive dissonance at the thought of a magisterial cold war where I knew that at any minute one side or the other could push the red button and transform my life into a mushroom cloud of despair. I realized I could no longer just hide under my desk every time a mental alarm went off, but had to pursue détente or risk mutually assured destruction.Eric Strandness, “From Theistic Evolution to Intelligent Design: Why I changed my mind” at Patheos (December 1, 2020)
He should be grateful to Somebody or Something or Somewhere that he went on caring for challenged babies. Some have imbibed the same lessons and decided to join nature red in tooth and claw.
Richard Dawkins famously said that Charles Darwin made it possible for him to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, but I found that ID made it possible for me to be an intellectually fulfilled Christian.Eric Strandness, “From Theistic Evolution to Intelligent Design: Why I changed my mind” at Patheos (December 1, 2020)
We have more fun too. And we don’t take ourselves very seriously.
There’s no better tribute to the power of ideas than a changed mind. Erik Strandness is a physician in Spokane, WA, practicing neonatal medicine. He watched a new exchange between biochemist Michael Behe and computational biologist Joshua Swamidass on the excellent and always thoughtful series Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley. He writes to differ with Swamidass and to describe his own change of ideas, from theistic evolution to intelligent design.
The timing and circumstances of his intellectual evolution aren’t totally clear from the article. It preceded the Behe/Swamidass discussion. But his account is a valuable read nevertheless. As Dr. Strandness points out, Professor Swamidass doesn’t call himself a theistic evolutionist, but “he seems to share its favorable stance towards evolution and its opposition to intelligent design.”David Klinghoffer, “A Physician Describes How Behe, and Intelligent Design, Changed His Mind” at Evolution News and Science Today
Apparently, Joshua Swamidass, a critic of ID, is going to respond.