From news writer O’Leary:
A friend writes to ask whether I noticed Masterpiece Mystery Theater’s Inspector Lewis Series 6 finale titled, Intelligent Design which, he says, aired last Sunday evening:
The hit-and-run of a “brilliant biochemist” Richard Segar, is investigated by inspector Lewis and his sidekick Hathaway. It is noteworthy that the scientist is characterized as “brilliant”, a man of faith, and a “leading proponent of ID”. The writers of this series certainly must be aware of the negative image that Dawkins, a fellow Brit, has of ID but chose to cast this character as a respected scientist.
The scientist is characterized as follows in these two short excerpts from the program:
Hathaway (looking at his iPhone): A little research results—He is quite famous for a scientist [Segar]
Inspector Lewis: What did he discover?
Hathaway: It seems to be all that information of the idea of intelligent design that compacts the universe down to the existence of an intelligent creator.
Pathologist: We know what it is, sergeant.
Hathaway: Anyway, Segal was a leading proponent. He ran a lecture series “God and Science aren’t mutually exclusive.”
Inspector Lewis: Sorry I missed it. So that explains why he was married to a vicar.
Not sure of Hathaway’s explanations here. He doesn’t address the issue of detectable, researchable patterns, as opposed to theistic evolutionists’ mere “faith in faith alone.” But it is, as Lewis’s late boss Inspector Morse would have said, a murder investigation (not a colloquium). The take-home point is that the audience is supposed to be familiar enough with the idea that it will not just be baffled and put off by the terminology.
Mystery novels are a great venue for ID theory (as is science fiction*). The audience tends to be educated and it likes idea-based plots. This series may have been particularly well-suited because Inspector Lewis, who originated in the Inspector Morse series, loses his somewhat child-like faith after his wife is killed by a hit-and-run driver (between series). But his sergeant Hathaway is an ex-seminarian.
Let’s hope for more of these.
*See, for instance, Canadian sci-fi novelist Rob Sawyer’s The Calculating God.