Biologist John Lynch seems to think there is surprising silence over Behe’s book. I speculated that his perception is due to the fact that there are so many pro-ID or ID-sympathetic books and activities out there now. In addition to the activities of the ID community, there is renewed activity in the creationist community. There are at least two creation museums opening in 2007 — one in the USA and one in Canada!
It was through Uncommon Descent that important pro-ID books have gotten some promotion like ReMine’s Biotic Message and Sanford’s Genetic Entropy, or Barrow and Tipler’s Anthropic Cosmological Principle. I will hopefully post in detail on ReMine’s Biotic Message and Davies The Mind of God. It should be noted Barrow and Davies won an almost combined 3 million dollars in the form of Templeton Prizes for their (perhaps unwitting) ID-sympathetic works. Some of the best ID literature is in places you’d least expect!
Uncommon Descent will from time to time point out other books like Tipler’s Physics of Christianity and now this (unwitting) ID-sympathetic book by renowned scientist Owen Gingerich: God’s Universe
We live in a universe with a very long history, a vast cosmos where things are being worked out over unimaginably long ages. Stars and galaxies have formed, and elements come forth from great stellar cauldrons. The necessary elements are present, the environment is fit for life, and slowly life forms have populated the earth. Are the creative forces purposeful, and in fact divine?
Owen Gingerich believes in a universe of intention and purpose. We can at least conjecture that we are part of that purpose and have just enough freedom that conscience and responsibility may be part of the mix. They may even be the reason that pain and suffering are present in the world. The universe might actually be comprehensible.
Taking Johannes Kepler as his guide, Gingerich argues that an individual can be both a creative scientist and a believer in divine design–that indeed the very motivation for scientific research can derive from a desire to trace God’s handiwork. The scientist with theistic metaphysics will approach laboratory problems much the same as does his atheistic colleague across the hall. Both are likely to view the astonishing adaptations in nature with a sense of surprise, wonder, and mystery.
In God’s Universe Gingerich carves out “a theistic space” from which it is possible to contemplate a universe where God plays an interactive role, unnoticed yet not excluded by science.
Here is a quote from the book which I expect the Dawkins-inspired witch hunters to latch on to:
At Goshen I was a chemistry major, and I knew that chemistry provided many opportunities for service to humankind. Meanwhile the stars and Harvard beckoned, but of what practical use could astronomy be? Here my mathematics professor came to the rescue. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you feel a calling to pursue astronomy,Ã¢â‚¬Â he counseled, Ã¢â‚¬Å“you should go for it.
We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let the atheists take over any field.Ã¢â‚¬Â
There is a small blurb about the scandalous showing of Privileged Planet by the Discovery Institute at the Smithsonian.
As I was beginning to formulate these lectures, there arose a considerable flap at the SmithsonianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., because the museum had agreed to show a film entitled The Privileged Planet. I had a minor walk-on role in the controversy because I had written a dust jacket blurb for the book of the same name.
Someone from the museum staff had previewed the film and had found no problem with its science; however, the film was sponsored by the Discovery Institute in Seattle, a think tank well known as a principal proponent of the so-called Intelligent Design movement, and very quickly critics raised the alarm that the showing of the film The Privileged Planet at the Smithsonian Museum would somehow constitute an endorsement of Intelligent Design. I suppose that few of the critics actually saw the film, for it contains no explicit mention of Intelligent Design.
You can read a lot of the book online here.