Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
(Hamlet, Shakespeare, Act One, Scene 5)

I've been giving creation vs. evolution vs. intelligent design considerable thought lately. 
This is what I've concluded.
The chief problem with intelligent design is it is a compromise. Compromise is considered weak in our "I'm right" culture.
For an evolutionist the theory of evolution is an absolute. As a scientific theory it is provable. Things have been show to evolve.
For a creationist it is faith and the sure knowledge on a deep level that someone greater than us all is on the job looking after us. It is also an absolute.
As for proof, people create things every day.
Meanwhile, both sides maintain human beings are the top of the heap. We're the last word in evolution according to science. To a person who believes in a Creator, we are his best work.
My question to the creationists: Do you really believe we are the best God can do? Isn't that insulting to God?
To the evolutionists: What's next? In to whom, or what, are we evolving?
Intelligent design is the best of both views. It respects both of them and offers a logical, if faith-based, explanation for life.
In it, if I understand correctly, a Supreme Being invented all the ingredients the earth needs to sustain life and then let said ingredients have at it. In short, we're SB's science project.
It is a much broader view than either creationism or evolution, but it still stops at us. All three views have one thing in common: they are earth centric.
We're it. Not only have we either evolved as far as we're going to go, we're the top end of creation. For as vast and endless a being as SB's reputation would have it, we are as far as he got.
It's possible. We could be his latest work, but I have a hard time buying that we're his only like design. I am sure there are other people out there. I mean people in the broad sense of critters with whom we can identify including, but not restricted to Romulan, Gorn, or Ferengi.
This is what bothers me the most. Are our egos so fragile that we have to think we're the best? Or is it plain old gut –clenching fear?
Space does not end. Neither does it begin. Same with time. How can it?
What was before time? What was before space? Does it exist? Or do we have these measures as a way of coping with the infinite?
And may be that's what it is. My puny mind cannot conceive of many abstract concepts.
I can handle eternal because I see an implicit beginning to it. For me to cope I have to believe that eternal has a starting point. I can deal with no end if I have a beginning.
Infinite gives me trouble as there is no implicit beginning or end. It is impossible for me to put in words. I cannot conceive of no beginning
Perhaps that is why we like the evolution explanation. It gives us concrete measures. We can figure back to a beginning.
Maybe that's why we like to talk about the end of the world. It gives us a place to stop.
And maybe that's why both sides can't compromise on intelligent design. It gives an unfathomable infinity to science while taking away the infinite from creation.
I haven’t decided about it but it appeals to me for two reasons.
The first is it's a good compromise.
The second is we have a saying in the news business: if you get both sides mad at you, then you are doing something right.


Virginia Lee said...

Nicely thought out, Leah. I tend to shy away from absolutes these days unless I'm dealing with something truly concrete. I appreciate your effort to make sense out of an area of discussion which seems to set too many folks' haidbones on fire. In other words, HUZZAH! Great post!

Leah J. Utas said...

Virginia Lee, thank you for your response.
Absolutes are difficult. They get us in trouble.
I felt the need to put this out for discussion or whatever comes my way from it.

messymimi said...

How about a hearty thank you from someone with similar views?

It's hard for me to label me. Christian, yes. Hard core, if it's in the Bible i believe it without critical thinking or interpretation or realizing how limited language is Christian? No.

Intelligent design is what i tend toward, and i also believe we aren't it, the apex of all creation. Hebrews 2:7 even says that we were created "little lower than the angels" which to me implies there are other things greater.

As for the question of why intelligent beings from other worlds haven't been here, i agree with Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes who said they were showing their intelligence by not coming here.

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, thanks for sharing your views. I appreciate you taking the time to write something here.

I totally agree with Calvin and Hobbes, too.

David Cranmer said...

Some very interesting food for thought, Leah.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, David.

Tabor said...

I do try hard to go with these theories you have so carefully analyzed. But I cannot help but feel we are an accident in biology. A fortunate accident...except we are destroying our petri dish and will kill ourselves off sooner rather than later in the grand scheme of eons passing. We see through a glass very darkly and when we bring fear and ego along we can barely see at all.

Leah J. Utas said...

I agree with you about fear and ego, Tabor. Thank you for your thoughts.

Reb said...

Hm, food for thought. I like the idea of Intelligent Design. That we are the SB's science project makes sense, one would think that with evolution we would no longer be having babies with horrible diseases and with creationism, we wouldn't have had them to start with.

Leah J. Utas said...

In theory, Reb, but that brings up a whole philosophical side to the argument.
Do disease and deformity serve a purpose?

Hilary said...

I like the way you think. As the intelligent ones, we will probably always have more questions than answers.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Hilary.
I suspect you're right about the questions.