Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Darwinism, Intelligent Design and the Queen of the Sciences

So I just finished watching Ben Stein's document "Expelled" where he talks about Darwinism vs Intelligent Design in Academia. Now this documentary has been portrayed to me via Facebook discussions as some super pro-religious betrayel on the part of Stein against truth. I myself was not interested in someone espousing Creationism to me ... a concept I very much disfavor academically. What I was suprised to discover was that Stein was not attempting to espouse Intelligent Design or Darwinism. He was simply following a line of logic and inquiry in what is going on in academia today, in particular in the sciences, in regards to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. I honestly had not educated myself very much on Intelligent Design. As a Catholic, I have a very good understanding of the role of science and its purpose in relation to our true relationship with the Trinity. In other words, science does not scare me. I do not shrink from it, on the contrary I embrace it enthusiastically (in particular astromony and astrophysics). Nor has evolution ever been a problem for me. I am able to very comfortably and with excitement reconcile evolution with the story of the Creation, etc. In fact that is the wrong way to put it ... no reconciliation is required. They are melodies which form a harmonious accord.

So as I watched this documentary, I was able to get an understanding of Intelligent Design as I had not had before. What I realized was that the scientific establishment has denied the possibility that there can be a harmonious accord. There is only the one melody, that is science. And science is both the means AND the ends. A pursuit of truth is not something which is desired, because if the ultimate goal of science IS the pursuit of truth (which by the way it is) than one must allow the freedom of inquiry to scientifically theorize on the possibility of Intelligent Design.

This got me to thinking about Theology as it was once referred: "The Queen of Sciences". What does that mean? If the modern scientific establishment holds as it golden calf Darwinism, with all its faults ... and yes all of its scientific truths ... how does it once refer to its Queen? Obviously it doesn't regard it at all. Science is the tool we, as human beings, use to understand the world and ourselves by Reason. Two of the principle aspects of science is practical knowledge and speculative inquiry guided by Reason. Theology utilizes and in fact defines science. It sets itself above science because it is not dependent on it ... Theology is Human Reason reaching and yearning for the Knowledge of God. It then inserts this definition of itself into the sciences and through them uses practical knowledge of the world and speculative inquiry of what we do not know in order to Reason and understand Creation. Theology is what gives science its meaning.

"[T]heology . . . may find itself the one discipline capable of integrating the otherwise unconnected disciplines that constitute the modern university. . . . 'the purpose of the university is to find love at the heart of all things, for love is the cause of the world. This does not mean that the study of atoms is going to show that love rather than neutrons and protons is to be found. Rather, once the atomic structure has been explicated the question of how such ordering analogically facilitates the possibilities of love, harmony, beauty, and truth is vital, and is another way of recognizing the ethical and methodological dimensions of the disciplines.'" Stanley Hauerwas, "Theology as Knowledge: A Symposium" First Things (May 2006)

I believe the quote above defines what I am attempting to say very well. And so to bring us back to Darwinism. Here is a beautiful scientific pursuit which does help us understand and speculate about ourselves as human beings. But when you remove the higher purpose of science from it ... when you remove that "love at the heart of all things" it becomes an instrument of destruction, as Stein's documentary very well maps out. Darwinism without love and dignity of the human person as a priveleged being leads ultimately to eugenics. And eugenics is nothing more than the willful extermination of fellow human beings in the name of science, which dirties and sullies the beauty that is Science itself. One of my favourite sayings comes from the Talmud, which I will paraphrase here:

"Even the lowliest, dirtiest human being walking down the lowliest, dirtiest alley is preceded by a host of angels proclaiming: 'Make way! Make way for the Image of God!'"

The established scientific community so clinging to Darwinism as a means and ends in and of itself sees only a lowly and dirty human being, unfit to survive in a world of survival of the fittest. Darwinism set rightly and understood through Reason with Intelligent Design ... rightly within the loving embrace of Theology ... sees the Image of God. And what a wonderful world that is.

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