CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science, Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has written a new book which will probably make his materialist-only colleagues squirm. Entitled God's Universe, Professor Gingerich, according to the press release,

. . . 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.

According to the Los Angeles Times book review

Taking the Bible seriously does not have to mean interpreting it literally. Indeed, Gingerich deplores this approach to Scripture. He notes the inconsistency of the biblical literalists in accepting the fruits of science while rejecting the principles on which these achievements depend. "Folks who take in stride the modern technology of cell phones, laser scanners, airplanes, and atomic bombs," he writes, "nevertheless show reluctance to accept the implications of the science that lies behind these awesome inventions" — specifically, the long age of the universe required to produce the necessary materials: uranium, silicon and other complex atomic elements.

Gingerich is clearly no advocate for the "Intelligent Design" movement. Yet he does not find naturalistic materialism a plausible explanation for how things have come to be as they are. To him, as a scientist, the universe suggests something other than blind chance or pure luck. He writes that he believes in intelligent design (lowercase) and in a God who works with natural laws. He notes correctly that materialism is itself a metaphysical presupposition and not (as too many of its proponents suggest) a scientific fact. By shoving materialism down our throats and insisting that the discoveries of science admit of no other interpretation, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins "single-handedly makes more converts to Intelligent Design" than any of its leading theorists.

I think that the book looks very interesting. From the book review, it appears that Dr. Gingerich is a "theistic evolutionist" who is able to look at the universe and see the handiwork of God (even if he is not willing to go so far as some of his colleagues who see that handiwork in the fact that the simplest cell does not seem to be able to arise purely naturalistically in the way described by Darwinists). I look forward to reading what he has to say.

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