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Friday, September 30, 2005

Intelligent design and popular culture: The roots of design thinking

Fellow Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle, the "Relapsed Catholic", wrote recently on Whittaker Chambers, the uncool 1950s guy who blew the whistle on a bunch of American country club Cools who were traitors to the country that had afforded them a fine lifestyle.

Kathy unerringly singles out a stunning passage in Chambers's journey of understanding:

...I date my break from a very casual happening. I was sitting in our apartment on St. Paul Street in Baltimore. It was shortly before we moved to Alger Hiss's apartment in Washington. My daughter was in her high chair. I was watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life. I like to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor. My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear -- those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: 'No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature (the Communist view). They could have been created only by immense design.' The thought was involuntary and unwanted. I crowded it out of my mind. If I had completed it, I should have had to say: Design presupposes God. I did not know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.

Shaidle goes on to say:
Today, some of us battle the same enemy Chambers did, just with a different name. Others among us insist, as they did then, that docility and appeasement are the answer -- on our part, naturally, since the real enemy is "us". Despite the book's apocalyptic tone, Witness does not depress, because we have Chambers at an advantage: we know how the story ended, decades after the author's death -- with the fall of a wall "experts" believed, right up to the moment the first sledgehammer struck, would never crumble. A civilization that could produce a book like Witness is one worth fighting for. Chambers' masterpiece teaches us not just why we should fight, but how one man fought: as a lonely, despised herald to the painful truth that eventually set millions free.

What I find interesting about this is the way people are beginning to connect the dots. What might design mean? What might no design mean? Whether you believe in God or not, evidence of design underwrites moral responsibility because it implies that there really could be truth, as opposed to competitive lies.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.
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