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Friday, November 02, 2007

Mike Behe and bad design

Blogs for books at Amazon are great! I just wanted to draw your attention to Mike Behe's Edge of Evolution blog, where he tackles the problem of "evil design", in connection with the writings of Christian Darwinist Ken Miller:

Behe, a fellow Catholic, has the same problem I do. One of the shell games that I had to learn to detect when I first started covering this beat, while writing By Design or by Chance?, was the "Christian evolution" demand that we "Leave God out of it!"

As in "Surely no Creator would ..."

Hey, wait a minute! Weren't we supposed to leave God ... out ... of ... ?

Well, it turned out that you could drag God into it, as long as you were saying that He isn't responsible for the way things are. Itall just sort of happened, see. Nonetheless, he is the Lord of Creation?

Shell game city.

Anyway, Behe says,
So, how to respond to such a position? The first thing to say is that it’s very hard to see how the Miller/Ayala position gets God off the hook. The “byproducts of a fruitful and creative [Darwinian] natural world” that Miller alludes to are not simply byproducts — they are deadly, dangerous, vicious byproducts. No matter if malaria were designed directly by God or indirectly by a sloppy process He put in motion, many children of mothers in malarious regions of Africa are going to be just as dead. There is going to be as much suffering in the world one way as the other.

Which reminds me: Until I had read George Hunter's Science's Blind Spot, I didn't really "get" the point of view of the "Christian Darwinists." Why would Christians, of all people, want to claim that there is absolutely no evidence for design in nature? So people should believe in God without any evidence at all? Hunter makes a persuasive case that they are mainly interested in getting God of the hook for whatever is wrong with the world. As if.

I figure God can take care of himself.

By the way, also check out our great author blog at The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper One, 2007) where we put links to multimedia resources around the book.

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