If I’m going to believe in God, I want to put my faith in a top-notch creative power. The very best. A1. That’s why the God of evolution is so much more appealing than the God of so-called “intelligent design.”
Which doesn’t seem to be a very intelligent divinity. I mean, what kind of half-baked god creates human beings then, according to intelligent design dogma, slaps himself on the head and says, “Oy! I forgot to make eyes that work! Better get going on some redesigning.”
Creationism, after all, has been discarded (publicly, at least) by Christian fundamentalists. Their new Godly poster child, intelligent design, often is considered to co-exist with Darwinian evolution. Up to a point.
That point is reached when random mutations and natural selection are insufficient mechanisms to produce some highly complex feature, such as the human eye. The intelligent designer then supposedly steps in and makes things right.
I’d always thought that this notion showed a lack of faith in God. But it took a letter to the editor in the July 9, 2005 issue of “New Scientist” (which I just got around to reading) to convince me that such is the case.
Vasudev Godbole (how I hope this is his real name!) of Seevetal, Germany writes:
You report that the Smithsonian has cancelled the screening of a film that “ponders ‘purpose within cosmic evolution’”—the idea that has become known as “intelligent design”. One interesting question that no one seems to ask is why people feel a need to adopt this viewpoint.
An engineer who builds a plane that travels from London to New York without a pilot is more intelligent than an engineer whose plane needs a pilot. Yet passengers may feel better in the second type of plane.
Similarly a God who creates evolution, which needs no further intervention, is more intelligent than a God whose creation needs constant supervision and directives. Perhaps some people feel better and more cared for by the second type of God, and then out of gratitude declare this to be the more intelligent.
This psychological problem is at the root of a lot of the hostility shown by advocates of intelligent design (ID) towards those who argue for evolution. This gratitude can become so compulsive, vehement, “holier-than-thou” and even neurotic that the ID-ists start vilifying those who reject ID.
When the evolutionists refuse to buckle under, the ID-ists become even more angry and hate-filled, and wish to take over the state and enforce this “gratitudinal” behaviour and related “holiness” by means of laws or other threats. “How dare you deny or be ungrateful to a caring God?”—that is their bitter-angry question.
They are 110 per cent sure that a God who intervenes every half an hour is more caring than a God who intervenes only at infinity. In the depth of their psychology this is what motivates the ID-ists and drives them to ridicule or demonise the evolutionists.
Much nuisance has emanated from those who wish to enforce gratitude towards their God.
Yes, indeed. This relates to the drive to seek God’s approval that I talked about in my last post. The truly omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God of evolution (and of the Taoists, and the Buddhists) doesn’t need our recognition or respect.
The semi-intelligent, shaky, mistake-prone, insecure, devotion-starved God of fundamentalist Christianity does.
So which God should you put your faith in? It’s clear to me: the God of evolution.