Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Strange Days

"The State of affairs in which ordinary people can discover the supernatural only by abstruse reasoning is recent and, by historical standards, abnormal.
In the conditions produced by the last century or so, plain men are expected to bear the burden - we must get to the truth or go without it....

If we are ready to climb and struggle, as a society, to this height, all can be well, but a state where we neither gain wisdom nor venture to find it for ourselves is fatal.
On or back we must go; to stay here is death"

C S Lewis - Miracles.

I finally had the opportunity this week to view the Ben Stein investigation into the field of Intelligent Design and contemporary science. I watched Expelled with a friend who is open to exploring such issues, and he and I then discussed at length the issues - theological, scientific, philosophical and social - raised by the material the documentary covered.
In a week where two new books on the matter have been published - Atheist Bradley Norton's 'Seeking God in Science', which argues I D does have something to say that needs to be heard, and Stephen Meyer's 'Signature in the Cell' - I was strongly reminded of C S Lewis piece on how the 'myth' of Darwinism (that we are 'naturally' improving, heading for a better world) is keenly in need of a death and burial. The tyranny of that line of thought has often been used to empower the most darkest of chapters in our times.

What was equally fascinating from the viewing was to reflect on just how philosophically empty the Darwinian approach to existence really is. It does not actually tell us how or why we are here,
it makes life inherently one-dimensional and ultimately purposeless, and it clearly is merely a caretaker in situ until a far more robust and comprehensive understanding can take up residence.

The good side of the present situation is that, in spite of various trip-wires, the debate is beginning to filter into the public realm, allowing people, like my friend and I, to begin to weigh up the present situation. The concern, as Lewis described it so well, is that the majority of people in our times are still outside of such inquiry and debate, and that cannot be good either for them or our times.

The window allows us to view a splendor beyond - a marvel that will certainly cause many to be astonished at what discoveries are currently being made. The trail of our times is the drone of dicta, popularized in so many ways, which tells our generation that the window does not exist.

May the one who fearfully and wonderfully made all things, allow the light to topple such darkness.

Book Links:
Bradley Norton:
Stephen Meyer:


Steve said...

"May the one who fearfully and wonderfully made all things, allow the light to topple such darkness."

Amen, Howard.

If we would be able to do as you are and speak to our freinds, the truth would at least have a hearing.

Thank you.

Brigitte said...

What did you think of "Expelled", Howard? We watched it at church convention (Lutheran Church Canada) two months ago, in the evening as optional "entertainment".

I asked the president of the Alberta British Columbia district what he thought, as well as the president of the seminary and a professor of systematics. None had watched it with us.

I thought it was good on many levels.

Howard said...

I found the documentary raised and touched upon several issues that need to be highlighted today regarding the possibilities that ID and other fields of research have raised since the 1980's. Some twenty years ago, the BBC 'Horizon' series did a superb examination of the current situation and perception of science in our culture. Sadly, those insights have often become overlooked, so documentaries like this should be very welcome, and widely viewed and discussed.