Mere Creation conference

Russell Maatman (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 11:16:26 -0600

To the group:

It was good to see some of you at this conference over last week end in Los
Angeles. As reflected many times at the meeting, "It's good to put a face
with an e-mail name!"

It seems to me that we are moving forward, perhaps to a new paradigm in the
Kuhnian sense. I know that we have been debating evolution for many years.
But something new is emerging.

That is this: _general_ evolutionary theory is wrong if one exception is
found. More specifically, if _one_ system has been shown to have been
intelligently designed, the general theory fails. From then on, systems
must be examined one by one. What has happened is that some systems have
indeed been shown to be intelligently designed. Quite a few of these were
discussed at the meeting, but one needs only to cite those discussed by
Mike Behe, also covered in his recent book, _Darwin's Black Box_. Note that
if only one of all the systems discussed at the meeting is not overthrown,
the general theory is dead.

What interests me is where all this leads. A large number of Christian
intellectuals who are not knowledgeable in the natural sciences have
assumed that Darwinism is the way to go. They have found ways that (they
think) make it possible to harmonize the Bible and natural science. They
are used to criticisms from Christian theologians. But a new thing is this:
_scientists_ are beginning to undercut the general evolutionary theory. It
is one thing for Christian intellectuals not knowledgeable in the natural
sciences to parry the arguments of Christian theologians; it is quite
another to answer the Mike Behes of the scientific world.

So, perhaps slowly, a move to a new paradigm: admission that intelligent
design must be considered within science. I say "slowly" because, as Kuhn
has shown us (although we didn't need him on this matter!), the new
paradigm is generally favored only by the younger workers; older ones are
too much committed and too set in their ways.

If this conference marks the beginning of a slow turnaround, it was good to
be "present at the creation."

In the Lord,

Russell Maatman