Nature's Destiny

Brian D Harper (
Tue, 16 Jun 1998 09:13:31 -0400

I got a copy of Denton's new book last weekend:

Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe.
The Free Press, 1998

well written, exciting and challenging.

I imagine that Creationists will find many opportunities
to quote from this book, I hope they will be careful to
faithfully represent Denton's views. For example, if
a quotation is given wherein Denton claims intelligent
design I hope it will be mentioned that Denton means
something altogether different than what is usually
meant (in this group in particular) by intelligent
design. What he means is intelligently directed evolution
where the intelligent direction comes through natural
law and not by intervention of an intelligent agent.

Here are a couple of quotes from the first section
"Note to the Reader":

The argument developed in Part 1, that the cosmos is uniquely
fit for _life's being_, leads naturally to the second
argument, developed in part 2, that the cosmos is fit also
for the origin and evolutionary development of life--
_life's becoming_.

<skipping a couple of pages>

Because this book presents a teleological interpretation of
the cosmos which has obvious theological implications, it is
important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented
here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption
of science--that the cosmos is a _seamless unity which can be
comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in
which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin
of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes_.
-- Denton

Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University

"It appears to me that this author is asking
much less than what you are refusing to answer"
-- Galileo (as Simplicio in _The Dialogue_)