The randomness of the mutation cannot be demonstrated or proved; it is simply an article of belief, no different in character from a belief that an intelligent Creator nudged the adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine bases of that DNA strand into the right order. Or that he took the clay of archaic homo sapiens and molded Adam in His own image. At bottom the dispute between Evolutionists and Creationists always comes down to the question, "What is random?" This is the cage that Cardinal Christoph Schonborn rattled in his op-ed in the New York Times, July 7, where he wrote, "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense — an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection — is not." Now the director of the Vatican Observatory, Father George Coyne, has published a rebuttal in British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, neatly asserting the opposite, and accusing the cardinal of having "darkened the waters" between the Church and science. Whether the universe is truly random or whether apparent randomness is order-not-yet-apprehended seems pretty clearly a philosophical or theological debate. It will not be settled by the editors of the Boston Globe ("Unintelligent," editorial August 4), the vaporings of Rev. Barry Lynn from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, or the numerous respectable scientists who have stepped forward to say, "Sure enough, the universe is random." How exactly would they know? It is not hard to suspect that beneath this ardent insistence on an unproven proposition lies simple irritation at having to share public space, including schools, with people who inexplicably continue to think that they live in a universe governed by an active God.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
More on Evolution
The National Review cribs from a post a I did a few days ago (well, almost):