Maling’s Missives: Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

The theory of intelligent design, implied in its earlier incarnation, creationism, states that life is too complex and improbable to have evolved in the random manner over time under the governing principle of natural selection postulated by the Darwin-Wallis theory of evolution. The theory of evolution denies, for those believers, God’s role in the creation of life.

This bent towards creationism, for many, depends on a narrow conviction of how God “does things.” Being omnipotent as well as omniscient, he must be responsible for its design rather than that of a mindless process relying on an apparently random sequence of events to create something as complex as life from natural, inanimate materials naturally produced during star creation, evolution and ultimate death.

Intelligent-design believers haven’t given God nearly enough credit for imagination. Needing certainty, and wanting some of the limelight, you believers insist that you have the intelligence and insight into God to see that life must have arisen with direct, possibly constant intervention by the Supreme Being in the manner of Genesis. He would have designed a much more efficient system than evolution, and one where it would be obvious that He was involved, even to our limited (but God-given) human intelligence. We humans would be certain to recognize life as too complex to have happened on the basis of random, low probability processes requiring an incredible length of time.

Those who believe in Genesis and other biblical stories believe them to be the word of God, and except for the Ten Commandments perhaps, written with human help. God was too busy to pen the stories of our human and planetary history, requiring us instead to do it, and, like a parent, giving us childlike satisfaction in shared participation in the process.

But perhaps God was also too busy to devote himself fully to the labor-intensive process of creating our world and life upon it, as we might have done, given the task. God would be acting in the image of man in that case!

Instead, suppose he simply turned life’s creation and evolution over to that leisurely process first divined by Darwin and Russel. Knowing and intending (he being omniscient as well as omnipotent) that his creation, the Universe, a design of his own making involving time, matter and radiation, created with a bang and behaving according to his laws of physics and chemistry, would successfully put the puzzle together, guided in its evolution by his very own, natural (God given) laws. An imperative for life’s creation and evolution was already built into each piece of the puzzle, so to speak. What’s so hard and un-miraculous about that?

In July, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and Press conducted a poll of two thousand Americans. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools, and 42 percent held strict creationist views, agreeing that “living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

Conclusion: the monument to and the crowning achievement of creative human reason and logic – mathematics, science, engineering and technology – which alone are responsible for the incredible progress, wealth, complexity, practical knowledge and understanding of our world, is being attacked by forces believing in the supremacy of faith, ideology and miracles. Is this latter what the teaching of creationism, now wrapped in the cloak of intelligent design, will be based upon?

Please show me the curriculum. Then we can talk.


John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is and email