Intelligent Design vs. Blind Evolution: The Moral Implications
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN "IS" & "OUGHT"
“May you live in interesting times.” That’s an ancient Chinese curse. The crux of the curse is this: The time periods most interesting to historians are those of revolution, cataclysm, and disruption. No one wants to read about yet another sunny day when the crops are good and everyone is behaving. Well friends, we live in very interesting times. The weather is fine and the crops are sufficient, but everyone is most decidedly not behaving.
We happen to live in a time that would be most interesting to read about if only we didn’t have to live in it. We live in a time of complete moral revolution, when moral boundaries are being crossed so quickly that they fly past in a blur like so many telephone poles, as we hurtle into the new millennium. If we flipped through newspapers during the last half-century we would see the divorce rate blossom, the introduction and wild spread of legalized abortion, sexual hysteria, men marrying men, women marrying women, in vitro fertilization of a grandmother with the eggs of her daughter fertilized by her son-in-law, pedophiles clamoring for legal recognition, partial-birth infanticide, the marketing of “fresh” baby parts from abortion clinics, and now a British panel recommending human cloning for cell research. Interesting. Very interesting.
Yet there are, occasionally, good revolutions, and there is one going on right now, a scientific revolution, which is not only very interesting (in a good sense), but could also bring welcome aid to those of us battered so miserably in the battles of the ever-spiraling moral revolution. The Intelligent Design (ID) movement in science promises to undo a half-millennium of secularization, both in the intellectual and moral realms.
Oddly enough, few Catholics seem to have heard about the ID movement, even though one of its most important advocates, Michael Behe (author of the best-selling Darwin’s Black Box) is Catholic. Happily, Behe (with fellow ID proponents William Dembski and Stephen Meyer) has released another book, published by Ignatius Press, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe (October 2000). We can thank Ignatius for introducing ID to its Catholic audience.
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So spoke the woman during a break in my third lecture on St. Thomas Aquinas...
Since materialism denies the reality of an Intelligent Designer of nature, there is no extrinsic source for a moral code either.
Thomism is an integral part of the millennial flow of Western thought and cannot simply be consigned to the dustbin of misguided and superseded systems of philosophy.