As I mentioned in my previous post, the confluence between scientific thought and faith has long been a concern for me. Toward that end, I have been interested in the debate between evolutionists and those who see in nature the evidence for design. When I began college the primary critics of evolution were creationists; in recent years this criticism has taken the form of ID.
Over the years, one of the ways this difference has been explored has been through debates. I became intimately familiar with such debates in the early eighties when I helped organize a debate on the Iowa State campus between creationist Duane Gish and atheist Dr. John Patterson, then a professor at Iowa State. It was interesting, exciting, and raised many important questions, as well as sparking a dialogue on campus.
Recently, I was listening to another debate, this time between Dr. Stephen Meyer, a geophysicist and fellow with the Discovery Institute, and paleontologist Peter Ward from the University of Washington. What struck me about the debate, compared with earlier ones I had heard, was that the discussion had come a long way; both men were articulate, knowledgeable, and relatively respectful. And the science for intelligent design (ID) is there; thanks in large part to our growing understanding of the genome, ID is a science based on solid evidence – and a solid understanding of the relationship between intelligence, complexity, and design.
If you are interested in such things, I highly recommend the debate as a 'primer' on the issue. Audio files can be found here. I realize these files may be too big for some connections; unfortunately there is no transcript yet. There was an earlier debate that day between Meyers and Ward on an Oregon radio show – the transcript of that exchange is here. I would be interested in any feedback anyone has on these issues.