Friday, December 21, 2007

The Elephant Analogy

The article to which I drew your attention a couple of posts ago was about scientists' inability to explain where the order in the universe, the "laws of nature" come from. Reading it brought to mind the "elephant analogy" of biochemist Michael Behe (in his book Darwin's Black Box)...
Imagine a room in which a body lies crushed, flat as a pancake. A dozen detectives crawl around, examining the floor with magnifying glasses for any clue to the identity of the prepetrator. In the middle of the room, next to the body, stands a large, gray elephant. The detectives carefully avoid bumping into the pachyderm's legs as they crawl, and never even glance at it. Over time the detectives get frustrated with their lack of progress but resolutely press on, looking even more closely at the floor. You see, textbooks say detectives must "get their man," so they never consider elephants.
In seeking adequate grounding for the laws of nature, naturalists refuse to consider a transcendent Creator. Any good philosopher could tell them that the God of the Bible has always provided a uniquely satisfying grounding for those laws. And any good historian of science could explain that it was their belief in that God of Judeo-Christianity that caused its founders to begin that endeavor we know as modern science.

So, as I read the NY Times article, I couldn't help but recognize in the many scientists cited in it the pitiful (and pitiable) detectives of Behe's analogy.*

*Behe used the analogy with regard to design in molecular systems, but it applies just as well to those seeking to find grounding for the order of the universe who refuse to consider a personal, rational God.

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