Intelligent Design & the University by S. M. Hutchens


Intelligent Design & the University

Belief in intelligent design is something about which the theist can be very forthright in university situations—when presented intelligently. The point must be made that all the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—hold to it, believing that intelligent design of the cosmos (ha olam) is contained in the definition of God itself and every intuition of his existence. This does not imply a particular theory of cosmogenesis or biological development, only that God, an Intelligence not beyond, but independent of, experimental science, fashioned nature in accordance with his being.

The question before the university is whether it in fact requires unbelief of its scientists, and to that end will silence or exclude people who believe in God according to traditional Christianity, Judaism, and Islam from practicing and teaching science in ways that do not conflict with their faith. There are many who believe scientific methodology is essentially atheistic, while theistic scientists regard their studies as inquiry into the nature of a created world, and do not think that atheism or agnosticism, much less setting aside of the teachings and intuitions that govern universal moral law, is necessary for the questioning at which all scientific inquiry begins and by its knowledge is sustained and advanced.

Ultimately the question at hand is a simply logical one with a yes or no answer: whether a university (in accordance with the cosmic meaning of its own title!) requires its scientists to be atheists, and will therefore exclude Christians, Muslims, and Jews of traditional conviction from its faculty. If so, purges of theists such as were carried out under the Nazis and Communists are both logical and inevitable, for how can we have people who are by definition unscientific—science requiring atheism—pretending to do "science"? The great irony is that these programs will be surely carried out by people who style themselves liberal.

—S. M. Hutchens

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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