Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Nature and Design

One of many great observations given by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn from his excellent book, "Chance or Purpose: Creation, Evolution and a Rational Faith (p.98)"
The never ending debate, as to whether there is something like a "design" in creation, thus goes round in circles, perhaps because nowadays, whenever people talk about "design" and a "designer", they automatically think of a "divine engineer", a kind of omniscient technician, who -- because he must be perfect -- can, equally, only produce perfect machines. Here, in my view, lies the most profound cause of many misunderstandings -- even on the part of the "intelligent design" school in the U.S.A. God is not clockmaker; he is not a constructor of machines, but a Creator of natures. The world is not a mechanical clock, not some vast machine, nor even a mega-computer, but rather, as Jacques Maritain said, "une republique des natures", "a republic of natures."

In order to talk meaningfully about the Creator having a "design", we have to retrieve the concept of "nature", an understanding of which we have largely lost today, and which has been replaced by a technical and mechanistic understanding of living things.

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