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‘Designer’ debate


M.G. Oxsen May 18th, 2011

Professor Kurt Hochenauer should stick to teaching English. He has no credentials to defend the theory of evolution.

In his Commentary (“Point: More doctors, less preachers,” April 13, Gazette), he uses the words “proven science” and “well-proven scientific theory” in defending evolution. If it were “proven,” it would be a law, not a theory.

The problem or controversy is not evolution, because evolution works. The real problem is the conclusion that Darwin came to — and which Hochenauer clings to — that life just happened. So the problem is about the origin of life. Did life just happen by chance or happen by design?

Darwin did not explain the origin of life; he did not even try. He assumed the first living thing and went on from there, developing his theory of evolution based on the fossil records and from his work on the Galapagos Islands.

Hochenauer also says there is no controversy, and again he is wrong. Stephen Meyer, author of the book “Signature of the Cell,” spoke at the University of Oklahoma on intelligent design and DNA and fielded questions quite handily. He showed the intricacy of the DNA code and improbability of such a code coming together by chance. Richard Dawkins, one of the most vociferous deniers, wrote that “the genetic code is truly digital, in exactly the same sense as computer codes.”

Where did this information come from? That is the crux of the matter. Information does not occur by chance; it implies intelligence.

Many scientists did not — and do not — like the Big Bang theory because it implies a beginning. Eminent science writer John Maddox published an article in the journal Nature titled “Down with the Big Bang.” And astronomer Arthur Eddington thinks of the Big Bang as “repugnant.”

The controversy is the fact that neither the deniers of design nor the believers in design in the scientific community can prove their point. Neither side can prove or disprove the existence of a designer. Why can’t we debate the issue, rather than consider people and their ideas as dangerous?

I would urge Hochenauer and others to change their minds, because when you deny the “designer,” you are also denying his son.

By the way, I am a geological engineer and am very aware of the fossil record. I am convinced there is too much order in everything to believe that life just “happened.”

—M.G. Oxsen
Norman

 
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