Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Cosmic Perspective and Intelligent Creation

I wrote this essay entitled The Cosmic Perspective in 2000. Looking back I can see that it reflects my developing concept of intelligent creation, a concept I had started to develop during the early 1990s and have continued to work on in articles and papers I've posted on this blog. Intelligent Creation must be distinguished from the North American idea of Intelligent Design. The latter is a dualist philosophy which sees God as a kind of humunculus, much like an alien intelligence*, whose activity is thought to be very distinct from so-called "natural processes" and whose ad-hoc work is needed to bring about configurations of matter that "natural forces" are believed to be inadequate to generate; the evidence for the existence of this kind of God-cum-alien who makes good the assumed gaps in the physical paradigm depends very much on the demonstrating the inadequacy of the cosmic physical regime to explain life. Intelligent Creation on the other hand has an immanent vision of a God whose intelligent working is manifested in the processes of the so-called "natural world". 

I got the term "Cosmic Perspective" from Jonathan Benison's commentary notes in the Cideb Editrice edition of H. G. Wells' book The Time Machine, a book that is very much about the intellectual and emotional challenge humanity faces in coming to terms with a Cosmos that apparently is absent of any personal immanent intelligence and purpose. In  his commentary Benison writes:

"Wells' time traveler .... has to learn to accept his limitations as a human being and to become perceptive to the cosmic perspective, the view of human reality that an impartial external judge might have. 

H. G. Wells ultimately bleak purposeless vision of the Cosmos is echoed in the views of Brian Cox.

* I also would like to draw attention to the work of biologist Denis Alexander, an evangelical Christian, who has also argued against Intelligent Design's inherent dualism. See here

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