Writing this column sure does have its perks. A week ago, I was sincerely intrigued by an e-mail from a professor providing his theory on the “mechanism behind intelligent design.” Because his theory was heavily steeped in physics, I was willing to admit it was beyond my current and immediate ability to test. So I decided to make it available to the public through my column for consumption, dissection and comment.
Of course, in publishing the theory, I had to also be willing to withstand the personal assaults that always come from the narrow-minded and ignorant among us. It is actually funny how often my degrees are demanded from me whenever I pose a question about evolution. But I was driven by my desire to get answers, and boy, did I get them.
If only someone could create an inbox tool for pre-reading the e-mails and deleting the mean ones. Sadly, I must muscle through them individually as time permits. By the way and for future reference, anyone who begins his e-mail calling me “Missy” automatically gets deleted.
As to last week’s column on a possible mechanism for intelligent design, many thought the theory fascinating and sent references to other books and articles supporting the professor’s hypothesis. One such reference published by Scientific American is The Cosmic Symphony.
This article is quoted as saying, “In the beginning, there was light. Under the intense conditions of the early universe, ionized matter gave off radiation that was trapped within it like light in a dense fog. But as the universe expanded and cooled, electrons and protons came together to form neutral atoms, and matter lost its ability to ensnare light.”
In stark contrast, others took exception to the theory and effectively dissected the physics, outlining its many scientific flaws. One reader who identified himself as a geophysicist wrote, “Cosmologists are so far from a mechanism that could create matter from nothing via light that they can’t even see a dull glow in the distance. One of the great dirty little secrets of physics is that small scale-creation ex nihilo is a sham.” Additionally, he explained in detail why the Second Law of Thermodynamics did not support the professor’s theory.
Another reader was quick to point out that electromagnetic forces are not the only force behind the organization of the elemental particles. Other forces are “gravitational and nuclear. In fact, the protons in the nucleus of atoms are held close together by the more powerful strong nuclear forces against the repulsion of all their positive electric charges. So, this would seem to show the author is not a professor of theoretical physics. [At best] EMF is merely part of the story.”
Of course, many readers were immediately convinced the e-mail and hypothesis were a hoax. One reader said, “It’s interesting but sounds too much like the typical pseudo science put out by kooks. I’m specifically talking about the pseudo science around UFOs, psychic powers and ghosts. I offer you these examples:
Some critics were a little more hard-hitting, like the retired physicist/mathematician/engineer from Caltech. He simply wanted to say that “the light theory is absurd. The original particles were NOT protons. This is total bunkum.”
Others went right to the metaphysical arguments, pointing out this theory failed to address the critical element of soul. And finally, many wrote from a purely religious perspective. Their primary complaint was that this theory simply contradicted Scripture altogether:
“After all, according to Scripture God formed the creatures from the ground, not from one another as evolution and apparently as this mechanism would require. See Genesis 1:24, 2:7, 19. What’s more, God’s mechanism is also clear in Scripture: ‘God said … and it was so.’ Genesis 1:3, 6 and 7, 11 and 12, etc.”
Now, in light and review of your collective insights, I do not think the professor’s hypothesis was a hoax, neither do I think his theory holds very much water. According to numerous scientists, enthusiasts and theologians willing to share their education and expertise, this hypothesis fails to sufficiently or successfully integrate the theories of special and general relativity; account for forces other than EMF impacting molecular and cellular development; and appears to contradict well-established principles such as entropy. Finally, this possible mechanism behind ID can be said to fairly represent little more than an alternative to the traditionally recognized “Theistic Evolution.” As such it rather blatantly contradicts Scripture.
All that said, it was still fun to read, think about and dissect. Many thanks to all who responded to my column and questions concerning the professor’s theory. NEXT!