The sixth way.
Your Uncle Di fondly remembers those days of undergraduate study in cosmology and causality, parsing the tight packaging of St. Thomas' proofs for the existence of God, such as his Fifth Way.
The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.
Well much has come our way since this demonstration, including Hume, Darwin, Huxley, and Dawkins. But how could we foresee the genius of George Coyne, (registration required) the Vatican's own cosmologist, who has found a way to bundle Teilhard and our inner child's best friend, Carl Rogers, all into a warm fuzzy little cosmological package:
The universe has a certain vitality of its own like a child does. It has the ability to respond to words of endearment and encouragement.
All the boys and girls do remember well those days of pet rocks. Coyne expounds further:
You discipline a child but you try to preserve and enrich the individual character of the child and its own passion for life. A parent must allow the child to grow into adulthood, to come to make its own choices, to go on its own way in life. Words that give life are richer than mere commands or information. In such wise ways does God deal with the universe – the infinite, ever-expanding universe.
At first, your Uncle Di thought that he had accidentally popped a web-link to a vendor of cribbed papers for that neopagan metaphysics course on the inner child at the College of Metaphysical Studies (founded in 1986)
But, it wasn't so, after all. Indeed, we were reading the inscrutable thoughts of that intellectual giant who spends his summers at Castel Gandolfo. And despite the unintelligibility of this metaphysics of the inner child, we rest assured that his heart is, after all, in the right place
That is why, it seems to me, that the Intelligent Design Movement, a largely American phenomenon, diminishes God, makes him a designer rather than a lover.
And there was light.
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Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Dec. 13, 2005 6:24 PM ET USA
Fr. Coyne is one of those rare teachers who is an embarassment to both the scientific and religious community. His apparent belief system does not allow for Adam, Eve and Original Sin - and thus there is no need for a Redeemer. His Teilhardian attachment to evolutionary theory would be nothing more than unfortunate blindness on his part, but for the fact that he (ab)uses his position as an astronomer for the Vatican to foist his erroneous beliefs on Catholics who don't know any better.
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Dec. 13, 2005 6:17 PM ET USA
Ignacio - the real revelation is that "evolution" never happened in the first place. It is the modern day "emperor without clothes". No one can demonstrate how simple chemicals gathered themselves up into complex chemicals which then became the self-replicating machinery inside living cells. Species don't become other species. They change their morphology, but never their fundamental genetic makeup. Mutations don't create wings and eyes and thumbs. Only creators do!
Posted by: Ignacio177 -
Dec. 13, 2005 2:25 AM ET USA
I just don't understand how one can be christian and NOT believe in Intelligent Design. Only if we read evolution as an instrument of intelligent design can it be accepted. The design can have some element of randomness built in, and some outcomes can be unpredictable (to us) but the whole ball of wax has to belong to a God who knows all and designs all or He is not God.
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Dec. 12, 2005 10:03 PM ET USA
Pet rocks? Sounds like George is waxing metaphysic about mood rings.