Nobel Prize Winners Who Believe in Intelligent Design
Should intelligent design be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools as religious legislators have decided in Pennsylvania and Kansas?
I think it’s very unfortunate that this kind of discussion has come up. People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view. Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate – it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially. Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.
They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.
People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading.
That seems to come up when religion seeks to control or limit the scope of science. We’re seeing that with the regulation of research into stem cells and cloning. Should there be areas of scientific inquiry that are off-limits due to a culture’s prevailing religious principles?
My answer to that is, we should explore as much as we can. We should think about everything, try to explore everything, and question things. That’s part of our human characteristic in nature that has made us so great and able to achieve so much. Of course there are problems if we do scientific experiments on people that involve killing them – that’s a scientific experiment sure, but ethically it has problems. There are ethical issues with certain kinds of scientific experimentation. But outside of the ethical issues, I think we should try very hard to understand everything we can and to question things.
Charles Townes at the University of California at Berkeley (Link)
Other Nobel Prize Winners on Intelligent Design and Fine Tuned Universe
ALBERT EINSTEIN, Nobel Laureate in Physics (he believed in a God like Spinoza did, but a God who design echoed throughout the universe)
MAX PLANCK, Nobel Laureate in Physics
WERNER HEISENBERG, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ERWIN SCHRÖDINGER, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ROBERT MILLIKAN, Nobel Laureate in Physics:
CHARLES TOWNES, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ARTHUR SCHAWLOW, Nobel Laureate in Physics
WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Nobel Laureate in Physics
SIR WILLIAM H. BRAGG, Nobel Laureate in Physics
GUGLIELMO MARCONI, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ARTHUR COMPTON, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ARNO PENZIAS, Nobel Laureate in Physics
ALEXIS CARREL, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
SIR JOHN ECCLES, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
JOSEPH MURRAY, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
SIR ERNST CHAIN, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
GEORGE WALD, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology (note: he has quotes which defend atheism & deism)
SIR DEREK BARTON, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
CHRISTIAN ANFINSEN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
WALTER KOHN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
You can find an quotes from these 20 Scientists who were Noble laurets as well as noble laurets in other categories (peace & literature) by clicking on the above link. Also you can go to Detecting Design which has additional quotes from Nobel laurets on the issue of intelligent design, including scientifically grounded ideas like the anthropic principle and the fine tuned universe.
Peer Reviewed Literature on Intelligent Design
Sure, there are noble laurets who disagree as well….but the fact that a viable controversy exists….proves that further investigation is warranted and valuable. (that materialism and definitions of what a scientific hypothesis should be are used to exclude it from consideration is both tragic and a giant elephant in the room for scientific materialism which ultimately has large gaps from its inability to deal with intelligent design theory in a integrative way). Also, those scientists are likely reacting to what they see as an attack on science rather than a synergy between the two theories. For more on the reason it makes sense as a theory that overlaps with science (even if the hypothesis may be somewhat outside of what we call science in the strictest sense). If you read earlier articles on Compassion in Politics you can read about the Peer reviewed articles which favor the intelligent design theory/hypothesis (read articles that favor ID and are peer reviewed here). I also suggest reading this essay (Evidence for Design in Physics and Biology) by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer who came to the theory as an agnostic scientist. You can read short summary of Dr. Meyer’s bio here:
Dr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science, the author of peer-reviewed publications in technical, scientific, philosophical and other books and journals. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin of life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. Previously he worked as a geophysicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company after earning his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Geology. Dr. Meyer has recently co-written or edited two books: Darwinism, Design, and Public Education with Michigan State University Press and Science and Evidence of Design in the Universe (Ignatius 2000). He has also authored numerous technical articles as well as editorials in magazines and newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Houston Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, First Things and National Review.
Here is a full list of articles on intelligent design written by Stephen Meyer and you can read a list of scientists who dissent from Darwinism here for even more proof of the cracks in the edifice of the theory.
My Reflections on the Intelligent Design Debate
I believe in evolution. I believe in intelligent design. I’m not sure what my opinion is of macro-evolution and I’m pretty sure I’m not a young-earther in the traditional sense, but there are certainly others who share my opinion on both of these issues (See peer reviewed article links & the dissent from darwin as well as the article by Stephen Meyer, which is an incredible article). I believe that textbooks should at least teach the controversy for greater public awareness of the issue. Does intelligent it belong in a science textbook? Does intelligent design belong in the science classroom? I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps its more of a civics, government, or history issue rather than a science one. However, it seems that science looses even more if its not included in a scientific context (i.e. they have to re-clarify and re-explain their approach or position on intelligent design at a later date). The current policy seems to be one of avoidance of conflict and controversy….but thats just an elephant in the room.