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September 22, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Nobel Winners Who Believe in Intelligent Design: Charles Townes of University of California at Berkeley

Charles Townes is a Nobel winner, who believes intelligent design and evolution are convergent belief systems, and as such that evolution doesn’t disprove the validity of intelligent design. Here are some of his most notable quotes on intelligent design from an interview/article from 2005 on the issue.

‘Faith is necessary for the scientist even to get started, and deep faith is necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must have confidence that there is order in the universe and that the human mind – in fact his own mind – has a good chance of understanding this order.’
-Charles Townes, writing in “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” IBM’s Think magazine, March-April 1966
[as a side note, I linked to the revised version of the article/talk….I’m not sure if there are major differences, if there are you can just Google the original article and find out for yourself]

I do believe in both a creation and a continuous effect on this universe and our lives, that God has a continuing influence – certainly his laws guide how the universe was built. But the Bible’s description of creation occurring over a week’s time is just an analogy, as I see it. The Jews couldn’t know very much at that time about the lifetime of the universe or how old it was. They were visualizing it as best they could and I think they did remarkably well, but it’s just an analogy.

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.

You can read about additional resources on Noble Winners who believe in intelligent design here.

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