Yankee legend Yogi Berra has been quoted almost as much as Shakespeare. Not for the artistry of his words, but for their unexpected wisdom. Take my favorite: "Some things are just too coincidental to be a coincidence." To which a good friend of mine adds: "There are no coincidences."
If you're like me and buy into these sentiments, I believe we're saying there is a plan. a purpose. a reason to our world and to our lives in it. But wait a minute...! Some will bristle at that, smelling a theological rat: "If there is a plan the next thing you're going to tell me is there's a planner. Which gets us into creationism and god and religion and all that antediluvian claptrap that by now we should have learned better."
Well, here's the thing. Why do so many many modern thinkers bristle at the possibility of a plan and a planner? To dredge up that old classic about a watch found on a beach, can we realistically dismiss its intricate mechanisms as having just coincidentally come together without a watchmaker?
Until Darwin, that classic argument was always a showstopper. However, ever since Darwin there now exists a serious alternative to mere coincidence. Evolution. And in the hands of today's brightest researchers, evolution seems to have an answer for virtually every question, an explanation for almost every doubt. In place of the old the-devil-made-me-do-it we now have evolutionary-genes-made-me-do-it.
Two internationally acclaimed researchers have staked out two internationally acclaimed positions on the rivalry between...well, lets call it between God and Darwin, between the mind of god vs the method of evolution. In this corner of the philosophical ring: Richard Dawkins -- preeminent atheist and champion of the dynamics of Darwinism in our world and in our lives. In the opposite corner: Francis Collins --renowned theist and director of the international Genome Research Project and
Dawkins has spent years traveling the world's academic circles weaving an exquisite explanation of how evolutionary genes can explain virtually every human behavior from why we breed to why we war to why we believe in god. Collins, no stranger to the dynamics of genetics, has offered one simple but sweeping amendment. "Evolution indeed explains much of our cosmos, but I find no reason to doubt that evolution itself had a plan and a planner...."
OK, he used a lot more words and footnotes than that, however to some of us this concept neatly marries the so-called divorce between God and Darwin. Whatta you say...? I'm guessing Yogi would say: "That's getting it right over the plate!"
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