An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of January 13, 2006
Written at Hacienda San Juan Lizárraga
one kilometer east of Telchac Pueblo, Yucatán, MÉXICO

INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Over the years often I've written about plants and animals whose features were so remarkable that they seemed almost inexplicable. I've used phrases such as "evolving toward" and I've even referred to "the Creator." This has caused some to assume that I am a proponent of "Intelligent Design."

Though the definition of "Intelligent Design" hasn't yet crystallized well enough for me to take a final position on it, my first impulse is to reject it decisively.

First, the name itself, in my opinion, misses the mark. My experience with Nature suggests that the Universe has come about not through an intelligent plan but through something more akin to a creative, spiritual impulse. This impulse is majestically magnanimous and artful, yet not terribly concerned about the comfort or welfare of each of its individual creations

Second, I believe that one must judge a religion or any social or political construct not by its Holy Scripture or manifesto, but by how the concept manifests itself among people in everyday life. Intelligent Design is advocated most forcefully today by aggressive, materialistic, right-wing Christians with whom I don't want to be identified.

Yet, I am in awe of and profoundly respectful of the things of the Universe, and I am not reluctant to refer to the Universe as a creation. Since any creation has to have been created, nor am I averse to thinking in terms of the Creator. I sense a Universal Creative Force evolving things forward, and since we must use words to describe concepts, the term "Creator" is OK with me.

Therefore, if the definition of "Intelligent Design" eventually proves to rest on the simple notion that a Creative Force seems to be creating the Universe in such a way that certain evolutionary trends and natural laws are detectable by human minds, I'll say that I'm a proponent of it.

However, if the final definition encourages people to pray for Devine intervention in their own lives and if the concept is identified with any particular religion -- particularly one tolerating unrestrained and unsustainable materialism -- then I shall not be a supporter of the concept of "Intelligent Design." Facebook Icon.