Corsicana — Perhaps you have been following the story at Ball State University where the teaching of intelligent design has been prohibited. Eric Hedin, an Assistant Professor of Physics, promoted the idea to his students that the complex and intricate balance in nature reflects an intelligent design as opposed to a random series of accidental events. he president of the University ruled that such teaching was not a scientific discipline and had no place in academia, an opinion widely shared in the academic community.
Baylor was embroiled in the controversy when Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering set up a website and lab on the Baylor server to investigate intelligent design in 2007. Marks used the term “Evolutionary Informatics Lab.” Both the website and the lab were shut down within months. When Ken Starr arrived as president at Baylor University, he honored Robert Marks for his efforts.
Regardless of academic positions on the subject, reflections on creation, purpose and intelligence beyond our own are important to all of us. We must ask the questions, “Are we alone?” “Is there anyone else out there?” “Is the human race simply the result of eons of random chance on this third planet from the sun?” “Have millions of years of random chance and survival of the fittest resulted in, well, ‘us?’” Or are we created in the divine image of the Creator?
We consider ourselves intelligent. We can solve problems. We can manipulate the natural laws of physics to make them work for us resulting in mechanical and electronic machines that magnify our strength and accelerate our speed. We can ponder ourselves and our own existence. We can imagine things as they could be.
We are quickly making strides in our own creation of artificial intelligence, the design of robotic machinery that perform complex tasks. We already have cars that can drive themselves. Information technology is taking us into realms reserved for the writers of science fiction. “Data,” the popular android on Star Trek, may not be so far-fetched after all.