Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mikal Heller and ID

Mikal Heller, cosmologist and Catholic Priest, has won the Templeton Award for "Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities" for 2008. This award carries with it a cash prize of $1.6 million. The web page on the award notes:

Heller's examination of fundamental questions such as "Does the universe need to have a cause?" engages a wide range of sources who might otherwise find little in common. By drawing together mathematicians, philosophers, cosmologists and theologians who pursue these topics, he also allows each to share insights that may edify the other without any violence to their respective methodologies.

He has issued a statement since winning the award. He makes a note of Intelligent Design. He is not supportive:

Adherents of the so-called intelligent design ideology commit a grave theological error. They claim that scientific theories, that ascribe the great role to chance and random events in the evolutionary processes, should be replaced, or supplemented, by theories acknowledging the thread of intelligent design in the universe. Such views are theologically erroneous. They implicitly revive the old manicheistic error postulating the existence of two forces acting against each other: God and an inert matter; in this case, chance and intelligent design. There is no opposition here. Within the all-comprising Mind of God what we call chance and random events is well composed into the symphony of creation.

In a sense, this is not much different from Kenneth Miller's perspective that the universe reflects and reveals the mind of God. The notion that ID is Manichean in perspective has also been raised
by Denis Alexander in his excellent article "Is Intelligent Design Biblical?"

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