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About Last Night: "Creativity in the Cosmos"



That was a very successful and enjoyable evening last night in Bothell, WA, when radio host Dennis Prager, a good friend of Discovery Institute, got together with Discovery fellows Stephen Meyer, Michael Medved and George Gilder for a very wide-ranging discussion. There were about 700 people in the auditorium. The audience's interest was so intense that at the end in the Q&A, Medved, serving as MC, had to aggressively whip the questioners into line and make them ask only brief questions in quick succession so the event could wrap up in reasonable time.

Admittedly the way the four chairs were arranged onstage made me think of Monty Python's great "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch. This irreverent thought aside, I was struck by how the theme of the evening, "Creativity in the Cosmos," could serve as a summary of the mission of all Discovery Institute's programs. From my vantage in the audience, I was moved by the fecundity of the idea, the recognition of mind, not matter, as the driving force in life and the cosmos -- with its many applications in biology and cosmology (Meyer), economics (Gilder), politics (Medved and Prager), and more intimate issues of social and personal life including sex, family, and much else (Medved, Prager, Gilder). Prager's radio show, as you probably are aware, is a fascinating mix of politics, culture and extremely intimate consideration of his callers' personal lives and challenges.

Notice the contrast. Darwinism also fits well into a broad picture of the cosmos, a basically despairing one. But even if you were to grant that its theory of biological origins is valid, I'm not aware of any other valuable ideas that spark out from it. For example, what source of wisdom can you think of, featuring Darwinian theory as a core ingredient, that you would go to for insight into how to govern a free society, make money, or have a successful marriage or family?

It seems reasonable to think that a true account of life, the universe, and where they come from would also be brimming with useful applications and implications. It would be fertile, fruitful. Darwinism and the materialist world picture that goes with it are not that. They are barren. They are sterile. I mean, again, even if you were to grant that the materialist origins theory is a true account of how complex life arose. That is suggestive, though of course no proof, that the whole package is false.

Photo credit: Tessa Rath.