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2 profs take 3000-year look at the human origins debate


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Two professors at Baptist-affiliated Union University have entered the evolution/intelligent design debate via a new book, “Designer Universe: Intelligent Design and the Existence of God,” from Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Jimmy H. Davis is acting dean of the college of arts and sciences and professor of chemistry at Union, located in Jackson, Tenn. Harry L. Poe is vice president of academic resources and information service and associate professor of Christian studies at Union.

“We have seen that for over three thousand years in different places and cultures, the notion of the design of the universe has enjoyed remarkable resilience,” Davis and Poe write. “Not only has this idea survived changes in religious context, but it has survived changes in philosophical and scientific worldview as well.”

Yet ahead, they write, may be “a new understanding of reality and the possibilities of human knowledge rooted in the ancient Hebrew understanding of the soul made in the image of God.”

Davis and Poe, in the first three chapters of their book, explore various ways people have considered design over the last 3,000 years or so. The section, they note, “provides a condensed overview of many of the major positions that have influenced the course of thought in the West. We mention briefly how different religions and philosophies have thought about design and explore how the philosophical views have influenced both the theology and the science of the West.”

The concluding three chapters of the 250-page book then explore realms of scientific study in which major breakthroughs have provided renewed speculation on design, including cosmology, math and physics, and chemistry and biology.

Davis and Poe recap the new terminology emerging from recent design discussions, such as anthropic principles, irreducible complexity and specified complexity. Science has been “quite successful at describing processes,” they note, “but has failed at explaining origins.”

Broadman & Holman is the trade publishing arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DESIGNER UNIVERSE.

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