A respected Yale University computer scientist has publicly expressed doubts about Darwinian evolution.1 In a column in the Claremont Review of Books, Dr. David Gelernter wrote that books by intelligent design (ID) proponents, especially Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen Meyer, convinced him that Darwinian evolution cannot be correct.2,3
More recently, Gelernter, along with Meyer and ID proponent Dr. David Berlinski, discussed the failure of Darwinism in an interview with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution.4
Although Gelernter has given up on Darwin, he hasn’t fully embraced intelligent design, in part because he sees the existence of evil as a major argument against such design.2,5 But this objection illustrates an important point: Intelligent design, by itself, is not a satisfactory explanation of our origins. Hard issues such as the existence of evil can’t be adequately answered simply by positing an unspecified designer. They require theological answers. This is why biblical creation is so important.
Berlinksi made another eye-opening comment: “[Intelligent design] doesn’t really…give us much. It’s not yet a theory….I’m much more persuaded by something that leads to a strong counterintuitive claim.”4
Berlinksi is correct that intelligent design “doesn’t…give us much.” It doesn’t explain why death, evil, and suffering exist, despite the undeniable design found in living things. Nor does it answer other big questions: Why do we humans have an innate sense of right and wrong? Why are billions of fossils found in water-deposited rocks all over the world? Why do cultures around the world have recollections of a global flood that nearly destroyed the human race?
The Bible gives us answers to these questions—answers rooted in real history. Moreover, they have led to “counterintuitive” but successful scientific predictions.6 Finally, the Bible also gives us the answer to the most important question of all: What does our Creator require of us in order to be at peace with him and gain eternal life?
Perhaps Dr. David Gelernter’s conclusion will spark new discussion on God’s great design, and lead people to consult Genesis—and the whole of Scripture—for answers.
1. Kabbany-Fix, J. Famed Yale computer science professor quits believing Darwin’s theories. The College Fix. Posted July 30, 2019 at www.thecollegefix.com accessed on August 9, 2019.
2. Gelernter, D. Giving Up Darwin. Claremont Review of Books. 19 (2). Posted on claremont.org May 1, 2019, accessed on August 9, 2019.
3. Meyer, S. 2013. Darwin’s Doubt. San Francisco, CA: HarperOne.
4. Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution with Berlinski, Meyer, and Gelernter. Posted on YouTube July 22, 2019.
5. Dr. Gelernter knows firsthand about the existence of evil in the world. He lost his right hand (and his right eye was injured) when he received a mail bomb from Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, in 1993.
6. Humphreys, D. R. 2008. The Creation of Cosmic Magnetic Fields. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism. Pittsburgh, Dallas: Creation Science Fellowship and Institute for Creation Research, 213-230.
Stage image: Yale University
Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.