I have never been one to take the bait of the red herring of the so-called evolution/creation debate because it is so charged with a political power play on both sides, and also because none of us was there when it happened. I happen to be one of those odd Christians who believes that any great artist (like the Creator) takes His/Her time to finish one hell of a drop dead beautiful universe. After all, masterpiece art really does take time. So, I offer to you a whimsical philosophical musing on the matter via my favorite past time reading, namely the detective novel.
The way Edgar Allan Poe’s great French detective Dupin figured out that the purloined letter was hidden in plain sight after the Parisian police went over the room they knew it to be in with a fine tooth comb is relative to the concept of universal design. The man who hid the letter was a poet and a mathematician. Dupin was also a poet. Dupin used the fine art of detection to deduce that if the man had been a mathematician thinking in quantification terms he would have sought to outdo the police in hiding it in the most mysterious nook and cranny he could find. However, a poet thinks differently. And in this case he asserted a most creative act by hiding it right smack dab in the open in plain sight.
When the inspector came to Dupin after spending much time describing how he and his men microscopically went through an in depth investigation of the room leaving no stone unturned, Dupin replied, “Perhaps it is the simplicity of the thing which puts you at fault. Perhaps the mystery is a little too plain. A little too self evident.” And of course Dupin was right, eventually to the astonishment and delight of the inspector he produced the letter.
When one hears chaotic sounds one could rightfully assume that there is no composer and that indeterminacy is the expression of a universe of random chance. Fair enough. However when one hears J.S. Bach’s cantata 140 it is only rational to assume that a composer is behind the piece. Blake’s notion of “fearful symmetry” isn’t so far fetched with the analogy of composer/Creator. When St. Augustine was challenged by his Pagan detractors to point to a miracle and then they will believe, Augustine in all his brilliance did not rhetorically fall back on a Socratic style of asking what constitutes a miracle, but rather said, “The world itself is the miracle of miracles”.
It is interesting to note that Augustine’s responsorial salvo was high octane “teleos”. One could say that the divine text of creation is hidden in plain sight revealing the Creator just like the purloined letter. The ever so meticulous logical Parisian detective force with all the king’s horse’s and all the king’s men could not find it. It took a poet to unlock the secret of a poet. But not a Poet devoid of reason, but a poet that was using another type of reason than the reasoning of the typical logician. So is any of this proof positive of a Creator? Nope. Strong implication? Maybe. How about by inference? Ah…now there is the rub for the strictly linear thinker. That is why great detective fiction hinges on inference and can be applied to musings of this kind.
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