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[First Things, July 29, 2008]
Though I’m not very informed
about the Intelligent Design debate, the idea sounded inoffensive enough:
scientists have not discovered a Designer, and neither can they prove there’s
no Designer, so why not leave the question open? But the concept of Intelligent
Design was greeted with outrage; clearly, it struck a nerve.
When I tried to picture why,
I thought of a page in Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat,” one that comes near the
end. “Sally and I” have been standing by helplessly while the hatted Cat, with
his Thing One and Thing Two, made havoc of the house. The toy boat is in the
cake and the cake is on the floor, the rake is bent and mother’s new dress has
gone sailing through the room on a kite string. The fish has been trying to
warn us, but we have stood by bewildered.