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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Random Designer

I just finished a book by Richard G. Colling, namely Random Designer: Created from Chaos to Connect with the Creator. (Bourbonnais, IL: Browning Press, 2004). Colling's thesis is that God uses the randomness in nature to accomplish His purposes.

Randomness, and seeming failure, writes Colling, doesn't bother the Creator:
But to the Random Designer, real failure simply does not exist! A string of separate events that appears devastating from our limited perspective is not even a setback for Him. (p. 69)

Colling is clearly a believer, and a scientist. He is not happy with all believers:
For some religious people, it is simply far too tempting to automatically attribute anything that is not easily understood to a supernatural cause and to inappropriately interpret scripture as a literal scientific textbook. (p.123)

The book is well written, and accessible to an intelligent non-scientist. I was especially interested in what Colling had to say about the immune system, which, as he says, generates the tremendous variety of possible antibodies by random shuffling of a relatively small number of genes. At least in this phenomenon, God seems to use randomness to achieve his purposes.

Thanks for reading.


Catalonic said...

I think you know my cousin!

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Catalonic, whether I know him/her or not. I'll check it out a little.

Catez said...

Ah - but is the gene shuffling really random? Path of least resistance would say no...
And then, we are limited by statistical models when we define random.
(A couple of thoughts)

Martin LaBar said...

Well, as far as we know, it's random. You are right -- we can't know, for sure, whether anything is random.