Suzanne Fields

Forget for a moment the substance of the arguments in defense of Darwin, Intelligent Design and the Bible. These arguments will take care of themselves in real time, by the clock and according to the calendar. No one proves -- or disproves -- any of the theories about the origin of our planet.

But how we choose to conduct these debates, the knowledge we bring to the argument, is crucially important. Intellectual revolutions have a way of changing how we think. The way we frame the argument, the idols, gods or the God we celebrate, ultimately informs politics and dictates policy.

You could visit a provocative cyber salon known as The Edge (www.edge.org) to test yourself against the edgiest thinking on these subjects. John Brockman, who enjoys being described as a "cultural impresario," poses a question every year that would tempt an answer from Dr. Faustus. This year he asks contributors for "dangerous ideas."

"The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious," he writes. "What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?"

Answers have arrived from various corners of our intellectual universe, from those men and women who think and write about the concepts floating in the scientific/philosophical stratosphere. Especially prominent are the GRIN technologies -- the genetic, robotic, information and nano processes. Although the divine is dismissed by many (if not most) of these "public intellectuals," He's [cq] always the Big Guy upstairs they have to try to knock down. As much as they would like to, these public intellectuals can't ignore Einstein, who insisted that "God doesn't play dice with the world."


Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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