Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: October ::
Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0880  Wednesday, 4 October 2006

[Editor's Note: Since I published the initial submission, members here 
have the opportunity to respond. However, I object to several of these 
postings on the grounds that one is too personal and not addressed to the 
actual post and that others simply are not relevant to the mission of the 
list. Please, in the future, members should strive to avoid making empty 
attacks on others and submitting extraneous materials to the list. -HMC]

[1] 	From: 	R. A. Cantrell <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 	Date: 	Tuesday, 3 Oct 2006 11:03:41 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	Arthur Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 	Date: 	Tuesday, 3 Oct 2006 18:05:06 +0000
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

[3] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 	Date: 	Tuesday, 03 Oct 2006 18:55:20 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

[4] 	From: 	Dan Smith <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 	Date: 	Wednesday, 4 Oct 2006 10:28:59 +0100
 	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

[5] 	From: 	John Webb <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 	Date: 	Wednesday, 4 Oct 2006 13:54:41 +0100
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		R. A. Cantrell <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Tuesday, 3 Oct 2006 11:03:41 -0500
Subject: 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

>I have no desire at all to look into this, but someone with more stomach
>might.

That's a load off everyone's mind.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Arthur Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Tuesday, 3 Oct 2006 18:05:06 +0000
Subject: 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

As Huxley probably said on a similar occasion, 'God deliver us!'

Arthur

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Tuesday, 03 Oct 2006 18:55:20 -0400
Subject: 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

>From principles of geometry to ..., the authors portray the depth, 
elegance, clarity and
>pure cleverness of a universe designed to nurture the intelligent life 
that one day would
>discover that design.
>
>I have no desire at all to look into this, but someone with more stomach 
might.

Judging from "principles of geometry" above, they are not merely 
anti-science, but also thoroughly heretical. Too mephitic for my middle.

"...meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning 
simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'"
         -- C. S. Lewis

"'...But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure 
you weren't a priest.'

"'What?' asked the thief, almost gaping.

"'You attacked reason,' said Father Brown. 'It's bad theology.'"
         -- G. K. Chesterton

"If, however, we consider the matter aright, since power is said in 
reference to possible things, this phrase, 'God can do all things,' is 
rightly understood to mean that God can do all things that are possible; 
and for this reason He is said to be omnipotent."
         -- Thomas Aquinas

Or, to bring things round to blank-verse drama, if not exactly 
Shakespeare,
                           "God is a man,
And can defend His honour, being full-grown
In wisdom and in stature. We need not
Play nursemaid to the Babe of Bethlehem...."
         -- Dorothy L. Sayers

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Dan Smith <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 4 Oct 2006 10:28:59 +0100
Subject: 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

>someone with more stomach might

Believe not all; or, if you must believe,
Stomach not all. (A&C 1763)

Dan Smith

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Webb <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 4 Oct 2006 13:54:41 +0100
Subject: 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0871 Intelligent Design and Shakespeare

Many discussions about Intelligent Design in the popular press grossly 
misrepresent modern science.

One of the best, and most intelligent, presentations was a series of 
recent TV programs by Sir Martin Rees, titled "What We Still Don't Know". 
There's a program website here:
http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/W/what_we_still_dont_know/arewereal.html

Sir Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal, and President of the Royal 
Society:
http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/staff/mjr/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Rees

Until 1991, Martin Rees was Pluminan Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge. 
It was a former holder of that position, Sir Fred Hoyle, who made the 
discovery that energy levels in Beryllium atoms had very specific values, 
such that, if they had been slightly different, "we couldn't be here". 
Hoyle's conclusion was "this can't be an accident". In 1983, Hoyle wrote 
one of the first popular books proposing Intelligent Design, titled "The 
Intelligent Universe".

About Fred Hoyle:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle

Since then, a catalogue of further "anthropic coincidences" has been 
discovered:
http://www.novanotes.com/jan2003/anthcoi.htm

The central scientific question is "is the world real?", and the 
scientific answer is "we don't know". (Though some students of the 
humanities might claim that they do know the answer.)

All of the considerations above approach this question from the large 
scale viewpoint of cosmology. There is also a way of looking at similar 
issues from a micro quantum-mechanical viewpoint. This was the subject of 
a recent book by Micheal Frayn, titled "The Human Touch". Review in The 
Times, 16th September 2006:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-2358208.html

Here's another article about Micheal Frayn from The Sunday Times, 17th 
September. SHAKSPERians might like this one. It begins "What does a 
playwright know about our place in the cosmos. Rather a lot, as it 
happens".

Article:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2361030.html

There is also a lot of material in Shakespeare which illuminates this 
question, ranging from Prospero's "cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous 
palaces, the great globe itself... we are such stuff as dreams..."; 
considerations of all the world being a stage, with its players having 
their various entrances and exits (just as the people we know enter and 
leave our own consciousness); to Bottom's Dream and references to Platonic 
philosophy in MSND; etc.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions 
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor 
assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.