Beginning with the End in Mind with Ard Louis


The video is courtesy of filmmaker Ryan Pettey, director/editor of Satellite Pictures and features physicist Ard Louis.

In this video, Oxford physicist Ard Louis discusses the famous debate between renowned evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Simon Conway Morris. Gould believed (and wrote in his book Wonderful Life) that if the "tape" of evolution were rerun, the chance that anything like human intelligence would emerge is essentially zero. In other words, humanity is here through random accident. Gould pointed to the work of Morris and fellow scientists in their research of the Burgess Shale as evidence for this view.

However, Morris himself disagrees, pointing to what is called evolutionary convergence. As Morris notes, there are numerous examples of identical features evolving multiple times throughout the history of life independently. Morris believes that if the tape of life were replayed, we would see something like humans emerge. A Christian might say, it looks like we were planned.

Some Christians might find Simon Conway Morris' viewpoint, with its implicit teleology, more attractive. Others, perhaps motivated by a high view of providence, may find Gould's emphasis on contingency equally congenial to their faith. What do you think?

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Stephen Blake, Filmmaker and President of Realm Entertainment

BioLogos is one of the very most important ministries in existence today because it so effectively addresses a formidable crisis the Church faces.  As militant skeptics wield science to destroy the faith of believers, BioLogos exposes the unscientific philosophical presuppositions behind their arguments while vividly demonstrating the consonance between what God has revealed in His Word and what He reveals as we explore His creation (science = the exploration of God’s creation).

- Stephen Blake, Filmmaker and President of Realm Entertainment
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