Can the incredibly intricate and sophisticated design of the human body be simply the result of random alterations in DNA?
Are we just a one-off accident in the vast cosmos, or is the biological diversity on this planet part of a plan with some greater purpose?
Is the human race still evolving? And if so, will future changes enable man to have more mastery over his environment or lead to his destruction?
These are the questions raised in Shifts, my first science fiction thriller, and Senders, the exciting new sequel. Threaded through the story’s plotline is the concept of intelligent design, the belief that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance, but instead, was created and designed by some intelligent entity.
Although the theory may have a relatively new name, the notion that the complexity and sophistication in design we see in nature, and in particular human beings, cannot simply be the result of a series of random accidents (mutations) that ultimately proved beneficial to the survival of a species, has been heavily debated almost since the debut of Darwin’s milestone work, Origin of Species, in 1859.
My fiction novels were written primarily to entertain, and oh yes, to inform, but not to beat the drum in support of one side of this heated issue or the other. There are plenty of creationists, neo-Darwinians, and present-day evolutionary biologists who can aptly perform that function.
In my search for answers, I found the latest and most convincing argument in favor of the concept to be presented by Stephen C. Meyer in his landmark work, Darwin’s Doubt, published in 2013. It is this compilation of scientific evidence that rings most true in support of a directed evolutionary process. The more I delved into the subject, the more intrigued I was with the merits of his argument. But alas, I’m just a story-teller who found the subject to be ripe fodder for a science fiction thriller. And although I’m sympathetic to the creationist’s view, I do not blindly support the doctrine by faith alone as some do.
I choose to write science fiction that presents plausible ideas and concepts rooted in real science. With those self-imposed restrictions, I explore the concept of intelligent design through the eyes and minds of fictional characters. In Shifts, as Dr. Herman Walenz, the renowned medical doctor and physicist under siege by the scientific community says, “If one accepts the premise that the external influence of experience and sensory inputs in animals alters their DNA over time, then perhaps external energy sources with distinct wave signatures can affect man’s genetic code and anatomical development as well.”
Neither Stephen Meyer in his non-fiction masterwork nor I in my fiction thrillers identify the ‘external energy source’ responsible for the miraculous creation and evolution of our species. We leave that to you, our readers, to decide.
To help you formulate an informed opinion about this controversial subject, I plan to present a series of blogs having to do with the design of the human body. After reading these posts, ask yourself if you think the intricate web of life on this planet could have arisen as the result of purely undirected material processes, or could there have been a guiding or designing intelligence that played a role?
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