Foresight and Intelligent Design: An Evening With Scientist and Christian Marcos Eberlin
Many features in nature could not exist without “the Foresighter,” as Marcos Eberlin likes to put it. Only if an agent who thinks ahead is behind the universe can we have the universe we have.
A renowned scientist and devout Christian from Brazil, he is a mass spectrometrist with about 1,000 published articles. And he just wrote Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose.
Some natural phenomena would have prevented the existence of life, he explained last Sunday evening, speaking at 121 Community Church in Grapevine, Texas. An ingenious mind circumvented the deadly problems, using foresight and superhuman engineering abilities to protect life.
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Massively complex natural systems are absolutely necessary for life. And many parts of these systems are clearly designed specifically to preempt deadly disasters. The sun’s UV radiation ought to destroy life. But the ozone layer filters UV, blocking the bad kind and letting the good kind through. It is a more complex process than I had imagined it to be. And there is no materialist reason it should be there, right where it needs to be to protect life on a rare life-friendly planet.
Natural Systems Clearly Designed to Preempt Deadly Disasters
Eberlin is the former president of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation. He is also the current president of the Brazilian Society for Intelligent Design, which has almost three thousand members. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that he willingly faces controversy for his convictions. His great-grandfather fled Russia because he was a Christian, seeking refuge in Brazil.
From sun and stars Eberlin turned to the inner workings of the living cell. Exactly where needed, a biochemical robot is found. Cells need protection, and they have a wall of exactly the kind needed. They could not survive without a brilliantly engineered wall: the phospholipid bilayer. The walls have complex gates to let in only certain chemicals, and to modify other chemicals before allowing them in. A cell with a wall but no gates would be doomed. Cells, Eberlin argues, were equipped with supplies for every necessity from the outset. Gradual evolution would have been stopped as soon as it started.
Eberlin continued to give examples, rattling them off faster and faster. He interspersed his life-or-death examples with “foresight for fun” — times when foresight seems to have been used to allow us to enjoy a little something. Snow, for instance.
Hearing the man speak in English, instead of his native Portuguese, about atmospheric chemistry and biochemical machinery was impressive enough. But Eberlin also had to make the science clear to a lay audience. He did it all, and did it with humor and style, to such great success that by the time I reached the book table afterward, Foresight was already sold out.
Fast Enough to Watch
As I left, Eberlin stood against the baptistery talking to a small crowd of people who still wanted more. He seemed just as confident talking about intelligent design as he must be talking about mass spectrometry.
I left feeling the scientific community is changing almost fast enough to watch.