America, the US Jesuit Catholic weekly, has brought to light an piece that was written more than 25 years ago in response to Carl Sagan’s classic “scientist” TV series/book “Cosmos”. Entitled “Carl Sagan’s Gospel of Scientism”, the author, William J. O’Malley, was a priest and English and Religious Studies teacher, and it is a remarkably intelligent and thoughtful piece.
Keep in mind that when O’Malley wrote this review article, the phrase “Intelligent Design” was still respectable in theological circles. Discovery Channel had not yet emptied it of all usefulness by misapplying it to creationism masquerading as a quasi-scientific theory.
O’Malley’s beautifully expressed sense of wonder at the amazing universe which Sagan describes in such mind-blowing detail impels him to respond in praise of the “Designer”.
And surely this is what both the Carl Sagan’s and the Michael Behe’s of the world miss. Neither science nor scripture are at the core of religious faith in a “Creator”. The central–perhaps the only–plank in the universal and primeval belief in a divine “Designer” is the sheer wonder whenever we contemplate the Cosmos.