Written by: Denise Little
Published by: DAW
[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”no” align=”left” asin=”0756405688″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iVjoV2pnL.jpg” tag=”buzmag-20″ width=”310″]When I was a young, maybe 9 or 10, one of my favorite games on the computer was Sim Earth. As “God” games go, it was pretty primitive, not at all like Black and White or Spore or whatever the kids are playing these days. The sheer enjoyment and frustration (mostly the latter) I derived from having to manage an Earth-sized planet and keep species of all stripes from going extinct taught me two things: A) being God sucks and B) this whole Earth was created in six days thing is way more complex than it looks on paper.
If only I had a book like Intelligent Design, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time trying to avoid mass extinction. This collection of short stories edited by scientist and Protestant Denise Little takes the evolution vs. creationism debate to a whole new level. Instead of rehashing the same God vs. Nature arguments over and over, the book dares to ask the provocative: what does it mean to be created in someone else’s image. What does it mean to create someone else in your image?
From a mysterious stranger who prompts an academician to question her rational bias, to a mad scientist who literally plays God with the unwitting help of Uncle Sam, Intelligent Design doesn’t just try to ask if there is order to the seeming randomness of the Universe, but whether or not this life we share on this big blue Earth is really random at all. The natural order of things is turned upside down quite a few times in this compilation, and not always because of something man has done or not done (though we do screw ourselves over a lot-we may know how to splice a gene, but Heaven help us if we can’t save our own rumps from self-extinction. See: warming, global).
Man made Apocalypse aside, there are elements of the book that are unnecessary at times, and not all stories are created equal. Do we really need to be lectured about the Dover, Pennsylvania case? The Kansas school board decision a few years back? The 1989 Supreme Court decision that made it illegal to teach creationism in school (which, by the way, gave rise to intelligent design theory in the first place)?
Overall though, while Intelligent Design is far from a serious read, it is at best an entertaining dip in an otherwise murky and controversial pool, infested with sharks.
John Winn – Staff Writer
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