Long ago in my student days I sat at a worn desk in a lecture hall - actually a dimmed auditorium. I observed, etched into the wood, "Dr. Rose has greenfly." I remember sniggering to myself a little over that. In fact it quite distracted me from doing what I was meant to be doing, i.e. absorbing the contents of the lecture itself. There was something amazingly tranquilizing about Dr. Rose's voice. Or perhaps it was my social life. Or perhaps it was my attitude towards biochemisty. I had taken the course as a good supporting discipline for zoology, my major, despite contrary advice - it was, after all, a difficult pre-med course. I regarded it as a discipline to my future practical advantage but not the unending pleasure I found zoology. This sub-optimal attitude, together with Dr. Rose's soporific monotony, caused my mind to wander, and even at times, to sink into pleasant sleep.

Suddenly and to my immense surprise, I found myself intrigued. I was seeing Paley's proverbial watch in the desert. Dr. Rose was explaining pathways and contingencies of sugar use in the human body. He showed by means of diagrams how, if one particular resource was missing or in short supply, the system could re-route and use something else. If that couldn't be done, there was yet another option. Contingencies. I was now wide awake, adrenaline flowing. This was beautiful! This was designed! Why had I not seen it before? Such deliciously perfect, efficient, and startling molecular engineering satisfied a deep sense of truth within me and pointed to an intelligent designer- and for me this was a radical insight.

You need to understand that for many years I had been taught to believe that all the life, all the diversity of the universe, had arisen by a process of pure chance. I had earlier rejected "institutional religion" - I was too much of the individualist- I did not want to be told what to think. I desired truth, understanding, meaning- with a passion. Life sciences fascinated me- or, I should qualify, life fascinated me, and still does in all its exquisite manifestations.

Although, as I said, I don't like to be told what to think, I did accept the idea of evolution by chance as actual fact. After all, since I had rejected organised religion- namely Christianity- what else was there? It was, I realised in retrospect, quite illogical thinking. Now, after that one biochemisty lecture, my paramecium brain started to back away from its old, infertile standpoint and head off in a new direction.

A couple of years later I "discovered" Yiddishkeit, and then I knew I had arrived home. After years of agnosticism, the idea of design by - supernal intelligence became more than merely palatable, it became my truth.

Copyright © 1999 Gila Atwood

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