• Peter Kupisz

Finnish Scientist Rejected Darwinism - Dr. Matti Leisola

Rejection of Darwinian evolution is only for theologians and Bible thumpers who don’t know science, or so the thinking goes. While the majority of scientists are convinced of Darwinism, many of them have never taken the time to properly consider the case against it. When that happens, they often realize that the case for Intelligent Design is much better than they thought. One example of this is Dr. Matti Leisola, a Finnish bioengineer and the former dean of Chemistry and Material Sciences at Helsinki University of Technology. In his early life, he describes how he looked down upon the "God-of-the-gaps" people who embraced Intelligent Design.

As a young student, I used to laugh at those who, as I thought, placed God in the gaps of our scientific knowledge. This God-of-the-gaps criticism is often leveled against Christians and other religious believers, against all those who insist there is clear evidence of design in nature. To my way of thinking, such people lacked the patience and level-headedness that I possessed. It was so clear to me: Instead of plugging away to discover the natural mechanism for this or that mystery about the natural world, these pro-design people threw up their hands and used the God-did-it explanation as a cover for ignorance.

As Leisola grew older and thought about the issue more, he concluded that "functional atheists" can also have their own "pat explanations".

This criticism of intelligent design proponents struck me as reasonable, so I didn’t listen to their arguments. But eventually I came to realize that this criticism cuts both ways, since a functional atheist also can reach for pat explanations in the face of mystery. It’s just that for him, the pat explanation will never be God. That is, you do not need God in your explanatory toolkit in order to short-circuit careful scientific investigation and reasoning. I realized that I myself had been all too willing to stuff vague materialistic explanations into the gaps of our scientific knowledge...

As time progressed, Leisola's thinking developed further and he started questioning the assumption that all of nature must have only material/physical explanations. Why couldn't there be something beyond nature, such as "creative intelligence"?

Also, their argument for entertaining only material explanations in the sciences just assumes that everything we find in nature has a purely material cause. But what if that assumption is wrong? What if there are features of the natural world — the laws and constants of nature itself, for instance — that really are the work of a creative intelligence?
Scientists are supposed to investigate mysteries with an open mind, not assume an explanation from the outset. I came to see that the best approach is to evaluate which explanation among the live options is more logical and fits the facts better.


“The Scientist Who Shouldn’t Exist — New Book by Matti Leisola, Jonathan Witt,” Evolution News, February 6, 2018, https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/the-scientist-who-shouldnt-exist-new-book-by-matti-leisola-jonathan-witt/.

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