Geneseo’s Ratio Christi group hosted guest speaker Paul Nelson––a co-founder of Intelligent Design––on March 28. The theory is the result of the conglomeration of work of a group of scientists who have seen problems in their perspective fields when it comes to the tree of life. This theory challenges Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by examining scientific evidence that supports the existence of a purposeful creator rather than random evolution, essentially hoping to merge faith and science. Nelson spoke mainly on the existence of orphan genes, genes that have no similar characteristics with other organisms, meaning the fact that these exist contradict the theory of evolution. He also addressed other recent scientific discoveries that support a creator with a purpose.
“There is no consensus when it comes to what intelligent being created us, but what there is agreement on across beliefs is that there is some sort of creator,” Ratio Christi president junior Marcus Elia said.
The talk ended with a discussion and questions in which attendants were welcomed to voice their own opinions. “The response to the talk last night was great,” junior Paige Pendleton said. “There was a good turn out and the people there were willing to listen.”
When it comes to the larger Geneseo community, most people are not aware of Ratio Christi, let alone the theory of intelligent design. “I think most people aren’t aware of it or educated enough to have an opinion,” Pendleton said.
Ratio Christi is an organization whose chapter was started here by retired Cornell University professor John Sanford. “He used to be an atheist, until his studies of science led him to believe otherwise,” Ratio Christi communications correspondent sophomore Amber Lin said.
The group meets once a week for open discussions of topics such as history, philosophy and science, and how they can be used to support faith. “We welcome everyone,” Elia said. “Although most of our members are believers, we are equally open to people who want to challenge the ideas.” By bringing speakers like Nelson to campus, Ratio Christi hopes to provide a space in which faith can be analyzed and better understood.
“We see that students are tired of having to retreat from the faith due to the constant anti-biblical onslaught,” Sanford wrote on his personal profile on Ratio Christi’s website. “We sense a growing sense of excitement.”