The Dumbest Article I Ever Read in the Wall Street Journal

The Dumbest Article I Ever
Read in the Wall Street Journal


Leonard Zwelling

         On Christmas Day, just after Santa tiptoed past my room at
Memorial-Hermann, I read what may be the dumbest article I have ever read (link
attached). It is not dumb, as in stupid, for it is really quite learned. It’s
dumb because why in the world would anyone try to reconcile the existence of
God by using science?

         The whole premise starts with a many year-old idea that only
a limited number of parameters would be necessary to sustain life elsewhere
besides Earth and thus it seemed likely in the “Sagan-Sixites” that those green
men were out there if we just looked hard enough. (Let’s not digress into what
is meant by LIFE as in carbon-based or not, etc.) In subsequent years, it
appears, the number of parameters to sustain life has increased dramatically
lowering the odds of making the film Contact a reality. This Robert Zameckis film was based on the Carl Sagan novel that
dealt with the big issue of what might happen if another world made contact
with Earth and how God might play into all of this. 

         Now, I guess, the number of ideal variables needed for life
as we know it has grown so large as to make our present existence here on Earth
a miracle, thus cementing the notion of intelligent design, at least that’s my
reading of this article

         Frankly there are only three positions on all of this:

1.  The Universe, as we know it, is and was a random
occurrence and required no intelligent anything to get us to the point at which
we find ourselves. If you can reconcile intelligent design and some of the
people I’ve met in academic medicine or Capitol Hill, you’re a better man or
woman than I am.

2.  The author’s hypothesis is correct. The Universe is a
miracle.  Therefore there must be a God
who made all this happen.

3.  This is not my field and it is all none of my

me down for number 3.


let me say that I am a religious (sort of) Jew who believes in God. God being
defined for me as something I cannot understand and have no business trying to.
My God is the God of Ecclesiastes and not for me to know. It is my faith in
Him, not His in me that gives purpose to my life. We Jews keep it simple. Here
are 613 commandments (and you thought we only had 10) to do today. If you make it, the Messiah will come. No one has
made it yet and that includes Moses, so, we wait. And we try in this world and
leave God’s world to Him or Her and concentrate on doing good works in this

arguments like this where a negative proves a positive are truly dumb (I told
you so). Because this guy cannot understand the enormity of what is, God did
it. That’s a plane of consciousness (or is it hubris) I do not aspire to attain
in this lifetime.

my job as a scientist was to unmask the truth of the Universe to the best of my
ability using the laws of man and nature. It ain’t called search. It’s called
RE-search. What we “discover” already is. We are just figuring it out. We did
not invent gravity, relativity, DNA or the speed of light. Research is a
treasure hunt, not a magic show.

I find the manner in which any human coalesces his or her beliefs in the
knowable and the unknowable is not for me to judge. As a physician it is always
my highest duty to respect the belief of those under my care regardless of how
repugnant the beliefs may be to me personally. I remind you all that half of
the beds in the children’s cancer floor at Sheba Hospital that Genie and I
visited in Tel Aviv last summer were filled with Palestinian children. Those
doctors were doing God’s work by any measure, in my view.

a mainstream publication like the Wall Street Journal should entertain such
nonsense in its opinion pages is my idea of editorial misconduct.

don’t want the government to use your tax dollars to search for little green
men? OK. It hasn’t for 20 years.

let’s not use the mathematics of scientific probability to justify intelligent
design. Besides, who are we to judge how any Supreme Being put the pieces
together if that is the case?

said “God doesn’t play dice with the Universe.” Maybe He plays Go Fish.

as my Bubbie might say: “what is it your chazasha business?” 

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