Supporting both evolution and intelligent design?

George Scialabba reviews God’s Universe by Owen Gingrich, in the Boston Globe:

Gingod_1The eminent Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich also covers a lot of ground in comparatively few pages, but “God’s Universe” (coming in September) is an argument rather than a history. Gingerich is a theist and a believer in intelligent design, though not in Intelligent Design, which poses as an alternative to Darwinism. Gingerich accepts Darwinism. But he denies that either Darwinism or modern cosmology makes the existence of God less likely. On the contrary, by demonstrating the extreme improbability, the sheer fortuitousness, of cosmic and biological evolution, both Darwinism and cosmology make the existence of a creator more plausible. The likelihood that a complex protein, for example, will form by accident, by hit-or-miss evolution, is, according to one calculation, 1 in 10{+3}{+2}{+1}. Science has revealed an astoundingly “finely textured tapestry of connections.” It might all be chance, he concedes, but mightn’t there be a smidgen of purpose, an occasional shaping touch?

Gingerich pleads for separating physics from metaphysics, efficient causes from final causes, how from why. He is more earnest, less jaunty, than Vilenkin, but just as likable and as knowledgeable. In the end, he persuaded even a hardened skeptic like me that there might, possibly, be more to the cosmos than is dreamt of in my philosophy.

More here.