I agree, Rod. For what it’s worth, I responded to my friend in this way:
Just keep in mind that Dr. Sternberg committed a mortal sin in the eyes of certain of his colleagues. Let’s pretend you’re the editor of a science magazine—say, Cardio-Vascular Investigations—and up to now no one has been able to document a mechanism that explains how it is that heart muscle has the tendency to beat. Leg muscle just won’t beat, even when it’s cut up into the shape of a heart and hooked up to a heart’s nerves, valves, arteries, etc. One day you get a submission for an article whose author explains that the reason heart muscle beats is that every heart of every animal in the world contains a tiny version of Elvis Presley, tapping his toes and swinging his hips.
I suspect you can see where I’m going here. I understand the historical significance of religious faith, but many serious scientists consider religion to be childish nonsense on the level of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Whether you agree with them or not, deistic notions do not fit into their world, and certainly not in their very serious publications.
By the way, Scott, “Darwinist” is somewhat of a misnomer in the sense that it shouldn’t be taken too literally. I don’t adjust monkeys with a monkey wrench and modern Darwinists understand that Darwin’s most brilliant achievement was to get the bio-ball rolling in certain directions. His writings contain many errors and misconceived notions, and his theories continue to be updated.
He called me a few days later and we’re still friends.