Thursday, 5 September 2013

Evidence of design at the BBC Proms



Driving home from work I listened to some experts on BBC radio 3 talking about tonight's Promenade (Prom) concert from the Royal Albert Hall. An interesting discussion about Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and the poet and radical Lord Byron, whose poem ‘Manfred’ about self obsession, isolation and suicide had apparently been so influential on European art. Explains some things. Anyway, Tchaikovsky had written a symphony inspired by Byron’s poem and it was on this evening.

I watched some of it, undeniably great composition, conducting and playing even if not quite my cup of tea.

I love watching the Proms on TV for many reasons, but perhaps one of the greatest pleasures I get is seeing the musicians. They are so HUMAN. So different from one another, so skilled, so committed.


I thought, there are three marvellous and admirable things on stage here which came from a creator's mind and hand. The musical instruments themselves, the composition, and the musicians (including the conductor). I love these men and women and the way their individual effort and commitment go towards making a whole which is greater than the sum of the parts. Just like a human body.

Now all three of these show evidence of intelligent design. The instruments and the music we know from direct observations were all designed and then painstakingly crafted. But the musicians are far more wonderfully made and irreducibly complex.

Surely the musicians were designed too? Nothing as complicated as a violin or even a conductor's baton has ever been observed to arise from mindless forces, far less a coherent musical symphony. How much less then is it reasonable to suppose these wonderful men and women were the product of mindless forces? 

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