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Martin Luther King on Intelligent Design

David Klinghoffer
Photo: Martin Luther King, 1963, via Wikimedia Commons.

The era of great men and great women, with majestic and original visions, seems to be in the past. I struggle to think of a giant alive today. Can you? On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s interesting to wonder what that giant of the 20th century would say about the questions that roil our culture. For example, the question of whether life is reducible to meat alone, as the dominant materialist philosophy insists, or whether it reflects an intelligent purpose or, as we would call it today, intelligent design. 

In fact, we don’t have to wonder what MLK would say on that: “Materialism is a weak flame that is blown out by the breath of mature thinking.” That’s from his sermon “The Man Who Was a Fool,” collected in Strength to Love, in which Dr. King cites physicist James Jeans and statesman Arthur Balfour. He unequivocally opposed the idea “that man is a transient accident of protons and electrons traveling blind, that thought is a temporary product of gray matter, and that the events of history are an interaction of matter and motion operating by the principle of necessity.” The purpose and design behind reality were crucial to his ethical vision. For more, see our brief and timely video, “Martin Luther King on the Design of the Universe.” Consider sharing it with friends.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Arthur Balfourcultureelectronsintelligent designintelligent purposeJames JeansMartin Luther King Jr.Martin Luther King Jr. DaymaterialismnecessityphilosophyprotonsStrength to LoveThe Man Who Was a Fool