God’s Grandeur

The Catholic Case for Intelligent DesignAnn Gauger, Ph.D.

We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.

Pope Benedict XVI

The world — indeed, the universe — is charged with grandeur. Everything speaks of its beauty, power, and purpose — of its exquisite and intelligent design. Yet many scientists today flatly deny that the world was intelligently designed. Even some Christian scientists and theologians downplay or deny the evidence nature supplies of intelligent design, especially in biology. This thought-provoking anthology shows why they are wrong, why it matters, and why intelligent design provides a compelling way to reconcile science and faith in today’s culture.

God’s Grandeur challenges the claim that God’s design in nature is hidden and cannot be detected. It presents convincing scientific evidence of intelligent design in cosmology, the origin of life, and biology. It clears up common misunderstandings about how Catholic theology relates to debates over science, evolution, and intelligent design.


Edited by biologist Ann Gauger, God’s Grandeur features chapters by an array of distinguished Catholic scientists, philosophers, theologians, and laypeople, including Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box and Darwin Devolves; award-winning brain surgeon Michael Egnor; noted theologian John Bergsma, author of Stunned by Scripture: How the Bible Made Me Catholic and A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament; Fr. Pedro Barrajón, LC, Rector of the European University in Rome; Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet and editor of God and Evolution; Fr. Michael Chaberek, author of Aquinas and Evolution; Benjamin Wiker, author of The Catholic Church and Science and Director of Human Life Studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville; philosopher J. Budziszewski, author of numerous commentaries on works by Thomas Aquinas for Cambridge University Press; Bruce Chapman, founder and chairman of Discovery Institute; and Anthony Esolen, translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy and author of Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization, and other books.


God’s Grandeur stimulates us all to investigate current scientific knowledge with the question of how a loving God made His most beloved children. Since we are not an accident, then how we came to be is a most important question of our times. Surely this discussion needs to occur with vigor and intellectual honesty within the Church itself.

Sam Brownback, former U.S. Senator, Governor, and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

The most compelling case yet for an ‘intentional and intelligent’ Designer.

Brian J. Gail, Catholic novelist and speaker, Knight of the Immaculate, author of Fatherless

Without an acknowledgement of intelligent design, one cannot have an objective ethic which is universally binding on all people. This book should be read by every teacher in Catholic schools, and essays from the book should be assigned to students in the upper grades. These essays will contribute greatly to confirming in people’s minds that there is a Creator God who can be known by the intelligibility of what we encounter in the order of nature and that living out an objective morality is essential for human happiness.

John M. Haas, Ph.D., S.T.L., M.Div., John Cardinal Krol Professor of Moral Theology, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, The Archdiocese of Philadelphia

A most welcome gift to all of us who have been searching for a long time for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to this fascinating and important subject.

Robert Stackpole, S.T.D., Director, John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy

A new science-faith synthesis is needed, and God’s Grandeur offers a welcome contribution to the formation of this synthesis.

Brett T. Feger, M.S., M.A., Instructor of Biology, Ave Maria University

God’s Grandeur… shows up the lack of empirical evidence for Darwinism and specifically makes clear to Catholics what are the philosophical and theological consequences of kowtowing to it. I hope that many Catholics (and other truth seekers) will read it.

Fr Martin Hilbert, C.O., M.A.Sc., Ph.D., Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science at St Philip’s Seminary, Toronto, Canada.

In God’s Grandeur, scientists of all kinds… will help you to see and appreciate the grandeur of the divine art and the Divine Artist.  Thanks be to God for these Catholics, all professionals in their respective fields, who have the courage to bring the light of truth to shine… This collection of essays should be read and reread by every Catholic Bishop and educator in America!

Luke A. Macik, J.D., Headmaster, The Lyceum

Contents by Chapter

  1. God’s Grandeur. The poem from which the title is drawn, and a preface that explains why this book is needed. Ann Gauger
  2. Intelligent design. What we mean by the term, and what we don’t mean. All too often people think they know what ID is, and what it claims, and they are wrong. Logan Gage
  3. Cosmology. The universe had a beginning, before which there was nothing — no time, no space, no matter, no energy, no sub-atomic particles or forces, nothing. Then it came into being so finely tuned for galaxies and stars, for a planet like earth, and for beings like us, that it boggles the mind. Brian Miller
  4. Origin of life. A pure thermodynamic miracle. Brian Miller
  5. How our understanding of biology has grown, and how it reveals intelligent design. Michael Behe
  6. Biology. Codes, information, molecular machines, causal circularity, and homeostasis, all things that require all the parts to be there and fine-tuned for each other before anything can work. Ann Gauger
  7. Paleontology. How the fossils indicate jumps, sometimes very large ones, over very short time intervals. There may be no intermediates, or even where it looks like there are intermediates, there isn’t enough time. Günter Bechly
  8. Human origins. What the science tells us, and what our faith tells us, and whether or not they can be reconciled. Ann Gauger
  9. The intelligibility of the universe. Why our minds are capable of understanding more and more about the way the universe works in physics, chemistry, and biology, and how this understanding conforms so well to mathematical abstract systems discovered by human minds. Benjamin Wiker
  10. Teleology and the universe. Why everything has a purpose, often multiple purposes, that affect the environment for the good of others, not just themselves. These purposes work together to permit the functioning of the whole of life. Rob Koons
  11. Consciousness. Somehow mind emerged from matter, mind capable of knowing itself and others, and communicating with them; capable of imagining and creating new things, and organizing its environment in a variety of ways; capable of a sense of the Other and of our immortality. Michael Egnor
  12. The uniqueness of the human person. Scott Ventureyra
  13. Natural law. How science supports and accounts for our natures. Benjamin Wiker
  14. Natural moral law. The law that is in us, that tells us what is wrong or right, that is the basis of morality. J. Budziszewski           
  15. Beauty. The world is full of beautiful things, things that are gratuitously beautiful. They don’t have to be beautiful to fulfill their purpose, but they are. And we are built to see that beauty, whether it is natural, or man-made art, music, dance, etc. Logan Gage
  16. The language of design in the Bible. John Bergsma
  17. How the glory of God is revealed in creation. Fr. Pedro Barrajon, LC
  18. Is evolution a problem for the Church? Fr. Michael Chaberek, OP
  19. Aristotle and Design. Richard Sternberg
  20. Aquinas and design. Fr. Michael Chaberek, OP
  21. Can Thomist philosophers claim God acts only through secondary causes? Does God hide behind the apparent randomness of mutations? Jay Richards
  22. Why it is important for ID and evolution to be openly discussed in the Church. Bruce Chapman
  23. A closing chapter on creation as a living and symphonic order, not deterministic, but also not random, and full of beauty. Anthony Esolen

Ann Gauger

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Dr. Ann Gauger is Director of Science Communication and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture, and Senior Research Scientist at the Biologic Institute in Seattle, Washington. She received her Bachelor's degree from MIT and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington Department of Zoology. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, where her work was on the molecular motor kinesin.

Michael J. Behe

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Michael J. Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. Behe's current research involves delineation of design and natural selection in protein structures. In his career he has authored over 40 technical papers and three books, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, and The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, which argue that living system at the molecular level are best explained as being the result of deliberate intelligent design.

Michael Egnor

Senior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream. Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.

Fr. Michael Chaberek

Father Michael Chaberek is a Dominican monk with a doctorate in fundamental theology. In 2011 he obtained his doctoral degree at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. In 2012-2013 he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Discovery Institute in Seattle. He has published 30 scholarly articles and six books, including The Church and Evolution (2012), Creation or Evolution? A Catholic's Dilemma with Tomasz Rowiński (2014), Aquinas and Evolution (2018). He currently collaborates with the En Arche Foundation.

J. Budziszewski

Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Professor Budziszewski is a professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, where he also teaches courses in the law school and the religious studies department. He specializes in political philosophy, ethical philosophy, legal philosophy, and the interaction of religion with philosophy. Among his research interests are classical natural law, virtue ethics, conscience and moral self deception, the institution of the family in relation to political and social order, religion in public life, and the problem of toleration.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.