Woohoo! All these years I've been naïvely wondering if there might not be a third alternative to"the Blind Watchmaker" (Richard Dawkins' term for random mutation/natural selection) and The Man With The Long White Beard At His Workbench In The Sky. Thanks to Rick Heller of Centerfield and his personal blog Transparent Eye, I've now discovered Johnjoe McFadden, a British molecular biologist who proposes quantum mechanisms that might allow mutation to be something other than strictly random. McFadden also has an electromagnetic theory of consciousness: in brief, he proposes that the brain's complex electromagnetic field (the existence of which is not in doubt; it's what's studied by an EEG) is the locus of consciousness, and that it in turn could influence the firing of neurons, as EM fields are known to induce electrical flows.
This is difficult stuff, and I don't pretend to understand it (though I will follow Rick's extensive links to McFadden's writings and try). But I do recognize it as an answer to my complaint here:
[T]he debate is so polarized -- pitting traditionally religious Christians, for the most part, against equally dogmatic Darwinists -- that there are few, if any, neutral advocates of a genuinely open mind. The trouble with insisting Darwin's theory is proven, when it isn't, is ultimately that it is unscientific. A healthy theory should welcome challenges and tests. The trouble with saying "God did it" is that it closes off inquiry, both into "God" and into "it," and is content with adoration, to the detriment of what Albert Einstein called "Göttliche Neugier," divine curiosity (a trait we share with the monkeys from which God made us ;-) ).
Of course, I'd better take heed of Rick's warning that "nothing makes an idea seem [more] like genius than its resemblance to our own thoughts!" It just seems to me that with some of the exotic new understandings dawning in quantum theory, chaos theory, and beyond, most traditional assumptions in both science and religion are off. Here, at last, is someone who dares not to cling to either one.