“Holy mystery, heaven’s daughter!”

“Holy mystery, heaven’s daughter!” October 7, 2020


Fallingwater, by Wright
Incomparably my favorite architect:  Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” (1935-38), near Bear Run, Pennsylvania
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photograph)


I had already read several things from Michael Denton, an Anglo-Australian scientist who holds a medical degree from Bristol University in the United Kingdom and a doctorate in biochemistry from King’s College London.  But I had never actually heard him before.  So I was pleased when a commenter on this blog who goes by the moniker of brotheroflogan called my attention to an apparently recent speech that Dr. Denton had delivered.  My wife and I listened to a recording of it while driving down Provo Canyon from Park City, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Perhaps you will, too.  It weighs in at just slightly less than 46.5 minutes.  Dr. Denton is a genial speaker and he sets forth a quite interesting case that I can’t recall having actually encountered before.  I’m accustomed to arguments at the cellular level and to fine-tuning arguments at the cosmic level (including arguments for the uniqueness of Earth, a topic on which Dr. Denton himself touches relatively briefly toward the end of this lecture).  But this is an argument at the intermediate level, neither microcosmic nor entirely cosmic.


It is also, in a sense, a hymn to the wonderful qualities of water:


“The Fitness of Nature for Mankind”


I strongly recommend it to you.


I expect that Dr. Denton is retired, now, to a life of writing, with the support of the Discovery Institute behind him.  (Enviable fellow!)  He last served as a research professor at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, on the South Island of New Zealand.


Listening to Dr. Denton put me in mind of the “Water Song,” by the Incredible String Band.  I am, after all, a child of the 60s in California, so it should scarcely be surprising that this sort of thing appealed to me and that it still does:


Water, water, see the water flow.
Glancing, dancing, see the water flow.
O wizard of changes, water, water, water!
Dark or silvery, mother of life!
Water, water, holy mystery, heaven’s daughter!
Wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing,

God made a song when the world was new.
Water’s laughter sings it through.
O wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing.

God made a song when the world was new.
Water’s laughter sings it through.
Wizard of changes, water, water, water.



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