Fw: economic irreducible complexity

Russell Maatman (rmaat@mtc1.mtcnet.net)
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 22:58:14 -0600

Keith Miller wrote on Wednesday, November 27, 1996 10:01 PM
> Russ:
> You wrote:
> >At the _most_, Allan, you call attention to the fact that Behe's
> >of irreducibility needs refining. Surely it is possible for someone to
> >construct a definition that will include only his examples. His argument
> >does not, after all, depend upon the existence of other examples. So we
> >back to the same place: refute his examples at the Journal of Molecular
> >Biology level. If no one can do that, then the claim that evolutionary
> >theory is not general for the biological world is correct. Then, as I
> >claimed earlier, it would not be correct to assume a priori that every
> >biological system evolved. Each system would have to be examined and, if
> >possible, declared to be derived by gradualistic evolution if that
> >examination so
> >warranted. Otherwise, do not make general claims for evolution. Yes,
> >of those systems not proved to have evolutionary origin just might be
> >designed.
> What you appear to be demanding is complete evolutionary descriptions of
> all biological systems. You seem to want a theory that is demonstrated
> all particulars before you will allow it to act as a scientific paradigm.
> As long as even one unexplained process of structure exists, your
> could still be made. By this approach _no_ scientific theory could ever
> accepted. The explanatory power of scientific theories lies in their
> ability to fruitfully direct research into new areas. They enable vast
> amounts of diverse data and observations to be explained and understood
> part of a larger system or concept. Evolutionary theory in its many
> provides such a foundational system.
> This has already been stated by others, but I do not believe that your
> contrast of design and evolution is theologically defensible. I believe
> that _all_ physical reality is brought into existence and upheld by God's
> creative power. God's creative power is presently at work - commonly
> referred to as providence. To me design is another way of expressing the
> Biblical concept that creation in its entirety exists by God's will and
> His purposes. God can design by whatever process He chooses. Why can
> not see evolution as the means God used to bring about His purposes for
> creation? If you acknowledge that God could exercise His creative powers
> through evolutionary process, then what theological benefit is gained by
> trying to prove them inadequate?
> In Christ:
> Keith

Keith, of course I accept that everything lies in God's providence. But we
are talking about what we can find out. I just explain in a post on this
listserve (answering George Murphy) that it seems to me that all biological
systems fall into one of two classes. We might over time become more and
more sure (never certain, since this is scientific activity) that some
systems fall into one class and one the other. But both classes are
ultimately designed by God, the Creator. _We_, however, might put a system
into either of the two classes. Assuming that we will never conclude design
is, it seems to me, methodological naturalism.

In the Lord,

e-mail: rmaat@mtcnet.net