Re: ORIGINS: ACriticalQuestion

Pattle Pun (
Fri, 29 Nov 1996 13:29:58 -0600 (CST)

On Fri, 29 Nov 1996 wrote:

> I agree with George Murphy's last paragraph and especially the last sentence
> of his Nov. 28 post:
> "There are excellent _theological_ grounds for insisting upon
> such "methodological naturalism." But there is also the empirical fact
> that the idea has had tremendous success during the past few centuries
> of scientific work. No matter how devout a Christian a scientist may
> be, he or she will not be content to let some scientific problem rest
> with the explanation that "God did it." Of course God did it - as God
> is involved in all things! But how do we describe it in terms of
> natural processes?"
> I agree. This is the critical question we should be addressing.
> In Christ,
> Bob
In the "Mere Creation" conference, J.P. Moreland and Stepen Meyer argued
successfully that a design paradigm is more fruitful in accounting for the
devolopment of the mind and the Origin of biological information which
cannot be satisfactorily explained by methodological naturalism. It is not
to postulate tha "God did it" and do nothing to explain the complexities
of mind or the biological information, but rather, to propose the design
model and try to fit all the data into a coherent whole. William Demski
(Math, Philosophy) applied a 3-tier explanatory filter : law, chance and
design. I quote from his abstract:

"These modes may be conceived as stages or nodes on what I shall call the
Explanatory Filter. Given an object or event that we wish to explain, we
refer it to the filter: if the event will always happen (or almost
always,) given certain antecedent circumstances, we explain it via natural
law or law-like regularities. The second stage in the filter, on the other
hand, captures events we explain by chance. The first and second stages
correspond to events of high and intermediate probabilities, respectively.

If neither law-like regularities nor chance explain an event, however, we
pass to the last node on the filter: small probability. Yet small
probability alone does not deliver design as a cause. Extremely improbable
events, after all, happen by chance all the time.SPECIFIED events of small
probability, however, cannot be explained by natural law or chance.
Rather,they can only be expalined by design- that is intelligent design."

Just as Del Ratszch conceded, "in the area of empirically supported
arguments involving introduction into post-creation history of design,
and involving counterflow, intervention, or nomic discontinuity, design
theory has available to it resources beyond the reach of theistic
evolution (who advocate "methodical naturalism)"

Dr. Pattle Pun
Professor of Biology
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630)752-5303
FAX: (630)752-5996