Re: NTSE #11

Keith B Miller (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 22:44:42 -0600 (CST)

Murphy wrote in response to Burgy question:

> Having crammed on the subject myself, I would talk about the
>panda's thumb in evolutionary terms, somewhat a la Gould. I would point
>out that many biological structures aren't "perfect" but "close enough
>for government work" because that's the nature of natural selection.
> Then I might say (depending on reactions &c) - "You may be
>wondering how God fits into all this. Well, God uses these processes of
>evolution, & God allows the world to in agreement with the laws he has
>established. That's why we can understand it. But it also means that
>things won't be perfect. Remember, though, that God isn't finished with
>the world yet.

Just one comment. I think using the word "perfect" in this context is not
meaningful (although I know what George is getting at). Usually "perfect"
is defined not by the revealed character of God, but by what _we_ think is
most aesthetic, orderly, rational, moral, etc. What people have understood
to be "perfect" in the physical realm has changed continually and
dramatically over the centuries. At one time a perfectly smooth and
featureless sphere was considered the most perfect geometric form. The
rugged mountains of the Earth were then seen as hideous chaotic
consequences of evil. We view mountains thus not longer.

The natural world certainly does not correspond to my vision of
"perfection," but I believe that it perfectly corresponds to God's will
and purpose for His creaion.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506