Re: ID and Utility (THEISTIC ACTION)

George Murphy (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 11:56:28 -0400

jeff boersema wrote:
> George,
> Could you please elaborate on the significance of Goedel's theroem
> with respect to miracles?

I think the platonic view is partially correct, in that the
world is a a representation of mathematical pattern. (Important
qualifications at the end.) What we call the laws of physics are our
approximations to that pattern. Goedel says that the pattern is
incomplete, in the sense that there are questions that can't be answered
uniquely within its framework. That would seem to correspond to there
being at least one phenomenon in the physical world which cannot be
explained in terms of laws of physics, no matter how closely they
approximate the true pattern of the world. _Maybe_ such phenomena
correspond to miracles. (Maybe not.)
1) The pattern of the world is not static, as Plato thought:
Being is not superior to becoming.
2) The physical world is not an inferior copy of a perfect
form. This is suggested in part by 1, but more importantly by the
Christian doctrines of creation & Incarnation, which even imply that the
material world is _better_ than bare pattern.
3) There is not - as everybody thought up to the discovery of
non-Euclidean geometry - a unique mathematical pattern according to
which the universe could be created. Thus divine choice is involved in
creation - cf. Torrance's "doctrine of the contingent rationality of the

George Murphy