Re: Limits of Kinds (was Fall of evolved man)

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Mon, 10 Nov 1997 14:50:08 -0500 (EST)

At 03:01 AM 11/9/97 -0600, Glenn Morton wrote:
>At 11:42 AM 11/9/97, Moorad Alexanian wrote:
>>I do not doubt that you have many pieces of many puzzles on your hand. But
>>you must discern the pieces according to which puzzle you think they belong
>>to. Such are the assumptions that have to be used otherwise one cannot make
>>any sense of the data. Perhaps that for some of the puzzles there are only a
>>few pieces available which makes it hard to determine the message of the
>so I presume that this means that we ignore the conclusions we can draw from
>the parts of the puzzle we do have and believe anything we want. If this is
>true, then I chose to believe that there is a billion dollars in my bank
>account. Where is the Dallas area Lamborgine dealer? :-)

Few pieces implies many possible conclusions. You remind me how one can view
the gift of salvation to a million dollar check to one's name and which is
useless unless one cashes it.

>>I suppose it is my prejudice and ignorance that may give rise to the doubts
>>I have about evolutionary theory. Physics is very much more restrictive in
>>allowing speculations than evolutionary theory.
>I began as a physicist. While I was not at your level of expertise, I will
>tell you that my transition to the geosciences taught me a few things about
>my initial subject area. First, physics is restrictive because it deals with
>simple systems. You may work with a ten dimensional manifold, but to
>describe a delta system requires far more dimensions. Geology is very, very
>complex. To explain a delta requires knowledge of: grain-shape, specific
>gravity, size distribution of the particles, mineralogy, water velocity,
>rate of rain-fall, dissolved material, channel width, competency of the beds
>enclosing the channel, meandering rate (which is chaotic), dip of the river
>bed, height of the water, nature of the plant material along the stream,
>height of the levees,...
>As you can see it is more complex than the most difficult manifolds you work
>with. Each of the above is a variable with its own dimensional axis.

There is no doubt that the complexity in physics is not that of other
sciences. Physics is difficult because we go into a deep mathematical
description of some conceptually simple systems. However, there are
scientists who claim that all is atoms and molecules and so physics becomes
queen--I am not one those scientists. Collective phenomena are notoriously
deep problems in physics, e.g., the notion of wetness is not a property of
any single water molecule.

>>There are areas of physics
>>which are very speculative, string theory, cosmology, that is, those areas
>>where there are no results from experiments. However, as a physicist I know
>>when a theory in physics is mere speculations and deals with behaviors far
>>away from experimental data. However, it seems to me that in evolutionary
>>theory speculations are the norm. Perhaps if I delved in the areas you
>>mentioned I may be converted. You must know that I was never exposed in
>>school to evolutionary theories. What I know I learned as an adult and I
>>have read a lot.
>I will tell you this. When I went to work as a geophysicist, I was appalled
>that everything young-earth, antievolutionary christians had ever said about
>geology turned out to be wrong. I suspect that you are coming from a similar
>theological background to what I came from.

Would you believe me if I told you I never read anything written by
young-earth believers. I think much of these studies are futile. They are
meaningful if they are addressed in the context of pure science, that is to
say, get your ideas from wherever you want but try to do the research which
is acceptable by others of a different persuasions. Of course, journals can
have a policy that would preclude even considering such articles for

>I will say this. I read a lot as a young-earth creationist also. Looking
>back on my experience, I now realize that I read with the intent of proving
>my position correct. That is not the way one should approach a topic. We
>should read with the goal of finding the truth.

I know Scripture and physics enough so that I realize that some questions
are very speculative and the present state of our knowledge is not
sufficient to settle the answers to such questions.