Re: Chicken Soup for the Soul

George Andrews (andrewsg@letu.edu)
Wed, 03 Dec 1997 10:50:27 -0600

Moorad Alexanian wrote:

>
>
> There is a connection that I have never been able to fathom and that is the
> notion of deterministic chaos and an omniscient God. We cannot make long
> term predictions in such systems, which are indeed purely deterministic, and
> must rely instead on probabilistic notions to make long range predictions.
> Is this a possible connection to our viewing events as random while there
> are indeed determined and somehow known to God?
>
> Moorad

Actually, the problem of classical indeterminism resides in humanity's
incomplete knowledge or control of initial (boundary) conditions; as one author
has said "you would have to be a god" in order to know the initial conditions to
the precision needed for strict predictability. However, an omniscient God - by
definition - does have such knowledge; hence the connection you search for is in
transcendence.

However, it is also important for us to distinguish between epistemological
(classical) notions of chance and ontological (quantum?) notions. The former is a
product of human ignorance and is what you are referring to but is inapplicable
to the more fundamental quantum theory where the very notion of a particle's
trajectory (spatiotemporal evolution) is inadmissible. In other words, there is a
fundamental uncertainty to nature that forbids complete knowledge of all physical
attributes. However, this uncertainty is WELL understood and utilized to actually
extract information from nature! It is merely a consequence of the wave nature
associated to particles which of course poses no problem to God's omniscience.

On the notions of design, surly the most ingenious design an intelligent designer
(at least according to our understanding) could effect, is one that adapts to its
changing environment. Nature apparently achieves this via random exploration of
possibilities until one is hit upon that maximizes or minimizes some
characteristic such as "fitness", energy, or entropy. These "target"
characteristics are found set in nature and therefore are, to me, candidates for
evidences of God's purposeful design. In other words, wy should nature minimize
its energy and maximize its entropy in order to "survive" its environment? Ans.:
God said so!

"Man casts the lot on the lap, but God determines the outcome" (Prov?)

--
George Andrews Jr.
Assistant Professor Physics
LeTourneau University
andrewsg@letu.edu