Re: Does God make design tradeoffs?

Dennis Feucht (
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:03:55 -0500

Jonathan Hartley wrote:

> ... when I read Genesis and Revelation, I gather
> that we are talking about the alteration of the entire universe from a
> one without death, decay, evil, darkness, imperfection, to one that is
> with temporary systems at the mercy of physical laws and effects, and
finally back
> to a perfect state which seems totally outside the realm of present laws.

The physical effects attributed to the Fall (death, sickness, etc.) need
not require a different set of basic physical laws to be repaired. This
universe existed before the Fall with what appears to be the same basic
physics and chemistry. The Fall might well consist of faults in the state
of the system instead of its laws.

> And, when I read Revelation, I read of a new heaven and a new earth that
> constructed anew, apparently from the most "primordial" alteration of
> laws now in effect.

The Greek word for "new" (kainos) is better rendered "renewed" as in the
renewal of the covenant. This suggests to me that God was right when he
valued his original Creation as good. Starting from scratch appears to me
to be unnecessary.

> Thus, I tend to reject any appeals to reason from naturalists
> who tell me that God must be a lousy engineer and that they could design
a much
> better organism themselves.

Yes, appeals to actual engineering knowledge would be more convincing.
Creative engineers often have brilliant ideas that turn out not to work;
how much more so the ideas about design of armchair philosophers.

> The point is, what we have now is NOT the real thing. It's MEANT to be
> temporary. And thus, faith comes into play.

Reality and temporality should be distinguished. Unlike most medievals, the
early scientists thought the world was real and had an integrity in its own
right, given to it by God. But believing in nature's Creator takes faith
because he does not (usually, at least) wear his slide-rule on his belt.

Dennis L. Feucht
Innovatia Laboratories
American Scientific Affiliation Newsletter Editor
Great Lakes Rocket Society
14554 Maplewood Road
Townville, Pennsylvania 16360