Re: History and Goals (for TE)

Craig Rusbult (
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 12:36:56 -0500

There was an interesting thread, 7 weeks ago, that went great for 2 days
(April 27-28) and abruptly ended. It contains many of the essential ideas
about "history and goals" so I've cut-and-pasted representative parts from
the 22 messages, and (for easier reading/replying) have split them into
6 messages.

Howard began the thread asking for "a definition of ID" but (since
similar questions are involved), the thread was more about defining TE.
Two messages (numbers 11 & 17) are missing because they're only about
the role of "observation" in quantum mechanics and in the world, a topic
that isn't directly relevant to defining TE.
My comments are in brackets, "[ CR: In my opinion,... ]".

Notice the interplay between the two factors described in my outline:
precision in the GOALS of God, and contingency/divergence in HISTORY.


I hope all of this isn't "too much at once." If it is, I apologize.
But there are so many important ideas in this thread that it seems a
shame not to recycle them for your further comment. So here they are:


> My request for the last couple of weeks has simply been to have the
>proponents of ID provide us with a public and candid statement of their
>operative definition of 'design' and/or 'intelligent design.'

> God designs the very rules by which things function. Science is an
>enterprise that seeks to discover the laws by which entities in nature

[ CR: theistic evolutionists tend to emphasize God's "initial
theistic action" in designing the universe. This is a valid idea;
the question is whether initial-TA is ALL that God did. ]

> Yes, & we can go further if we pay attention to what Scripture
>tells us about God's purpose for creation, the Incarnation of the Word
>(Eph.1:10). That suggests that a rationally ordered universe and the
>evolution of intelligent life are parts of God's design leading to the
>accomplishment of that ultimate purpose. OTOH, there is no reason to
>insist that the intelligent life which would evolve & in which the
>Incarnation would occur would be on our particular planet, or that it be
>bipedal &c. So the development of terrestrial _homo sapiens_ need not
>be seen as essential to God's purpose.

[ CR: Is this a claim that "approximately convergent" HISTORY can
achieve "imprecisely defined" GOALS ? ] { Later, I ask a question
about dolphin incarnations. }