Re: History and Goals (for TE)

Glenn R. Morton (
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 17:46:09 -0500

At 12:44 PM 6/20/98 -0500, Craig Rusbult wrote:
>* 15. GLENN:
>> ... Not only can God use random processes and have a determinant
>>outcome, I can. random processes + a set of rules = determinism.
> [ CR: Again, we can ask "HOW MUCH convergency is there in a
>formative history produced by "random processes + a set of rules"? ]

Quantum mechanics is just such a situation. The radioactive decay of a
single atom cannot be predicted, but given trillions of radionuclides, you
can measure a very stable (read that quasideterministic) half-life for each
species of nuclei. Our entire universe is based upon that idea. The sun's
trip through the galaxy is affected by gravitational interactions by
numerous stars. Per se it is not predictable because each star interacts
with every other star and causes shifts in orbital energy and path. These
interactions are not predictable on the long time scale. But Michel Henon
and Carl Heiles derived a potential function which mimics the total
interaction. ("The Applicability of the Third Integral of Motion: Sopme
Numerical Experiments" Astronomical Journal 69(1964):p. 73). The motion of
the sun is never repeats but is always constrained to a particular region
of its phase space (x,y,z and vx,vy,vz). I studied this thing several years
ago and found an excellent program in Steven Koonin, Computational Physics
p235 ff. Changes of energy change the path of the star around its orbit but
it never escapes a particular region of the phase space. Chance + rules = a
form of determinism.

>* 16. GLENN:
>> I can't speak for George, but what I am saying is that God didn't need
>>to do it "after the fact" because He had planned it all into the fabric of
>>the universe. In other words, stochastical nudges were not needed because
>>God had PLANNED AHEAD in the design of the universe or to use the ID
>>terminology, God had DESIGNED the phase spaces of the biopolymers to
>>achieve the result He desired. That is still providential control. Just
>>not providential control when WE want God to exercise it.
> [ CR: Again, there is a heavy emphasis on initial theistic action,
>relative to ongoing guidance or (as in creationist theories) miraculous
>action. And again this contrasts with Biblical human history, which is
>addressed in the next message (by Brian and Garry) and in previous threads
>by many list-participants. ]

God's interaction with the world is a sustaing action and occasionally is
miraculous. But God does not need to be constantly correcting the course
of the universe as someone who has created a staggering robot and wants the
darn robot to go east (which the robot refuses to do). God is a better
designer than that.

>> One of the reasons I am an evolutionist and not a progressive
>>creationist is that I don't think it is becoming to God to have such
>>limited powers that He couldn't make the world do what he wanted it to the
>>first time. This constant tinkering with the universe makes it look like
>>God had all sorts of afterthoughts-- "Oh yeah, I forgot to make a
>>dinosaur" "Oh darn, I forgot to make a primate"
>> I think his planning was more sophisticated than that.
> [ CR: These questions are addressed in my "Consistency or Analysis?"
>post on Monday, and toward the end of 1E (in my medium and long overviews)
>where I discuss God's "gardening" approach toward human and non-human parts
>of nature. Is there any Biblical reason to consider it "more glorifying"
>for the universe to have "functional integrity to achieve the goals of God"
>or is it OK to have a "mix of interactions" as in Biblical human history? ]

Yes, Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He
wasn't an afterthought or a 'tinker' to fix the sin problem AFTER it had
occurred. He was there to fix it before it occurred.


Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information