Re: Shapiro versus ID

Bill Hamilton (
Wed, 09 Sep 1998 16:30:59 -0400

At 09:16 AM 9/5/98 -0400, Howard J. Van Till wrote:
>To put Shapiro's line of thought into my vocabulary, he sees growing
>scientific evidence that "the formational economy of the Creation is
>sufficiently robust to account for the evolutionary actualization of all
>life forms." In other words, Shapiro has a higher view of the Creation's
>capabilities for self-organization and transformation than do the promoters
>of ID (or of any other version of episodic creationism). No need to appeal
>to occasional irruptive interventions by which novel forms are impposed by
>an overpowering divine agent. The conceptualization of creaturely
>capabilities was sufficiently creative, and the gifting of the Creation
>with capabilities was sufficiently generous that something as remarkable as
>biotic evolution was possible.

As a Christian I find such robustness a source of wonder -- and a spur to
further investigate how God accomplishes what he does. No matter what I
find in nature as I investigate, there will always be more causal factors
to investigate, and I suspect my sense of wonder and praise of God will
only increase as I go. From my point of view, no explanation in the
scientific sense can preclude the operation of God's providence, nor can it
preclude his constant oversight.

But I think the creationist and possibly the ID advocate are asking for
something more concrete -- something I don't believe is doable for humans.
They want, in effect, to "catch God in the act". Basically what they want
is hard evidence that only God could have produced the nature we know.
Such evidence would be wonderful to have, we think, because it would
bolster the confidence of Christians and it would make the need to confess
Christ absolutely clear to nonchristians. But would it? Perhaps it would
bolster the confidence of some Christians, but God is personal and wants to
approach us in a personal way -- through the Holy Spirit, through the
Scriptures and through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. From that
perspective it seems to me that bolstering one's confidence by finding gaps
in the natural order is somewhat of a crutch. Would it convince any
atheists/agnostics? I'm doubtful. Again, God is personal and wants to
approach men in a personal way. If they will not respond to the ministry
of the Holy Spirit, why would they respond to gaps in the natural order?

Thanks to Pattle Pun for posting Sahpiro's very thought-provoking article.
Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems MC 480-106-390
GM R&D Center
30500 Mound Road
Warren, MI / (home)