Re: 'Directed' evolution?

Bill Hamilton (
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:25:20 -0400

David Campbell wrote

>From my Calvinist perspective, I believe that
>the process was very tightly constrained. However, the constraint could be
>"built in" from the creation of the universe, or slightly more
>"interventionist" with the course of "naturally" indeterminate events being
>caused as they come to pass (e.g., which radioactive atom decays first).
We often tend to assume that an interventionist model of the history of
nature has God intervening to "correct" processes that fail to produce what
God wanted. Something went wrong, God had to intervene. However, Steve
Jones (who is well-known to those of you who post to the evolution list)
once said to me that he believed all of God's interventions were planned.
IOW, he appears to believe that God chooses to step in and adjust things
for his own good pleasure. Like Howard, I am not excited about the idea of
a nature that would spin out of control into chaos without God constantly
stepping in to fix things -- I prefer to think of the entities in nature as
being gifted with a basic set of capabilities that enable them to function.
But I'd be very surprised if God simply became a spectator after gifting
everything. He has certainly taken a great interest in acting in human
history, and I would be surprised if he wasn't strongly interested in and
interacting with other events in the universe as well -- not as the
repairman who keeps things going, but as the owner who delights in his
creation and interacts with it simply for the peasure of such interaction.
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)