Re: Re: 'Directed' evolution?
Tue, 22 Sep 1998 07:02:35 EDT

In a message dated 9/21/98 Bill Hamilton wrote:

<<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.>>

I agree with the basic idea expressed above. I like to use the
metaphor--although no one has expressed agreement with it--of creation as a
*garden* and God as the *gardener*. Gardeners think of their gardens as their
creations. The emphasis is on God's pleasure in his "garden." He walks in
his garden, as in Eden. Does a gardener "adjust things"? (I never heard a
gardener use such a term.) Gardeners are very concrete in their gardening,
they water, weed, tie up plants, etc., all of which enables or enhances the
garden. I would say, then that God *enables* his creation to realize its


<<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 pleasure of such interaction.>>

Again I agree with Bill. I have used another metaphor to visualize God's
relation to his creation. For illustration, take the case of a human zygote,
a fertilized ovum. It is fully gifted genetically to produce a mature human
being. This is like Howard's gifted creation. But without human interaction
it will never reach its full human potential. Take speech. Unless parents
and others provide a speech environment the infant will not learn human speech
or communication. The pleasure that God gets out his interacting with his
creation may be akin to the pleasure parents realize hearing their infant

So it seems to me that a gifted creation is necessary but not sufficient to
realize its gifts.