Re: Destiny or Creativity

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@uncwil.edu)
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 13:32:48 -0500

Dear Adam,

I have not yet read the article in the New Scientist. Can this research be
classified as speeded up animal breeding? I do not know what "determine how
life will evolve" means. Are these lofty claims? There may be no goal or
purpose for such experiments since the experiments themselves cannot be
totally controlled. There is a deep underlying problem which people do not
address and that is, what or whom determines the outcome of our tinkering?
Whose laws must we still follow no matter how we tinker with nature?

Take care,

Moorad

-----Original Message-----
From: AJ & AJ Crowl <ajcrowlx2@ozemail.com.au>
To: asa@calvin.edu <asa@calvin.edu>
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 2:36 AM
Subject: Destiny or Creativity

Hi ASA,

Here's a recent "New Scientist" article which should give us pause for
thought as believers in the Creator:

http://www.newscientist.com/ns/19990213/replayingl.html

Based on recent work with bacteria it describes various factors that
seemingly DETERMINE how life will evolve. New niches becoming available seem
to act as species generators, allowing an ancestral form to diversify
rapidly. Neo-Darwinian dogma seems to demand a certain randomness and
uncertainty to the process of evolution, without any teleological hint of
"goal" or "purpose". In many situations this actually makes sense of the
biological data, such as the seemingly ad hoc modifications of organs that
show how evolution minimalistically builds on the past. However perhaps
other modes of evolution can make sense of such data without the need for
metaphysical digressions into the "meaninglessness and purposelessness" of
evolution. In the lives of animals I dare say there's more purpose and
meaning than Darwinian biologists seem to allow into the process. New niches
aren't exploited unless pioneers venture forth and adapt to their new homes,
though for simpler lifeforms it's air and water currents that carry them far
afield. What's God's role in all this? How many on this list still agree
with Descartes and consider all animals to be soulless automatons? I would
argue strongly that such anthropocentric prejudice is non-Biblical, since
the Spirit of Life gives life to all flesh.

Adam