Design as Concept, Sign, and Production

Howard J. Van Till (
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 09:13:59 -0400

This is in response to the post by Walter Bradley and Keith Miller's reply.

1. Thanks, Keith, for your comments on the second part of Walt's post. I
think it was right on target. As the 'Giver of being' to the Creation, God
is far more than Plato's Demiurge, who could do no more than work with
materials at hand. Consequently, we would have no basis for presuming that
God would be constrained by the same optimization difficulties as those
encountered by a human engineer.

2. In the first part of his post, Walt said the following:

>There is another way to differentiate what ID has been saying and what Van
>Til has been saying about design. These are detailed in a book chapter
>which is posted at after which you click on "faculty
>offices" and then click on mine and choose "The Just So Universe". The
>argument in brief is that design is manifest in the mathematical form
>which nature takes (i.e., the differential equations), the values of the
>various universal constants and the initial conditions or boundary
>constraints. When engineers do design, they can only assign initial
>conditions or boundary constraints. However, the outcomes depend on all
>three. Van Til would put everything into the mathematical form which
>nature takes and the values for the universal constants.

I think that's a serious misunderstanding of what I have been trying to
say. I do not wish to "put everything into the mathematical form which
nature takes and the values for the universal constants." I would far
rather say that I "place high emphasis on the richness of being that God
gave to the Creation from the outset -- the Creation's properties,
capabilities, potentialities, means of achieving potentialities, etc." That
'richness of being', it seems to me, is far more than a list of
mathematical forms, values of physical constants, initial conditions, etc.
These specific quantitative items may well be a part of that 'being' but
certainly not the whole story.


Howard Van Till (2 l's)