>>> Keith B Miller <email@example.com> 04/07/99 10:34PM >>>
Walter Bradly wrote:
>>In his presentation in Chicago, VanTil argued that a universe which needs
>>intervention is an inferior design to one that does not. However, in the
>>Q.&A. session, I asked if an automobile which could self assemble and
>>required no maintenance would be a superior design to one that does not?
>>It seems to me that the requirement so self assembly and/or no maintenance
>>for the automobile dramatically increases the required complexity and
>>compromises the intended function (not to mention cost) along the way.
>>How can this be a superior design?
But God does not merely work with pre-existing materials as a human
engineer. He is the creator of the materials themselves and their
capabilities. If God is not constrained by the properties of matter, since
he is free to create matter with whatever properties He desires, then your
analogy completely breaks down. If God is indeed an omnipotent Creator who
is utterly free, then what restrains Him from creating materials with all
the creaturely gifts required to accomplish His creative will?
IN PRINCIPLE, GOD MIGHT HAVE MADE SELF ASSEMBLY INTRINSIC THROUGH THE PROPERTIES OF MATTER, BUT THIS MAY ALSO TO CONSTRAIN THE OUTCOMES TO ONE OR A FEW POSSIBILITIES. IT IS APPARENT THAT GOD ELECTED NOT TO PUT THE ASSEMBLY INTO THE CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AS IS EVIDENT IN THE LACK OF NONRANDOMNESS IN AMINO ACID SEQUENCING IN PROTEIN WHEN TAKEN AS A LARGER GROUP. SEE OUR PAPER IN JOURNAL OF ORIGIN OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION OF THE BIOSPHERE", 1988, FOR DOCUMENTATION.
there have to be unnecessary complexity if God controlled the ground rules?
THIS IS THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE WITH VAN TIL, THAT HIS IDEA OF WHAT IS MORE OPTIMAL DESIGN ASSUMES THAT ONE THAT HAS "FUNCTIONAL INTEGRITY" IS NECESSARILY SUPERIOR TO ONE THAT DOES NOT. IT WAS THIS POINT WHICH I THINK IS NOT AT ALL SELF EVIDENT.
Finally, who are we to judge what is a good design from God's perspective?
He may have (or rather certainly does have) purposes in mind that are
beyond our ability to comprehend.
Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506