Re: Design as Concept, Sign, and Production

Moorad Alexanian (
Wed, 14 Apr 1999 16:04:13 -0400

I have a hard time understanding the notion of a universe that does not need
intervention by God. I thought Christians believed that the existence of the
physical universe is contingent on the existence of God. Isn't that a direct
form of intervention? It seems obvious to me that if we are far from
determining the values of the fundamental constants by means of mathematical
theories, then the manner in which God continuously sustains the universe
into existence instant by instant, is astronomically more difficult. Herein
lies a mystery that is unfathomable to the human mind? All we can do is to
speculate and argue amongst ourselves about our speculations.


-----Original Message-----
From: William A. Dembski <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, April 06, 1999 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: Design as Concept, Sign, and Production

>Dear Walt,
>Just send your message below to (it's as easy as posting to
>phylogeny). That will put it on the ASA listserv. I'd do it for you, but
>then my name will be listed with the post, and I think it's better that we
>design theorists mix it up a bit with the ASA folks.
>Best regards,
>>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. However, in a
>>discussion which we had at the IV Conference in Chicago (Dec.1999), he
>>allowed for the necessity for the initial conditions immediately after the
>>big band (velocities in this case) had to be very precisely perscribed. I
>>argued that similar informational input is needed for the origin of life,
>>maybe the Cambrian explosion, etc.
>>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?
>>Bill, could you also post this to the ASA server as I am unsure how to do
>>this. Please erase this note before doing so.
>>Walter Bradley
>>Mechanical Engineering
>>Texas A&M University