From: William A. Dembski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: WBradley@mengr.tamu.edu <WBradley@mengr.tamu.edu>
Date: Tuesday, April 06, 1999 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: Design as Concept, Sign, and Production
>Just send your message below to email@example.com (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.
>>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 www.leaderu.com 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.
>>Texas A&M University