Re: Phil Johnson on Focus on the Family

Moorad Alexanian (
Mon, 03 May 1999 16:35:30 -0400

Dear Brian,

No one knows why the mathematics we invent helps us describe nature. Physics
is indeed simple--however, I cannot convince my students of that--because it
studies inanimate object (dead matter). For that reason physics serves as a
good example of what science is. It is true that describing the rest of
nature, the living, is most difficult. Animals may be sophisticated
computers but man is different. If man makes sense out of the workings of
nature, that means to me that sense was built into it, a sense that is not
material but spiritual. I agree that the tools that are useful to describe
the inanimate may not be appropriate to describe the living. I think that
the mystery is how a material being like man possesses qualities that are
not describable by matter theories, viz. physics, chemistry, etc. If man is
mind/body/spirit, then a true knowledge of man lies outside the realm of
science. There is no difference between the physics I do and that of the
atheist. God enters physics in the sense that man can reason like God and
can thus create and use mathematics to describe the regularities of nature.
But the mathematical models developed by the physicists are, in themselves,
devoid of God--otherwise it would not be science! On does develop models
assuming preexisting entities--Newton was not concerned about where the
planets came from. But radical evolutionary theory goes beyond that and
makes unsubstantiated claims about explaining everything and claiming that
the revealed truth in Scripture is nonsense.

Take care,


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian D Harper <>
To: <>
Date: Saturday, May 01, 1999 10:27 PM
Subject: Re: Phil Johnson on Focus on the Family

>At 10:41 AM 4/29/99 -0400, Moorad wrote:
>>Dear David,
>>The difficulty I see with your argument is the following. At this
>>stage of evolutionary theory, the theory resembles most forensic science.
>>That is to say, it is not a science in the same sense that physics is a
>Is anything a science in the sense that physics is? I believe you may
>be giving too much credit to physics. IMHO, physics is successful
>on account of the universe being as it is. Would physics be so
>successful if the physical laws were not so simple? If they were
>not mathematical?
>>However, with the outcome of microbiology, evolutionary theory will
>>have to be invariably connected with the microscopic description of
>>A truly fundamental theory of evolution will then be predictive as it is
>>physics and so life will be predicted to occur from nonliving matter and
>>nonliving matter can be predicted to evolve into the complexity that we
>>observe at the micro level and its manifestation at the macro level.
>This is interesting. My knee-jerk reaction is to say that we cannot
>predict (for very long anyway) the behavior of a simple deterministic
>system like a double pendulum, why would one expect to be able to predict
>(in any detail) biological evolution? Again, the difficulty (I believe)
>is not with the theory, but with the way nature is.
>Let me also bring in Yockey's work. Yockey concludes based on
>information theory that life is undecidable. What he means by
>this is that it cannot be predicted from the basic physical
>laws whether life should exist. Life is consistent with known
>physical laws but not reducible to them. This is, I believe,
>the source of the inappropriate appeals to Yockey's work that
>I mentioned previously. Some would see this as an argument for
>intelligent design. But it isn't. Undecidable means undecidable.
>Gregory Chaitin has shown that there is undecidability even in
>pure mathematics. If there, why not in biology as well? :)
>>Certainly such an ambition theory does not include God. Of course, I do
>>believe that such a theory exists. But those who advocate theistic
>>are headed in that path together with the atheists. What then is the
>>difference between them?? I fail to see it!
>What is the difference between the physics that you do and that
>done by an atheist physicist? Does physics include God?
>>Of course, I have always said
>>that the question of origins is not a scientific question and so that
>>program is doomed to fail. There will always be a beginning that will
>>the scrutiny and musings of man.
>You are probably right, but most of evolution has to do with what
>goes on after such a beginning.
>Brian Harper
>Associate Professor
>Applied Mechanics
>The Ohio State University
>"All kinds of private metaphysics and theology have
>grown like weeds in the garden of thermodynamics"
>-- E. H. Hiebert