Re: A neat syllogism

George Murphy ("gmurphy@raex.com"@raex.com)
Sun, 28 Nov 1999 14:46:40 -0500

glenn morton wrote:
>
> At 12:52 PM 11/26/99 PST, Adam Crowl wrote:
> >So God isn't alive then? If we accept (2) then that fllows from any
> >non-material definition of God. Of course if we accept both and replicating
> >chemicals are found/made and seem quite simple outcomes of chemistry, then
> >chemistry is God, or God doesn't need a "miracle" to make life...
> >
> >very clever
>
> Darn, you got it right away. I was reading Overman's The Case Against
> Accident and Self-Organization, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997). On
> page 48-49 he was discussing the Miller Urey experiment. He said,
>
> "As Brooks and Shaw have noted: 'These experiments...claim abiotic
> synthesis for what has in fact been produced and designed by highly
> intelligent and very much biotic man.' Only biotic processes direct energy
> flow to the work of forming life. To paraphrase Louis Pasteur, in
> experience only life produces life."
>
> As I was thinking about this, and Overman's objection to non-life producing
> life, it occurred to me that there is a great equivocation in that line of
> logic.
>
> 1.God created life.
>
> 2. By this we mean Life is defined as a self-replicative system of
> chemicals. Everything else is non-life.
>
> 3. God is NOT self-replicative and is NOT a system of chemicals
>
> 4. Therefore God is NOT life as defined in 2.
>
> 5. This means that God--nonlife by definition 2--created life.
>
> 6.Thus Overman's (and all anti-evolutionary claims) that non-life can't
> create life is wrong on the face of it. Non-life did create life whether
> one is a theist or an atheist.
>
> I found it very interesting. ONly by equivocating on the term 'life' and
> including God as 'life' can one claim that non-life doesn't create life.

Maybe (some would say certainly) I'm dense but I don't see the point
of the exercise. From a theological standpoint 2 is essentially flawed because
God is "living" (Dt.5:26, Ps.42:2, Ps. 44:2, Jer.23:36, Jn.6:57, Acts 14:15 &c).
It's true that "only God can create life". It's also true that "only God
can create _anything_" - in the sense of everything having its ultimate source &
sustenance in God. What _isn't_ true is that only God can create _directly_ or that
the origin of life must be more "miraculous" than the origin of anything else - as
Genesis 1 makes very clear.
Shalom,
George

George L. Murphy
gmurphy@raex.com
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/