Re: Glenn's story and ID

Date: Thu Aug 24 2000 - 05:15:07 EDT

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    In a message dated 5/16/2000 8:48:15 AM, writes:

    << "Chance" is not an "explanation" for anything. It is a confession of the
    lack of a causal explanation.

    Correct. I should say that there was a low probability that the incident
    occurred by random events. Is that acceptable?

    <<Suppose that Glenn & friends had been looking for an Italian speaker &
    found one
    on their first try. We would still consider this an impressive "coincidence"
    but not as
    much so as with a Turkish speaker - there are lots of people of Italian
    descent all over
    the U.S. & if the quest had been for a Spanish speaker and the 1st person
    tried had
    been fluent in that language we might say, "Boy, that was lucky!" but we
    consider it too amazing to find a Spanish speaker in Texas.>>

    Letís push your example still further. Suppose Glennís incident had occurred
    at 9:00 PM, and the lobby of the hotel was full of people. The young lady
    comes in as Glenn described looking for a Spanish interpreter. Would Glenn
    have prayed for an interpreter? Would he and Wayne have waited 10 minutes?
    Of course not. They would have circulated in the crowd and found one in no
    time at all.

    Had that been the case, Glenn never would have written his story on the
    internet years later. It would not have been remarkable. But arenít we all
    amazed at the remarkable series of coincidences that occurred in his story,
    i.e., one event of low probability stacked upon another?

    <<Now given that in all these cases God would have been at work - as I
    believe -
    was God doing something qualitatively different in "producing" a Turkish
    speaker that
    God didn't do with a Spanish speaker? & if so, what? Is the appearance of a
    speaker a "miracle" which is beyond the capacities of natural processes? If
    so, where
    exactly is the miracle supposed to have happened?>>

    No, God was not doing something qualitatively different from one extreme of
    the Turkish translator to the finding a Spanish translator in a crowd. He
    just had a harder problem to solve (from our limited human perspective) in
    the case of the Turkish translator than in the case of finding a Spanish
    interpreter in the crowded lobby.

    I didnít use the word miracle. Thatís your word. It is clear that God
    intervened everywhere in Glennís story. Had anyone of the actors failed to
    do what they did the function of the system would have broken down. Was God
    intervening somewhere in Glennís psyche when Glenn inexplicably suggested
    they pray. Was God doing the same in the hearts of the young woman, of
    Wayne, of the translator? Is this just a series of coincidences as you seem
    to suggest that can eventually be resolved by natural processes?

    The more I think about the problem of Godís interaction with creation,
    including human beings, the more I am moved to say, which others have
    probably stated better, that we are confronted with a profound mystery, and
    that it is not a problem just for IDers, but also for TEs, and those who hold
    that God works through secondary means. I donít know why IDers are held more
    responsible to explain this than TEs who hold that God works through
    evolutionary processes.

    You may have the last word on this, George. Thanks for the discussion.

    Best regards,


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