Re: Functional proteins from a random library

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 10:26:14 EDT

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    Preston Garrrison commented:

    > The only reason I alluded to Bill Dembski in particular in my message is
    > that I gather that, in contrast to Behe, he believes that even individual
    > proteins cannot arise by chance. The number I remember is 10^60 for the
    > odds that he gives, which is too rare to find by chance. The results of
    > these experiments begin to suggest that he is wrong about that one point,
    > but obviously much remains to be done to see how rare different kinds of
    > functions are.

    From the "Fully-Gifted Creation Perspective," nothing arises purely "by
    chance." Every potentiality for structure (every possible protein, for
    example) is an integral aspect of the 'being' given to the Creation at the
    beginning. Those potentialities are there, not by chance, but by divine
    conceptualization and intention. What happens in the course of time is the
    Creation's exploration of its potentiality space and the actualization of
    some of its structural potentialities. The question is, did the Creator give
    the Creation sufficient formational capabilities for discovering/actualizing
    the requisite proteins for life, or did the Creator have to step in
    occasionally to bridge gaps (the consequence of missing formational
    capabilities) in the Creation's formational economy by coercing the
    requisite atoms to assume a particular protein structure?

    > As it happens, I am sympathetic to the ID position, especially at the point
    > of the origin of life, since I don't see any way that that nut can be
    > cracked. It may be that, to Howard's and George's theological chagrin, the
    > Lord did miracles along the way to get life going, and perhaps at points
    > after that. But no one in science is going to listen to any argument from a
    > messenger who comes also making the remarkably bad argument that an
    > experiment proves nothing simply because it was designed (i.e., that it WAS
    > an experiment.)

    You are, of course, welcome to be sympathetic to "the ID position" regarding
    the _first formation_ of life. (Consistent with my conversation with Todd
    Greene, I suggest that using the term "origin" here often leads to confusion
    regarding whether we are dealing with scientific or theological questions.)
    So, Preston, I would welcome your take on just what "the ID position" on the
    first formation of life is.

    Specifically, is it a position about "design" (in the contemporary sense of
    "the conceptualization of something for the accomplishment of a purpose, an
    act of mind) or is it a position about the manner of "assembly" (perhaps
    that some structures could have been assembled from extant parts only by the
    supplemental action of some extra-natural agent, an act of "hands").


    Howard Van Till

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