Re: Functional proteins from a random library

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Wed Apr 11 2001 - 11:43:56 EDT

  • Next message: Adrian Teo: "RE: Jonathan Well's Icons of Evolution"

    Burgy proposes:

    > The question is, did the Creator give the Creation sufficient formational
    > capabilities for discovering/actualizing the requisite proteins for life,
    > or did the Creator choose to modify the Creation over time, in the sense
    > that a violin maker might choose to build a "perfect" violin which could
    > only be apprehended as perfect when he played it."

    Yes, the violin-maker metaphor is one possibility that we could consider. It
    would fall into the general category of artisan metaphors. Acting in the
    manner of an artisan, God might be portrayed as first conceptualizing (an
    act of Mind) a violin and then shaping (hand action) the violin's component
    parts from available materials and assembling them (hand action again) into
    the complete instrument.

    This metaphor is, I believe, essentially the same as Plato's Demiurge, the
    divine craftsman who worked within the limits of materials at hand to
    actualize some new form/structure. The Bible also employs this
    artisan/craftsman metaphor in its speech about God's creative activity.

    But, of course, the Bible uses numerous other metaphors as well: tentmaker
    (cf. Is. 40:22), builder (Ps 102:25), military commander (Is 45:15),
    sovereign king (Gen. 1, Ps. 33:6-9), holder of wisdom/discernment/knowledge
    (Jer. 51:15, Prov. 3:19, 20), and others.

    Must we choose one of these as the only acceptable one? I think not.
    Recognized as metaphors, each has the potential for appropriate use in our
    praise of the Creator.

    Must we limit ourselves to using only those metaphors used in text written
    two or three millennia ago? I think not. I think we must go beyond the "say
    as they said" practice (repeating the words of others) and move on to the
    "do as they did" practice (using our knowledge of the universe and using the
    conceptual vocabulary of our day as we craft our praise of God as Creator).

    That's what I am trying to do as I speak about God giving being to a
    creation that is robustly equipped with all of the resources, potentialities
    and capabilities needed to actualize the full array of physical structures
    and life forms that have appeared in the universe's formational history.


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