Re: Functional proteins from a random library

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Thu Apr 12 2001 - 10:32:18 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: Functional proteins from a random library"

    Howard wrote:

    "Burgy proposes:

    > The question is, did the Creator give the Creation sufficient
    > capabilities for discovering/actualizing the requisite proteins for
    > or did the Creator choose to modify the Creation over time, in the
    > that a violin maker might choose to build a "perfect" violin which
    > 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. "

            And one more thing. In this metaphor, God not only conceptualizes,
    shapes and assembles the violin(creation), as you put it above, but also
    PLAYS the violin(creation). Without this last, the metaphor is sort of

    Howard continues:

    "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."

            Again, the "playing" activity is key, and places it (the metaphor)
    beyond Plato's Demiurge. I think.

    Howard continues:

    "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. "

            I understand that. And I agree. Your FGC concept is certainly within the
    realm of possible explanations. What I argue is first that it is not the
    ONLY explanation we should consider (I think you'd agree on that) and
    also that at least one other explanation appears (to me at least) to be a
    better one. I could be wrong, of course. I've been wrong before. But I
    have to identify that explanation which has both more meaning and more
    explanatory value to me at the time, even if I change my alleged mind
    later on.

    A question on your FGC concept. Is there room within it for God to lay
    with -- interact with -- the creation? To change "how particles/energy
    fields bump into particles/energy fields" non-causally, as a result of
    his creatures (us) prayers? If not -- then our prayers are so much wasted
    effort, IMHO. And if that is so, Christianity is reduced to a cruel joke.

    Burgy (John Burgeson)

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