Re: Functional proteins from a random library

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 16:22:12 EDT

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    I had said:

    > I don't know how to evaluate this [the metaphor of God "playing" the Creation
    > as a violin maker/violinist plays a violin]. What kind of divine action might
    > this "playing" of the violin represent? Something quite different from
    > form-conferring interventions, I presume?
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Burgy replied:

    > The fact you don't know "how to evaluate this" puzzles me. It really
    > does. I cannot tell if we truly disagree, or are using words differently,
    > or talking about different things. Or maybe all of the above.
    > First of all -- it is a metaphor. Take it as such.

    OK, no problem.

    > Second -- I conceive of our Creator as having a sense of humor -- so
    > "play" is an operative word. Think of the violin maker as also a great
    > musician. Perhaps he is content to make the violin and listen to others
    > play it. Or, just maybe, he takes pleasure in playing it himself also.

    My problem is that the violin (unlike the Creation) has no capabilities for
    acting except in response to a driving force applied to it. As you know by
    now, I am not theologically comfortable with the idea of God coercing the

    > So God can take pleasure in us "playing" his creation, creating our own
    > concepts and technologies, and also take pleasure in playing the creation
    > himself. Yes -- this might involve the creation of unique new life forms
    > from time to time.

    This is where we differ. Perhaps we need go no further than that for now.

    Skip a lot....

    > I think I understand FGC better as a result of your last paragraph. I
    > would observe that FGC, then, allows the violin maker to play his
    > creation as much as my concept does;

    See comment above re "driving force."

    > it just does not allow him to make
    > changes to it (the violin) as he plays but rather limits him to accepting
    > only those changes he built into the violin in the first place.

    The only limitations on God's action would be self-imposed, an expression of
    God's character and God's will.

    > It also
    > says, I think, that while God is perfectly capable of creating, at any
    > time and in any place, an entirely new and novel life form, he has not,
    > does not, and will not, do this.

    In the FGC perspective, all creaturely forms had the potentiality for their
    being from the beginning. All "creation" (the act of giving being to the
    universe) occurred at the beginning. What happens in time is not a new
    "creation" but the first _actualization_ of some of those potentially viable

    That's probably enough fiddling on this tune. You're welcome to have the
    last note.


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