Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 07:26:00 EDT

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    In a message dated 4/16/01 9:54:39 AM, writes:

    << But the concept of God giving being to something from nothing at the
    beginning does not at all fall into the category of an intervention. >>


    I do not consider the creation of the universe an intervention. The x-axis
    in my diagram is the percentage of a given effect that can be ascribed to
    divine action. In the case of the origination or creation of the universe, I
    ascribed 100 percent to God. In later interventions I ascribe a certain
    percentage to God and another portion to natural causes. I see no reason why
    it cannot be placed on the same continuum as later interventions.

    <<I'm sure Bob did not so intend, but this statement sounds like a
    trivialization of general providence. Giving and maintaining the existence
    of a Creation as robustly equipped with the resources, potentialities and
    capabilities that this universe possesses, both for its formational history
    and its daily functioning, strikes me as very far from the "no input" axis.>>

    That's right. I do not mean to trivialize providence. I consider it an
    extension of God's original creative activity and in effect throughout the
    history of the universe.

    You wrote, <<Yes, I certainly would. That's one of the joys of the
    fully-gifted Creation perspective. I should, however, clarify that a bit.
    Because I think that we
    must recognize the potentialities for the entire array of physical
    structures and life forms as profoundly important parts of the being given
    to the Creation at the beginning, one could say that Homo Sapiens had
    (potential) being from time zero. What happened in time was not their coming
    into being, but their actualization.>>

    Let me get at this fro the earth putting forth plants, and the sea and earth
    bringing forth animal life, as a biblical basis for permitting (but not
    necessarily requiring) a theory of evolution. I would like to add the comm
    ent that while such may be true, in each instance it took the word of God to
    put these life processes into motion. In each case, God gave the word, and
    it was so. In no case did these things happen without God's word. That
    sounds like intervention to me.

    Back to the creation of human beings. Granted, for the sake of argument,
    that the potential for human beings was present at time zero, would it not be
    consistent with the biblical picture of God's creative activity that God's
    word was needed to initiate the process of human development, to actualize
    what was only a potential?

    I think I have read elsewhere that you do not give much weight to the Genesis
    account of creation. Am I right in that? Yet it seems that God's
    interventions might consist of releasing the hypothesized potentials, of
    actualizing them, at various times in the history of the universe.



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