Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 12:40:30 EDT

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    Larry Johnston, in response to Peter Ruest says:

    > Peter - Thanks x 10^6 for that beautiful analysis of our situation in
    > sequence space. It
    > looks to me like this leaves us with two options:
    > 1, we adopt Van Til's hypothesis of ultra-smart atoms or
    > 2. Assume that Someone has been
    > injecting huge amounts of information into the Universe, from outside.
    > Other options?

    A couple of comments:

    1. If atoms are "ultra-smart" ( I would have said "robustly equipped by
    their Creator with formational capabilities") it would, of course, be a
    manifestation of the Creator's creativity (in conceiving what would be
    required) and generosity (in giving what was required).

    2. However, having found David Ray Griffin's development of "persuasive"
    divine action very helpful, I would be happy to consider the possibility
    that this "non-coercive" divine action is the key factor that leads the
    exercise of the universe's robust formational economy to be as remarkably
    fruitful as it is. I have sometimes referred to this in the language of
    God's "blessing" as the kind of divine action that leads the action of
    creatures to be fruitful. cf Genesis 1:22.

    In this manner, divine action is both essential and effective, but does not
    constitute irruptive, overpowering intervention, which generally strikes me
    as a violation of the being originally given to the Creation. In Griffin's
    process theology, divine action is not merely something that is occasionally
    inserted into an otherwise Godless process to bridge a "capability gap," but
    is an essential factor (present in all that happens) in an enriched concept
    of what is "natural."

    A question:

    What does it mean to say that "Someone has been injecting information into
    the Universe, from outside"? What kind of action does "injecting
    information" represent? To use the Griffin categories, would it be
    "coercive," or "non-coercive"?

    Howard Van Till

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