Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 10:08:05 EDT

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    Bert Massie:

    > *******
    > I only believe ex nihilo once.
    > ********

    So your concept of God introducing either the first cell or some new
    creature at some tome after t=0 belongs in the category of a *supernatural,
    form-imposing intervention*, right?

    >> > Now Howard, the question is, how can be tell the difference between
    >> > Model A and Model B?

    >> Model A
    >> The initial conditions were set just right so that the laws of natural
    >> plus these initial conditions would lead to us.

    >> OR

    >>Model B
    >> The initial conditions were set appropriately but along the way God
    >> introduced additional organims and information which lead to us.

    HVT: What's the point you're driving toward?

    > The point is: Can we tell the difference from our physical observations?

    HVT again: But Bert, there is no way to answer you until become specific in
    what "additional organisms and information" you have in mind.

    One of my points is that once you open the category of "supernatural
    form-imposing intervention," there is no limit whatsoever in what you could
    propose. Model B is not a specific testable theory, but a way to keep the
    door open to irruptive interventionism indefinitely. No matter how many
    specific, testable B-type proposals might be defeated, another one could be

    The spirit of my approach to these concerns can be found in the closing
    paragraph of my essay in the current (Aug. 6) issue of Christianity Today.

    "Some Christians look for evidence that the universeıs "natural"
    capabilities were inadequate to the task of assembling some new biotic
    structure or life form in the past. If such "capability gaps" could be
    found, then, the argument goes, these gaps must have been bridged by
    occasional episodes of form-conferring divine intervention (sometimes called
    acts of "intelligent design"). But if the universe is a creation, as we
    Christians profess, then its natural capabilities are part of its God-given
    nature. That being the case, I am more inclined to look for the Creatorıs
    signature in the generosity with which the creationıs formational gifts have
    been conferred. In other words, I think the Creator is better known by what
    the creation can do rather than by what it cannot."


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