Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Bert Massie (
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 22:53:14 EDT

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    > From HVT:
    > 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?

    While I have my own views, I am not at this point arguing to them. I
    want to understand the support for yours.


    > 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.


    Not really. If I were to argue for "progressive creation" I could also
    argue that I don't know that much about exactly how or when or what just
    that the physical record indicates that at certain junctures there was
    creation and that it is not known about other junctures.

    I do have a problem with the idea that all the information for life and
    its changes was stored in the initial variables of the universe.


    > 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 proposed.

    Yes this is true and as such is not a reason to disbelieve in
    "progressive creation."


    > 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.

    Inadequate sounds prejoritive suggesting that somehow God failed the.
    first time. One could just as easily read this as

    "Some Christians see evidence that God intervened in the natural progess
    of the development of the universe to assure that certain anti-probable
    events occurred. One such example is the origin of plant life on the
    earth which was key to causing changes in the earths early atmosphere."


    > 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.

    Howard, further, one could see the laws of physics as given once and
    forever as part of the original creation (along with the big bang.) and
    we could call these "its natural capabilities." Its not about natural
    capabilities it is about inserting information and assemblies such as

    At certain points God intervened to make things from his raw material
    such as biological cells for example.


    > 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."

    The Christianity Today article is addressed to a general audience. If
    you feel that the original creation did not need further intervention to
    for example assemble and launch life, then you must have some vision as
    to where this information was put originally at t=0.

    Perhaps you could put your view of where this information was stored and
    how we can detect it into more scientific language. The language of the
    article is not such that a physical scientist could work with.

    Finally, what do you consider to be the support for your concept vs.
    that of the progressive creationist. That is, what is the differential


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