Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 09:58:25 EDT

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    Bert, you wrote:

    > Not looking for an air tight proof, none exists. We argue to Okams razor.

    OK, we seem to agree here.

    > But, in what I have seen for example in Christianity Today and here on the
    > line, I don't have the slightest idea how to test you viewpoints by physical

    I asked if you had read anything that I have published in regard to my
    favoring the "Robust Formational Economy Principle." The only item you
    mention is the CT article, an excerpt of which I posted here recently. Did
    you read the entire article, or only the excerpt?

    Are you willing to do some homework? If so, you should begin by looking at
    the following:

    1. "The Fully Gifted Creation," published as a chapter in the book, Three
    Views on Creation and Evolution, edited by J. P. Moreland and John Mark
    Reynolds, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), pp. 161-247.

    2. "Intelligent Design: The Celebration of Gifts Withheld?" published as a
    chapter in the book, Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on
    Biological Origins, by Denis O. Lamoureux, Phillip E. Johnson, et al.
    (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 1999), pp. 81-90.

    3. "Science & Christian Theology as Partners in Theorizing," published as a
    chapter in the book, Science & Christianity: Four Views, edited by Richard
    Carlson, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), pp. 196-236.]

    4. "Basil, Augustine, and the Doctrine of Creation's Functional Integrity,"
    Science and Christian Belief, Vol. 8 (1), April, 1996, pp. 21-38.

    5. "The Creation: Intelligently Designed or Optimally Equipped?" published
    in Theology Today, October, 1998, pp. 344-64.

    6. "Is the Creationıs Formational Economy Incomplete? A response to Jay
    Wesley Richards," scheduled to appear in the March, 2001, issue of
    Philosophia Christi. (as far as I know, not yet published)

    > What do I look for with my neat new 8 meter space based telescope that
    > would support your views?

    Bert, you would do exactly as astronomy has done for a good part of the last
    century. Example: You discover empirically that stars come in different
    varieties -- main sequence, red giant, white dwarf, etc. You also see
    evidence that stars are forming from globules of gas and dust embedded in
    large interstellar nebulae. You model the formation and subsequent
    development of stars and compute what sort of history stars might have. You
    discover that the computational model predicts that stars would first fall
    along the main sequence region of the H-R diagram, arranged according to
    mass value, consistent with earlier observations. You then discover that the
    model predicts that when medium mass stars complete their main sequence
    phases they become red giant stars, then shed their outer portion to form a
    planetary nebula, finally leaving behind a white dwarf star. You conclude
    from evidence of this sort (and _much_ more like it) that this computational
    model for stellar formation and development has the attractive feature that
    it not only accounts for the diversity of stellar types but also
    demonstrates that these diverse types are related to one another as members
    of a temporal sequence. The systematic interrelatedness of stellar types
    with the formational history of stars has an aesthetic quality that is
    highly valued in scientific theory evaluation.

    > You "fully gifted formation economy" is not very scientific,

    Sorry, Bert, but you are as wrong as wrong can be on this. One of the most
    important assumptions employed in formulating the scientifically successful
    computational model for stellar evolution noted in the example above is none
    other than what I call the "robust formational economy principle."

    To state it even more strongly, the assumption that this principle applies
    to the formational history of things from atoms to star-filled galaxies has
    demonstrated itself to be one of the most fruitful assumptions made in
    cosmology, astronomy, geology, and numerous other physical sciences. The
    vast majority of persons in the life sciences would, I believe, say the same
    for the formational history of life on earth.

    The scientific success of the robust formational economy principle is on
    public display. I don't know how you missed seeing it, Bert.

    Howard Van Till

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