In a moment of mild frustration I had said:
No postings, however, on Ruest's proposal. What's the deal here? Has the
ASA's interest in the character of divine action and its relation to science
To which George replied:
The topic of divine action is important but we can't discuss everything all
Right, but I confess I was getting weary of the flood of postings that were
on topics (no matter how important they might be) that seemed far from the
heart of the ASA science/religion agenda.
Thanks for your comments on the Ruest proposal to place God's creative and
providential work in what I might call the "shadows of scientific ignorance"
where we could never be certain whether it was the Creator or some creature
that did the acting. As such, you are correct to place it in the same camp
as earlier proposals by Wm. Pollard, Bob Russell and John Polkinghorne.
For the purpose of getting comments from other perspectives on this type of
proposal, I didn't offer much in the way of critical evaluation in my
earlier post. The one thing I did, however, was to place it in the context
of all proposals that are built on the presumption that the creation is
lacking something so that divine compensation becomes necessary. Where
Ruest's proposal differs from the more common episodic creationist
approaches is (1) that it does not build on the idea of capability gaps in
the creation's formational economy, and (2) it includes the theologically
motivated expectation that divine creative/providential action be
non-coercive or non-miraculous.
Actually, (1) needs to be stated more carefully. Although Ruest says there
are no capability gaps (the creation is able to do the things that need to
be done) he then adds the idea that the capabilities that are present are
too inefficient to get the job done. In place of capability gaps Ruest seems
to be proposing improbability barriers. I am inclined, however, to see these
improbability barriers as a subclass of capability gaps. In either case, God
must act in order to compensate for what the creation is unable or unlikely
Howard Van Till
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