>d. Peter Ruest's proposal (Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Sept. 2001, pp. 179-183): All requisite formational capabilities are present (no capability gaps), but they are not sufficiently effective. The possibility space (for viable material configurations) of the creation is so overwhelmingly large that the creation could not possibly have come to occupy the information-rich genetic portion of it without divine assistance of some sort. Divine assistance is needed to hurdle barriers of "astronomical improbability."
>What sort of divine assistance? Says Peter, "...miraculous interventions are not to be expected on theological grounds...." In David Griffin's language: no coercive action; no overpowering of creatures by the Creator.
>How might God act effectively without miraculous or coercive action?
>First, note that there are several physical processes for which many differing outcomes are possible. There are permanent epistemic barriers, however, that prevent science from gaining sufficient knowledge to predict which particular outcome will occur. Events of this sort play a key role in the formational history of life forms. Our presence as Homo sapiens, for instance, required that a particular string of possible outcomes actually occurred.
>Second, propose that God, without violating or overpowering the natural capabilities of any creaturely system, exercised the choice of particular outcomes (from among the various possibilities) in such a way that life evolved in the remarkably fruitful manner that it did. These exercises of divine choice represent occasions for God to inject new information into the creaturely system, essential information that was not attainable by creaturely means alone.
>Interesting proposition. Comments?
Is there any particular reason to assume that God made these choices and injected new information in the course of creation history, rather than having created everything so as to bring about these events? Is there a way to tell the difference? How much difference is there, with God sustaining, maintaining, cooperating with, etc. all that happens?
The former would require something similar to the hidden variable interpretation of quantum events, if I have the terminology correct. However, the hidden variable determining the outcome of the event could be God's foreordination rather than anything theoretically accessible by physics.
There is also some correlation with the Calvinist-Arminian spectrum, an issue that we probably are not predestined to settle here.
Dr. David Campbell
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That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droigate Spa
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