Re: What does the creation lack?

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 08:57:24 EST

  • Next message: Moorad Alexanian: "Random thoughts"

    >From: Tim Ikeda <>

    > The mechanism is irrelevant, possibly even in the case of natural,
    > extra-terrestrial designers because we'd probably never know the details.
    > The question isn't about which back door a "designer" would use to futz
    > with a system, but whether a particular system can make the transformation
    > from state-X to state-Y without help from outside the immediate system.

    Here is where Peter Ruest's proposal differs from the usual episodic
    creationist and ID approach. Peter suggested in his Communication to PSCF
    (the ASA Journal) that all relevant formational capabilities are actually
    present so that no creaturely system would have to be forced to do anything
    beyond or contrary to it capabilities.

    > If the system can't make the transition to where you want it to go without
    > your tweaking, then I wouldn't say that it had "all requisite formational
    > capabilities" or that such action wouldn't be "violating or overpowering
    > the natural capabilities of any creaturely system."

    Here is where the Ruest approach (similar to the approaches of Wm. Pollard
    and Bob Russell) technically avoids the idea of "violating and overpowering"
    by proposing that God surreptitiously chooses from among several possible
    outcomes the particular one that advances things in the desired direction.
    What the system in question does is within its capabilities.

    At that point I think you and I would probably ask the same question: Why
    was this divine choosing action required? Peter's answers (if I correctly
    understand him): (1) because the probability of the creaturely system making
    the optimum choice is too small, and (2) because this allows the Creator to
    insert information into the universe -- information that the universe needs
    if it is to accomplish the intended formational development.

    > If you change
    > probabilities to determine which slugs will live and serve your ultimate
    > goals by evolving into the perfect, live-animal prop for a particular
    > Star Trek episode (perhaps evolving photogenic beauty was at one time
    > outside the formational capabilities of "pre-intervention" slugs),
    > you're messing with natural capabilities big time.
    > So what we're talking about here sounds like a classic variant of
    > progressive creationism. Let's just call it that.

    It may not be a "classic" variant, but I'm inclined to agree that it is a
    variant of progressive creationism. The replacement of capability gaps with
    improbability hurdles seems too small a modification to get out of the PC
    territory. I would say that the values of the relevant probabilities are
    part and parcel of the universe's formational economy. If these
    probabilities are too small, the universe's formational economy is lacking
    something that it needs for development without intervention. The Ruest
    proposal has modified the character of the interventions, but has not made
    form-effecting interventions altogether unnecessary.

    Howard Van Till

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