> In a message dated 11/30/01 9:33:17 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> <<_Nor do I intend to forbid God to act as God chooses. But exceptions are
> exception, & I think we should guard against using the resurrection of Jesus,
> e.g., to provide a rationale for invoking numerous miraculous interventions -
> especially when they are not things witnessed to by revelation but simply
> scientifically puzzling phenomena. >>
> I do not accept the implication that my position requires miracles,
> conceptual spinoffs from the resurrection of Jesus. You keep laying miracles
> on my position. Staged creation is adding capabilities to creation, not
> setting aside the laws of nature, or acting outside these laws for redemptive
> purposes, as I see miracles.
> Staged creations are exceptions from your frame of reference, not mine.
> Theologically speaking, I see no problem with saying that staged creation was
> planned from the beginning of creation.
> But I think we are repeating ourselves.
You are saying that at certain epochs natural processes receive
capabilities that they didn't have before. If this happens at time t1 then there
will be things happening for t > t1 that couldn't be explained in terms of laws
of nature that obtained for t < t1. Suppose, e.g., that the world starts out
with simple force-free Newtonian particles. They'll all move in straight lines,
except for collisions, & there will be no bound (i.e., more complex) systems.
Suppose then that at t = t1 God turns on an attractive inverse-square force so
that bound systems become possible. Something new has been added to the world -
something that allows the development of more complex systems & thus corresponds
roughly with your idea of developmental stages. But the new phenomenon of
gravitationally bound systems can't be explained in terms of the laws that
obtained for t < t1.
The laws of nature were not "set aside" at t = t1 but they were changed
permanently at that time, & changed in a way that couldn't be predicted on the
basis of the previous laws. (The new force could be more complicated than
r^-2.) I won't insist on the term "miracle" for such an event
but it seems to have some of the characteristics of traditional interventionist
miracles. & I don't think that that's changed by saying that God planned this
change at t = 0.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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