Moorad wrote: "I looked over the review that you wrote and it seems to me
that the fact that Casti gives quantum mechanics a "D" in explanation and
an "A" in prediction tells me much of what Casti means by the word
explanation. Nature is rather complicated and the attempt of quantum
mechanics to describe it is quite successful. One ought not to demand the
kind of explanations one feels comfortable with but instead find the one
that nature may be imposing on us."
I think I appreciate this response, though I still urge you to read
Casti's book for itself. It is a worthwhile read.
I am in agreement with much of what you and Bob DeHaan have been arguing
here recently -- am on vacation and then a move until late December so I
comment here these days only rarely (some will cheer at this, I know). I
am not so sure my reasons for the argument are the same as either of
yours, but that's what makes a ball game.
Thinking a little (perhaps VERY little), there are several reasons why I
am skeptical that macroevolution is "microevolution writ large."
1. The incredible hubris of certain scientists in claiming far too much
for the concept. Whenever I see something like "the assured results of
modern scholarship are ... ." I am immediately turned into a skeptic --
and sometimes a cynic, I'm sorry to admit.
2. The lack of mathematical thinking in the "story" of the evolutionary
tree. Perhaps I have not read the right stuff, of course. But I do recall
some analyses of this made at the Darwin Centennial some years ago, which
were not kind to the "grand scheme."
3. The fact that animals appear in very definite classes, cats, dogs,
elephants, etc. Yes, I know the "niche" arguments, but they are not
really very satisfying.
4. The fact that "microbe to man" is the ONLY naturalistic (i.e.
scientific) possibility possible to conceive of. So, as a scientist, I
accept it; there is no competition (in science). As a philosopher, I
BTW, in all of the above, I do not include any religious reasoning.* If
Van Till's "gifted creation" idea is correct, that's fine; I see no
impact of this on my own relationship with the Lord. If Griffin's God of
Process Theology is correct, I have a little more trouble, but by simply
positing that God's finiteness is a finiteness deliberately chosen by
him, I can live with it. The God of P rogressive Creation, a God who
frequently interacts with his beloved creation, in the sense of a violin
master playing Mozart on his Stradivarius, makes the most sense to me,
and so that's the model I feel most comfortable with. But I will be the
first to admit my perception of God, as it is with all of us, is "through
a glass, darkly," and I fully expect to be amazed and surprised in a few
years in another life. Along with you, my friend, and Howard, George and
many many others here. Being age 70 now, I expect to find out these
things before most of you, so I'll get to tell you! Well, maybe that's
how it will work.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
* My conversion to Christianity took place at age 30 or so, long after
I'd read Darwin and other "just so" stories and decided that they had
less that adequate believability, at least as a "grand scheme of things."
My god at that time, insofar as I thought of one, was simply the master
clockmaker of Thomas Jefferson.
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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