In a message dated 12/7/01 9:32:45 AM, email@example.com writes:
<< Bob -
You are saying that at certain epochs natural processes receive
capabilities that they didn't have before. If this happens at time t1 then
will be things happening for t > t1 that couldn't be explained in terms of
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
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
something that allows the development of more complex systems & thus
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
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
miracles. & I don't think that that's changed by saying that God planned this
change at t = 0.>>
I am not able to comment on your example from astrophysics. But you said
that the laws of nature were changed permanently. If I asked you in what
way they were changed, I might not be able to understand your answer. But
let me try. How was t < t1 changed by things happening for t > t1?
Let me ask a related question: In what way would the laws of nature, that
were in effect before life appeared in the prebiotic world, have been
changed when God added the novel formational capacity for matter to form the
first living cell? Both you and Howard claim that in my position entails a
change of prior laws of nature in effect before life began by the addition of
new formational capacities to creation. What laws, how changed, and to
If we reserve the term miracle for events that temporarily supervened the
laws of nature, but made no permanent changes in or additions to them; were
employed primarily, if not exclusively, in human affairs; and more
specifically in redemptive history and for redemptive purposes, then it
seems possible to distinguish them from additions to creatures' formational
capacities that derived their characteristics from the original act of
creation of the universe.
You wrote, <<characteristics of traditional interventionist miracles>>.
What do you see as characteristics of traditional interventionist miracles?
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