> Sorry, Howard, but I do not feel obliged to respond to your example, since it
> has nothing to do with my view of how God acted. Your example is not in the
> spirit of my proposal, notwithstanding your saying so. I know you are using
> it just as an example to simplify and illustrate the point of your question.
> It's not that I don't get your question,
I think there is still a major communication problem here. Perhaps we are
using the idea of "adding new formational CAPABILITIES" differently.
> I just don't accept your conclusion,
> namely that "The character of the entire universe would be modified" if new
> formational capabilities to form a living cell were added to prebiotic
> creation. The course of the stars would not be changed, galaxies would
> continue to form, the physical constants would remain constant.
Yes, Bob, things of that general sort would have to change. You cannot
change the formational capabilities of atoms and molecules -- what THEY are
able to do as an expression of THEIR very nature -- without changing
something like the physical constants, the rules of quantum mechanics, the
nature of the force laws, or the like. The formational capabilities of atoms
and molecule are very sensitively related to all of those factors; there is
no way to avoid that. Without some modification of such factors, there
cannot be any addition of new formational capabilities.
> Since you raised the question, and apparently see something I don't see, let
> me ask you to explain further why and how you think physical or chemical
> laws throughout the universe would be modified as a result of cellular life
> forming on planet earth. Are you stating a brute fact? Are you
> extrapolating from you poisition to mine? How do you justify your statement?
If cellular life forms on planet earth appear AS A CONSEQUENCE OF ATOMS AND
MOLECULES HAVING BEEN MODIFIED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO GIVE THEM CAPABILITIES
FOR DOING THINGS THAT THEY WERE FORMERLY INCAPABLE OF DOING, then the
character of everything in the universe has been modified. (Unless, of
course, you propose that atoms and molecules out there are qualitatively
different from atoms and molecules here. THAT difference, however, would be
very evident spectroscopically.)
> What I see as a better example of my posiion is buildinng a house. The
> founndation is laid (prebiotic universe). Now it is ready for the next stage
> -- building the frame and the rest of the house (cellular life, complex life,
> etc.). When building the superstructure on the fondation, the character of
> the entire foundation would be not need to be modified. It has its own
> inegrity, and does what it was designed and built to do-- hold up the rest of
> the house.
Your example brings in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT dynamic. The superstructure of
the house (which you compare to cellular life, complex life, etc.) is NOT
assembled by the raw materials using new formational capabilities, but is
built by an external agent (the carpentry crew). The superstructure is not
the outcome of adding new formational capabilities to the raw materials, but
is the product of "coercive intervention" by an overpowering external agent.
If THAT is the model you want to defend, fine. But then do not confuse
things by saying that the new cellular structures arise out of the use of
new formational capabilities that have been added to atoms and molecules.
What you are now talking about is NOT the adding of NEW FORMATIONAL
CAPABILITIES but the imposing of NEW STRUCTURAL CONFIGURATIONS that have
capabilities that were always there potentially, but could not be expressed
until there were structures of the right sort brought into the picture by
the intervention of an external agent. Your model for staged development
has nothing to do with the adding of new formational capabilities, but is a
fully interventionist model. What happens between your "stages" is not the
addition of new atomic or molecular capabilities (which is what I thought
we were talking about), but the imposing of new configurations by a divine
Howard Van Till
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