Re: God acting in creation #4++

From: RDehaan237@aol.com
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 07:27:09 EST

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: God acting in creation #4++"

    In a message dated 12/13/01 9:38:03 AM, hvantill@novagate.com writes:

    << 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.) >>

    OK. On November 10 I wrote, <<Perhaps I can clarify my position by adopting
    your terminology. Let me say then that what divine action adds is *new
    formational capabilities* to creation. >> I should not have done that. So
    I will back off that terminology since you rightly criticize my use of it.

    Let me try this: In my position atoms and molecules are ORGANIZED
    differently in relation to each other, into more complex arrangements, in a
    living cell than they were in the prebiotic universe, (for instance, in a
    star); not that their chemical and physical properties are modified to make
    living cells. Their RELATIONSHIPS were thus modified, not the inherent
    chemical properties of the atoms themselves.

    The result of this new organization is the living organism, about which
    Harold says, "Moreover living things (unlike non-living ones) are clearly
    endowed with purpose, directed toward survival and reproduction of their own
    kind. This property, called telenomy … distinguishes living things (and
    their artifacts, such as our machines) from all other objects and systems in
    the universe and tells us plainly that we must look beyond physics and for
    understanding." (_A Study of Bionergetics_, p. 24). Harold's terminology
    is interesting--endowed, purpose, survival, reproduction, telenomy. He then
    goes on to say that this is brought about by "evolutionary design," of all
    things. That he would use the word evolution is to be expected. That he
    would add design is not.

    Your way of depicting God for my position makes God look like a heavy-handed
    bully -- "coercive intervention" an "overpowering agent" and "imposing new
    configurations by a divine Aritificer," a "fully interventionist model." As
    if creation was at odds with God and God had to use extreme measures to do
    anything new with it.

    I do not accept such descriptions for my position. In the idea of staged
    development God bides his time until "the fullness of time" has come,
    introduces new organization when the creation was ready to sustain it,
    builds greater complexity on what is already developed.

    Bob



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