Re: Random from Professing evolution column

From: bivalve (
Date: Thu Feb 13 2003 - 17:52:51 EST

  • Next message: Don Winterstein: "my new paradigm"

    >It may help to describe the model I was assuming: There is a background field of mutations generated by strictly random processes. "Strictly random" implies a complete absence of intelligent input. Although these background mutations can cause measurable changes in life forms, including perhaps some creation of new species, they are incapable of generating the major changes implied by the fossil record, the changes which presumably required complex ordered sequences of mutations. Those major changes came when God inserted himself into the processes and deliberately caused the needed mutations. <

    Thanks for clarifying. Two issues raised by this:
    What is intelligent input? It sounds as though you are envisioning somethign akin to the Intelligent Design concept of design, in which some non-natural event is involved. However, God using natural laws to achieve a particular goal has intelligent involvement without a new input.
    What qualifies as a major change? As a rule, major biological changes are only major in hindsight and relatively gradual, with many intermediate forms if they fossilize.

    > This is a key point. I'd now characterize your view of evolution as a process that is rigidly determined by God but described by people as random. I could live with this, but my own view is that God is not that much of a (pardon the expression) control freak. I prefer to see God as punctuating the equilibrium, now that I've decided that's how God works in the world. <

    This is fairly closely connected to the issues of predestination, free will, etc., obviously not a point of general agreement.

        Dr. David Campbell
        Old Seashells
        University of Alabama
        Biodiversity & Systematics
        Dept. Biological Sciences
        Box 870345
        Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa

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