From: Don Winterstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Feb 15 2003 - 03:19:01 EST
David Campbell wrote:
> What is intelligent input? It sounds as though you are envisioning
something 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.
I've become smitten with the idea that God very likely acted in prehistory
(i.e., pre-human history) in ways closely analogous to the ways he has
acted in historical times. From the Bible and other history I interpret
this to mean that God lets things drift, relatively speaking, for long
periods and then inserts himself into world events in ways that can be
startling (e.g., Moses' plagues after the 400 years in Egypt, Jesus'
ministry after the 550 or so post-exilic years, the Second Coming after 2000 years, etc.). God also has this streak in
him of insisting on doing things contrary to nature. Example: Abraham
thought he had things figured out and assumed Eliezer would be his heir;
then it was to be Ishmael. But God in effect told him, "No, those would be
natural things; I'm going to do something nature can't do on its own."
Possibly the high precision with which certain physical constants allow the
world to exist as we know it is one example of God's doing things that
nature couldn't do on its own--although it might be tough to get our atheist
friends to agree. I suspect that the emergence of life with its DNA, and
possibly several of the transitions in life forms as organic evolution
proceeded might be other examples; although transitions in life forms are certainly obscured as God's special
acts (at least at present levels of understanding) by the model of random
In any case I see God in prehistory not as intelligently designing anything so much as
simply, most of the time, monitoring the drift of organic evolution. As God sees things either not happening, or not happening in the way he would like, he takes deliberate actions at (possibly) widely spaced intervals to cause the changes
he wants--just as he has done in human history. Overall, the model implicit in my new paradigm suggests the
world operates free of his special input most of the time--and on this point we'll
no doubt continue to disagree.
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