Re: "Design up to Scratch?"

From: Michael Roberts (michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk)
Date: Sat May 10 2003 - 17:50:03 EDT

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: Guilt by association"

    Nice to find someone on the same lines as me.
    Definitely up to scratch

    Michael
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Keith Miller" <kbmill@ksu.edu>
    To: <asa@calvin.edu>
    Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 10:20 PM
    Subject: Re: "Design up to Scratch?"

    >
    > > We all agree with design, yet we differ strongly between
    > > "pre-planning by a Mind" (PPM) and " inferring occasional
    form-conferring
    > > interventions" (OFCI). (Pardon the hateful acronyms here.) Currently,
    we
    > > have people who have alot of faith in the creative ability of evolution
    and
    > > the RFE of the universe, and thus argue for PPM. Others see great
    trouble
    > > with the FE of the universe and suggest that God "must"/ "may have"
    > > (depending on the strength of their feeling towards biblical
    interpretation,
    > > evolution theory, Reverend Moon, etc.) employed OFCI in addition to/
    instead
    > > of PPM (I don't see an either/ or here). How could we distinguish
    between
    > > the two in a more rigorous fashion? To me, a great way would be to
    > > quantitate the probability and causative effectiveness of various laws
    and
    > > creaturely capacities, to determine whether or not OFCI is required.
    With
    > > the appropriate calculations, somewhere along the line a probablistic
    > > analysis will reveal the necessity of mindful creative activiy of some
    sort-
    > > either PPM or OFCI.
    >
    > One of the major problems here is that we simply cannot calculate the
    > probabilities involved, or to give meaning to such probabilities once
    > calculated. To do so requires an exhaustive understanding of all relevant
    > physical laws and their operation in biological systems. It also assumes
    > that we know all the critical processes active not only in the operation
    of
    > existing biological systems but also relevant to their assembly over time.
    >
    > Also, the questions concerning how biological systems are assembled is
    an
    > historical one. Biological systems during the course of there history
    took
    > specific directions among the available possibilities open to them. We
    have
    > little understanding of the range and variety of those non-actualized
    > possibilities. All this lack of current knowledge make the calculation of
    > such probabilities meaningless as a method of eliminating the likelihood
    of
    > specific possible pathways in the history of life.
    >
    > Finally, from a creation theology perspective, I believe that all events
    are
    > sustained and upheld by God's providence. Many individuals have suggested
    > that God may act in nature in such a way as to actualize specific courses
    of
    > events in nature without intervening in the continuity of
    cause-and-effect.
    > This theological perspective makes it impossible to distinguish divine
    > "intervention" from God's providential action by the use of probability.
    >
    > In other words, I see the efforts to calculate such probabilities as
    futile
    > and distraction from the central issue of a proper creation theology.
    >
    >
    > > This analysis, if done properly could also distinguish
    > > between the effectiveness of natural laws operating alone, or the
    necessity
    > > of inquiring into a mask of God for event X. In either case, having
    such
    > > calculations supporting the view will only help the case. Making an
    > > argument without quantitative support is simply saying "per my personal
    > > judgement, this is the way phenomena X happened." This expresses
    itself in
    > > the argument such as "although it is next to impossible to build a
    protein
    > > that has biological function, God did not help the process because I
    see
    > > evolution as capable," or vice versa. Either way without calculations
    and
    > > rigourous analysis, it all boils down to how good you feel about the
    > > functionality and utility of evolutionary processes (in the absence of
    true
    > > knowledge), and people obviously have different feelings. This is my
    main
    > > motivation for "forcing" everything into Dembski's filter.
    >
    >
    > But natural processes never "operate alone." That is one of the
    > misconceptions generated by the ID argumentation because it implictly
    > assumes that something like independent natural law or process exists.
    From
    > a Christian perspective, everything exists and is held in being by God. I
    > don't want ID concluding that this event or process was a result of
    "natural
    > processes alone" because their probability calculations have showed that
    it
    > falls below their probability cut off. By doing this they immediate place
    > 99% of all creaturely action into the category of autonomous processes
    > independent of God. But the Bible is clear that it is the everyday stuff
    of
    > our experience that is under God's continuous and providential care. God
    > brings the rain and storm, causes the sun to rise and the wind to blow.
    It
    > is God that feeds the lion cubs in their den and knit me together in my
    > mother's womb. The argument of ID proponents have the effect of rendering
    > all this mere impersonal nature devoid of God's presence and action.
    >
    > Keith
    >
    >



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sun May 11 2003 - 02:16:10 EDT