Re: Guilt by association

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Mon May 12 2003 - 13:02:36 EDT

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    >From: Burgy <>

    > Howard wrote: "ID, OEC, and YEC place a similar emphasis on the claim that
    > there is a need for occasional episodes of form-conferring divine
    > intervention in order to compensate for the universe's lack of formational
    > capabilities."
    > As much as you and I agree, Howard, the above is representative (I think)
    > of where we part company.

    No problem. We need not agree on everything to maintain our mutual respect.

    > Had you stopped the sentence after the word "intervention," and changed the
    > words "need for" to "possibility of," you would have been just as correct
    > (IMHO) and there would be no disagreement.

    It is my impression that the vast majority of episodic creationist
    literature includes arguments for the impossibility of forming all
    creaturely types by natural evolutionary processes alone. That's why I use
    the stronger term, "need for."

    > By adding "... in order to ... ." you place an unneeded motivational
    > judgement into the argument. By saying "need for" you do the same, implying
    > that the ID, OEC and YEC arguments insist that God could not have done
    > things any other way.

    On the " order to..." part, fair enough. Here's a restatement my
    position that might eliminate some of your objections: "ID, OEC, and YEC
    place a similar emphasis on the claim that there is a need for occasional
    episodes of form-conferring divine intervention -- a need that is entirely
    consistent with the Creator's free and purposeful choice not to equip the
    Creation with all of the formational capabilities necessary for the
    evolutionary development of all of the types of physical structures and
    living organisms that have been actualized in the course of time."

    > As you know, I am "PC." (Not "politically correct," of course!<G>).
    > I would argue: " My position claims that there is a possibility of
    > occasional episodes of form-conferring divine intervention. The "Van Till"
    > model is also a possibility. Of the two, I think the first makes better
    > sense. But I would not rule out the second, for it also makes sense."
    > One reason (not the only one) that I favor my [Progressive Creationist]
    position over yours is that I
    > see in God an entity who likes to create, and so I see him "playing the
    > universe" over time much as a skilled musician might play a violin. I think
    > he had a lot of fun with the dinosaurs, but then decided to try something
    > quite different. I have no idea, of course, why he was so fond of beetles. <G>

    Yes, I know that you (and other good Christian folk) prefer the "Fiddling
    Creator" model (sorry, I couldn't resist that one :) for divine creative
    action. But I see that approach as opening the door to the sort of
    theological problems that George has often articulated on this list.
    Furthermore, if the natures of God and the universe are such that God is
    both able and willing to overpower the creaturely system in that way, why
    did God not choose to intervene (fiddle) to eliminate the Bubonic Plague,
    the Lisbon earthquake, or the more than 300 tornadoes that wreaked such
    devastation last week?


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