From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 17 2003 - 08:44:37 EDT
Richard McGough had asked:
> Howard, I would be interested in some further details of your robust
> formational principle. Do you envision specific species like humans as
> somehow "programmed" into the laws of nature + initial conditions, or do
> you think that God simply ensured that "something" intelligent would evolve?
Douglas Hayworth replied:
> ..... The Robust Formational Economy Principle (RFEP)
> considers that part of what makes God's creation "very good" is that he
> didn't have to specifically make certain things happen in a particular way
> after his first act of creating the universe (or the basic laws
> matter/energy). God gifted his creation with the properties that make it
> "fruitful" in its chemical and biological evolution. God certainly
> delighted in watch the "unfolding" and "coming into being" of all levels of
> structure and complexity that arose in his creation work. That this
> fruitful creation eventually gave rise to life, and then to humans, was
> also a delight to him. Perhaps it was inevitable that it would do so,
> considering the giftedness of his creation. But this does not mean that
> God necessarily constrained the outcome to produce exactly what we see
> today (e.g., human that stand erect with two arms and legs, etc.).
> Certainly, if something more similar in resemblance to dolphins or
> something we've never seen the likes of were the life form that evolved a
> consciousness capable of contemplating meaning and its relationship to the
> Creator, that wouldn't necessarily be a problem, would it? Nevertheless,
> in our particular world, we humans are the God-aware creatures. ...
I think Douglas is right on target here. Given what I have been calling the
"authentic contingencies" that permeate the universe's formational history,
I see no way to defend the proposition that the appearance of our particular
species -- Homo sapiens -- was inevitable. For theological reasons, however,
I assume that the appearance some (one or more) species of God-aware and
morally responsible creatures was intended from the outset.
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