Van Till's Grand Canyon

Date: Sun Sep 21 2003 - 17:02:01 EDT

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    Howard Van Till's RFEP (Robust Formational Economy Principle) posits that
    creation is so wonderfully gifted by God as to be able to actualize any and
    all forms we see with out any form inmposing intervention by God after t =
    0. Here is a good link to one of Howard's outlines of this principle:

    In this outline, Howard presents the following examples of the formational
    capabilities of matter:

    * quarks-> nucleons-> nuclei -> different nuclei
    * nuclei + electrons -> atoms
    * atoms -> molecules -> different molecules
    * atoms & molecules -> galaxies, stars & planets
    * molecular ensembles -> cells
    * cells -> more complex organisms
    * organisms -> different organisms
    * organisms -> ecosystems, etc.

    At first glance, everything looks quite continuous. But a closer inspection
    reveals a huge gap, namely:

    * molecular ensembles -> cells

    Cells are excedingly complex structures that read and write DNA, and use it
    to replicate. They are information based and would not be predicted from
    mere energetical considerations that characterizes everything previous in
    the list. It seems like the step from mere "molecular ensembles" to "cells"
    is rather like going from a bouncing ball to the space shuttle. The
    discontinuity is simply too large to ignore. If we can't narrow this gap, I
    don't see how we could suggest that anyone hold to the principle that denies
    such gaps exist.

    I am convinced that the RFEP holds up to the level of "molecular ensembles"
    in the list above, and I believe it is an important principle up to that
    level. But suggesting that we jump over the gap to include the origin and
    evolution of life seems like a huge leap of faith unwarranted by the
    scientific evidence at hand.

    Any insights from list memebers would be greatly appreciated.

    Richard Amiel McGough
    Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at

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