Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 13:26:23 EDT
I agree with you that one of the contributions of primary importance of
Howard's RFEP is the reclaimation of Science for Christians. It seems to
comport well with History too, Newton and Pascal being the two most
prominent examples coming to mind as examples of contributions to Science by
Christians. Of course, it can be argued that the Theology of the Logos set
the stage for the whole western Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, in
that people were taught to expect the Universe to be understood logically
(i.e. in accordance with the Logos). In this respect, it seems that Science
was never really lost to Christians, though many Christians seem to have
forgotten what was theirs from the beginning. Though I am still in the
process of evalutating Howard's ideas, I can see how it may advance our
understanding of *how* God creates. I particularly like my analogy of Mickey
Mouse (coercive imposition of form) being pasted onto the Mona Lisa (God's
fully gifted creation). I would be interested in what Howard thinks of this
analogy. Does it capture his intuition?
> At this point neither Richard nor I nor anyone else can
> say anything more than that the gaps appear to be huge;
> but history informs us we cannot presume the gaps will
> never shrink."
I still wonder about the nature of the gap - do you think my
characterization of it as the difference between energetically driven
physics vs. information driven biotics is correct? Insightful? Useful?
Significant? Weak? Invalid?
> It would be nice to include the origin of the living
> cell as an example of ID and incorporate it into our
> theology, but we cannot do this with complete
> confidence and so we may as well just forget it, period.
> Let faith have its foundation where it belongs, in
> God's Spirit through God's Word.
Amen to this. I agree completely that we should separate our Theology from
anything that specifically depends upon the current state of our scientific
knowledge. Our Theology should always be informed and challenged by Science,
but it should never be dependent on it.
Richard Amiel McGough
Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at
----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Winterstein" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "asa" <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 3:18 AM
Subject: Re: Van Till's Grand Canyon
Richard wrote in part:
"I am convinced that the RFEP holds up to the level of "molecular ensembles"
..., 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."
The value of Howard's perspective is that it effectively sucks initiative
and bragging rights away from naturalists and confers them on believers.
This value should not be underestimated. The naturalists don't own RFEP
because you don't have to be an ontological naturalist to be a scientist.
The naturalists are going to claim that it all happened without God
regardless of what Christians say, so it's important to take the wind out of
their sails. Howard's RFEP scenario may not be correct (and I don't fully
accept it), but it's logically unassailable, it's consistent with a
reasonable interpretation of the data and, most important, it attacks
ontological naturalism in its own backyard.
As Islamic fundamentalist extremists have hijacked Islam, naturalists have
hijacked science. Howard has pried loose their grip. That is, even if
there were no gaps in scientific explanations, it's Christians, not
naturalists, who could claim victory.
[Have I won the prize yet for density of incompatible metaphors?]
Problems in accounting for the origin and evolution of life are there
equally for Howard's version and for the naturalist's, because the
difference between Howard's version and the naturalist's is in the frame of
reference, not the minutiae. At this point neither Richard nor I nor anyone
else can say anything more than that the gaps appear to be huge; but history
informs us we cannot presume the gaps will never shrink. It would be nice
to include the origin of the living cell as an example of ID and incorporate
it into our theology, but we cannot do this with complete confidence and so
we may as well just forget it, period. Let faith have its foundation where
it belongs, in God's Spirit through God's Word.
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