miracles (for Ed)

From: Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 09:52:07 EDT

I sent this (I thought) to the whole list, but it hasn't shown up so I'm now
re-sending it.

It's a reply to Ed Babinski's call for more details on miracles.

Ted

*************

ED: Add to the below that a scientist would also want
to know not only the individual "steps" or
"connections" in God's mind concerning how the cosmos
was created and sustained, but also would want to know
how "miracles" work, at least to find out as much as
it was possible for him to be able to grasp concerning
each each "miracle" literally and specifically worked.

Ted replies, he imagines on behalf of the creator (forgiveness being easier
to obtain than permission),

Sure, Ed, I'll do my best to help you out. To work a miracle, I use the
"extraordinary activity" button on my "creation" toolbar in Worldmaker. In
the "scientist" version that you probably have, this toolbar is called
"Nature" (spelt thus with an upper-case N) so as not to offend the
sensibilities of users who don't understand all of the nuances of the word
"creation" and who might not like the term itself. We get a bigger market
for the product that way, and the extra income does help the church so I'm
OK with this. As I was saying, I use the "extraordinary activity" button,
and then I select the kind of extraordinary activity that seems best for the
specific situation. Most of these things are actually consistent with the
software that runs the stuff you find under the "ordinary activity" button,
so they don't get noticed by everyone--only by those folks who benefitted
directly from what I selected. Some of these things are however truly
extraordinary in every sense of that word. They get a lot of notice, but
since the scientist version of of Worldmaker doesn't have the "extraordinary
activity" button, a lot of the scientists just think something went wrong
with their software and they don't believe such things have actually
happened. Or so I gather from some of the emails we receive, at least from
the ones that make it to my desk.

Pardon me just a second, Ed, someone's trying to get my attention....

<background conversation snipped>

Ed, I forgot something else important; it's good to have competent help.
In the "scientist" version of Worldmaker, the "ordinary activity" button is
called "laws of nature." Again, this helps us with marketing, since the
human idea that nature operates kind of by itself in a lawlike manner is
popular with scientists. Most of them aren't old enough to remember that
they used to associate those "laws" with a "lawgiver" whose identity--well,
you can probably guess. They got that idea, of course, from earlier
versions of Worldmaker, before there was a separate "scientist" version--you
might recall that "scientist" is a relatively recent word, not used until
the 1830s. We used to ship all versions of Worldmaker with "ordinary
activity" and a second button called "request for extraordinary activity"
that was linked with our webpage, but some time ago when we introduced the
"scientist" version we changed the name of the one button and removed the
other one, although it's still found on other versions of the program.

<background conversation snipped>

Oh, I almost forgot. If you look under "help" in the "scientist" version,
you will still find a link to our webpage that actually takes you to the
same place that the "request for extraordinary activity" button takes you.
We have found that users of that version will sometimes use the link,
whether or not what they are requesting calls for extraordinary activity of
one type or another.

The actual button to create extraordinary events, however, is not found on
any versions shipped to mortals. We've discussed that possibility several
times at the executive level, but so far there just isn't any consensus to
make it available more widely. Among other things, piracy is a serious
concern--we won't get appropriate credit, people might modify the program to
do really bad things we don't want them to be able to do (they can already
screw stuff up badly enough), I'm sure you understand. For the time being,
then, how it works is a closely guarded trade secret.

Now I realize that this response is ultimately disappointing, Ed, and that
concerns me because customer satisfaction is very important to us. But
that's all I can tell you right now, perhaps someday you'll stop by my
office and I'll let you have a glimpse of the subroutines that run that part
of the program. For now, however, I've gotta go--I'm already late for a
meeting about possible changes in the "laws of nature" software. Take
care,

You know who--you don't play that ID game, right?
Received on Wed Apr 27 09:53:44 2005

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