Re: DNA sequence space

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sun Oct 02 2005 - 02:07:58 EDT

...and Cornelius still seems to be stuck on "unguided naturalistic

Why can't one make the case that a seed planted therby embarks on an
unguided naturalistic process? Nothing is "pulling" the development in
any direction.

Oh, well, it just sort of "knows where it is going", so it's guided. But
really, it is progressing strictly through a sequence of stages that are
(loosely? strongly?) preprogramed internally, but which are executed
moment by moment in accordance with the physical development state and
the ambience at any given moment. Nothing is pulling the development. No
overall map is being consulted. If there is (and there arguably is)
guidance going on, it is an internal predisposition to do what it does
at any given moment in its distinctive response to a particular
instantaneous combination of physical, physical, and/or electrical
influences. From our knowledge base, we kinow more or less where the
seedling development is heading. But if we did not have that
preknowledge, we would walk alongside the development, guessing that it
was being guided., which in a sense it is.

The problem is that it seems to me that this description also perfectly
fits an evolutionary model in its essence.

In curling, the stone is launched with careful initial linear and
angular velocities, and its momentum carries it toward the house at the
other end of the ice. External influences (sweepers and random ice
conditions) nuance each flight, but certain initial conditions, initial
trajectory and momentum characterize the launch and dominate the flight
of the stone. Though the stone is untouched after launch, still it is
"guided" by its initial conditions and momentum. If brooms are used,
they never touch the stone, but are used nonetheless with great energy
to intentionally nuance course and speed of the stone, but do not
dominate the other characterists of the moving stone.

It seems to me that there are such counterparts of this intent and
momentum in Creation, and identifiable in evolution in particular. All
it takes is sufficiency of designer input at the beginning for the
ensemble of elements and context and laws/boundary conditions to head in
some general but not necessarily tightly specified direction. Such a
system does not have to explore every nook and cranny of developmental
space - in fact that is very unlikely. Moreover, the destination doesn't
even need to be tightly specified as we are wont to expect or even
assert from our perspective. [We simply don't know the nature (so to
speak) of the real measure(s) of success]. With cleverly designed
initial conditions and rules of development, I simply do not see why
this sort of development [under the influence of initial conditions and
physical "laws"/boundary conditions] can be characterized as "unguided",
even if it contains some aspects of randomness, and even if it is
untouched by midcourse corrections. The creation (in this case a whole
orchestral process involving matter, energy, initial conditions,
boundary conditions, rules and such) has its internal instructions, its
roadmaps, its marching orders; therefore I submit that such a system is
in its essence guided, however natural it might be.

...or so it seemeth to me. JimA


Terry M. Gray wrote:

> Cornelius,
> #1 is disputable. By no means a clear picture. Pim provided some
> recent work in the area. ID folks claim that "science is giving us a
> clear picture", but it's mere assertion. (BTW, there is no such thing
> as an "unguided naturalistic process".)
> I still want to know what you mean by "detectable creation via
> secondary causes or primary causes, or some combination". Help me out
> here.
> TG
> On Oct 1, 2005, at 9:34 PM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:
>> Terry:
>>> Your bottom line argument, as I see it here, is that, I can't
>>> explain how the code originated given what I know now, so I
>>> conclude that God did it using extraordinary means. Can you tell me
>>> at what point do we "give up" on "naturalistic" explanations? How
>>> do we decide not only that we don't know, but that we will never
>>> know?
>> This is a caricature of evolution skepticism and ID. Something more
>> representative would be:
>> 1. Science is giving us a clear picture that it is unlikely that the
>> DNA code evolved via unguided naturalistic processes as
>> evolutionists maintain is true.
>> 2. It is clearly a reasonable move either (i) to consider
>> alternatives, such as detectable creation via secondary causes or
>> primary causes, or some combination, or (ii) to deweight the origin
>> question and focus more on a design theory that does align itself to
>> a particular origin theory.
>> 3. In all of this we are not (i) giving up on naturalistic
>> explanations--those are always in the offing, or (ii) trying to
>> prove the existence of God. We also are not mandating a priori's,
>> such as that divine action must be via law-like processes, or
>> undetectable.
>> --Cornelius
> ________________
> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department
> Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, CO 80523
> (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Sun Oct 2 02:11:36 2005

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