Fwd: [asa] Necessity

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Dec 14 2006 - 23:30:14 EST

I think they are not using it in the same sense. I think the Pope and the
Cardinal are saying something akin to the notion that the universe is
"contingent" on God's will; it is not necessary that God created
*this*universe with its particular physical laws instead of a
different one.
Rigden, in contrast, seems to be discussing what happens once those physical
laws are in operation. Otherwise, Rigden's position would seem to be quite
odd, as he'd apparently be asserting that the laws of classical physics
necessarily governed conditions prior to the big bang and must always govern
in any conceivable universe.

On 12/14/06, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net> wrote:
>
> The Fall 2006 issue of Radiations (the Sigma Pi Sigma publication
> http://www.sigmapisigma.org/radiations/2006/fall.htm) devotes much of the
> issue to the need to "relumine the enlightenment." The feature article is
> John Rigden's 2005 Milliken award speech
> http://www.sigmapisigma.org/radiations/2006/rigden_f06.pdf. (the other
> article worth reading in that issue is the editorial by Dwight
> Neuenschwander
> http://www.sigmapisigma.org/radiations/2006/neuenschwander_f06.pdf)
>
> I have a question about two paragraphs toward the end of that article,
> which I quote below. Are Rigden and Schonborn and John Paul II using the
> term "necessity" in the same sense? or is Rigden using the term to mean a
> slightly different point than the Pope is making?
>
> Randy
>
>
> On July 7, 2005, the Roman Catholic cardinal archbishop of
>
> Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, laid out the position of the
>
> Catholic Church on the subject of evolution. However, the argument
>
> the cardinal developed was more general than evolution and
>
> implicitly, it embraced all science. In the
> *New York Times *the cardinal
>
> began by quoting the late John Paul II. "We believe," said
>
> the Pope, "that God created the world according to his wisdom. It
>
> is not the product of necessity whatever, not blind fate or
>
> chance." Cardinal Schönborn concluded: "Scientific theories that
>
> try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of
>
> 'chance and necessity' are not scientific at all, but...an abdication
>
> of human intelligence." [14]
>
> Both the Pope and the cardinal denied necessity. Both the
>
> Pope and the cardinal are mistaken. If you believe that the physical
>
> world is a consequence of physical law, then what we
>
> observe is the consequence of necessity. Masses attract out of
>
> necessity; energy is conserved out of necessity; the neutron
>
> decays out of necessity; and out of necessity, DNA in the gametes
>
> determines the characteristics of the resulting organism. There is
>
> no choice, there are no alternatives. The laws of physics undergird
>
> all science; if the laws of physics, operating out of necessity,
>
> are denied in any tributary of science, then the main stream of the
>
> entire scientific enterprise is dangerously compromised.
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Web:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com
Blog:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com/throughaglass.html
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-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Web:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com
Blog:  http://www.davidopderbeck.com/throughaglass.html
MySpace (Music):  http://www.myspace.com/davidbecke
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Received on Thu Dec 14 23:30:35 2006

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