Re: [asa] Critical review of Dawkins' Book by the "Liberal Media"

From: Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net>
Date: Wed Dec 27 2006 - 16:30:00 EST

I'm afraid that I didn't make my point very clear in that post.

I basically just meant to observe that the subject "steady state"
universe would not preclude any sort of localized change (cyclic,
transiently oscillatory, evolutionary, or otherwise), be that change
temporal or spatial (or both) in character. Because biological evolution
occurs within the tiniest snippets of any of these more cosmic timeline
models, what happens locally within this time-snippet is essentially
independent of the nature of the more cosmological dynamic.

Moorad's comment regarding "everything evolving in time" perhaps
suggests an anthropic perspective issue as well if the allusion is to
ongoing earthly biological change. "New beginnings" events in nature
seem generally matched in time with "destructive conclusions". On a
cosmic scale, I think of colliding galaxies that destroy existing
structure and define new starting conditions for the complexes involved.
With respect to Earth, I think of the destructive end of the dinos. At a
still smaller scale, I think of the selective attrition mechanism of
evolution itself. With the possible exception of the galactic-scale
example, all of these fit into the next-larger-scale models with so much
as a ripple.

Do cyclical things count as evolution? Not really. Again the point I was
trying to make is that even in a cyclical or steady-state model of the
universe, most local variations ("noise" in the detailed functionings of
the constituents of the universe) would seem to the locals to be
basically independent of the dynamics of the larger systems of the
universe, in the limit, of the dynamics of the universe itself.

JimA

Alexanian, Moorad wrote:

>A cyclical universe, or anything cyclical for that matter, is in a delicate state of equilibrium, which undergoes reversible changes. However, all our experiences indicate that all that exists is in a state of irreversibility. Accordingly, a cyclical universe requires much more fine-tuning that our present universe does. Therefore, everything evolving in time is the only rational thing to have. Of course, this is not to say that Darwin's view of one family tree for all living things is correct.
>
>
>
>Moorad
>
>________________________________
>
>From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Gregory Arago
>Sent: Wed 12/27/2006 7:48 AM
>To: Jim Armstrong; asa@calvin.edu
>Subject: Re: [asa] Critical review of Dawkins' Book by the "Liberal Media"
>
>
>It seems possible to agree with Moorad that "the notion of a designer is not as fundamental as that of a Creator." Following that, I'm curious if Jim thinks that 'cyclical things' could/should count as 'evolutionary'? Getting back to a thread of several months ago (see link below), I wonder what kind of "rationality will be required to make evolution go away." Perhaps in certain fields it needn't go away, while in others such a situation is long overdue?
>
>Can the argument be made that 'cyclical things' are not examples of evolution, i.e. things that don't evolve?
>http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200604/0083.html <http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200604/0083.html>
>
>Arago
>
>Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net> wrote:
>
> This strikes me as another of those anthropocentric perspectives. Cyclical things can happen at all kinds of scales with something so grand in extent as the universe. There can be beginnings and ends of eras (to just borrow a term for convenience) that are very long in duration from our perspective, and as such indistinguishable with respect to "steady state" (which would have to be conceded to be quite dynamic) or (long-term cyclic) behavior. There is nothing to prevent oscillatory behaviors of a zillion sorts within these very long duration states of galaxies, solar systems, geo(type) systems, biosystems, etc. Local temporal "perturbations" of all sorts (including cyclicities that are come and go) are free to occur.
>
> Between human-scale Creation/End-of-the-World event bookends within a broadly steady-state universe, there's no reason that evolution would be precluded. Steady-state just does not describe the universe at all scales. So some other rationality will be required to make evolution go away.
>
> JimA
>
> Janice Matchett wrote:
>
>
> At 04:47 PM 12/26/2006, Alexanian, Moorad wrote:
>
>
>
> "...However, the notion of a designer is not as fundamental as that of a Creator. I have always said and will continue to emphasize that there is no way a human can do away with the notion of a Creator. Note that an eternal universe would not include the notion of evolution except by considering a cyclical universe. Otherwise, the universe must have a beginning and thus be created."
>
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Received on Wed Dec 27 16:31:03 2006

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