[asa] Of Stars and Starfish (divine creative action, from Timaeus thread)

From: <SteamDoc@aol.com>
Date: Wed Sep 24 2008 - 22:26:32 EDT

In his response to Dennis Venema, Timaeus appears to illustrate a phenomenon
that has puzzled me about ID proponents. He can correct me if I have
misinterpreted him -- but my observation does apply to many others.
In explaining what he found unsatisfactory about "Darwinian mechanisms" as
explanations for biological evolution, he objected to explanations that did
not allow for "direct divine governance", that did not have room for God to
"direct evolution personally".
This idea seems to be at the heart of much ID thought. I heard one ID
proponent (John Wiester) several years ago say approximately "impersonal natural
explanations (like Darwinian evolution) that have no room for God are
atheistic so Christians must oppose them".
But let's examine this idea in the context of less controversial science.
Consider the development (evolution, if you will) of stars. Except for YECs,
most ID proponents seem to have no problem with the "natural" explanations
science has developed for star formation, in terms of gravity, fusion, etc.
But these explanations for star formation make no reference to God! If the ID
people were consistent in their logic, they would be opposing the
"methodological atheism" in astronomy. Yet *these* natural explanations, with no place
for "direct divine governance", with no room for God to "direct [stellar]
evolution personally" do not seem to be objectionable.
My point is this. As Christians, we believe God is the creator of stars,
and also of living things (whether acting directly or indirectly, to the extent
that distinction is meaningful). Independent of the scientific evidence,
why is it that *some* natural explanations in which God does not "direct
personally" the process are not a problem, while others are considered unacceptable
on philosophical/theological grounds?
Why is different reasoning applied to God's creation of stars and starfish?
If "personal direction" in addition to impersonal natural mechanisms (of
course as Christians we know God is sovereign over apparently "impersonal"
mechanisms) is not necessary in scientific explanation of stars, why should it be
necessary for starfish?
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"

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Received on Wed Sep 24 22:27:26 2008

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