Re: [asa] Four views

From: <>
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 17:44:27 EST

 But I'm not sure the
distinction of "tweaking" (versus "not tweaking") and "front-loading"
(versus "not front-loading") gets to the real heart of the issue,
either.  If God wanted to play a very ordinary hand of cards, then he
would choose a front-loading of the deck that was very typical rather
than atypical, so that the hand that gets dealt would turn out to be
very ordinary.  But if he wanted to play a Royal Flush, then he would
choose a front-loading of the deck that was very unusual.  Either way,
he is just as involved in front-loading the deck, but he would have a
different objective in mind.  He would choose the ordinary hand just as
intentionally as the Royal Flush, and so he would choose the particular
stacking of the deck just as intentionally up front.

For this reason, there is every bit as much design by God in TE as
there is in ID.  TE does not eliminate design even the tiniest bit. 
The only difference is that in TE you can't detect the design whereas
in ID you supposedly can.  This is why ID strikes me as entirely
unbiblical.  (I reject ID on theological grounds, not scientific ones,
since I'm not too interested in biology and don't pay much attention to
it.)  In ID, the smart people such as molecular biologists are
supposedly able to use their fancy machines and detect God's design in
the tiny depths of living cells, thereby flushing God out of hiding. 
But the simple folk who s
weep floors for a living don't share in20that benefit.  Alas, they have
to rely on the molecular biologists to tell them whether God exists. 
But in TE, God is every bit as involved in designing life as he is in
ID, although a major objective of God's design was to hide the design
so that smart people like molecular biologists wouldn't have any
advantage in finding him.  Therefore, finding God becomes a matter of
repentance and faith, not intelligence or fancy machines.




-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Isaac <>
Sent: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 3:05 pm
Subject: Re: [asa] Four views


  You are certainly right about this from a
theological and logical perspective. I used that terminology hesitantly but
wanted to emphasize the connection with specified complexity. In other words,
what I wanted to point out was that, like a deck of cards that is dealt, once
you have a population of living organisms in play, then some set of species will
be the result. If you specify a priori that this had to be precisely our
species with the human genome, that puts a different spin on the
"front-loading" or "tweaking" or whatever compared with the case where whatever
hand is dealt we'll play. That is, whatever species evolves with consciousness,
is the one to which God will relate. I agree that whatever happens
will be "intended" by God so this really means our finite and very human attempt
to understand



----- Original Message -----




Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2:45

Subject: Re: [asa] Four views


I have problems with the
  categories "God intended" versus "God didn't intend."  I don't know how
  it can be that God didn't intend any of the things that actually
  happened.  If it happened, then obviously he intended it.  I think
  you have to define what you mean by "unintended", and I'm not sure it can be
  defined very precisely or meaningfully.

Example:  did God intend
  for us to have a broken gene for Vitamin C production, or was it an accident
  of evolution?  I don't think this is a real either-or choice.  I
  think God intends every accident to occur.  By "accident" we simply mean
  that there were secondary causes and from our limited perspective they seemed to lack design.

  we can define it in terms of probability:  pseudogenes are probable in
  the set of all possible universes because of Darwinian mechanisms.  Then
  we can say TE believes God intended the universe to be typical among the set
  of all possible universes in that it contains a great many secondary causes
  that are common within that set.  Thus, broken genes indicates the
  predominance of ordinary secondar
y causes.  ID says OTOH that these
  ordinary secondary causes aren't sufficiently effective to produce in many
  situations and so there exist many improbable features of life in this
  univerese.  But either way, we can say God **intended** it to happen
  exactly as it did happen.




-----Original Message-----
From: Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 11:50 am
Subject: RE:
  [asa] Four views


Randy said:

" TE: Human beings are the intended, purposeful result of God's creative act."

I don't think TE's necessary say that humans were God's intent- the final form

could have been different. Being made in God's image doesn't necessary mean the

human image (shape and body plan) is God's image. What does it mean to be "in

God's image?" Theologians debate it, even within the same Christian camps and



-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf

Of John Burgeson (ASA member)

Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 8:39 AM

To: Randy Isaac


Subject: Re: [asa] Four views

On 12/16/08, Randy Isaac <> wrote:

> Perhaps one might summarize some of the various metaphysical viewpoints like

> this:


> TE: Human beings are the intended, purposeful result of God's creative act.

> How do we know this? Because God h
as revealed it to us in his Word. We may

> or may not find direct evidence of it, or the mechanism for it, in the

> details of the intermediate evolutionary processes but even if we did, the

> basis of knowledge is God's revelation. Revealed knowledge.


I would tend to modify this just a litttle bit. The sentence "Because

God has revealed it to us in his Word" is too restrictive. I think he

has revealed it to us also in other ways, for some of us actual

epiphanies. So I'd just say "Because God has revealed it to us."

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Received on Wed Dec 17 17:45:43 2008

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