RE: [asa] on miracles

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Sun Mar 08 2009 - 11:40:01 EDT

The main question is what takes you from one moment of existence to the next? Surely, in cannot be part of the whole of Nature. It must be supernatural and self-existing. Science deals with generalizations of experimental data and so can say nothing about this question of existence since science does not deal with what exists but on our memories and data of what existed.

From: [] On Behalf Of David Clounch []
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 11:31 AM
To: William Hamilton
Cc: George Murphy; Ted Davis;
Subject: Re: [asa] on miracles

Thanks Bill.

My personal view is the idea that someone or some thing constantly tinkers along the way is not inconsistent with all this.

But that of course is no proof that such a thing happens. And of course this tinkering is the sort of engineering activity that is commonly thought of as being intelligent design, and we all know how unpopular that is. The problem is, how does one rule out such a tinkering? How would we know such a tinkering is impossible? How would we know its possible? Until we can answer that I am uncomfortable with anyone telling anybody they must discard their beliefs in favor of some other belief.

I am hoping Ken Miller advocates for opening minds rather than closing them.

Best Regards,
David Clounch

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 7:11 AM, William Hamilton <<>> wrote:
On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:14 PM, David Clounch <<>> wrote:

> To his credit Kenneth R Miller has a section on this in his new book, which
> I have here on my desk, but don't have room for in my head this week. He
> talks about baseball and a set of events in a series, and the rule about
> how sometimes one must go back to a certain point and play the game over
> from there forward, the idea that the outcome cannot be predicted or
> determined from the state at that point, and one thus never gets the same
> result twice from a given point. He is saying evolution is like that.
> I haven't got my head wrapped around this yet. But - it seems to me its a
> dent in the fender of those who hypothesize that God used a statistical
> universe to produce any given individual person. To do this latter the
> path forward from any given state must be predictable and repeatable. This
> is necessary for any deistic notion to allow God to produce a desired
> outcome. But the universe isn't like that.
> But perhaps I merely fail to understand Miller. I haven't read the book yet.

I haven't read Miller's book either, but you've given me a reason to
read it. I believe that the future state of nture is not predictable
by humans, and maybe there is such a thing as random processes
entering into its operation. But for an alternative consider the
opening lines of Psalm 19 (y'all know this, but the passage is so
beautiful I _must_ repeat it)

 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
      the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
      night after night they display knowledge.

 3 There is no speech or language
      where their voice is not heard. [a]

 4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
      their words to the ends of the world.

If, as I've said before (following St. Basil) nature is a mechanism
made by God to carry out his commands, and God is continually issuing
commands, as Psalm 19 suggests, then the countless responses to
commands may simply be too complex for humans to disentangle.
Complexity is not necessarily randomness, but it can be just as
impossible to predict.

BTW there's an interesting article on P9 of the March '09 Scientific
American about a physicist who claims to have developed a Godel-like
proof that any entity within the universe cannot reach a complete
understanding of the universe. My intuition tells me that, but it's
nice to have a rigorous proof. In any case God is not bound by space
and time, so things that look like mysteries, or random to us, don't
to him.

William E (Bill) Hamilton Jr., Ph.D.
Member American Scientific Affiliation
Austin, TX
248 821 8156
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Received on Sun Mar 8 11:46:10 2009

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