Re: [asa] on miracles

From: William Hamilton <willeugenehamilton@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Mar 08 2009 - 16:11:48 EDT

I don't like the connotation of "tinkering" because it suggests nature
is off course and God has to correct it. However, it seems clear to me
from Psalm 19 that God is continually issuing instructions to nature
-- not because nature gets off course and needs to be corrected, but
for one or more of several reasons:
1) God desires to be intimately involved with his creation. I think
this is especially true of God's desires with respect to humans.
2) Because God derives pleasure from his "hands on" involvement
3) I'll be interested in your impressions of Ken's book. I got a
little turned off by "Finding Darwin's God" -- not because I disagreed
with what he was saying, but because I thought he was a bit abrasive.
But the husband of one of my wife's best friends was involved in an
adult Sunday School class in a Wesleyan church that was studying it,
and he spoke very highly of it. So not everyone agrees with my
assessment. BTW I have corresponded with Ken and he's been very
cordial.

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM, David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> <willeugenehamilton@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 9:14 PM, David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
>> 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
>
>

-- 
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 16:12:16 2009

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