Re: [asa] on miracles

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 11:26:04 EDT

> As I have such a difficult time taking front-loading seriously, I'd like to
> ask a question to improve my understanding of how others regard it.  Namely,
> if God did everything through front-loading, would he have included a nearby
> supernova (Ordovician extinction) or an asteroid impact (K-T extinction) as
> an integral part of the process from before the Big Bang?
>
> I suppose to ask the question is to answer it, but at the same time the
> thing boggles my mind.  I really hope God doesn't have to deal with the
> amount of detail necessary to make something like that happen.  If he does,
> I'm sorry.  That's another reason why I prefer ongoing
> "special guidance."  It may not be philosophically or scientifically
> elegant, but it's so much more compatible with what I perceive as reality,
> so much easier for mortals to deal with.

To take the K/T example (there's not a strong consensus on the
supernova cause for the Ordovician event), backtracking the orbits of
a family of asteroids shows that two asteroids colliding during the
Ordovician created lots of debris, one largish chunk of which ended up
hitting the earth at the end of the Cretaceous. It would be possible
to include all of that in advance planning, though of course Go'd
ordinary providence is continuous as well.

>>David writes: "...It takes a universe of 10^80 particles with the type of tuning the universe has in order to get a reasonable probability that there would be even one habitable earth like planet."
I don't know where you're coming from with this.
 Rare Earth. Privileged Planet.
I believe in a certain kind of cosmological evolution. <<

We simply don't have the necessary data to accurately estimate such
probabilities. We are able at present to examine one universe and one
solar system, not a statistically significant data set. Of course, in
a front-loaded fine-tuning scenario, any number of parameters could be
imposed from the beginning to improve the odds of a desired result (if
anything is left to "chance" in the scenario), thereby negating the
assumption that the observed pattern is randomly drawn from a set of
available options.

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Tue Mar 17 11:26:30 2009

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