Re: [asa] Origins of Life

From: <>
Date: Fri Jun 05 2009 - 12:10:34 EDT

Gregory -

I think your sentence below is a considerable overstatement - unless you mean by"naturalistic" a claim that God has nothing to do with the origin of life. The N-C creed says that the Holy Spirit (N.B. - Murphy mentioned the Spirit!) is "the Lord and giver of life." But if "naturalistic" means that the origin of life can undestood in terms of entities & processes within the world to the same extent that inorganic phenomena like mechanics or E&M can then the statement is just wrong. In the Genesis 1 creation account it is precisely _living_ things that are created mediately ("Let the earth put forth vegetation &c). A number of the fathers, Greek & Latin, recognized this - see Messenger's _Evolution and Theology_.

& of course for a long time many Christians believed that lower forms of life could arise by spontaneous generation - flies from rotting meat, mice from old rags &c. Of course they were completely wrong but that belief was never declared heretical that I know of.

When I, at least, speak about the possible origin of life in terms that can be understood by science, I mean that God acts through whatever processes may be involved. OTOH I think it's wrong to be dogmatic about the possibility of such a scientific understanding. Claims that we're close to such an understanding & that "only the details are missing" (Eric Chaisson) remind me of Pauli's sarcastic comment on Heisenberg's overblown claims for his nonlinear Urmaterie theory. Under a blank rectangle he wrote "This is to prove that I can paint like Titian. Only details are missing."


---- Gregory Arago <> wrote:
> The idea of a <naturalistic> <origin of life> is a simple heresy in any of the three Branches of Christendom.

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Received on Fri Jun 5 12:11:09 2009

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