Re: [asa] Results of Cameron's Survey

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Mon Jun 29 2009 - 10:52:09 EDT

You can put me down with Terry's #4. (Or, if only the 3 answers given originally are allowed, as is usually the case with standardized tests, I'll take #3 "under protest.")

I would not absolutely rule out the idea of front-loading of design (#2) but it seems to me that hardwiring the detailed outcome of any physical process into its initial conditions billions of years in advance is just the sort of thing that chaos theory - which is more precisely "sensitivity to initial conditions" - rules out for systems of any complexity (i.e., nonlinearity).

My objections to #3 as stated are similar to Terry's. The idea that God acts as "determiner of indeterminancies" means that God chooses among possibilities which would all be allowed by the laws of physics. Thus "actually causing nature to produce *what it otherwise would never have produced*" would be inaccurate. (Unless one wants to ask "What would happen if God never determined the indeterminancy?" But that gets to a more fundamental problem with this view - i.e., Does God determine all indeterminancies? - that I think hasn't been entirely resolved.)

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 9:27 AM
  Subject: [asa] Results of Cameron's Survey

  Since I am the lone sociologist here, let me take the opportunity to provide service that may be of interest to the list. I'll compile a list from the responses that are given to Cameron's survey, as a way of summarizing the results.

  Here is the survey from the thread "Observation vs. Theoretical Differences in Scenarios":

  Let us take a look at three broad speculative explanations (note that I deliberately avoid the word "scientific") for the reptile-mammal transition:

  1. Reptiles became mammals by purely stochastic processes; there was no design in the appearance of any mutation, and God did not lift a pinky (other than to sustain the laws of nature) during the whole process.
  2. Reptiles became mammals by a deterministic, front-loaded process; there was inbuilt design regarding at least the main thrust of the process, but beyond inserting that inbuilt design (at the beginning of life, or perhaps even at the beginning of the universe), God did not lift a pinky (other than to sustain the laws of nature) during the whole process.
  3. God (or space aliens, if you prefer) steered the alterations of the genomes of reptiles until they became mammals, actually causing nature to produce *what it otherwise would never have produced*. (Note that this answer does not entirely exclude elements of stochastic and deterministic processes, but subordinates them to, or coordinates them with, a guiding hand, and is not in the slightest degree embarrassed to use the word "guidance".)

  Cameron's survey question to ASA:
  "Which of the three scenarios above is the one that -- in your own personal view -- *actually happened*?"

  So far in response:

  Terry Gray wrote:
  "#3 is the only view I would even come close to accepting...However, I don't like #3...Hence, I would like to offer a #4 that I think many on the list here will endorse."

  Terry's #4 is as follows:
  "4. God steered the alterations of the genomes of reptiles until they became mammals in a way that is indistinguishable from it occurring via purely stochastic processes."

  Schwarzwald wrote:
  "I'd have to answer #2 or #3"

  Dave Wallace wrote:
  "place me in category 3."

  Cameron also answered his own question, writing:
  "I opt for #2 or #3."

  Gregory Arago adds his answer:
  #2 or #3.

  As more answers come in the list will be compiled...

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Received on Mon Jun 29 10:53:10 2009

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