Re: [asa] Re: Of Martian Sculptures

From: John Walley <>
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 21:26:50 EST

My TE position on creation is indistinguishable from Deism. In fact I don't have any objection to it at all as far as how God created the universe.

The only objection I have to it is when they try to say He doesn't intervene in the affairs of the world and people which I reject. That is obviously false and where we part company with atheists.

That is not to say that maybe God did intervene in His creation of life at some point after He kicked it off but we don't need that to be the case and there is no point in arguing for it. It doesn't make God any less God for him to have done it all up front rather than throughout the process. See the great quotes below.

In fact, it is more consistent with how He created the physical universe by frontloading all the laws of physics into the Big Bang and letting them take it from there. I have long speculated that there would one day be discovered some bioanthropic principle in life that accounts for all this mystery of evolution and the metabolism of the cell today.


"We think him a better Artist that makes a Clock that strikes regularly at every hour from the Springs and Wheels which he puts in the work, than he that hath so made his Clock that he must put his finger to it every hour to make it strike."

- Reverend Thomas Burnet, Telluris Theoria Sacra 1681


'tis a dangerous thing to ingage the authority of the Scripture in disputes about the Natural World, in opposition to reason; lest Time, which brings all things to light, should discover that to be evidently false which we had made Scripture to assert.

- Reverend Thomas Burnet 


"Science had pushed the deist’s God farther and farther away, and at the moment when it seemed as if He would disappear altogether, Darwinism appeared and under the disguise of a foe, did the work of a friend … by showing that we must choose between two alternatives. Either God is everywhere present in nature, or He is nowhere: (my italics). Again: "Those who oppose the doctrine of evolution in defence of a continued intervention of God, seem to have failed to notice that a theory of occasional intervention implies, as its correlative, a theory of ordinary absence."

late - Victorian English writer, Aubrey Moore


----- Original Message ----
From: Murray Hogg <>
To: ASA <>
Sent: Fri, November 13, 2009 8:18:26 PM
Subject: [asa] Re: Of Martian Sculptures

John Walley wrote:
> I don't know about the others but my TE position of course assumes frontloading, aka, embedded design.

And that, I think, is precisely what I'm saying about TE in my comments in the "little brain" thread...

Ultimately, TE's MUST run foul of somebody like Richard Dawkins because, ultimately, TE's are not arguing for the same sort of "naturalism" that Dawkins is.

It may well be the case that TE's skirts very dangerously with deism when they claim a kind of "radical front loading" - viz, the idea that the potentiality for complexity is inherent in the fundamental properties of matter, and that evolution is then simply (bah!) the "natural" working out of this potentiality. But at least this should be seen as close to DEISM and not to atheism - which should at least be acknowledged, I think. And to point out that this is, in fact, a kind of front loading, and that many TE's do, in fact, adopt it, is helpful.

It does, of course, require two caveats;

First, not all TE's go so far. Many are quite up-front about God pulling the strings in some quite direct way - by "guiding" the process of evolution, for instance. They would view the EVENTS of evolution as requiring direct divine intervention, but without the need for any discontinuity of natural processes.
Second, even those those who think the events of evolution can be purely "natural" - that they are somehow inevitable given the nature of the universe as God has created it - can still acknowledge the possibility of divine intervention in the course of history - in the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, for instance.

But putting such "fine tuning" aside I think we can say crudely that TE does, indeed, assume some sort of front loading somewhere in the process. What then comes to the fore are the questions; "where?" and "how much?"

And it's interesting to ponder how those questions might be answered by various parties;

Dawkins must surely answer "nowhere" and "none whatsoever."
The TE (at the very minimum): "right at the start" and "enough to get us where we are without God having to jump in and tweak the system"

The ID: "somewhere" and "sufficient to get us where we are"

At which point the potential for an agreement between TE and ID becomes apparent and the strength of their differences less explicable - or so it seems to me.


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Received on Fri Nov 13 21:27:24 2009

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