Re: NTSE #11

Loren Haarsma (lhaarsma@OPAL.TUFTS.EDU)
Thu, 06 Mar 1997 16:38:37 -0500 (EST)

David Tyler wrote:

> The "evolutionary
> terms" of Gould and others emphasise the lack of direction and purpose
> in evolutionary development. They use "imperfection" to justify
> their assertion that evolutionary change has no intelligent design
> input. To say that "God uses these processes ..." without explaining
> how it is consistent with the character of God seems to me to leave
> hearers in some confusion.
> [...]
> To be consistent, ECs must reject Gould's imperfection argument by
> showing that all these supposed limitations in God's power and wisdom
> do not apply.

Yes, this is something which evolutionary creationists should do.

It seems to me that *all* creationists share this problem to some
extent. All agree that God instituted microevolution to allow
adaptation, for example. And the "imperfection" argument must be
answered no matter what mechanism was used to create. If anything,
"imperfections" are easier to justify if creation happens by process
rather than fiat.

In terms of justifying God's use of process, I would point to our own
process of sanctification. Why doesn't God completely sanctify a person
immediately after conversion? I would also point to the process of
revelation in salvation history.

> Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this issue
> (as it appears to me) relates to "direction". The incidence of
> genetic variation is popularly described as random, and there is no
> goal to reach. The selection process is governed ultimately by
> survival and successful reproduction, and again there is no
> predetermined goal. How this "blind watchmaker" scenario can be
> complementary to a creation in wisdom, power and purpose eludes me.

Do you have a problem with God using this same process in His
providential oversight of creation, to ensure that populations of plants
or animals stay well-adapted to their environment?

Another point which must be repeated is that "random" does not
necessarily mean "undirected." Proverbs 16:33 insists that it does not.
So the real question would *seem* to be, why doesn't God demonstrate His
oversight of this process more dramatically, more often, in more
statistically improbably ways? To answer this question, I would again
suggest we examine our own process of sanctification.

I realize I'm just posing more questions instead of offering answers,
but I think that's more productive right now.

Looking forward to your reply,

Loren Haarsma