Re: Theory and Fat [sic]

Stephen Jones (
Fri, 07 Mar 97 05:18:23 +0800


On Wed, 26 Feb 1997 21:11:29 -0500, Brian D Harper wrote:

>SJ>...Brian now acknowledges that the "Intelligent Design model"
>does specifiy a "mechanism". This is in contradistinction to
>naturalistic evolution which has no specified mechanism, eg. for
>"prebiotic evolution."

>BH>I acknowledeged a "mechanism" but certainly not a mechanism if
>mechanism is to be taken in the scientific sense.

Brian made no stipulation that the "mechanism" was "to be taken in
the scientific sense". He said "Please specify for me the detailed
mechanisms used by the Intelligent Designer", to which I gave "the
word of command of the "Intelligent Designer" (Gn 1:3,6,9,
11,14,20,24,26); Ps 33:6; Jn 1:1-3).

Now Brian belatedly seeks to apply a materialistic-naturalistic
demarcation criteria to rule out the "the word of command of the
Intelligent Designer" as a valid scientific mechanism. This leaves
Intelligent Design without an acceptable mechanism and
materialist-naturalism wins the debate by default! But if science is
"a search for truth, no holds barred." (Ratzsch D.L., 1996, p168),
then there is no valid reason to limit science to only what is
acceptable to the materialist-naturalists.

Besides, my science dictionary defines "mechanics" as:

"The branch of physical science dealing with the behaviour of
matter under the action of force." (Uvarov E.B. & Isaacs A.,
"The Penguin Dictionary of Science", 1986, p247)

so it follows from that definition that " the
scientific sense" is any means used for exerting a force on
matter. The word of God therefore qualifies as a "mechanism" under
that definition. My morning reading a few days ago was the account
of Jesus cursing the fig tree:

"Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found
nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never
bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered." (Mt 21:19)

If this is a true account of what actually happened in the real
world, and Jesus was really God, then it is a fact that the word of
God alone can exert a force on matter, and therefore it qualifies as
a " the scientific sense".

BH>In other words, I assumed that you put the word in quotation
>marks to make a distinction between things like chemical reactions
>and "And God said, `Let there be...,' and there was...".

>SJ>Brian "assumed" wrong. As he well knows, I always put my
>opponents words in quotation marks.

BH>You put lots of other things in quotation marks as well.

No. I only put *one* thing in double "quotation marks", namely words
of others that I am quoting. If they are nested quotes, eg. someone
saying something within a quotation, I will often change
the inner quotes to single quotation marks. Also, occasionally I
will emphasise a word by putting it in single quotation marks.


>SJ>See above. Usually my quotes are to show I am using the very
>words that my opponent has used. I hope this clears up Brian's
>"confused' state!

BH>Not entirely. Do you or do you not make a distinction between
>"And God said, `Let there be...,' and there was..." and things
>like chemical reactions?

Of course. "And God said..." is God acting as a first cause (with
or without intermediaries), and "chemical reactions" are God acting
through secondary causes He has set up. The first are unique
origin events which may be inferred but are not repeatable while
the second are common operations events which are observable and
repeatable. Science makes a "distinction" between unique origin
events (eg. historical science) and common operations events (eg.
empirical science) but it attempts to study both.

There is no good reason to rule out something (eg. the word of God
as a mechanism) just because it cannot be presently observed or
repeated. The Big Bang can't be observed or repeated, but it is
still a valid topic of scientific study, even if it is only inferred
from its after-effects. So it is with the "the word of command of
the `Intelligent Designer'".

God bless.


| Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\ |
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