Re: NTSE #11

David J. Tyler (
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 13:24:13 GMT

On 6 Mar 97 at 16:38, Loren Haarsma wrote:

> > 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.

II should perhaps point out that this was the main point in my post -
this is a case where I don't think any of us shoud present the
Panda's thumb after the manner of Gould.

> 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.

Isuppose the main difference between creationists concerns whether
God had an intelligent design input into forming organisms or whether
he used natural processes to introduce additional design elements
into existing structures. Those who hold the first of these
positions can view "imperfection" as a degeneration or loss of a
former "perfection" - something which does not reflect on the wisdom
of God in creation. Paul Nelson discusses the "static" creation view
which is inherent in Gould's "imperfection" argument in his NTSE
paper - most ID creationists would support a much more dynamic

> 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.

God certainly uses processes - I'm happy to agree on that. He also
uses miraculous acts, such as regeneration. How do we relate these
truths to the topic of origins?

> > 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?

No, because I see this as a matter of ecology, not of origins.

> 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.

Agreed. I did say "popularly described as random" to anticipate the
point you have made. But as you are well aware, the Darwinian
scenario does insist on undirected change. Darwinian explanations
steadfastly reject any thought that the processes reveal an
underlying direction, purpose or intelligent input. If I am not
convinced by the complementarity argument, I would not expect
unbelievers to find such a reconciliation of Darwinism and
Theism satisfactory.

Best wishes,

David J. Tyler.