Re: This is design, yet it uses chance (was I've also read Spetner's book)

Stephen E. Jones (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 21:09:48 +0800


On Thu, 30 Sep 1999 21:08:32 +0000, wrote:


>>GM>As Art already pointed out, the casinos rig their machines to win
>>>more than they lose.

>SJ>I respectfully disagree with Art. While in some gambling games the
>>casino >staff actually play against the gamblers, and so could then be
>>said to "win", in the case of gambling *machines* only the gambler
>>play, so only they actually "win" or "lose". Therefore I presumed that
>>what Glenn really meant was that the "casino owners design their
>>machines" so that the *gambler* "lose more than they win".

GM>A wonderful doublespeak of which George Orwell would be proud!

No. It's just using words precisely.

>SJ>I know that in Australian horse- racing if a bookmaker sets his
>>odds so he makes a profit that is OK, but if he fixes the race so that
>>his horse wins, then he would go to gaol...But as I admitted, I don't
>>know much about casinos, so if Glenn and Art know for sure that in
>>the USA the casino owners do 1. and not 2., then I will chalk it up as
>>one of the differences between our two countries!

GM>I will assure you that casino's the world over fix their machines so
>that the odds are in their favor. Fixing horse races is not the same thing.

Glenn might be right about the USA, but he is not right about Australia. I
rang our State Gaming Commission (the Government Department which
supervises gambling in Western Australia) and I was told quite definitely
that the gambling machines at our one and only casino in Perth (Burswood
Casino) are random as regards the chance of winning, but by law they are
programmed to return only 90% of the money taken back to the gamblers.
That is, the casino by law can only make a 10% profit.

>>GM>'Despite the attempts by liberal theology to disguise the point, the fact
>>>is that no biblically derived religion can really be compromised with the
>>>fundamental assertion of Darwinian theory. Chance and design are
>>>antithetical concepts.' Henry M. Morris, "The Compromise Road," Impact,
>>>177, March, 1988, p. i,ii

>SJ>First, Glenn fails to acknowledge that these words in their entirety
>>were a quote from Denton: ... [3] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory
in >>Crisis, (London: Burnett Books, Ltd., 1985), p. 66."...
>>Now Denton is not even a Christian, so it is unlikely to bear the
>>interpretation that Glenn wants to put on it, namely that "...Christians
>>say God can't master chance; they say he can't use chance...".

GM>You are correct that the words are from Denton--Morris quoted them. You are
>incorrect that Denton is not a christian. That is apparently something
>that was spread about Denton. I quote Denton from an Australian tape.
>"I tend to think that perhaps the evidence suggests a transcendant sort of
>Hebraic God in the Judeo Christian tradition. An external creator made the
>world and gave it its order, its pattern, its ends." Michael Denton, The
>Biological Evidence of Creation, Keziah Productions, 1998.
>This is not the statement of an atheist.

I did not say that Denton was an "atheist". I said he was not a "Christian".
Believing in "a transcendant sort of Hebraic God in the Judeo Christian
tradition" does not make one a Christian.

>SJ>As the Christian theologian R.C. Sproul points out, the very *existence* of
>>true chance is incompatible with the concept of a sovereign God:

GM>This proves my contention that creationists (and Sproul is a creationist)
>say that God cannot master chance. Note what Sproul says--if chance rules,
>God cannot. That means that God is not as powerful as chance. Thank you
>for proving my point Stephen.

Glenn needs to read more carefully. Sproul does not say what "if chance rules,
God cannot". He says "if chance rules, God" *is* "not". That is, there
cannot really exist both true chance and the Christian God.

>SJ>"As long as chance rules," Arthur Koestler has written, "God is an
>>anachronism." (Koestler A., "Darkness at Noon", Bantam: New York,
>>1941, p149) Koestler's dictum is a sound a point. It is true
>>that if chance rules, God cannot. We can go further than Koestler. It is not
>>necessary for chance to rule in order to supplant God. Indeed chance
>>requires little authority at all if it is to depose God; all it needs to
>do the job
>>is to exist. The mere existence of chance is enough to rip God from his
>>cosmic throne. Chance does not need to rule; it does not need to be
>>sovereign. If it exists as a mere impotent, humble servant, it leaves God
>>only out of date, but out of a job. If chance exists in its frailest
>>form, God is finished. Nay, he could not be finished because that would
>>assume he once was. To finish something implies that it at best was once
>>active or existing. If chance exists in any size, shape, or form, God cannot
>>exist. The two are mutually exclusive. If chance existed, it would destroy
>>God's sovereignty. If God is not sovereign, he is not God. If he is not God,
>>he simply is not. If chance is, God is not. If God is, chance is not. The
>>cannot coexist by reason of the impossibility of the contrary." (Sproul
>>"Not a Chance: The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology",
>>1994, p3).

Here Glenn just chops off without ellipses the rest of my post, including
my documentation of his deleting my words without ellipses and altering
both the punctuation and an adjacent word in such a way that it was
difficult to notice the alteration.

But just in case Glenn overlooked this, I have posted it again to give Glenn the
opportunity to explain why he:

1. Deleted 3 words of mine "what humans call" without ellipses;
2. Changed a comma at the end of "chance," to a full-stop.
3. Changed a lower-case "b" in "but" to an upper-case "B" making "But" look
like the start of a sentence:

On Thu, 30 Sep 1999 06:40:21 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote:


SJ>Note also how Glenn subtly changed what I wrote. Here is what
>appears on the Reflector archives on 19 September at:
>So the real question is not, can God work through what humans call
>chance, but *did* he work *solely* through chance? The God of the Bible
>indeed worked through chance at times but that is not the *only* way He
>Glenn changed what I wrote above by: 1. cutting out without ellipses my
>important qualifier "through what humans call chance, b", 2. inserting a
>full-stop, and 3. capitalising the "b" to make "But" look part of my
>sentence. Here it is how it appears in the archives to show that it is not
>something that I have changed on my copy:
>So the real question is not, can God work through chance? But *did* he
>work *solely* through chance? The God of the Bible indeed worked through
>at times but that is not the *only* way He worked.
>I find it hard to believe that this is a simple mistake by Glenn. Eliminating
>my words "through what humans call chance" makes my argument appear
>internally inconsistent. Glenn would at best have only saved one line and in
>fact as it turned out, he did not save any lines by cutting out those 5 words.
>However, as a matter of natural justice I will first give Glenn the
>opportunity to explain why he cut out my 5 words without ellipses,
>inserted a full-stop and capitalise the "B".

Note that I was wrong here about it being "5 words". In fact it was only the
*3* words "what humans call" that were deleted. This makes it even less
likely that Glenn was motivated by a desire to save space.

Again, as a matter of natural justice, I will give Glenn another opportunity to
explain why he cut out my 3 words without ellipses, inserted a full-stop and
capitalised the "B", with the result that it was difficult to notice the change.


Stephen E. (Steve) Jones ,--_|\ Email:
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Perth, Western Australia v "Test everything." (1 Thess. 5:21)