Comment on Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull by Ron.
Sean Pitman: We know the designed limits of one (mindless nature) and designed the potential of the other (intelligent minds).
So, If I am understanding you right, your definition of whether something is “natural” or “intelligent” depends on knowing the design limits, which with regard to nature can only be determined by experimentation and experience. Correct?
The trouble with that definition is that a small tree in a sunny field, a watch, and a supercomputer can all do the same thing, tell time. The tree has a small design cost, but is very difficult to obtain accuracy with, the supercomputer has a large design cost, but it is easier to obtain accuracy with, the watch is somewhere in between. All three were designed by intelligent design. The tree was designed primarily by God with a small input from man, mostly measuring the length of the tree and the position of the shadow. The watch and supercomputer were still designed by both God and humans, but with more human involvement. All three are operational withing their design limits, so I don’t think I can categorize them accurately using your definition. In fact I am curious to see how you will define them.
I think you are going to define the tree as natural and the supercomputer as intelligently designed. But the tree in many ways is far more complex than the supercomputer in its basic design. Infact it is alive and the supercomputer is not.
Also, the supercomputer can act very intelligently, even besting humans at Chess and Jeopardy. But it does that “naturally” within its design limits. It’s output is responsive to the input and is not random.
I can say the same thing about an Evolutionary process. It was intelligently designed by God to respond to complex environmental conditions. It is responsive to it’s environment, and the output is not random and highly adaptive.
In fact, the issue of randomness is one of the concerns I have about your theory of genetic evolution. I don’t think the process is at all random. Almost by definition evolution is not random. It highly goal driven to provide the best adaptation to the current environment.
As I said before, I am not enough of a statistician to second guess your paper on the 1000aa principle, but the premise seems shaky to me. I guess I am not convinced we know enough to know if the system is truly random. I doubt that it is.
Ron Also Commented
Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
Can you think of any metafore for God in the Bible where God would not in some way be responsible for our actions? The ones that come to mind for me are: sovereign, Lord, father, shepherd, a male lover. In all of these metafores God is responsible for either instigating the relationship as in the Song of Songs, or being an advocate, protector, or supervisor. I can’t think of anywhere in the Bible where God denies responsibility. I can think of lots of places where he claims responsibility and oundard explanation is, “Oh, he didn’t really mean that, He really just allowed some one else to do it,” Satan, Pharaoh, evil king etc.
Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
I think what you say could only be true if God were not a loving God.
“I’m not sure how many more times I have to explain this concept to you? Natural laws, created by God, work independent of God’s need for direct deliberate action.”
Sean, where do you get this idea that there is a natural law apart from God’s action? I don’t see that being taught in the Bible anywhere.
Recent Comments by Ron
La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor
Wesley, Please forgive me if I don’t follow what seems to me to be very tortured logic.
Truth is truth regardless of whether you believe it or not. In fact I once heard someone define reality as that which remains after you no longer believe in it.
I think you go astray in your logic when you assert that coercing belief in truth makes it no longer true. Coercion does not alter what is true, it just makes it impossible to independently verify truth. That in turn leaves us very vulnerable to the risk of deception.
For me, I would much rather take the risk of questioning and doubting truth, than the risk of believing in presumably true dogma because I believe truth will stand the test, whereas if I fail to question the truth because it has become dogma, I run the risk of unwittingly believing in the error of a well meaning clergy with no mechanism to identify the error. It is the intellectual equivalent of committing the unpardonable sin because there is no remedy.
Questioning truth has a remedy. Believing in a false dogma doesn’t. Turning truth into a true dogma doesn’t accomplish anything other than to increase the risk.
To quote Christ, “You study the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life”. It is possible that the Bible isn’t saying exactly what you think it is. The only way to know the truth of it is through questioning. Coercion prevents the questioning.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Bill, Science is only a formalized extension of your own logic and senses. If your own senses and logic are not at least equal to the Bible, then ultimately you have no way of knowing what is truth. See my comment to Kent below.
“they will see that their scientific reasoning can never bring them to a correct understanding of origins.” — This seems to me to be an unfounded assertion. Why do you believe such a thing? If this were true, your proverbial rocket would never be able to find it’s way back to earth.
Bill Sorensen: Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan
Bill, It is Satan who is the “accuser of the brethren”. You might want to re-read your post with that in mind.
Bill Sorensen: And so they point out how “loving and tolerant” Jesus was, and refuse to acknowledge His direct challenge to the false doctrine and theology the religious leaders taught in His day.
Hmm . . . The only time I recall Jesus challenging doctrine, is when he explicitly contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible on how to observe the Sabbath. (Something to think about.)
The only time he really got angry was when the people were being robbed in the temple, when they were plotting his murder, and when they were condemning sinners.
I see the spirit of Jesus as being in direct opposition to the spirit of conservativism.
An apology to PUC
“If the goal of the course is “to prepare future pastors for dilemmas they may face in ministry while strengthening the students’ faith in the Adventist Church and its core beliefs,” we would think that there would be evidence within the lecture to demonstrate this was actually happening.”
The course did exactly what it was advertised to do. The fact is that the pastors are going to have to meet the scientific evidence as it stands. Dr. Ness nor any other biology professor can give evidence for our belief in a short creation and a world wide flood because there is no evidence.
If there is evidence we could stop with the polemics and discuss the evidence.
BobRyan: Is it your claim that if we reject atheism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc and insist that our own voted body of doctrines be promoted “instead” that we have a “creed”?
Bob, The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that we should not reject Catholicism, Hinduism, Mormonism or any other “ism” out right. Certainly not on the basis of an extra-Biblical creed, but we should always listen to everyone with courtesy and respect remembering that Jesus was the light that lights “every man” who comes into the world, and Jesus has sheep who are “not of this fold”. So we should approach every “ism” with an open mind to find the truth that Jesus has especially revealed to the that community. We don’t have to accept everything they say, and we certainly don’t have to give up what we believe without reason, but we need to be open to what God might be trying to teach us through his other children. Light shines in both directions.