And while we’re typing…

Talking about the magical abilities of time, here’s my B B Warfield quote for today, anticipating Bill Dembski by a century or so, and without the maths:

“What chance cannot begin to produce in a moment, chance cannot complete the production of in an eternity… What is needed is not time, but cause. Even an eternal process cannot rid us of the necessity of seeking an adequate cause behind every change… We may cast our dice to all eternity with no more likelihood than at the first throw of ever turning up double sevens.”

Warfield, of course, never adequately grasped that natural selection can slowly build up even single sevens as many times as you like.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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3 Responses to And while we’re typing…

  1. Gregory says:

    Is it not decidedly un-British, more than a century later, even to question the efficacy of ‘natural selection,’ co-discovered or co-postulated by C.R. Darwin, the elder, and A.R. Wallace, the younger, both under the bright shadow of Rev. Thomas Malthus? = P

    Maybe someone could or already has set up a table or diagram which distinguishes ‘what chance can produce’ and ‘what chance cannot produce,’ if that is what you are asking.

    Chance vs. Design is, of course, the general ID argument. Are you suggesting that ’cause’ or ‘causality’ is somehow (like ‘design’ too) missing or understudied IN ‘natural selection’ approaches or simply something that goes beyond it or unaddressable by it?

  2. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Hi Gregory
    Must be listening to too many Americans like BBW and Eugene Koonin downplaying the power of NS! Randomness is a constituent of many parts of life, and is no problem scientifically or theologically. But it has limitations. Toss a coin a few times and natural selection can do wonders. Try to pick an atom out of the ocean and it has less to work on. Probabilities less than the number of events in the history of the universe are a definite problem for selection.
    Hmm a diagram… anybody? A chessboard, maybe.

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