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Does God Play Dice? A Response to Niels H. Gregersen, “The Idea of Creation and the Theory of Autopoietic Processes”

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Abstract:

The idea that the Creator has a plan for creation is deeply rooted in the Christian notion of Providence. This notion seems to suggest that the history of creation must be the execution of the providential plan of God. Such an understanding of divine providence expects science to confirm that cosmic history is under supernatural guidance, that evolution is therefore oriented toward a goal—to bring forth human beings, for example. The problem is, however, that science finds evidence for neither supernatural guidance nor teleology in nature. To address this problem, I understand Niels H. Gregersen to suggest that God is involved in the creative process. The reason science cannot demonstrate God's supernatural guidance of evolution is that the Creator structures the process from within. Gregersen argues that God is involved in the process of creation by changing the overall probability pattern of evolving systems.

In my view, such a model of how God interacts with creation is supported neither by orthodox Christianity nor by modern science. After a critique of Gregersen's argument and a brief history of the relationship between Christianity and science, I shall suggest an alternative. It is that the freedom of creation to create itself is implicit in the fundamental dogma of Christianity that God is love.

Keywords: Christian doctrine of Creation; Christianity; Orthodoxy; evolution; process theology; religion; science; tradition

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0591-2385.1941999194

Affiliations: Biology Department of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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