Step 3: What emerges well done is the new creation
How will we handle perhaps the biggest challenge of the Darwinian model,
chance? Chance and unpredictability belong to both random genetic mutation and
natural selection. As we just said, we affirm both openness and purpose, but
the purpose comes from Gods future. Its not built in. Its imparted.
How do we mix this together? We have two thoughts we need to hold together.
On the one hand, Gods gift of futurity to the physical world makes room for
evolution by providing openness to change and self-organization. On the other
hand, Gods eschatological future embodies an aim, namely, the harmony and
benefit of all Gods creatures. Neither alpha nor omega
belong to chance, even if much of what happens in between does.
In the meantime, we share a concern with ID, namely, the emergence of
complex wholes. We are holists. According to holistic or emergentist
thinking, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Evolutionary history
has witnessed the emergence of living creatures, which as organisms constitute
wholes that reorganize and give new meaning to the chemical parts that make
them up. No organism can be reduced to its chemical components and retain its
identity as a living creature.
We observe that new wholes transform past parts. Integration into new, more
comprehensive unities preserve while renewing what came before. This holistic complexification process is nonlinear. Adding a new whole
changes an entire situation in a significant way. The degree of transformative
effect renders redemption possible. Can we learn something theologically here?
By analogy, might we apply what we have observed as emergent holism to Gods
eschatological promises? Might emergentist thinking
cast new light on how we interpret the Bible?
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| Contributed by: Martinez Hewlett and Ted Peters