Tag Archives: order

had to be chance?

chance & necessity | random & planned | chaos & order | freedom & determinism

The phrase ‘by chance’ refers to an event/result happening without compulsion or determination – we say the situation/result ‘did not have to be that way’.

The phrase ‘of necessity’ refers to an event/result happening according to compulsion or law – we say the situation/result ‘had to be that way’.

So.  The universe or ‘the world’ or ‘things’ or ‘stuff’… Chance or necessity?

Interestingly, both answers can be used to argue for some form of theism. Continue reading

thanks ian…

Thanks, Ian Luxmoore

…for a friendly, respectful, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable conversation about life, god, the universe, morality and all the rest.

teleology & ethics

The word ‘teleology’ (from Greek τελος ‘telos’ – meaning ‘goal’, ‘end’, ‘purpose’ or ‘that toward which things tend’) is not a street-level term.  However, the concept of a purpose, goal, function or ‘end’ to things most certainly is.  It’s a common as anything.  Teleology is blindingly relevant.

Continue reading

evolution conference: june 25-27

Mark your calendars and register!

TANSA (Theology and the Natural Sciences Aotearoa) presents:

The Theological Meaning of Evolution

Conference to celebrate and interact with Darwin.

Thursday June 25th at 7pm to Saturday June 27th at 6pm

Key Note Speaker: Dr. Christopher Southgate, author of The  Groaning of Creation University of Exeter
Local Speakers: Assoc. Prof. Ruth Barton (Auckland), Assoc. Prof. John Stenhouse (Otago), Assoc. Prof. Peter Lineham (Massey), Dr. John Owens (Good Shepherd), Dr. Grant Gillett (Otago), Prof. Neil Broom (Auckland), Dr. Stephen Downs (Flinders), Rev.Hugh Bowron (Holy Trinity)  and theologians from Laidlaw Carey.

Contact Nicola @ nicolahc (at) laidlaw (dot) ac (dot) nz

for details
Please click here for poster, and registration form.

(copied from here)

coins have 2 sides

-you can’t say something is ‘evil’ if you’re not already assuming some concept of ‘goodness’

-you can’t say something is ‘poorly designed’ unless you’re assuming what ‘good design’ looks like

-you can’t say something is ‘chaotic’ unless you know what ‘order’ is

-and you don’t have goodness, design or order without some idea of teleology

knowing about knowing

Epistemology is (loosely defined) as the study of knowledge.

As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading

making sense of sheldrake

[copied from excerpt from YouTube video (embedded below) of a talk given by Rupert Sheldrake at 'Google Tech Talks' on September 2, 2008 entitled "The Extended Mind: Recent Experimental Evidence"]

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 75 technical papers and ten books, the most recent being The Sense of Being Stared At. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College Cambridge.

We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited. Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. And people’s intentions can be detected by animals from miles away. The commonest kind of non-local interaction mental influence occurs in connection with telephone calls, where most people have had the experience of thinking of someone shortly before they ring. Controlled, randomized tests on telephone telepathy have given highly significant positive results. Research techniques have now been automated and experiments on telepathy are now being conducted through the internet and cell phones, enabling widespread participation.

I’d love to hear critique of Sheldrake that takes him seriously and respectfully enough to be patient, thorough and non-reactionary. I’m not ‘convinced’ by everything he says (probably not smart enough to know either way!), but I find it fascinating, and enjoyed a recent lecture on Sheldrake by Robert Mann. Continue reading

here’s looking at (our) kid

(Click the post title to see the 19.5 week scan!)  :) Continue reading

another science and faith article…

Here.  Interesting stuff…

psalm 8 remixed

A targum of Psalm 8:

  1. Yahweh our Master!
    Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!
    Your glory is unsearchable and inscrutable
    and utterly beyond our capability to measure.
  2. Even the smallest and inexperienced ones; yes – babies
    they praise you – just as you wanted
    all this is like ignorant and inane babbling to those who hate you,
    yet this incoherent baby-noise completely silences sinners and evil-doers.
  3. When I ponder the chaotic-order of the cosmos,
    the mechanics of your workshop,
    whether multiple distant galaxies or single stars,
    knowing you plan and place them all,
  4. I wonder why you bother thinking of mere humans,
    or why you concern yourself with homosapiens?
  5. But – no other thing you’ve created comes as close to your divine greatness,
    potential and power, reason and rhyme; you gave it – we have it.
  6. Everything that you’ve created, we are now responsible for;
    under God and over creation:
  7. …over the lions and llamas,
    and every land-dwelling animal,
  8. …over every single thing that flies in the air,
    and every thing in fresh-water or salt-water,
    indeed – every kind of ocean-floor crawling and swimming thing.
  9. Yahweh our Master!
    Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!