Monday, July 24, 2017

Table games

There are plenty of things that evolution explains quite well that creationism struggles with.  For example, why are there australopiths?  Why not make humans extremely distinct from the mammals?  Why even make primates at all?  Evolution explains primates as the distant relatives of modern humans, and australopiths fit in that model very well.  Creationism (of any stripe) doesn't really explain that very well.

i) One problem is the question of coherence. If humans were extremely distinct from mammals, we wouldn't be human. 

ii) Let's take a comparison. Humans like to play games. Some games are very different from each other, viz. chess, Go, Backgammon, roulette, Yahtzee,  scrabble, Monopoly, Mahjong, pool. 

You also have different games that use the same deck of cards, viz. Poker, blackjack, Bridge, Baccarat. Finally, you have variations on the same game, viz. seven card stud, five card draw, Texas Hold'em, Omaha High. 

What accounts for the similarities and differences? On the one hand, humans like to play very different games. That accounts for dissimilarity.

On the other hand, humans like to explore the range of possible variations within tighter limitations. Consider how many different card games we could devise if we restricted ourselves to the same deck of cards. 

There are different ways to illustrate intellectual creativity. One way is through dissimilarity. Inventing things that are very different from each other. Another way is through similarity. In a way, it's a greater challenge to produce interesting variations with fewer options. 

One creationist explanation for the spectrum of biological similarity and dissimilarity is a demonstration of God's creative ingenuity. And that's something which human creativity mimics. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree that our biological similarities to other hominids doesn't constitute a very strong objection to the creationist viewpoint. In engineering we like re-using designs and parts of our previous products. Design features and philosophies get carried over. Google an image of an MQ-1 Predator, then google an image of an MQ-9 Reaper. While the Reaper is a larger plane, you can see the family resemblance. And there were quite a few individual components that were re-used with little or no modification when Reaper was developed.

    I know that my software friends would say the same thing about their coding, their codes are modular and it would be wasteful and, indeed, risky to re-invent the wheel every time they need the same functionality. True, some of the practical considerations and limitations wouldn't apply to an omnipotent Creator, but I think we can still relate to the way He has chosen to operate here.