Four levels of Creation

[Was it Einstein who said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible – but not simpler?]

  • Subatomic and molecular. Tiny complex patterns; concentricity; things happen with regularity and predictability (apart from Schrödinger’s cat); no right or wrong; much we don’t understand.
  • This natural world. Mountains, oceans, plants and animals in many different ecosystems; beautiful, balanced variety; temporal but not spatial regularity; deficits, transience and decay cause suffering, pain and conflict; no right or wrong.
  • Human society. Harmonious, caring dependency at the family level; some regularity in community structures; intellectual and artistic progress and rivalry, aimed at understanding and harnessing nature; racial and cultural diversity, deficits, transience and decay often lead to conflict, suffering and pain; awareness of the Supernatural, with many forms of spirituality; sense of right and wrong based on moral and ethical values.
  • Cosmos. Vast complex patterns; concentricity; things happen with regularity and predictability; no right or wrong; much we don’t understand.



One for the bottom level:

  • the quantum world. tiny, bizarre, awfully random yet somehow it all comes together to make the next level; much we don’t understand.

The only thing that initially stuck out to me was this. Life predicated on destroying other life to thrive, grow and survive is not beautiful to me. Seems cruel and unloving. I know a lion has to eat. But I’m not sure how people look at that and see beauty as an animal is frantically running for its life and desperately trying to survive.

This is part of why I find souls necessary. There needs to be a huge ontological chasm between humans and animals for me. Those who think of it more as a ramp, I have no idea how a loving God can be behind that system. It’s brutal.



This is a striking admission from William Rowe later in his life

But it is not at all easy to show that the goods we know of are a representative sample of all the goods there are.


After watching a National Geographic special about wildlife in Africa I commented that it seemed that animals are both much more like us than we generally think but also much farther away. Elephants plainly have family values, lions don’t, is just one example.

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It is true that an animal running for its life to escape a predator is not beautiful, but then neither is the cross until you look at it in a larger perspective. The way I look at it is that God created the universe with the freedom to develop in its own way in order to make love and moral freedom possible (I am thinking in terms of the most recent Language of God episode on the problem of pain and suffering). That is why you see many things that a loving God would not seem to intend, like predation. Nonetheless, predation is ecologically necessary in the same way that hurricanes and volcanoes are a necessary biproduct of the conditions that allow our planet to be habitable. As a result, pain and suffering are imbedded into the cosmos. I do not believe that God intends to leave things that way though. I believe God is gradually nudging the universe in the direction that he intends and one day death and suffering will not be necessary for the functioning of ecosystems. The process is what we often call the renewal of creation.


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