Saturday, August 1, 2009

William Dembski and a Honda Ad

William Dembski in his book The End of Christianity (forthcoming Nov 2009) has a chapter entitled "Moving the Particles." The chapter is devoted to the problem of how an immaterial Being (God) "can influence the natural world without imparting any energy." (116) The short answer lies in the dispersal of "information." As he says, "All that is required is that God build in the necessary information from the start so that it gets expressed at appropriate times and places." (119) He continues,

"The most vivid illustration I know of careful prearrangement leading to extraordinary results is a commercial by the automobile manufacturer Honda. This commerical, a two-minute film called 'Cog,' records a complicated chain reaction of events (like dominoes falling, only much more spectacular). The film begins with a transmission bearing, which rolls into a synchro hub, which rolls into a gear wheel cog, which falls off a table and lands on a camshaft, and so on. . . Although the prearranged chain reaction in 'Cog' suggests full physical determinism, God's front-loading of information in the universe requires nothing of the sort."

The discussion is fascinating and made richer by wathcing the commercial. Take a look:

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