Intelligent Design and Proofs: the Natural, Supernatural & Hypernatural

Speaker: Categories: Sep 07, 2007


[1hr, 1min, 6sec / 18min, 47sec]


The conversation or debate or dialog or argument continues: How do we understand and account for the origin of humankind? Is the Genesis account (the book oforigins) an adequate explanation? Is it or was it intended to be such? Is this first book of theSeptuagintan historical treatise, a set if scientific conclusions, an array of premises -- perhaps suppositions, or the written recording of oral traditions handed down from one generation to the next for millennia? And then, what difference does it make?

Dr. Mailen Kootsey, speaker for this September SDAF meeting, notes:"It is not often that science-religion issues attract national news coverage, but intelligent design (ID) has managed this feat more than once in the past decade. Striving to make ID part of school science curricula, Creationists have clashed with evolutionists in the press and the courts over ID -- sometimes winning, but more recently losing as in Dover, PA."

He continues,"ID has become more attractive to creationists because its recent formulation has included a claimed scientific proof that there must be a Designer (the supernatural). If this proof is valid, it could be the long sought bridge linking science and religion.

The majority of scientists reject the proof offered by ID, although many Christians (including many Adventists) welcome it. This presentation looks at the nature of proofs in science to give some perspective to the proposed ID proof of a Designer. Is the new science-religion bridge constructed by the ID community solid, or at risk of collapse?

The choices for the origin of design seem to benatural(Darwinian chance-mutation evolution) versussupernatural(intelligent design). But another alternative has appeared from recent science. Systems and mathematical studies (such as systems biology) have recognized a new phenomenon:emergence, meaning the complex design that originates naturally when simple components are linked together to form an interacting system. Numerous examples of emergence have now been recognized. These phenomena might well be called"hypernatural". While emergent phenomena clearly fall within the natural (since the components and interactions are known), predicting them in advance has proved to be well beyond our capabilities and unexpected results are quite possible.

Emergent"hypernatural"phenomena offer interesting new possibilities for thinking about the work of a Creator in the universe, an alternative to the opposite poles of natural and supernatural."


Mailen Kootsey has had a 40 year career in higher education on three university campuses, having occupied every position from Instructor through Professor to Department Chair, Academic Dean, and Vice President. Following the completion of a PhD in nuclear physics at Brown University, he did four years of post doctoral work in medical physiology and moved into research in the mechanisms of electrical activity in the heart. He has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in physics, biophysics, physiology, pharmacology, computer science, biomedical engineering, management information systems, and one class in music. At Duke University, Dr. Kootsey established and directed a national laboratory for mathematical modeling and simulation in medical science.

Since retiring from the faculty of the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University in 2005, Dr. Kootsey now works on two business projects. In cooperation with two German business partners, he is developing a new generation of simulation software for research and teaching. The other project, in conjunction with an educator friend and business partner, is a new freestanding accredited on-line school, with the first program -- a master's degree in nurse anesthesia -- slated to open in early 2008. For relaxation, Mailen enjoys playing tennis, jazz piano and Christian praise music.

He brings a fresh voice to SDAF with this premier presentation.

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