Divine Action and the Emergence of Four Kinds of Randomness

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If the microphysical domain is deterministic, this would seem to leave God with only two ways of influencing events: setting initial conditions or law-breaking intervention. Arthur Peacocke and Philip Clayton argue there is a third possibility, if there is strong emergence. We will examine four candidates for emergence: of intentionality from computational animal behavior, of sentience from biology, of biology from chemistry, and of chemistry from finite quantum mechanics. In all four cases, a kind of finite-to-infinite transition in modeling is required, and in each case a kind of randomness is involved, potentially opening up a third avenue for divine action.




Koons, R. C., & Dajani, R. (2021). Divine Action and the Emergence of Four Kinds of Randomness. In Abrahamic Reflections on Randomness and Providence (pp. 287–310). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-75797-7_14

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