We have frequently referred to the idea of ‘demiurgic powers’ in nature, despite the dangers of confusion. The idea appears in J.G.Bennett, via sufi sources perhaps, but is present in the early modern, cf. Kant’s passing reference to the demiurge in history, and is originally a very ancient idea, with passing exemplars in many sources, e.g. the ‘heavenly host’ in xtianity.
But the minute we used traditional concepts/terms the whole discussion is destined to muddle. Bennett’s new coinage has a half-life until it crashes into a new myth. Angelology shows one such crashed myth system….
The value of this idea for a scientific age is the way it refers not to supernatural entities outside of nature that can’t ‘exist’ because they are not in existence but beyond it, but to beings in nature who are material as anything else, but in senses not known to us. We can take Bennett’s idea as science fiction to give it a brief passage. The point is that a supernatural ‘god’ is an idea that confuses discussion if it is applied to interventions in nature. On the other hand ‘demiurgic powers’ might well have extraordinary powers, either as forms of the ‘will’ or ‘superconsciousness’ or actual super hitech technologies with rational foundations, but probably too complex for man. It took man a long time to discover calculus, and to ancient men it would have seemed like magic, etc…
There must be more like this coming down the pike.
To me, the value of an idea like ‘demiurgic powers’ is not that we believe in such things, but that we explore the possible/potential able to discard false leads and more specifically repair confusion over god ideas by inventing a gedanken experiment about ‘beings in nature who therefore ‘exist’ (unlike god) but have some of the properties of theistic entities, e.g. ‘souls’, ‘fully realized wills’, etc,…and possibly advanced technologies beyond our ken. These ideas are almost more useful if we don’t believe in them, but simply consider the realms once called spiritual that we should one day discover.
Here is one toss off here, as scifi: beings with bodies of consciousness or light as flying electromagnaetic superlife/computers able to scan planetary realms and induce changes in life forms such as man…
Much of the history of religion makes better sense with such ideas, the idea of ‘god’ being an attempt to deal with polytheism, but now almost incomprehensible to modern man.