Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, July 04, 2016, 12:47 (562 days ago) @ David Turell

David: Since you seem to have rejected chance development from inorganic Earth to living creatures and plants on Earth, how can you reject the need for a planning mind to create the design we see? That was the step I took to assume my current stance as I left agnosticism. I cannot see a third way. Do you?
dhw: Our discussion on how evolution works allows for the existence of a “planning mind” and revolves around different interpretations of its plans.

DAVID: I presume you do not see a third way.

We have discussed a possible panpsychist “third way” over and over again, and I see as many flaws in it as I do in the other two ways - hence my agnosticism.

DAVID: You are willing to discuss God's methodology, but as a true agnostic will not accept God exists. To me that is a mental disconnect, but it leads us to discuss God's capabilities. Is He truly all knowing, all powerful as religions say, or is He limited? Truly, we have no why of knowing, so we have to revert to what has been produced in our reality. That is the approach I take after accepting there MUST be a planning mind behind everything. I come down on the conclusion that God controls. You like a more liaise faire God, but you come from a non-god position, a shaky way to think about Him.

We all revert to what has been produced in our reality. The suggestion that a laissez-faire concept of God is shakier than a controlling concept of God because I am an agnostic is an absurd non sequitur. What makes you think that an agnostic is less able to discuss the nature of God than you are? Deists are also believers, and they think God initiated creation and then allowed it to pursue its own course (laissez-faire). Why is theirs a shakier way than yours?

DAVID: I've given the thought that complexity for complexity's sake is possible with survival shaking out the best.

You have given us the thought that your God controls everything. He therefore instructed the weaverbird how to build its complex nest because he wanted complexity for complexity's sake, which was his way of producing homo sapiens. Anyone who questions the logic of this is on shaky ground, especially if they are an agnostic. Natural selection decides what survives and what doesn't survive, but your God controls everything, so in fact God decides what survives and what doesn't survive.

dhw: You believe that God has given up control of how humans conduct their lives (free will), but all other organisms have apparently been either preprogrammed or divinely “guided” or “helped” …
DAVID: You ignore the great differences: Only humans have reflective self-aware consciousness. 'Different in kind' is the reason for my position.

You have taken that sentence out of context. This was an analogy concerning God's control. I went on: “If he is prepared to give up control in the one context, why should he not be prepared to give up control in the other? In both cases, he might do so out of curiosity - to see what these autonomous mechanisms will produce. That is another way in which he can “keep an eye on what is evolving”.
DAVID: Humanizing God again. Curiosity? Free-floating theorizing. Any evidence?

The image of God as a control freak is every bit as humanizing as that of a laissez-faire God. Evidence? The higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. Where is the evidence of God's 3.8-billion-year programme or his personal dabbling for all innovations and natural wonders, which doesn't even make sense if his aim was always to produce homo sapiens. And you frequently tell us that God deliberately hides himself. Do you regard that as evidence of his presence? Ah, David, can a god-position get any shakier than this?


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