God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, March 17, 2017, 12:54 (69 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If you believe in evolution and you believe in God, then of course you believe that God used an evolutionary method. But that does mean he preprogrammed or dabbled the weaverbird’s nest, the frog’s tongue or the fly’s compound eye in order to keep life going until he could produce humans.
DAVID: The fact that God uses evolution to produce complicated life including humans relates to natures wonders as parts of the balance of nature. The weirdly diverse life forms create micro-niches of balance which allows for everyone to eat someone and have the energy to continue evolution which takes time. Your statement above seems to agree with me.

So far so good. Nobody would deny that every organism needs energy, and that evolution takes time (approx. 3.8 billion years till now). But you’ve left out your contention that the purpose of all these micro-niches extant and extinct was to buy time until evolution produced humans. The higgledy-piggledy changes in the balance of nature as energy supplies kept varying would have enabled life and evolution to continue even without the production of humans. And life would still continue if there were nothing but bacteria, flies and the duck-billed platypus. As regards humans being the endpoint (if they are – evolution probably still has a few billion years to run), I have offered you theistic alternatives: your God may have experimented in order to produce us, or we may have been a new idea that came to him as evolution progressed. I’m afraid I remain sceptical that he said to himself: “I must specially design the fly’s compound eye so that life will continue until I am able to dabble with the pre-human brain.”

dhw: I offered various (unproven) alternatives to your (unproven) hypotheses, and asked you (1) where these alternative hypotheses (as unproven as your own) fail to match evolutionary history, and (2) why they are not just as convincing as yours.
DAVID: Mine are God centered. So we differ. Yes, from your viewpoint your theories fit.

Thank you. All my alternatives explicitly allow for God at their centre, so they fit from all points of view.

DAVID: (15 March at 18.20) ...some of your proposals take control from God, I find those unacceptable granted that He may have some limits. Those He probably can overcome given time to make corrections.
dhw: How can you object to the possibility of God not being in control when you keep telling us you don’t know whether he is in full control or not? However, do tell us what mistakes he might have made that needed correcting.
DAVID: I've never suggested mistakes. Possible limitations have been discussed.

I don’t know how you can make corrections without something having gone wrong. In any case, your objection was that some of my proposals took control away from God. Look at this exchange:
dhw: And in relation to solar systems, we now have him either not in control and having to wait until the right system comes along, or being in full control and creating lots of galaxies with lots of life forms (all apparently culminating in humans!).
DAVID: Either is possible. I can't make a choice. Both are acceptable.

So a hypothesis in which God is not in control is acceptable, whereas two days ago a hypothesis in which God is not in control is unacceptable.

Dhw (re balance of nature): As I have pointed out several times now, the examples you give concern human interference which changes the balance of nature into something we consider to be improper. This does not mean that life will not continue, with or without humans.
DAVID: The examples are to show how delicate that balance can be, nothing more. And yes, life will continue with or without humans. What is your point?

My point is that the ever changing balance of nature gives no support to your God-designed-it-all-for-the-sake-of-humans hypothesis.

DAVID:It is not meant to support my God-runs-evolution-to-reach-humans. It teaches that balance is necessary for life to have the energy to continue evolving under God's guidance, creating life's diversity.

The balance is constantly changing! Energy is necessary for life to continue, and the changing supply of energy leads to life’s diversity. That’s it. Why do you insert “under God’s guidance”? Maybe God created the evolutionary mechanism to run its own course (though he might have dabbled.) You have always used the balance of nature argument as if somehow it was geared to the production of humans. I am delighted that you are at last withdrawing that attempted link and only relating the ever changing balance of nature to the diversity of life. I suggest you leave it at that.

dhw: It simply forces you into contradictory arguments plus repetition of the obvious: that if God exists and evolution happened, then God used evolution.
DAVID: Yes, I produce some contradictory possibilities when the evidence offers them.

Quite right too. That is the reason for my agnosticism, but it is also the reason why one of your two God-runs-evolution-to-reach-humans hypotheses makes no sense even to you (see yesterday's post). Yes, humans have a remarkably advanced level of consciousness, which makes them very special. But – once more – that does not mean your God designed or had to design the fly’s compound eye in order to balance nature in order to keep life going until he was able to produce the human brain.


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