God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 12:33 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: No definitive answer is possible, which is why we come up with our hypotheses and test their likelihood. .... My question is why he would have done so [personally designed every innovation etc.] if all he wanted to do was to produce humans. You have come up with two hypotheses:
1) he had no choice because his powers were limited and he had to keep life going until he was able to dabble with the pre-human brain or until his 3.8-billion-year brain enlargement programme switched itself on (= “buying time”).
2) His powers were not limited, in which case he chose to delay doing what he really wanted to do, but you don’t know why, and you have agreed that it doesn’t make sense to you.

DAVID: # 2 is a misinterpretation in that what makes 'no sense to me' simply means that I don't have a clear explanation or differentiation of the events. Either God is limited or He chose the possible delay in time. It is a simple either or, not something that lacks sense.

Once more: you agreed that it did not make sense for an all-powerful God to have a specific purpose (to produce humans) and then spend 3.X billion years producing other things. But you did come up with a clear explanation. Instead of questioning the purpose you had imposed on your God, you questioned his powers, and came up with the idea that he was LIMITED (your word) and therefore HAD TO (your words) wait until he was able to produce humans. A simple either or? Now look at your next response:

dhw: I have offered you these theistic alternatives:
1) He wanted to create humans (i.e. beings with a consciousness like his own), but didn’t know how to do it so kept experimenting.

DAVID: #1 is totally off the reservation. Any power that can produce a fine-tuned universe can then see to the creation of humans without difficulty.

If he could create humans without difficulty, please explain why you have put forward your own hypothesis (1), that maybe he is LIMITED and HAD TO keep life going until humans could appear.

dhw: 2) He wanted and created diversity, and the idea for humans only came later.
3) He deliberately created an autonomous inventive mechanism enabling organisms to do their own designing, but he may also have dabbled.

DAVID: #2 Why bother with a fine-tuned universe if humans are not expected in the planning?

The fine tuning would apply to all species. The unfolding diversity of life could have been an end in itself, with humans as an afterthought.

DAVID: #3 Using current knowledge, the only AIM we see is the adaptive mechanism of epigenetics. God is in control of speciation. I see no other possibility. Please don't forget I am a panentheist. Note this website and a definition of pantheism:

There is no evidence that my AIM exists, that your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme exists, or that God dabbles. They are all hypotheses. You say you are a panentheist, not a pantheist, but in any case I can find no reference to the computer programme or the dabbling in any definition of pantheism or panentheism. Both approaches would allow for organisms to organize their own evolution, since their God is immanent in all living things. Einstein may also have been a deist, which again tells us nothing about the mechanisms for evolution.

DAVID: Pantheists see God as existing but abstract, equating all of reality with divinity. They also reject a specific personal God or a god that is somehow endowed with human attributes." (my bold)
That is the nub of our difference: God does not have human attributes.

That is not the nub of our difference at all. The nub of our difference is your insistence that your God’s purpose from the start was to produce humans, and he dabbled or preprogrammed all innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders accordingly. It is precisely because you insist on this personal, anthropocentric purpose that we engage in speculation on the purpose of that purpose. (You have suggested your God wants a relationship, watches us try to solve the problems he can’t solve, and created life because he was lonely.) Nature – the pantheist God - simply is and does what it is and does. No specific plan for a specific purpose, and pantheism categorically rejects your anthropocentrism, so I don’t know why you’ve brought it up, except as a diversion from the subject of God and evolution.

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