God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, March 25, 2017, 13:38 (65 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I do not accept limitations out of God's control as you imply. I merely suggest it as one approach to interpretation of the history.

Here are your three irreconcilable hypotheses again:
1 Your God’s purpose in creating life was to produce humans.
2 Only God could have designed all the life forms, life styles and natural wonders extant and extinct throughout evolution.
3 God has no human attributes.

Fact: humans did not appear until 3.X billion years after life began. Problem with reference to hypothesis 1: why?
You have offered two explanations:
1 God could not do it immediately because he has limitations.
2 God preferred to do it that way, but you can’t explain why.

DAVID: “...any power that can produce a fine-tuned universe can then see to the creation of humans without difficulty.

That removes hypothesis 1 and leaves you with hypothesis 2, for which you have no explanation. I have offered you three theistic hypotheses, and you agree that they all fit the facts as we know them.
1 Your own explanation 1, which you have rejected.
2 Your God did not think of humans till later in the process.
3 Your God gave organisms the ability to make their own way, but dabbled when he felt like it (which can include the production of humans).
DAVID: I've said your three hypotheses do fit the history, but lack the emphasis points I make: the rapid evolution of conscious humans, with their special anatomy, contrary to every other example of animal evolution.

Covered by all three of my hypotheses.

DAVID: You do not accept that humans are a goal.

Why “a” goal? You have always argued that they were “the” goal. Hypothesis 1 accepts “the” goal. Hypotheses 2 and 3 allow for the deliberate creation of humans, but offer a clear and logical explanation both for the “delay” and for the vast diversity of life that preceded humans.

As for your God without human attributes, I wrote: "Your God is a “He” and your God “wants” something, and (in yesterday’s post) you are sure not only that what your God wanted was to produce humans, but also that he had a reason for doing so. This is the point at which you abandon the pantheist concept and embrace a personal God – personal in the sense that it has a specific intention in its mind".
DAVID: God is not personal because He wants humans. It does not necessarily means He wants to answer our prayers, Adler's main point. God may well be impersonal in a complete sense. We hope He is not. Do not invoke that hope to make him personal.

I did actually specify what I meant by “personal”, but perhaps we should avoid the word. By “personal” I understand a being with attributes in common with humans, but as you say, that does not mean having relationships with them, such as answering prayers. Consciousness, thought, intentions, observation, dabbling are all human (“personal”) attributes or activities. Do you believe that a pebble on the beach wants something and strives to achieve a purpose? But you are actually sure that God wanted to produce humans and had a reason for doing so. That is “personal”. If he exists, then according to your beloved Adler,he is “a person like no other person.” That does not mean he is not “personal”, i.e. possessing the human attributes I’ve mentioned. And it certainly does not mean we should reject perfectly reasonable explanations of life’s history, and hence of your God’s intentions, solely on the grounds that they do not conform to the image you have of him.


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