God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, March 26, 2017, 10:49 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.

DAVID: These may be irreconcilable to you, not to me. They are pillars of my faith.

Your faith does not remove any of the discrepancies I have pointed out.

dhw: 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: There are obviously things God does without clear reasoning to us poor humans. For example, He remains concealed, except for Bible stories. I think my either/or approach is acceptable.

But if you can’t find an explanation, why reject explanations which even you acknowledge fit the facts as we know them?

DAVID: I fully believe God used an evolutionary process to produce humans and only His mind could do all the intricate planning in living biochemistry to accomplish the job. Your problem is two-fold: you don't really understand the complexity of the living biochemistry and you cannot accept that a designer is required for it. It cannot appear by chance and your spontaneously appearing IM is no answer to the need for intricate design only God's mind can supply. When I present the newly discovered complexities you accept they exist, but don't recognize how severely complex they are.

I have always accepted the strength of the case for design, and you know it. My IM is not “spontaneously appearing” because at all times I have emphasized that it may have been invented by your God. I am an agnostic, not an atheist, and always make allowance for the existence of God. But I have challenged your interpretation of your God’s actions, which you yourself cannot explain, and offered alternative theistic interpretations. Your attack on my intelligence is an unworthy response to my arguments.

dhw: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.

DAVID: I've not rejected #1: It is an either/or situation. Either He is limited or He let time pass, simple.

On Tuesday March 21 you said it was “totally off the reservation” because: “…any power that can produce a fine-tuned universe can then see to the creation of humans without difficulty.”

dhw: 2 Your God did not think of humans till later in the process.
DAVID: No. He always planned on humans, the pinnacle of evolution. the early parts were preparation.
dhw: 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: He only gave them epigenetic adaptations, nothing more. Speciation is beyond individual organisms ability to create.

(You've ignored the dabble in 3.) An authoritative reiteration of your beliefs does not, I’m afraid, provide an explanation for your God’s need to design the fly’s compound eye before he fulfilled his purpose of producing humans.

DAVID: Your human reasons for the delay miss the point that a delay is our interpretation and not God's. It may well be His choice of how to do things.

But you have acknowledged that you can find no “clear explanation” for such a choice. I am offering you clear explanations, and in response you simply reiterate your beliefs. NB I am not asking you to believe anything. I am merely asking you to open your mind to the possibility that one of these alternatives might be true.

DAVID: Once again, I agree that He might have human 'personal' attributes, but my premise, and Adler's is, we cannot know that, so why assume it in analyzing what God does or did. You are wedded to humanizing Him. Yes, He might have those attributes but analyze with an open mind that He might not have those attributes. My 'image' of Him is to keep an open mind about what I can know about Him, not using the Bible.

I don’t even know if he exists, so I am not “wedded” to anything. But since it is you who insist that he must have a purpose (a human trait), I am trying to find out what that purpose might be, and to fit it to the history of life as we know it. A totally impersonal pantheistic God is just as believable to me as your observing, thinking, planning, purposeful hide-and-seek God (all of which are “humanized”). But if I am offered an interpretation of life’s history which does not make sense to me, I am not prepared to shut my eyes and say no other explanation is possible. I too am pleading for an open mind.


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