Purpose and design (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 09, 2017, 14:50 (135 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Humans are the current endpoint of evolution. If nothing else appears, they are the goal.
dhw: At last we now have an “if”. “Current endpoint” is a slightly odd expression, since endpoint = completion (and in any case it is not synonymous with goal).
DAVID: My 'if' is a cautionary comment. Frankly I cannot see any further evolution except some minor changes in humans, such as bigger, stronger, which we are seeing now. No major reconstructions like over the last eight million years.

dhw: I am not prepared to make predictions for the next thousand million years. But I suspect the “endpoint” is more likely to be bacteria than humans!

Yes, the bacteria are tough enough to survive human self-destruction.

dhw: I prefer all three of these to the concept of a God who designs every life form so that he can put off designing the only life form he wants to design.

The timing of humans is obviously God's choice of action. He probably does not view it as 'putting off'. That is your humanized version.

dhw: Can I make choices? Definitely not on the macro-level – i.e. the existence of God. But I can certainly express preferences on other subjects. For instance, with my theist’s hat on, I prefer the hypothesis that he deliberately created a system that would lead to the vast variety of life forms and wonders that mark life’s history – not for the sake of producing humans, but for their own sake. I find the vast variety (including those that are extinct) absolutely fascinating. Why shouldn’t he? However I accept the possibility that your God may have intervened at times, and that humans (who I agree have very special levels of consciousness) may be the result of one such intervention.
DAVID: That is about as close as you can get to me. Good.

dhw: I have offered you this hypothesis many times, and will now raise my glass to you in celebration of the fact that you have finally agreed it is possible.

I've always said your proposals fit the history.

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