Purpose and design (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 18:54 (47 days ago) @ dhw

Since we both believe evolution happened, you do not need to remind me that if God exists he used an evolutionary method. You wrote that God designed all the natural wonders in order to provide energy “so evolution can take a long time to reach the end point.” By “end point” you mean humans, and by “evolution” you mean the process God used to produce humans. Therefore your statement can only mean that God designed all the natural wonders to provide energy so that his process could take a long time to produce humans. Please tell me what else it could mean.


DAVID: Of course here is no indisputable answer. It is possible He could have gone directly to creating humans, He might be limited or evolutionary processes are His preference. He is allowed to have preferences, if he wishes. And your theories are possible answers, but not ones I prefer, as explained.

dhw: None of my hypotheses suggest that he could have gone directly to creating humans. They are all explanations of the history as we know it, not speculations as to what your God might have done differently. ....Current theistic options:

1 God (limited version) wanted to produce a being resembling himself but didn’t know how to do it and so he experimented.
2 God designed lots of life forms etc., and hit on the idea of humans later on.
3 God devised a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own free, autonomous inventing, but he may have occasionally dabbled.
4 God’s sole aim was to produce humans, and he knew how to do it but chose to design all the other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders because he wanted to take a long time over achieving his sole purpose.
Please tell us which of these you prefer, or please offer us another explanation.

All of your options fit the history with one obvious omission. The eight million year history of human evolution from apes is a stark example of very purposeful evolutionary advances. Apes are still the same. You know the details. Life is about 3.8 byo. Eight million years is but a blink of the eyes in comparison. Did God suddenly learn how to evolve what He wanted? Not likely. He converted land mammals to whales rather easily in the past. These observations remove 1,2,and 3 from consideration. Only 4 fits, BUT 1 must receive some consideration, as we cannot know if God recognized some limitation in His methodology, a limitation we can only guess at. A hint is the Cambrian Explosion, which had to wait for enough oxygenation to be present, and that had to be produced over quite a length of time by cyanobacteria and algae. Since the Cambrian was swift and purposeful, we are left with limitations in Earth's evolution as the reason for the long period of time. Genome manipulation for speciation does not seem to be the limiting problem. Thus we can eliminate 1 as God having to learn how to manipulate genome speciation. He had to wait for geologic and atmospheric changes in the Earth as it evolved. Proper continents, ocean currents, weather patterns, etc. had to appear and stabilize. Chicxulub had to happen as a final step in severe asteroid bombardment. His limits, if any, might reside here.

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