Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 10:50 (132 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: 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: Exactly.

So what is the difference between that and “He stopped and played with designs to temporize until He finally got to designing humans”?

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.

DAVID: 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.

They do not. See below for Option 1. Option 2: If 8 million years is a blink of an eye, then the production of humans could have occurred to him “later on”. The higgledy-piggledy comings and goings for 3.X billion years can be explained by Option 3, and maybe God did a dabble to start the human line of descent, or to transform a few apes into humans.

DAVID: […] 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.

Hold on. According to you it requires a special manipulation to produce the human brain. Knowing the general principle doesn’t give you the precise formula for the one thing you particularly want. Option 1 does not mean he had a blueprint for humans. He may have thought the whale would resemble himself (and even fiddled several versions of it), but no…it still didn’t have that extra degree of consciousness… better try something else.

DAVID: 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.

So your God, who could create and fine-tune the universe, may not have had control over the environment. He had to “wait” for it do the right thing, to “appear”, to “happen”. Chicxulub: what a stroke of luck…maybe, or maybe not, because after your firm rejection of limitations, you are now back to either/or. Discussion continued in my reply to Tony.


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