Purpose and design (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 13, 2017, 22:19 (45 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: We all agree that life’s history has developed through stages, and if God exists, it is perfectly reasonable to say God wanted it that way. It does not mean God started out with the single intention of producing humans and everything else was related to that! As for the wonders, do you really believe the only wonders were those that survived until humans appeared?

Since humans are the final stage at present, why not accept this is God's intended stage? The wonders supply the balance of nature. Only the recent ones can delight humans, which was Tony's point.

DAVID: God knows where these processes are directed and how they will end.

dhw: How do you know what God knows? You are assuming omniscience and totally discounting the possibility that your God might deliberately have set up a system in which the outcomes are unpredictable. (Human free will could be an example of just such a system.)

I presume God controls evolution and its processes and knows the outcome of processes He started. After all He created the Big Bang

dhw: You and I believe in evolution, and if God exists, then of course he uses evolution for all the accomplishments he desires. But it is you who keep talking of “delay” because you insist that the only accomplishment he desired was the production of humans! If the accomplishment he desired was the unpredictable unfolding of a vast variety of living forms, and if this led to the unpredictable behaviour of one particular species, we have a full explanation of every phase of life’s history, without all your convoluted explanations for a “delay” that was not a delay.

I have looked at delay as a possibility. How does one reach conclusions without a complete analysis of every aspect of history?

DAVID: This may be a required methodology or simply God's way of doing things. It does not necessarily imply limits for God, although in my mind it remains a possible interpretation.

dhw: Required by whom? If God exists, then obviously what happened was his way of doing things. One moment you dismiss the very idea of limitations – he could produce humans without any difficulty – and the next you reinstate its possibility because you cannot get round your self-imposed problem of delay.

Self-imposed only for thorough analysis. Surely you see that. With our discussion, not a likely issue to pursue further.

DAVID: As for producing humans, I interpret Tony's view as cautioning humans to accept their existence in a humble manner, not glorifying in it as the only special group created by God. For example, he lists angels, etc., coming first.

dhw: I’m sure Tony will tell us in due course whether he does or does not think that his God designed the weaverbird’s nest, and whether all such wonders were designed to provide energy to keep life going until God could achieve his one and only purpose of producing humans.

I hope he will

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