Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, April 15, 2017, 12:59 (40 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Prior natures wonders had to appear if there was evolution. The wonders are a natural part of the bush of life.

Of course they are, but you had referred to them as possibly having been created by God for human enjoyment, which cannot have been the case for wonders that died out before humans arrived. So why won’t you consider the possibility that your God might have created all the wonders for his own enjoyment, as Tony has suggested?

DAVID: If God can create the universe, a special planet for us, and create life, he knows where his processes are going and what they will produce.

Which in the case of my theistic hypothesis would be a wonderful free-for-all, in which organisms either do or don’t succeed by their own efforts, using the intelligence God gave them. The organisms would range from the highly successful bacteria to humans exercising the power of free will – a hypothesis which by your own admission fits every aspect of the history of life.

dhw: …"you cannot make up your mind whether he was or was not in control of the ever changing environment. If he was in control, and if his sole purpose was to create humans, he delayed and you don’t know why. If he wasn’t in control, his powers were limited, which conflicts with your belief that he could have created humans without difficulty."
DAVID: All explained with this previous quote from me:
DAVID: If God set up evolutionary processes that led to desired goals a passage of time is required. That cannot be viewed as a delay, unless you feel God can instantly create anything. I don't. He uses evolutionary processes.

dhw: We both agree that that if God exists he used evolutionary processes! And of course evolution requires time. But this does not solve your dilemma as summarized above. That will only disappear if you abandon one or both of your two basic premises (humans as the only goal, and every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder related to that one goal).
DAVID: Once again the dilemma is in your mind, not mine. The delay discussion has been an analysis of possibilities, now settled for me.

You keep coming to settled conclusions and then rescinding them. On 12 April it was not settled. You wrote: What looks like delay to us is staged purposeful development. This may be a required methodology [required by what? Did someone else make the laws?] 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.

It was you who suggested “delay” as a way out of your dilemma! The concept can only be applied if there is a fixed goal and if your God’s powers are limited. You can’t bear the thought of him not starting out with the one and only goal of creating humans, and that is why you came up with delay through limitations. He had to design the weaverbird’s nest etc. in order to keep life going until conditions were right. Today you have him back in full control, deliberately choosing to create the wrong conditions for humans, deliberately designing thousands of life forms and natural wonders that come and go, because he actually wants to (not has to) go through all these different stages although with his unlimited powers he can fulfil his one and only goal “without any difficulty”. Does this really make more sense than, for instance, the scenario in which he deliberately sets the whole process in motion to see what will happen, but sometimes dabbles to change the course of events?


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