Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 16, 2017, 14:53 (95 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ..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: Because I follow the rule of not humanizing God. Christians humanize Him.

I don’t know why you have imposed this rule on yourself and want to impose it on me. See my post on the “asteroid” thread.

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.
dhw: 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 etc.
DAVID: Intelligence to speciate is present only in your mind. God speciates.

Another of your authoritative statements for which there is no more evidence than for my alternative hypothesis. Or have you finally discovered the 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyle and natural wonders, and/or eye-witnesses to your God’s dabbling?

DAVID: Once again the dilemma is in your mind, not mine. The delay discussion has been an analysis of possibilities, now settled for me.
Dhw: 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.
DAVID: Why won't you grant me the right to explore and discuss all avenues of approach to God's methods of creation as we bat the ball back and forth? I've told you your probing helps me explore. I've now settled on God using evolutionary processes as His only method. Since a process like that takes time, appearance of delay appears, but it is just the time it takes to evolve.

We both have the right to explore and discuss all avenues of approach, and we do. That is why I offer you alternatives to scenarios you insist on with such authority, such as God speciates, and God’s sole purpose was to produce humans and everything else was related to that. Wearing my theist hat, I have no problem with the statement that God used evolutionary processes – we both believe that evolution happened, and so evolution was his method, and of course evolution takes time. There is absolutely no “appearance of delay”, however, unless you insist that his one and only purpose was to produce humans.

DAVID: To repeat: if He can design our universe in advance from quantum particles to eventually allow for life to appear, He can accomplish anything He wants to. I see Him filled with goal-oriented purpose while your helter-skelter approach is further treating Him like a human who watches an entertaining show.

Watching a show IS a goal-oriented purpose. However, if your God can accomplish anything he wants to (you appear to have given up your own hypothesis that his powers might be limited), he could have created the right conditions for humans without designing the weaverbird’s nest plus millions of other examples. And so if you can claim that he WANTED to produce humans and everything else was related to that, I can equally claim that he WANTED a free-for-all (with dabbles), or alternatively that he WANTED to produce spiders’ eyes, monarch’s navigation, the weaverbird’s nest, not to mention dinosaurs and every other extinct form, lifestyle and wonder, for their own sake, AS WELL AS wanting to produce humans (but not BECAUSE he wanted to produce humans). This removes the contradiction between his now unlimited powers and his countless special designs that have no relevance to the one and only design you claim he actually WANTED. And you needn’t ask why he wanted them if you’re afraid of humanizing him.


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