Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, April 21, 2017, 14:00 (151 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ...you insist that [God’s] ONLY purpose was to produce humans. This doesn’t make sense, and no amount of obfuscation about balance of nature and preference will make it any more logical.
DAVID: I know it doesn't make sense to you, because you don't look at evolution as I do. Does evolution advance for the sake of advancing? Or is it an adaptive response to challenges of nature? For the sake of this argument my choice is to say it is a response to challenges.

We have been over this many times. The fact that bacteria have survived shows that multicellular life in general was not necessary, and so evolution is not just a response to challenges but is also a drive to improvement, which you may call an advance for the sake of advancing if you like.

DAVID: Our ancestors were monkeys and apes. Over 23 million years they have not significantly changed, but for some unknown reason a line developed that became us. I don't see a driving force in natural challenges, do you? Is it happenstance (chance)? The odds say very unlikely. I am convinced God is the force, and humans his goal. Very straightforward reasoning.

Which totally ignores the fact that for the same “unknown reason” our single-celled ancestors branched out into COUNTLESS different organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders, extant and extinct. Not by chance. By intelligence (perhaps given to organisms by your God). Not just in response to challenges but also in response to new opportunities for improvement (e.g. through environmental change). It is straightforward reasoning to say that the mechanisms are too complex to have arisen by chance and so required a designer, but your insistence that the designer had humans as his ONLY goal has resulted in one irrational hypothesis after another (see below).

dhw: ...And frankly, since we cannot KNOW any of the answers, I see no sense either in your allowing yourself to conjecture that all God wanted was to produce humans, but in not allowing conjecture as to why he might have wanted to produce humans.
DAVID: Of course we can debate his reasons or thought. We have, but when I point out to you that it is like the number of angels on the head of a pin, you get upset. But that is all that debate can be. Why don't you realize that point?

Strange. I see our debates as the complete reverse. Although at one time you agreed that it made no sense for a God with unlimited powers to specially design the weaverbird’s nest plus countless other natural wonders when his only goal was to produce humans, you get upset when I suggest a different motive. That is when you put up the unknowability/humanization barriers. Debate on God’s “goal” cannot exclude debate on his reasons or thought, and unknowability and humanization are no excuse for embracing illogicality at the expense of hypotheses that make sense. “Why don’t you realize that point?”:-)


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