Convoluted human evolution: a branch is missing (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, August 12, 2017, 10:33 (124 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God exists, and if you believe in evolution, then of course God uses evolutionary methods. But you are very precise in your account of his methods. Over and over again you tell us that either he preprogrammed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder 3.8 billion years ago, or he personally dabbled them. You even go so far as to tell us that he restructured organisms before their environment changed. And you tell us that all of these programmes and dabblings served the single purpose of producing the human brain. These are the “exactitudes” I keep challenging because they simply don’t add up. (No need for us to go over the long list of illogicalities again.) Now, when challenged, you jettison your “invention under guidelines” and have pre-whales making no decisions or changes of their own other than possibly deciding when to switch on God’s 3.8-billion-year-old programme for blowholes, all for the sake of the human brain. Does that really make sense to you?

DAVID: If I decide God is fully in control, and you don't want Him to be, then my faith makes no sense to you.

I have no problem with the concept of a God in full control. My problem is with your interpretation of your God’s intentions, when I look at the reality of evolutionary history. I simply don’t understand why a God in full control, who has the single purpose of producing the human brain, should devote so much attention to preprogramming or personally dabbling eight stages of whale, the monarch’s migratory lifestyle, the weaverbird’s nest, and a zillion other innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders. So I offer a different theistic hypothesis, in which your God chooses to allow his invention of life and evolution to run its own course. Even you have agreed that this hypothesis fits in perfectly with the history of evolution as we know it.

DAVID: The only explanations are chance or design, but you don't like that dichotomy and try to weasel in third ways that are pipe dreams, like panpsychism which introduces a nebulous form of consciousness from nowhere. I try to extrapolate from established scientific belief. You tend to invent theories with no basis.

I accept the dichotomy, but find ALL the hypotheses impossible to have faith in – and that includes chance and both “nebulous forms of consciousness from nowhere”: i.e. panpsychist and divine. I don’t know what “established scientific belief” provides a basis for the hypothesis that there is an unknown power “from nowhere” which created life for the sole purpose of producing the human brain, and preprogrammed or personally dabbled a zillion innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to fulfil that one and only purpose.


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