Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, September 17, 2017, 10:40 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You cannot get around the evidence that the pinnacle of evolution is the human brain, making it an obvious goal. That is all the evidence I need. Look at your own words. If He used evolution and it created a great bush, it was His work. all perfectly logical.

I have looked at my own words. If God exists, his work resulted in a great bush and in the brain of Homo sapiens. Of course it’s logical, if God exists. However, the theistic question is the nature of the work, as follows:

dhw: […] the question concerns what he wanted to create. With my theist hat on, I suggest he wanted to create an ever changing show which perhaps he continues to watch. You suggest he wanted to create Homo sapiens, you don’t know why he had to create a higgledy-piggledy bush of whales and monarchs and weaverbirds’ nests and hominins in order to get there, and he’s hidden himself because…well, why has he hidden himself, and is he watching or not?

DAVID: I recognize those are your questions which keep you agnostic. Accepting God's existence does away with your issues. How logical is God in human terms? Perhaps not at all.

They are not the questions that keep me agnostic. They are the questions I ask when I put on my theist hat, and you cannot answer them because they pinpoint the anomalies in your anthropocentric theory of evolution and your personal concept of your God.

DAVID: You are touting purpose, which is fine sounding, but it is obvious that speciation requires foresight and planning by a mental process, in God's brain.
dhw: God’s brain (does he have one?) could have provided the mental process by which organisms work out their own path to speciation. And that process can be one of response and not crystal-ball gazing.
DAVID: You can't build a house without a plan. Crystal-ball gazing is required. "Their own path to speciation" response must be a step by step attempt, which cannot produce highly complex physiology or phenotypic change all at once, as the fossil gaps show. You cannot avoid the need for design.

We are not talking about house-building but about how organisms change. Nobody understands the latter. But we actually see it happening in cases of minor adaptation, and this is in RESPONSE to environmental change. If it is not rapid, organisms will die. We have no idea how swiftly organisms can make major changes to themselves. You simply assume they can’t do it. You may be right, and you may be wrong – it is a hypothesis. I don’t know why you think I am avoiding the need for design. I am only questioning the need for your God to do all the designing. (And to please you, I can even allow for the odd dabble, which might include sapiens’ brain, though as I pointed out earlier, I can see that as a perfectly logical progression from earlier brains.) For instance, I see no reason why – in his quest to produce the human brain – he should have taken the trouble to design eight stages of whale, to guide the monarch butterfly to its distant destination (having also fiddled with its reproductive cycle), and to give the weaverbird private lessons in nest-building.

(This post also answers the points made under “revisiting convergence”.)`


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