Innovation and Speciation: pre-planning (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, June 01, 2014, 11:20 (1364 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have offered two alternatives that do not question purpose: 1) God experimenting in order to fulfil his purpose; 2) humans were not the ORIGINAL purpose, but he let evolution run its course, and intervened when he had the idea for humans ... which means the human purpose came later. My object in making these proposals was to find a theistic scenario that would explain the higgledy-piggledy bush and what you call its "side inventions" ... a problem which your pre-planning scenario fails to address.

DAVID: I appreciate your offer to help me. Suggestion (2) defines an indecisive God so it is a nonstarter. Suggestion (1) is less indecisive, but no less a wrong approach, since it makes God dither.

It is not an offer to help you. It is part of our joint effort to find a credible explanation for the world we live in. We can only do this by linking the dots into a coherent pattern. Your rejection of these two alternatives runs counter to your claim that you do not attempt to read the mind of your God. You assume from the start that he knew exactly what he was doing when he created life, and "humans were the goal from the beginning". That, you say, explains our "unnecessary arrival". The blood-sucking mosquito's arrival was also unnecessary, but you have no explanation for that. I shan't repeat the rest of your post, because it follows on logically from your basic assumption that God is decisive and humans were his purpose. Maybe God, with his supreme intelligence, got bored doing nothing all eternity long, and decided to create physical life as an entertainment. Not knowing what comes next would be an integral part of the entertainment (it spoils the show for us if we already know the story in advance). In some forms of process theology, God is learning all the time. There is just as much evidence for this interpretation as there is for your know-it-all-from-the-beginning God. The Deist God sits back and watches, allowing life to run its own course. This fits in perfectly with the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution. So does a God who set out to create a conscious being like himself, but initially didn't know how to do it. It is not a nonstarter just because you attribute an infallible decisiveness to your God. That smacks of dogmatism.

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