Convoluted human evolution; Lucy had neighbors (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, June 08, 2016, 12:26 (1107 days ago) @ David Turell

David's comment: The shotgun appearance of several hominid forms gives support to my contention that humans were the endpoint of God's guidance of evolution.

dhw: An astonishing conclusion. Homo sapiens is the endpoint - up to now - of a particular line of evolutionary development (all other existing species are also endpoints up to now), so how does the variety of antecedents indicate God's guidance? If he exists, was he incapable of guiding evolution directly to homo sapiens? The evolution of different forms gives clear support to the contention that organisms work out their own solutions in their own ways, and natural selection decides which of them will survive. No “guidance” or “alien hand” (Talbott) is necessary. Of course that does not preclude the possibility that your God designed the intelligence that enables organisms to work out their own solutions.

DAVID: I like astonishing you. Why should so many forms of hominid appear? God used evolution as we see its history as a scattergun mechanism that ended up with the h-p bush of life. Nothing direct about it. We must start our analysis with that evidence.

Precisely. If your God exists, and if he endowed organisms with an automatic inventive mechanism, the result will have been all the different forms we see in the h-p bush, including the different forms of hominid. These different forms are evidence of autonomy, not of “guidance”.

DAVID: Why do you want to imply God was incapable of direct action? Do you know His method or plan? I don't, but can accept what I see. God does not think like you do, but you trying to interpret His actions as if He does.

When you say “humans were the endpoint”, and bearing in mind that out of all the forms of human only homo sapiens has survived, I presume you mean that homo sapiens was his endpoint. And so I ask the same question as you: “Why should so many forms of hominid appear?” I do NOT imply that your God is incapable of direct action. I am saying the evidence shows that if he exists, he left the organisms to work out their own solutions, with natural selection being the final arbiter of which will survive. This “scattergun approach” is NOT “guidance”. Alternatively, you might believe that God dabbled in order to ensure that homo sapiens came out on top, but that is very different from “God's guidance of evolution” to the endpoint of humans.

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