Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, June 30, 2016, 13:28 (1110 days ago)

Once more I am telescoping threads to keep the forum tidier.

DAVID: (under “Why sex evolved”): None of my hypotheses are illogical, because logic does not explain God's intentions or plans.

I'm afraid I cannot follow the logic of this sentence.

David's comment (Under “Beyond Higgs; final proof difficult”): dhw and I spend much time debating the complexities of evolution which defy logic. Note here the complexities of the zoo of the underlying particles of our reality. I could ask dhw the same question he always poses about God's possible actions and motives in living evolution as too complex, too cumbersome, and therefore not reasonable. dhw, how reasonable do you find the particle zoo complexity which is well known, well described, and will probably find the missing bottom quarks? We have described these arrangements perfectly, but no one can give a reason for this arrangement. As in evolution we have no explanation as to why God did it this way. We must just accept it.

I cannot follow your logic here either. I am not aware of you having offered any theory concerning "particle zoo complexity", and I certainly haven't. It is not the complexities of evolution that defy logic; it is your interpretation of how and why those complexities have been produced that I find “too complex, too cumbersome and therefore not reasonable”. Even you are clearly beginning to find the notion of a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for innovations and natural wonders too unreasonable to swallow, but now that you are favouring continuous dabbling, you will find that just as hard going. On the wonderful ant article (for which many thanks) you comment:

DAVID: A logical adaptation. As with bacterial extremophiles living creatures are built to adapt to all environments. The usual issue is how does God help?

Without your 3.8-billion-year programme for ant adaptation, you are left with divine dabbling, or "helping", because you take it for granted that he controls every evolutionary step these organisms take. The issue is not only how but also why does God help (since you insist that his aim is to produce homo sapiens)? But there are no such issues if you simply accept that your God (my theistic version) does not NEED to help if he has given organisms the intelligence to work out their own lifestyles and ways of adapting, and ultimately - the logical extension of this intelligence - to invent. Similarly with bacteria. I said I found it difficult to believe that your dabbling God went rushing round the world to teach bacteria how to resist antibiotics (I should also have asked why he would do so). Your response is:

David: I'm the guy who has presented extremophiles! These are not simple adaptations. For me it must be saltations, or dabbles, because at this level we are talking about the intricacies of metabolism, not simple living reactions. This is species creation. You are the one who is not seeing the difference clearly.

It is not species creation (broad sense), since they remain bacteria, but that is beside the point. What reason is there to assume that your God must have “helped” bacteria to resist antibiotics (though you don't know how or why)? Our best brains are trying to find ways to defeat noxious bacteria. Do you really believe they are fighting against your dabbling God? You do in fact offer a nebulously phrased concession on the “giraffe” thread:

DAVID: I can accept God designing a planning process for speciation within organisms. The problem is,for me, no evidence so far. There is no discovered speciation mechanism, only Darwin theory which we have abandoned.

But what you apparently cannot accept is that your God might deliberately have designed a planning process that works independently of his direct control! Even though that does away with the problems of how and why he has instructed bacteria on how to resist antibiotics, or weaverbirds to build their complicated nests. You also tie yourself in weaverbirdlike knots trying to link the dabbles and computer programmes to the production of homo sapiens. All the illogicalities are totally unnecessary if you accept the hypothesis that your God set the whole process in motion to see what his autonomous inventive mechanism could produce. Of course he could also dabble sometimes, which leaves room for homo sapiens to have a special place, but why must he dabble bacteria and weaverbirds as well? You say above: “As in evolution we have no explanation as to why God did it this way. We must just accept it.” Which way? Your preprogramming/dabbling way, which makes no sense, or my (perhaps God-given) autonomous intelligence way, which logically explains the higgledy-piggledy bush and dispenses with the questions of how and why God “helps”. If one theistic explanation of the bush is logical, and the other is not, why should we turn our backs on logic?

As for no evidence, of course there is nothing conclusive or we wouldn't be having this discussion. But the astonishingly intelligent (though always limited) behaviour of all organisms in finding ways to survive and to adapt might just possibly be an indication that your God (theistic version) actually made them intelligent (in their own particular, limited way) and they are not merely obeying his personal instructions.

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