Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, July 01, 2016, 12:20 (750 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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”.
DAVID: I've concluded the process needs God. You don't, but have to flail around for reasonable answers. That is our difference. I have various theories about God, but I have no idea which if any are correct.

This has been your constant get-out whenever we discuss the illogicality (which you have admitted) of your theory of evolution, although you know perfectly well that my alternative theory does not exclude God. Autonomous, inventive intelligence is a theistic alternative to your two explanations of the higgledy-piggledy bush (a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or direct dabbling).

DAVID: … saltations reek of God's activity.

Saltations reek of intelligence, as opposed to Darwin's chance-propelled mutations followed by natural selection. The difference between your theory and mine is that you insist on your God preprogramming or controlling every saltation, whereas I suggest that he has given organisms the intelligence to do their own designing. This is not God versus no-God, but an attempt to find a logical explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution.

dhw: What reason is there to assume that your God must have “helped” bacteria to resist antibiotics (though you don't know how or why)?
DAVID: Why do you think God helped in antibiotic resistance? Bacteria have been given their own horizontal DNA transfer mechanism. Bacteria need no help.

In direct response to my scepticism concerning God preprogramming bacteria to resist antibiotics or rushing round the world to teach them how, you wrote: " 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." I naturally assumed you were responding to what I had written, though I must confess I wasn't sure why you would class such bacteria as extremophiles. Nevertheless, we are still talking about the intricacies of metabolism, which you believe require God's dabbles. You also wrote: “As with bacterial extremophiles living creatures are built to adapt to all environments. The usual issue is how does God help?” (My bold.) It would seem that "bacteria need no help", but the issue is "how God helps them". I find all this rather confusing.

dhw: 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?
DAVID: Your answers are no more logical than mine. Either God pre-programs or He dabbles or He gives organisms a species planning mechanism, the latter no yet found. You will win the argument only if and when such mechanism is found, with no evidence so far. Speciation is totally unexplained.

You have already acknowledged the illogicality of your own hypothesis. The logic of mine is that it explains the higgledy-piggledy bush, which is caused by organisms independently pursuing their own means of survival and improvement, succeeding or failing as conditions change. Once again, that does not preclude your God, who may have given them the intelligent, inventive mechanism that drives innovation, and it does not preclude his dabbling. It simply dispenses with the illogicality of your God preprogramming or dabbling every innovation and natural wonder, extant and extinct, in order to produce humans. But I have said all along that it is a hypothesis, and I only ask that you should accept the possibility instead of dogmatically asserting that your God is always in control and therefore cannot have given organisms the intelligence to do their own inventing.


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