Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 13:21 (811 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course we come from different starting points. Why does that make your interpretation of God's intentions less “shaky” than mine?
DAVID: Because my mindset as I explored the possibility of God was open to Him as an explanation, therefore a probabililty. I view your mindset as 'God is possible but highly improbable".

I don't know how being open to a possibility makes it a probability. My own mindset is “God is as possible as no-God”. And you still haven't explained why your belief makes your interpretation of God's intentions less shaky than mine. Perhaps you would like to withdraw this non sequitur instead of talking round it!

Dhw (on God and Natural Selection): Does he know which ones will win? If he does, he has obviously preprogrammed them to win (or he intervenes to make sure his favourites win). If he doesn't, he is not in full control.
DAVID: I agree with your analysis, all proper probabilities.

Excellent. Then we now have your agreement that God may have CHOSEN not to be in full control of evolution after all. And so he might also have CHOSEN to give organisms the freedom to work out their own means of survival/improvement. If not a “proper probability”, at the very least a “proper possibility”.

DAVID: I don't analyze 3.8 billion years for humans to appear. That is what happened, just as the Earth did not appear until 4.5 billion years ago, 11.3 billion years after the Big Bang. You don't complain about that delay. It is simple. God uses evolutionary processes.

Yes, if God exists and if we believe in evolution, then God uses evolutionary processes. That doesn't mean he uses them to design every innovation and natural wonder, extant and extinct, in order to produce homo sapiens. I don't complain about the supposed facts. I only complain about your dislocated interpretation of them and your refusal to accept the possibility that your God may have used evolutionary processes to allow organisms to pursue their own means of survival/improvement (with the reservation that he could also dabble).

Dhw: Why is it less “shaky” to say he hides himself in order to make people reach faith through thinking than to say he is hidden because he just wants to watch the spectacle, or he is “hidden” because he's gone away?
DAVID: If I view God is a requirement to create the universe, start life, and produce humans who can think about Him, then my explanation of His hidden state and requirement of faith all fit together. Your suggestion that He is just watching the spectacle or He left is possible. One would think after all His efforts He'd hang around.

I agree with all of this. What doesn't fit is the higgledy-piggledy bush. The possibility that God is just watching the spectacle - apart perhaps from the odd dabble - is crucial to the theistic version of my alternative to your scenario, in which God is (or was, as there are signs of concession above) in total control.


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