God and evolution: weaverbirds (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, March 31, 2017, 11:00 (570 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Why are things like the weaver birds nest such a hang up for you? I mean, making your shoes or clothing stylish is not 'necessary' yet some designer somewhere felt strongly enough that function does not require an absence of beautiful form to make them attractive. How much more so for the God that gave us so many other wonderful, beautiful, and amazing creations? Why must your concept of a possible God be purely utilitarian with no concept of aesthetics? You may as well ask why he gave us taste buds, particularly when so many things that are good for us mechanically taste bad. Where is the evolutionary sense in that?

Unfortunately, you have missed the background to this whole discussion. There are two points at issue between David and myself. First and foremost is his insistence that God designed all innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing humans. (DAVID: Humans are God’s sole purpose. And: Everything else was related to that goal.) I cannot for the life of me see how the weaverbird’s nest is related to the goal of producing humans, and so I use that as a prime example. From your posts, I think you are in agreement on this subject. Secondly – and here we may well disagree – I am not convinced that either your God or David’s specifically designed the nest, or the monarch’s lifestyle or the fly’s compound eye. The more we learn about our fellow organisms, right down to bacteria, the more evidence there is that they are sentient, cognitive, decision-making beings. (David has just posted an article on the humble slime mold, which interestingly mentions its decision-making abilities, along with those of “other self-organised systems, such as ant nests, bacterial colonies, and humans.") With my theist’s hat on, I am therefore suggesting that perhaps - it’s only a hypothesis - your God has given all these organisms the intelligence to do their own designing, even to the extent of changing their own structure.

However, the idea that God designed the weaverbird’s nest for aesthetic reasons, which is not in any way related to the production of humans, offers us a different approach. Before making any further comments, though, I would need to know the extent to which you think your God does all the designing or leaves the designing to the organisms themselves.

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