God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, March 31, 2017, 11:12 (836 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: It is my opinion that, like any good designer, he found solutions to problems and implemented the where appropriate, allowing those solutions to vary within established parameters to make them viable for the broadest range of circumstances. The creatures themselves each fit into a larger web of life and fulfill roles within that organization. These features were merely supporting optimizations.
Dhw: “Allowing the solutions to vary” does not suggest David’s individual design of the three examples given, and I can’t see how this = preparing the way for humans or keeping life going until humans arrived. I think David and I would both agree, though, that all organisms fit into a larger scale and fulfil roles within that organization – until they go extinct.
TONY: Birds, like the weaver are nature's farmers. Yes there are many, many birds that do this same thing. You find that odd. Do you feel the same about the huge variety of cars available? Why bother with so many colors and features when maybe a dozen total models would fit most every situation?

I don’t find it odd at all. What gives you that impression? I am simply challenging David’s assumption that this vast diversity has been designed for the sole purpose of humans.

dhw: 3 Similarly, do you think that all extinct life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders were specially designed by God and related to the goal of producing humans?
TONY: No. I DO think humans were integral to the plan..."
DHW:The answer is no, though it doesn’t quite link up directly with my question. What follows does relate directly to David’s “balance of life”, which we have agreed means nothing more than that life continues and favours whatever species are in existence at the time. Humans “happen to benefit” from the current balance. “The homeostasis needed to subplot ALL life” is a strange concept if it means the extinction of SOME life, but I don’t know what you mean by subplotting life. My question actually referred to the production rather than the benefit of humans, but you remain clearly hostile to the whole idea that humans were God's sole purpose.
TONY: Your agreement on what it means may or may not be in line with God's idea of what it means. However, with the exception of major era changes, like the end of the Paleolithic, HUMANS are the prime cause for extinctions. You seem to be blaming God for our handywork.

I don’t know which of my remarks you are commenting on, but again this may be the result of your joining the discussion so late. The extinction of 99% of species seems to me to be a problem for David’s theory that all of life is related to God’s sole goal – the production of humans. Why would he specially design all these life forms etc., then let them die off, if all he wanted to do was produce humans? However, in answer to your comment: I agree that humans are NOW the prime cause of extinctions, and I would not dream of blaming your God for our actions. Where did you see that in my post? But the extinctions that preceded the arrival of humans were on a massive scale. I’m sure you will find very good reasons why your God organized them/let them happen, but I’m equally sure your reasons will not support David’s contention that they were all related to God’s sole goal of producing humans.

DHW: I am playing the Devil’s advocate here, and may have to leave you to fight over your very different concepts of how and why your God has done what you think he has done. Any further discussion will, however, be hampered by the fact that neither David nor I accepts the authority of the Bible.
TONY: I see a lot of "Why Dr God do it this way? I wouldn't have if it'd been me."

Again, I don’t know where you get this idea from. Certainly not from my posts. The whole of this discussion is an attempt to explain WHY life’s history has taken this particular course (and from a theistic perspective, WHY God did it this way.) You already know David’s anthropocentric hypothesis, which doesn’t make sense to me. I have therefore offered three different theistic hypotheses: 1) God started out wanting to produce beings similar to himself (David’s theory) but he had to experiment for 3.X billion years before he got what he wanted. 2) God wanted to produce a spectacle for himself to watch, and humans only came to mind late on during the production. 3) Same idea of a spectacle, but he gave organisms the freedom and means to create their own different life forms etc., though he may also have dabbled. The means would be an autonomous, inventive intelligence. All three offer a theistic explanation of the apparently higgledy-piggledy comings and goings of life’s history (whether you believe in evolution or not) and of the comparatively late arrival of humans. David does not accept any of them, but agrees that they fit in with life’s history as we know it. Now you have the full background to this discussion.

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