God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 02, 2017, 13:42 (1151 days ago) @ David Turell

TONY: I see a lot of "Why Dr God do it this way? I wouldn't have if it'd been me."
dhw: 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.) >
DAVID: Tony's comment is straightforward. He knows about humans laughing at the human backward upside-down retina as bad design as one stupid example. And it is appropriate in the discussions. What humans dismiss as poor design has always turned out to be the best design.
dhw: Yes indeed. But it is not a response to any of my posts and is irrelevant to this discussion, which concerns your insistence that humans were God’s only goal and everything else was related to it.
DAVID: Yes it is! Note your own comment I have bolded. "Why did God do anything the way He did" is always a human question.

That indeed is the subject of our discussion – not a criticism (“I wouldn’t have if it had been me”) but an inquiry, in this case specifically into your contention that he did it this way in order to produce humans. That contention, I maintain, does not fit in with the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution, and therefore (wearing my theist’s hat) I am challenging your explanation of why God did it this way. Tony clearly agrees with me (see his second comment below, my bold):

TONY: Actually, DHW, my comment was directed at the fact that things like weaverbird nests and extinctions constantly seem to trip you up when you wear your theist hat. It is as if you cannot fathom a reason God would have created any life form if he knew in advance that it must die off at some point or that he would not gift his creations with more than the most basic of abilities.

Your post should have been directed at David, not at me. I have constantly hypothesized (with my theist hat on) that your God HAS given his creations more than the most basic of abilities, and the weaverbird was perfectly capable of designing its own nest. It is David who insists that it was not, and God had to do it. Extinctions are no problem either (I can offer more than one rational theistic explanation) until David insists that God specially designed all the extinct organisms and lifestyles for the purpose of producing humans.

TONY: Humans, as the prime goal of all creation, or even of evolution, is truly just silliness, even according to science which claims everything is still evolving. If that were true, we must be in one of those periods of punctuated equilibrium.

That is the focal point of this whole discussion. It is David who says that humans were not just the prime goal but the ONLY goal. For a change, you and I are on the same side.

TONY: We are called creatures that he was especially fond of, nothing more. But regardless, MOST life today could not have lived in the early earth, because it had not been prepared.

There is no doubt that most of today’s life could not have lived in the early earth. With my theist’s hat on, I have no idea to what extent your God actually planned the environmental changes that led to each stage of evolution (or creation), or designed the basic mechanisms and then sat back to see what would happen (though possibly intervening when he wanted to). This is the point at which I can envisage various scenarios, whereas you and David have fixed – but extremely different – ideas.

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