God and evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 02, 2017, 13:51 (1151 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God is unlimited, he can design whatever he wants to design. But you keep giving us an either/or: 1) he ‘delayed’ creating his sole goal because he was limited, or 2) there was no ‘delay’, because he wanted to do it that way, though we don’t know why. I have suggested that his hypothetical limitation was not knowing how to create a being like himself, which meant he had to experiment. You have rejected that limitation. If you reject the hypothesis of limitation, you no longer have an either/or. I have therefore asked you what other limitations you have in mind. Please answer, remembering of course that “...any power that can produce a fine-tuned universe can then see to the creation of humans without difficulty.”

DAVID: The limits can be limits within an evolutionary process that God does not wish to change. God produces results by evolutionary processes. And either/or also refers to delays as humans see them or appearance of delay to us when one doesn't exist in God's mind.

Another obfuscation, and you know it. We both agree that if God exists, he used evolutionary processes. But if his sole purpose was to produce humans, you have told us that either there was a ‘delay’ because his powers were limited, or there was no ‘delay’. If there WAS a delay – the first of your own alternatives – and the limitation was not your God’s inability to find the formula for a creature resembling himself, what other limitations might he have had? Please answer.

If you can’t think of any other limitation, then forget about ‘delay’. You are then faced with the problem of why, if humans were God’s only purpose, he did not produce us more directly but instead specially designed every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct (including the weaverbird’s nest) – and THAT was the scenario which made no sense to you or, later, for which you could find no clear explanation. For that “no-delay” scenario I have offered two explanations: 1) he did NOT specially design all the above (the weaverbird’s nest being my obvious example); 2) humans were not his only purpose.

TONY: A delay is only a delay if it is unanticipated or unintentional. This talk I keep hearing of a delay seems to me like expecting offspring to come out of the womb 30 seconds after coitus and for the already be mature adults. Why the 9 month delay? Why the 20-odd year maturation delay? I think it is obvious why, but perhaps consideration of that analogy will put pause to all of the talk of delays.

I hope my response to David will clarify the arguments. The delay hypothesis only applies if God’s SOLE purpose was to produce humans. (And you are even more sceptical than I am!) I just want to add one personal point, though: I do not have a problem, as David does, with the idea of a god experimenting. If anyone is interested, I will explain why.

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