Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 10:55 (829 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Option 5: Each stage of 'evolution' (life forms) was designed to perform a specific, specialized purpose at specific times within the evolution of the earth in order to bring about a predetermined state that existed in homeostasis. When those specific periods were over, and they were no longer needed, they were either adapted or allowed to die off as the situation warranted. When the conditions were right for Humans, and only when they were right, God continued development and created humanity.

If I’ve understood you correctly, this means that whatever happened was planned by your God to happen that way. With my theist’s hat on, I find that perfectly reasonable. But you say: “When those specific periods were over, and they were no longer needed…” Needed for what? David thinks “for the production of humans”, because that apparently was God’s sole purpose to which everything else was related. However, you reject that hypothesis, while you also continue to fight shy of telling us where you think the borderlines lie between direct design by God and autonomous design by organisms themselves. If we stick to my prime example, the problem will remain clear. Do you believe a) that God preprogrammed or personally designed the weaverbird’s nest, and if you do, b) that he did so in order to keep life going until he could produce humans?

I’m sure even an atheist would agree that humans could not appear until conditions were right, but how does that make humans the sole purpose for every phase in the development of life forms and of the environment? Is it not, in your view, possible that your God either designed - or enabled organisms to design - all these natural wonders simply for his own enjoyment? And that he then went on to design different forms, or to watch as organisms themselves designed different forms, for the same reason? And that when they were not “needed” any more – because perhaps he grew tired of them – he stepped in to make a few changes? And humans were the result of those changes? I offer this as a possible theistic explanation for what I see as the higgledy-piggledy history of life on Earth. David agrees that it fits in with that history. Do you also agree?

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