autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 12:37 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My incredulity concerns the idea that the God you keep saying is in total control should specially design millions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct when all he wants to do is create the brain of Homo sapiens. The fact that evolution has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far does not mean it was all for the sake of your brain and mine. It simply means that life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far. It makes far more sense to me to suggest that since evolution has produced this astonishing and ever changing variety, what he wanted – if he exists – was an astonishing and ever changing variety. I don’t have a problem with the idea that your controlling God could interfere at any time he liked, possibly even to guide one of the twigs towards a species blossoming into sapiens. But guiding the weaverbird to build its nest so that he could guide a different twig to sapiens makes no sense to me. Multiply that example by umpteen million.

DAVID: As usual you skipped over the need for energy for life to continue from 3.8 billion years ago. And you express no surprise that a so-called meaningless, purposeless evolutionary process produced the human brain. I see purpose, control and appropriate econiches to supply the energy. I see MY God acting in the way I propose. I know I can't convince you.

As usual you ignore the fact that energy for life to continue has nothing whatsoever to do with your anthropocentrism. Life needs energy, and life has gone on for 3.8 billion years so far, with and without humans, and may go on for another 3.8 billion years with or without humans. And as usual you impose meaninglessness and purposelessness onto my thinking, whereas I am simply challenging your hypothesis that your God created the weaverbird’s nest and millions of other natural wonders in order to produce the human brain. If God exists, of course he has a purpose, but you would rather not discuss it if it means “humanizing” him, and especially if it means challenging your own idea of his purpose. Even if there were no God, I would still see purpose in evolution (survival and improvement), and meaning is whatever we make it. As for surprise at the human brain and indeed all forms of life, I would call it wonderment, whether God exists or not. Please stop putting up straw men of your own making.


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