autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, March 24, 2018, 13:02 (149 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (under “bacterial intelligence”) Another non-religious thought is God created a such a strong driving force to produce life on Earth with bacteria that viruses also appeared and in each group nasty ones popped up, that then had to be controlled. Raises the issue of whether God is under total control or just well-intended? I have no way of knowing. (David’s bold)

But later you wrote:

DAVID: Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Why have you changed “control” to “guidance”? In the first quote, you have no way of telling whether God has total control, but the moment I raise the spectre of him deliberately sacrificing control, you scurry back to full control. So now we have the astonishing hypothesis that your God deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.

DAVID: [/i]Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above.

What you bolded above is in direct contrast to what I have bolded above: “he maintained full guidance”. What is “full guidance” if it’s not total control?

DAVID: You've taken me back to the bush of life and balance of nature to supply the energy for life to continue through 3.8 billion years of God's method of evolution, as you knew I would.

dhw: Life continues so long as life continues, regardless of which organisms and what “balance” exist at any given time. So are you now agreeing that the bush of life is a purpose in itself, i.e. your God actually wanted a vast variety of organisms that come and go, creating an ever changing “balance”, and the weaverbird’s nest (plus a billion more wonders) had nothing to do with what you believe to have been his “primary” purpose of producing your brain and mine?

DAVID: Of course the bush has a purpose. I've been saying that all along. It provides energy for life to continue. All His purposes work together to produce humans.

“ALL his purposes?” What are the others? But yes, that is what you have been saying all along, which joined together simply means the purpose of the bush is to allow time for your God to produce humans. When we consider the billions of organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct – all for the sake of the human brain – it’s little wonder that you can’t make up your mind whether God is or is not in total control. “I must design a bad virus,” said God, “in order to be sure life goes on until humans evolve.” Or: “Damn, what the heck is that bad virus doing here, when all I want is the human brain?” And “If I don’t teach the weaverbird to tie knots, life will come to an end before I’ve designed the human brain.” Compare this utter confusion with your next answer, concerning nest-building in general:

DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. If your God sacrificed control and left non-weavers to work out their own solutions, maybe he left ants and termites and cuttlefish and monarch butterflies and egg-laying wasps and bad viruses and bad bacteria etc. etc. to do the same, and the result was the higgledy-piggledy bush. (But he could still dabble if he wanted to.) No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

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