autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 12:58 (207 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.

dhw: I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?

DAVID: That is why I presented the article below. It presents a whole new way God might exert control.

It presents a not-so-new way in which cells control evolution.

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

Please note that here you are arguing that God is in control.

dhw: […] The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

DAVID: I would still consider God in careful control, even if we have this new bacterial control mechanism to consider. Note I commented that way.

I note all your comments. A few days ago, under “bacterial intelligence” you observed that the existence of bad bacteria and viruses raised the whole question of whether God was in “total control” or not, and you admitted you had no way of knowing. However, when I pointed out that this opened the gate to freewheeling, you changed your mind and reverted to your anthropocentric, full control theory: “Since He had to be sure humans evolved, He maintained full guidance.” I pointed out that this meant your God “deliberately created bad bacteria and viruses in order to be sure that humans evolved.” So then you scurried back again: “Your conclusion leaves out my uncertainty as shown in what I bolded above” – the bold being the fact that you didn’t know whether your God was in full control or not. Now you have him in “careful control” again. Whenever I raise the possibility of freewheeling, your God is in control. Otherwise, he may not be. I have summarized the confusion in my comment at the head of this post, and I simply cannot understand why you are not prepared to consider the theistic possibility of freewheeling (with the option of the occasional dabble). Of course that option would be impossible if the human brain was God’s one and only purpose, but you now believe the human brain was just a “primary” purpose, which means there are other purposes. So what stops you from accepting freewheeling as a rational explanation for the higgledy-piggledy bush?


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