autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, April 03, 2018, 11:33 (255 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My discussion above did not include the idea that 'finally' meant finished. It doesn't have to, but I don't think any large saltations are in order. The entire diversity of life is necessary for the balance of nature. The point you make is it always stays in balance. True but did it ever occur to you is that life was purposely designed to maintain that necessary balance?

dhw: First you try to make out that God’s “final” purpose is the production of the human brain, and then you say it is not “final”.

DAVID: What I concluded was: "I don't think any large saltations are in order. " Which should mean to you no major changes.

Evolution is an ongoing process, and for all we know, humans may disappear altogether. Just supposing they did, but other organisms lived on – where would that leave your anthropocentric hypothesis? Many of our disagreements revolve round your insistence that humans – although of course I acknowledge the uniqueness of our minds – mark some kind of end point or “finality”.

dhw: Then you shift the discussion away to the balance of nature. The point I make is not that the diversity of life always stays in balance! My point is that the balance constantly changes, according to which species survive and which do not.
DAVID: And you skip the significance of the obvious fact that the diversity of life is designed to allow that there is always something for everyone to eat. Why do you constantly forget that life requires continuous energy? Why can't you equate balance means energy?

There ISN’T always something for everyone to eat! Why do you constantly forget that evolution, as above, is an ongoing process, and 99% per cent of species, lifestyles and wonders have died out for reasons which include the fact that there wasn’t something for them to eat? Balance does not mean energy. Life goes on so long as there is enough food/energy for one or more living organisms. The balance changes accordingly.

dhw: ...you keep agreeing that this is the only valid use of the term, but then you scurry back to it as if every historical shift in the balance somehow cohered into evidence that your God’s purpose was the production of the human brain. Fact: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Proposed theistic “purpose and result”: the ever changing bush of life, including humans. Prediction: que sera sera. Objections?
DAVID: The appearance of the human brain is not explained by any theory of necessity. It has to be the result of purposeful activity, something you cannot accept.

Over and over again we have agreed that the appearance of multicellular organisms is not explained by any theory of necessity, since unicellular organisms have survived perfectly well since life began. I have also agreed over and over again that this is the result of purposeful activity – their purpose being survival and/or improvement. I apply this to all forms of life and not just to humans. As for an overall purpose, I say that if God exists (the only way there could be an overall purpose), the whole, ever changing spectacle of different species, lifestyles and natural wonders (including humans) may be a purpose in itself, but you refuse to accept any purpose beyond that of the production of the human brain.


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