autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 05, 2018, 12:42 (251 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The “thrust of your point” was that “there is always something for everyone to eat.” There isn’t. Now your point is that diversity provides "energy for life to continue". Life could have continued for 3.8 billion years without diversity, since bacteria have survived all that time. I'll look forward to the next "thrust". Meanwhile, if your God exists, perhaps you might consider the possibility that diversity is an end in itself.

DAVID: I'll stick with the point that multicellularity is a much more fragile form of life that requires a diversity that produces a balance of nature for a food supply. Bacteria are also widely diverse and are better built for survival. This points out the differing needs for diversity. Diversity as a goal in itself is not a reason for its existence.

So now we know that different forms of life require different foods, and as bacteria have survived, whereas 99% of other forms haven’t, they are better at survival than other forms. The balance of nature changes according to which forms survive. The purpose of diversity would therefore seem to be to provide different foods so that different forms of life can survive or not survive. Sounds to me like diversity for the sake of diversity.

Dhw (under “Cambrian Explosion”): You still haven't offered any explanation for your refusal to consider such a possibility.

DAVID: I see God as specifically purposeful and you seem to imagine Him as as a rambling character. A good reason for my refusal.

I imagine him as no such thing. If I organize a football match in which the course of play and the result are unknown, but which will provide a spectacle that I can watch “with interest” (your words), does that make me a rambling character? If God exists and created life, I would most certainly regard him as specifically purposeful, and if the outcome of his work was an ever changing bush of life, including humans, I would certainly not dismiss the possibility that his specific purpose was an ever changing bush of life, including humans. How does that make him a “rambling” character?

dhw: We are simply trying to find explanations that fit the facts as we think we know them.

DAVID: And they seem to end up at a metaphysical level.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know what point you are trying to make. All attempts to look beyond the physical world can be called metaphysical, and so in discussing the possible intentions of a possible God, of course the discussion is metaphysical! How does that make your interpretation of your God’s intentions more valid than mine?


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