autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, April 12, 2018, 13:48 (128 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The need for energy is a truism. Balance simply describes the mechanism of supply. The balance has nothing to do with the argument that evolution has a purpose. We all know that. […] And later:
Weaverbirds are a part of an econiche that produces energy for evolution, nothing more. You keep trying to tie the design issue into the final production of the human brain.

Thank you for this excellent summary, which I shall try to keep handy for future reference. The problem we keep discussing is twofold: 1) your continued insistence that your God designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and 2) that he did so in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his “prime” purpose, which was the production of the human brain. Whenever I challenge these two tenets of yours, you bring up the “balance of nature”, which you now acknowledge is totally irrelevant. I ask why he had to specially design the weaverbird's nest if his prime purpose was to produce the human brain, and now you acknowledge that there is no connection. It is you who constantly harp on about your God’s purposefulness, and who constantly try to link continuation of life to the production of the brain. I’m delighted that you have abandoned that line of argument. All we’re left with now is your belief that he personally designed the complexities of the weaverbird’s nest in order to produce energy for evolution. I can’t help feeling that life would have continued to evolve even without those knots.

DAVID: What you don't seem to remember is that you asked me for possible reasons for God's purposes, so I gave you some, but over and over I've said we really can't know because He is a person like no other person.

But you keep insisting that you do “know” his purpose: production of the human brain.

DAVID: You can't seem to avoid a human suggestion about what God might have planned or wished. All we see is the result: the miraculous appearance of life on a very specialized planet with an evolution of the most complex item in the universe, our brain.

You seem to think your human insistence that humans were the primary focus of your God’s plans and wishes is not a human suggestion. The result we see is 3.8 billion years of comings and goings, with a vast variety of species, lifestyles and natural wonders, including but – as you now acknowledge - unconnected with the human brain. This suggests to me that your God must have had a much broader purpose than just producing the human brain - hence the spectacle hypothesis. But you reject this as “humanizing”. I point out that your purposeful God must have had a purpose in wanting to produce the human brain, and so instead of my “humanizing” spectacle, you offer “humanizing” faith, recognition, and a relationship. If you want to discuss your God’s purpose, you cannot avoid making “human suggestions” that “humanize” him. And if you can make them, I can make them. “Humanization” is a non-argument, since all our explanations are human speculations. But I would suggest that some seem more logical than others!

DAVID: And you doubt a designer must exist. Makes no sense to me.

As you very well know, I do not reject the case for design. But the case for design does not provide any answer to the problem of how an infinite, conscious being of infinite powers can simply “be”, whereas finite beings of finite consciousness and powers have to be designed. I cannot believe in a solution to one mystery if that solution creates an even greater mystery that has no solution. And it does make sense to you, because you always acknowledge that ultimately one needs faith to believe your solution.

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