An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, July 16, 2018, 12:07 (717 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DHW You keep hammering home the case against chance and for design, and all theistic evolutionists agree with you! Why do you keep ignoring them? An alternative to evolution governed by chance is evolution governed by design.

TONY: I'm not ignoring them. As of right now, we can not observe the Designer, he/she/it/or otherwise. So I don't, in the hypothesis, speculate or who or what the designer is.

This thread is called “An Alternative to Evolution”, but at least 50% of your argument relates to design versus chance, and that is not an alternative because many people believe in a designed evolution. Nobody is asking you to speculate on who or what the designer is.

TONY: I have acknowdged that other versions of design are possible, and have simply asked for the experimental evidence that the method is possible.

Your method is separate creation. If there is a designer, he can choose any method he likes, but there is no experimental evidence to prove that prototypes can spring forth out of nothing.

dhw I have long since accepted the science without the religion. I am an agnostic largely because I recognize the scientific case for design but cannot accept the religion.

TONY: Realizing that there is a designer does not require any particular assumptions about the designer.

I never said it did.

dhw: In response to David, you wrote that the alternative to common descent was that “he designed prototypes, with built in variability parameters, and that life has stayed within those types and those variability parameters.” ... Why is the unobservable process of speciation by divine prototype manufacture more scientific than the unobservable process of divine programming of speciation, or divine provision of autonomous intelligences to conduct their own evolution? All of them fit the design theory.

TONY: But not all fit the evidence. Speciation has never been observed, and the are multiple failsafe which should actively prevent it from occurring. There is also the information gap, which could be explained by dabbling, if you were willing to accept that he dabbled with literally every individual species.

The “multiple failsafe” is what exists now, so of course it prevents species from turning into other species. That is why we devote so much time to finding the cause of speciation! Separate creation of prototypes has never been observed. If by the “information gap” you mean saltations, yes, they could be explained by dabbling (your separate creation of individual species or prototypes), or by David’s programming, or by my cellular intelligence, or by random mutations (which we three reject).

DHW: How can you test that thousands of millions of years ago, a bunch of prototypes appeared out of nowhere?

TONY: The same way they have failed to prove evolution.... Check the fossil record. Is it a steady linear progression or punctuated equilibrium?

I subscribe to punctuated equilibrium. How does that provide a test to prove that a bunch of prototypes appeared out of nowhere? (See above re saltations.)

DHW We are not talking about known processes. Nobody knows what process led to the different species! There is no known process whereby prototypes suddenly sprang into existence. (Back we go to design, a designer, and different design theories.)

TONY: Evolution is a process, as is design. One way or the other, you have to believe the fantastic.... And at the end, it will be a matter of faith.

Precisely. So firstly there is no way you can claim that your “alternative to evolution” – i.e. separate creation of the species – is based on science, and secondly, you do not have to believe the fantastic. You can be an agnostic.

DHW Of course evolution does not include abiogenesis. Darwin specified that his Origin of Species did NOT cover origin of life (although in later editions he attributed it to a Creator).

TONY: Then why must I?

Who said you must? It was you who asked if the theory of evolution included abiogenesis. And I told you it didn’t.

dhw: I keep repeating that I do mean common descent but NOT random mutations. It is you who insist that evolution means random mutations, but I myself reject randomness, as do theistic evolutionists such as our David.

TONY: Actually, it is the text books that insist on random chance. The mainstream theory of evolution depends o random mutations. I can't comment on the requirements of these unspecified other hypotheses. If you reject chance, congratulatiins, you are a theist, not agnostic. There is either random chance or design. Naturalism or Theism. Welcome to theistic design.

Why “text books”? Is there some authority that lays down the law on which books you must study? I’m sure David could give you a long reading list of books that cover theistic evolution, and you might begin with his own The Atheist Delusion, which offers as powerful a case for design as you could wish for. Yes, there is either random chance or design, as there is or there isn’t a designer God. I find it just as difficult to believe in a sourceless, boundless super-intelligence called Yahweh as I do in chance. You rightly say that at the end, it will be a matter of faith. I do not have faith. I neither believe nor disbelieve. Now you know what I mean by agnosticism!

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