God and Evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, August 28, 2018, 13:54 (681 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DHW: Your way of thinking is no less human than mine or David’s, and boils down to him wanting what is best, and whatever he thinks is best is best but we don’t know what it is.

Tony: Eh, that was a typo on my part. "I think that is also putting a human way of thinking that I don't subscribe to on God." Or, to put it differently, we think things should be done one way, and then question why he didn't do things OUR way. DHW would create cellular intelligence so he didn't have to do anything else. David would pre-plan, and possibly incorporate some mechanism for change through common descent. Well, why should God care what WE would do?

We are not saying what WE would do. If God exists, he must have had a method of creating the history of life as we know it. We are trying to work out what that method might have been.

TONY: The question is, what did HE do, and why? What does the evidence say, sans fairy tale? Forget special creation, fiddling, twiddling, diddling, cellular intelligence, or programming etc. for a minute. What does the EVIDENCE say when we DON'T add a narrative to it?
We have dogs. We have cats. We have whales. We have rats. There is DNA, that codes proteins and regulates gene expression. There are complex, tightly controlled interactions between systems at every observable level that are so ubiquitous that they can be codified into repeatable, dependable sciences (Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc). All of nature, organic and inorganic, follows tightly constrained rules and patterns that work together towards a harmonious whole(Mineral properties and cellular life). Systems that are physically separate demonstrate startling levels of two way interaction (flowers and bees, algae and atmosphere).
Taking a deconstructionist approach (which is the norm now) we can analyze each system as an individual, but in doing so we lose sight that the entirety also works as a singular unified system.

Thank you for a magnificent analysis of what we do find (although it leaves out the fact that despite the harmony of the whole, vast numbers of species (90%+) have disappeared). I would like to think that everyone else would join me in agreeing with you and appreciating the way in which you have summed up the oneness of the system. But that is what we are all trying to explain: how did it happen? Atheists will tell you that it all fell into place because that is how impersonal Nature works (natural laws). Theists will tell you that there is an unknown, unknowable, sourceless mind behind it all, and then they speculate as to what he’s like, what he wants, and how he did it. The latter gives rise to hypotheses like David’s preprogramming and/or dabbling. My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence allows both for theism and for atheism. I’m not sure how to sum up your hypothesis, as it seems to be a mixture of divine dabbling (separate creation of species) and cellular intelligence (species organize their own variations).

DAVID: To which I always add balance of nature for food/energy supply which existing life must always have as it must constantly counter entropy.

Yes, yes, all life forms need food, and if the “balance of nature” changes, they may not get food and they may die, which also changes the balance of nature.

dhw: You are still talking about single organisms! So please reread what you quoted at the start of this post. I will add that the eight stages of whale development are indeed a special mystery. So please explain why your God chose to specially create these eight stages, and are you saying that he did a wooj-wooj to change every individual at the same time, or do you think he went round the world twiddling with each individual? See “Pointy eggs and whales” for more.

DAVID: No one can explain God, and you know that.

You have not answered my question. I am not asking for an explanation of God. I have offered an explanation of whale development, and you do not accept it. So please tell us how YOU account for the eight stages, if not by one of the two methods I've mentioned.

DAVID: Can you solve Haldane's dilemma?

Oh come on, you know I am not a scientist. But I did point out that if you subscribe to cellular intelligence, time factors are irrelevant, just as they are if you subscribe to divine preprogramming and/or divine dabbling. For anyone interested, here are two websites that claim to solve Haldane’s dilemma by questioning his assumptions.

CB121: Haldane's Dilemma - TalkOrigins Archive

Debate Argument: Haldane's Dilemma | Debate.org

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