God and Evolution (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, August 28, 2018, 19:10 (104 days ago) @ dhw

Tony: ...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?[/i]

DHW: 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.

Most of what I see is people trying to prove God doesn't exist, not trying to actually figure out what happened. Most of the assumptions they start with are precluded with 'God doesn't exist'. Most of the language used to describe their observations have 'God doesn't exist' as a foregone conclusion. Here, that is less of an issue, but I was speaking in generalities. Still, you don't reverse engineer something by starting at the beginning. You start at the end and work your way back, and you start with pure observation without an over arching narrative. Once you include a narrative, you are predisposed to confirmation bias.

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.

DHW: 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).

It doesn't leave it out. It leaves it unanswered, leaving room for us to ask WHY it happened, which I have addressed on a number of occasions.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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