God and Evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 11:46 (680 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

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.

TONY: 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.

These do not apply to the three of us currently debating, since you and David believe in a God and I always allow for the existence of a God. Please can we stick to our own discussion of God and Evolution!

TONY: 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.

Absolutely right. When the theory of evolution was first proposed (it predates Darwin), it was based on observation of links from present to past. Darwin consolidated the theory, but he also faced up to the gaps, though he believed that in time these would be filled. Many scientists today argue that genetics add further evidence. You (and others) disagree. Their overarching narrative is a continuous development of life forms out of other life forms. Yours is life forms coming out of nowhere, separately created by a sourceless mind you call God. Some people regard the first narrative as atheistic. It is not. Lots of theists believe both in God and in evolution. Finally, once anybody has a firm belief, of course they are predisposed to confirmation bias. And from that moment on, we have pots calling kettles black!

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).

TONY: 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.

It is a valid issue if you wish to claim that our world is a “harmonious whole”, but we needn’t argue about it because if I believed in your God (I don’t disbelieve) I would easily find reasons for extinctions. I am much more interested in the subject with which I ended that post, i.e. your own hypothesis regarding God’s method of speciation, which seems to be a mixture of divine dabbling (speciation) and autonomous intelligence (variations and adaptations). Is that a correct interpretation?

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