Pointy eggs and whales (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, September 03, 2018, 14:44 (675 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The gap is because the body types don't follow in any way. Quoting a Darwin site carries the message, "they must have evolved", without any semblance of proof. Typical Darwin declaration without thought and you present it, but do you believe it?

Dhw: The gap is because the body types don’t follow in any way. “An unknown, unknowable, sourceless designer we call God must have created them out of nowhere.” Typical theist declaration without any semblance of proof, and you present it, but do you believe it?
I don’t think you have ever quite understood the reason why I am an agnostic. The explanations of life’s history offered by both theists and atheists are so full of Cambrian-style gaps that I cannot place my faith in any of them.

DAVID: I do understand your point of view. That is why the point picket fence analogy. No firm foothold, no firm belief in 'why is there anything'. No firm belief in your own inventive theories. At least we agree life followed an evolutionary course with a degree of branching we can call common descent. We agree on descriptive terms , not cause and effect.

dhw: It’s a shame that you didn’t comment on the parallel statements at the top of this post, but yes, this is a good summary.

The summary stands as a comment on the parallel statements.

TONY: Just a thought, but what seems to be missing in this thought process is 'purpose'. Evolution requires no purpose, and offers no meaning. I think something deep in humanity rejects this purposeless idea of existence. Yet we do not extend the idea of purpose beyond our own existence to say, what is the purpose of everything, not just our purpose. We can recognize the need for a designer to account for the complexity, but forget that designers do not design without purpose.

DAVID: I've constantly brought up the issue of purpose and the need for a designer.

dhw: The case for design (but not necessarily by an individual designer called God) is not an issue between us. The issue of purpose has been discussed many times, but perhaps we haven’t discussed it with Tony. Briefly, as I see it, there is a difference between what we might call micro and macropurpose. For all living organisms, there is a clear (micro) purpose of survival, while humans have many additional, personal purposes. But I think your interest lies in a macropurpose for life and the universe. Obviously if there is no God, there is no macropurpose. That doesn’t matter at all to me, since I am happy to follow my own path. I should add how delighted I am to be alive and to have the opportunity to enjoy the good, though it saddens me to observe the bad.

If there is a God, “purpose” requires an attempt to read his mind – which David objects to, unless we agree to his own reading of the mind of God, whose purpose in creating the universe was apparently to create the brain of Homo sapiens so that we can have a relationship with him although he remains hidden. (David will correct me if this summary is wrong.) In view of the astonishingly rich spectacle of an ever changing history of comings and goings – with humans clearly offering the richest spectacle of all – I have suggested that if there is a God, his purpose might have been to create an astonishingly rich spectacle of an ever changing history etc. I can’t help feeling that an eternally conscious mind would be bored to oblivion if it had nothing to do all eternity long. Whether such a God has any purpose beyond that of the spectacle will only be revealed to me if there is some form of conscious afterlife.

Your supposed boredom for God is your usual humanized view of Him. My human version of Him is that He's got a universe to run, a Heaven to manage, more evolutionary changes to design, and at the same time put some mind to the next universe which will follow this one after it has stretched out of existence. After all universes are finite matter, and God is full of purpose for eternity.

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