Pointy eggs and whales (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, September 17, 2018, 11:33 (741 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'm with dhw. Choosing to be neutral is a valid option. It means abandoning the thought of first cause as a valid consideration.

dhw: Thank you for your first statement. No thanks for your second statement. My neutrality concerns the nature of the first cause: either it is your magical God or it is an impersonal universe that magically produced life. I find it impossible to choose between the two forms of magic.

DAVID: But there is no third option, and God is a much more logical option than the alchemy of inorganic sources from an 'impersonal universe'. As for your dislike of my second statement what made the impersonal universe but a first cause?

The choice is between a conscious first cause (your God) and a non-conscious first cause (an impersonal universe). Neither was “made”. You understandably claim that our life and consciousness and all our powers are too complex to have arisen without a designer. And yet you claim that it is logical for life and consciousness, in the form of a living, conscious God (who remains hidden) with powers infinitely greater than our own, to exist without having been designed. Wonderland logic.

DAVID: Logically I strongly doubt inanimate material can self-organize into living matter. It is a matter of complexity. Life is so much more complex in organization than inanimate matter.

dhw: I should have been more specific with my “some form of intelligence”, because self-organizing does not preclude intelligence (I’m thinking of the atheistic form of panpsychism). I meant the single mind you call God.

DAVID: Now you have substituted the magical appearance of intelligence in any matter. The appearance of intelligence requires the origination of information which is not descriptive but organizational. Now you have three magics from which to choose.

Substituted for what? The choice is between your magically intelligent God and magically intelligent matter, either innately intelligent – panpsychism – or having originated by chance, though in both cases evolving. “Logically I strongly doubt” any form of magic, which is why I am an agnostic, but as I keep admitting, I am wrong one way or the other.


TONY: The fact that [science] can not explain so much, and never will be able to, is precisely why it is (admittedly in an unintuitive fashion) the best evidence.

DHW: The best evidence for what? For the existence of an unknown, sourceless spirit that spawns other unknown spirits before spawning material cells?

TONY: It has been stated by all of us at some point or another, that the choice is between chance and design, not between chance and a particular designer.

I have not specified a “particular” designer. You have, in detail under “philosophy of science”, and in any case – as theists constantly point out – one can hardly have design without a designer.

DHW: I have challenged your statement that science is the best evidence, and your answer is that faith is believing without seeing – the exact opposite of science. So for you clearly science is not the best evidence. And I have no idea why neither believing nor disbelieving is a false option.

TONY: Faith is not the opposite of science. Science is what provides the "assured expectation of things though not beheld." The evidence of the world we CAN see assures us that there is something that we can not see both by its very limitations and the wondrous complexity which it can not explain.

Science is restricted to the material, observable world, and freely acknowledges that there are loads of things it cannot see or explain, such as the origin of life and of consciousness. So what is it the “best evidence” for? Your personal solution of the mysteries: faith in an unknown sourceless God whose first creation was Jesus Christ and whose purpose is his own growth and development? See "philosophy of science" on the same subject.

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