dhw: Evolution and humans: Neanderthal lungs larger (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, November 26, 2018, 12:48 (120 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are trying to portray my use of the word 'steppingstone' to mean that each animal in each niche leads to humans. That is not what I have stated. They simply supply energy, while the evolutionary lines that lead to humans progresses through time. That line represents the only steppingstones as you refer to them.

dhw: You stated (17 November): “All of the varieties produced through evolution are steppingstones to humans; that is what evolution means and I believe God designed what He thought was necessary all the way from the first cells to humans.” (My bold) But if you really meant to say that all econiches provide energy, and humans descended in steps from a particular line of organisms and the process took time, then we are in complete agreement, though I have no idea why you would wish to make two such obvious and unrelated statements.

DAVID: The relationship is patently obvious: niches provide energy so evolution can take 3.6 billion years, stated over and over.

Niches provide energy, and so far evolution has lasted for 3.X billion years – not “so evolution can take…”. Who knows what may evolve in the next few billion years? But this has nothing whatsoever to do with your explicit belief that “all varieties produced through evolution are steppingstones to humans”! That is the patently obvious unrelatedness of your earlier statement.

DAVID: […] God is not human. I don't know that He needs entertainment and set up some for himself. I was referring to serious purpose but didn't make that clear.

dhw: […] of course God is not human, and we don’t even “know” if he exists, let alone what his purpose might be. We have been over all this umpteen times. I do not accept your definition of “a logical purposeful activity” as an activity you consider to be “serious”, and in any case I personally consider the purpose I have proposed as something extremely serious, though I would prefer to use a less flippant term than "entertainment". "Occupation" perhaps, as in something to occupy his mind.

DAVID: You have again talked your way around the fact that you constantly humanize god.

You asked me for a logical purposeful activity, and I gave you one. It is quite impossible to describe purpose without humanizing – which is why when pressed you have your God watching us with interest, wanting a relationship with us, testing us etc. - and there is no reason to suppose that our own consciousness does not in some ways mirror his own (according to some religions, we are “made in his image”. See my response under “Immunity”.) But “humanizing” is your constant get-out whenever you ask me for purpose and don’t like my response.

DAVID: Your dependency on Darwin is shown by the fact that you still cling to an unproven theory behind the evolutionary mechanism he envisioned, that survivability plays a role in advancing evolution. Survivability did not make mammals take to water.

dhw: How the heck do you know that? Hypothesis: food was short on land but plentiful in the water, so some mammals took to water. Is that less logical than God’s purpose was humans, and so he gave some land-dwelling mammals fins to enable them to enter the water? Survivability is pure common sense. All organisms fight to survive, and if conditions change, either they adapt or they die. My hypothesis goes one step further: adaptation in order to survive may extend to innovation in order to improve chances of survival.

DAVID: I would remind you that a firm Darwinist David Raup devoted a whole book to this issue and concluded, survival depended on luck! Still sticking to Darwin.

You have ignored the whole of my response. Why don’t you stick to the point? You are talking to me, not to David Raup.

DAVID: All your theory is based on is cellular adaptability to changing stimuli, but the cells/organisms are not really a different form or species.

dhw: Cells are the components of all organisms. The way in which cell communities are structured determines the nature of the organism. But yes, of course my speciation hypothesis is based on cellular adaptability to changing stimuli. […]

DAVID: And I would again ask, why you envision a God who gives up control? No one in the religions agrees with you. Remember you are reinterpreting their God.

As for religion, firstly it is not “their” God. There are all kinds of religions with all kinds of gods, and deists who believe God initiated creation but then let it run its own course have just as much right to their views as Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, and the Dogon and the Yanomami. Secondly, I have given you a full answer to your question about control, but you don’t like it so you dismiss it as “humanizing”. Thirdly, you have always prided yourself on your independence from established religion, but in any case the main focus of the monotheistic religions (like the main focus of your view of evolution) is on humans, and if I remember rightly, you are a firm believer in human free will. How can we have free will if your God doesn’t give up control? And if he can invent a mechanism for free will, why shouldn't he invent a mechanism for free innovation?


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