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

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 29, 2018, 16:05 (177 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If the environment changes, it is commonsense that organisms will try to survive. You said that “survivability did not make mammals take to water”, and I offered a commonsense scenario […]

DAVID: But your so-called common sense does not tell us how surviving species changed into more advanced forms. Survival only preserves an existing form. You can't seem to leave Darwin's adaptation theory behind.

dhw: Once more, NOBODY knows how speciation takes place. You have challenged the role of survivability in evolution, and you believe that your God changed pre-whale legs into fins before it was necessary, and then told pre-whales to enter the water. Why is that more commonsensical than the proposal that food was short on land but plentiful in the water, and so in order to survive, pre-whales entered the water, flourished, and their bodies changed accordingly? Nobody knows how, but this explains how survivability is integral to the evolutionary process, which is the current point at issue.

You are simply repeating Darwin's theory that survival adaptations may cause new species. And I'm simply saying it is logical to view survivability as only helping existing organisms to survive and has no way of explaining the gaps we know exist.

dhw: Free will is not a fact, but that’s beside the point. My question was: if he can invent a mechanism for free will, why shouldn’t he invent a mechanism for innovation?

DAVID: Free will is not a mechanism but an attribute of the human brain. Do you make choices every day or not?

dhw: Actually, since you claim to be a dualist, I’d have thought free will was an attribute of the soul and not the brain. But we’d better not re-open that can of worms. The brain is a mechanism. If you think free will is a product of that mechanism, then that’s fine. So if you think your God can invent a mechanism for humans which in turn produces free will, why shouldn’t he create a mechanism for other organisms which in turn produces free innovation? In answer to your question, I myself believe in free will but recognize that there is a strong case for not believing in it.

DAVID: You know darn well the brain is the seat of the soul during life. Don't open the can again.

dhw: I said myself that we shouldn’t re-open it. Perhaps now you will answer the bolded question.

As usual you want to enter God's mind. God has given animals a way to react to needs with instincts. Animals are conscious and make choices. As for material innovation, that is changing material form, not a mechanism at the level of mentation (free will). Why does one process mean another? God does what God does and I look at results, since His reasons are not clear. Why should they be? You are fascinated at the workings of a mind you believe doesn't exist, or that you can't imagine might exist as you remain agnostic.

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