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

by dhw, Friday, December 07, 2018, 13:42 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] you object to my contention that God won't give up control but will offer that mechanism with guidelines. That makes perfect sense to me as God is the one and only Creator. Your God might allow latitude, mine won't.

dhw: I query your insistence that your God controls (or “guides”) every innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder, and that all of them are geared to the production of H. sapiens, although with his total control you don’t know why he chose to faff around with all of them. He can be the one and only Creator and still allow latitude because he WANTS to allow latitude.

DAVID: You can theorize about His wants and motives all you want. It doesn't tell us anything of substance. What tells us anything is studying His works. He couldn't feed life without making a huge diversity to form the econiches. It is so obvious.

You have simply ignored what I have written. You believe that your God specially designed every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder that ever existed in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his sole purpose of producing humans so that he could have a relationship with us. Your conclusion above leaves out the crucial “sole purpose”, and in any case is patently wrong. Life was “fed” when it comprised nothing but single cell life forms. It is indeed blindingly obvious that the huge diversity forms all the different econiches. Nothing whatsoever to do with your anthropocentric theory concerning your God’s wants and motives (a relationship with H. sapiens).

DAVID: Thank you for recognizing the obvious influence. Darwin, using the example of breeding, assumed simple adaptations would lead to covering the gaps in speciation and we would find the fossils to fit that concept. All wrong! Gould had to invent weird concepts like punctuated equilibrium to paper over the problem.

dhw: Of course I am influenced by Darwin, but he proposed random mutations as the prime cause of innovations, and you still haven’t told me where he proposes cellular intelligence in their place. There is nothing weird about punctuated equilibrium (which contradicts Darwin’s gradualism – another aspect of his theory which I do not accept).... Once more, the discussion is not about Darwin and me but about your ideas and mine concerning how evolution proceeds.

DAVID: Cellular intelligence is your mantra, not Darwin's. I don't understand your question. 'Punc-inc' is Gould's excuse to cover gaps.

You said that my hypothesis was “pure Darwinism”. I don’t recall him ever proposing cellular intelligence as an alternative to random mutations as the mechanism for innovation. Punctuated equilibrium is not an excuse – it is based on observation of life’s history, and runs counter to Darwin’s insistence that nature does not make jumps. Nobody has yet discovered how the jumps take place.

dhw: I accept your reason for doubting my hypothesis. You don’t know why your God used the method you think he used, but you can't see any reason to doubt your hypotheses.

DAVID: Because I analyze from what I see history and it tells us about what happened. I build on what I think God intended from those facts.

And yet you tell us you don’t try to read your God’s mind! Thinking what God intended means trying to read his mind! All of us see the history, and theists, atheists and agnostics all try to understand how it happened. I have put on my theist’s hat and I have pointed out the sheer illogicality of “what you think God intended”, but when I offer you alternative versions of what your God “might have intended” (= his motive), I’m told you don’t care about motives (see below).

DAVID: We are here. [Yes.] We can think about Him but I am not inside His mind. [Nobody is.] I see the results of evolution as His intentions in direct relationship. [Not clear. Do you mean, for instance, you see his special creation of baleens as a means of keeping life going until he could have a direct relationship with specially designed H. sapiens?] I really don't care about His motives. [Then why do you say that his motive was to have a direct relationship with humans?] For my conversion from agnosticism, all I have ever needed is the logical recognition, it can't be done without a designing mind. [That is your reason for theism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your belief that he specially designed every life form etc. to keep life going until he could fulfil his one and only purpose – a relationship with H. sapiens.]

Thank you for the interesting article on the discovery of another new Australopithecus.

DAVID: It suggests God liked diversity in evolving humans, just as He created diversity in the huge bush of life. I suspect the reason for the diversity in life is econiches for food, while I suspect He already knew what H' sapiens would be like when evolution got to that point.

So now you have your God creating millions of life forms and econiches in order to expand the menu, and creating different hominins and homos because he liked diversity, although his sole purpose in producing different econiches and different hominins and homos was to produce H. sapiens so that he could have a relationship with us.


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