Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 18:09 (282 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: . Follow the reasoning from the facts we have. Humans are the improbable end point currently of evolution. The method God chose to achieve humans was to start life and evolve them over 3.5+ billion years (BY). Life is a very diverse bush of probable and improbable creatures.

dhw: ...Your hypothesis comprises the method and purpose which you impose on life’s history. As you have said yourself, your attempt to read your God's mind is all guesswork. Correct me if this is wrong, but although you don’t like to see your guesswork as an interpretation of your God’s thoughts, you are guessing that he said to himself: "I am in full control, and I choose to take 3.5+ billion years in order to specially design H. sapiens, my one and only purpose, and so I will specially design a very diverse bush of probable and improbable things like whales and dinosaurs, 50,000 different spider webs and the duckbilled platypus in order to provide food to keep life going until I do what I really want to do.” I find this highly unconvincing, and with my theist hat on, I have offered different guesses at God’s thoughts (methods and purposes) which you agree are perfectly logical but which you refuse to consider. (See below)

DAVID: I don't know why God did it this way and your criticism implies that you feel God should have done it directly...

dhw: You can't explain why your always-in-control God did it this way because you cannot match your guessed-at purpose with your guessed-at method. You have agreed that my four explanatory theistic hypotheses (he didn’t specially design every lifestyle, econiche etc.; humans were not his one and only purpose; humans were his purpose but he didn’t know how to make us; humans only became a purpose later on in the process of evolution) are logical and fit the history of life as we know it. I am not asking you to believe any of these explanations, but I can’t understand why you stick so firmly to a hypothesis which you yourself find inexplicable.

I do not find it inexplicable. Econiche food supply is perfectly reasonable to explain God's choice of method. What I cannot explain is why He chose this method, but I don't try.


DAVID: ...or humans were an afterthought in the menagerie He had fun observing. All fun and frivolity with little real purposefulness, which I think is one of God's major attributes.

dhw: I don’t know what you mean by “real” purposefulness, but you keep telling us that it was the production of H. sapiens and his desire that we should think about him and have a relationship with him, which “humanizes" him just as much as the hypothesis that as first cause he needed to keep himself occupied! You can trivialize this with words like fun and frivolity if you like, but if he does exist, I would not see it that way at all. I see no reason why he should not be as fascinated by the diversity of life forms and natural wonders, the variety of experiences and emotions (especially through humans), and the unpredictability of the spectacle as we are, and for all we know, this may be a learning process for him as well. I would prefer your own more neutral formula of “watching with interest”.

Why should He be fascinated by what He creates? He knows what they are! My attempt at interpretation is not the humanizing you do.


DAVID: under “Evolution: life below ground”: First it is obvious the Earth allows life everywhere and it is amazingly life-friendly. The next question is how did those organisms get down there? Did they first evolve on the surface and then slowly go deeper? If they suddenly went that deep they could not have evolved to the forms they are now, which are markedly different from surface bacteria. Were they designed to be there? That could be God at work running the evolutionary process.

dhw: If so, I can’t help wondering why your God would have specially designed these markedly different life forms for the sole purpose of providing food so that life would continue until he could specially design the only thing he actually wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. I'm afraid all your comments inevitably lead to the same problem. Thank you all the same for these very interesting articles.

I'm only attempting to interpret God's chosen mechanisms. I've offered reasonable explanations, which you refuse to accept, because you interpret Him as quite human and if so, He would have done it differently. God IS NOT human.


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