Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 13:40 (476 days ago) @ David Turell

More telescoping, but I hope the editing is fair.

Dhw: Changing conditions mean that organisms must change if they are to SURVIVE. It is therefore patently absurd to argue that survivability has played little or no role in evolutionary change.

DAVID: You are again ignoring the point of why complexity appears. Of course surviving species produce new more complex ones, but we have no idea why life advanced beyond bacteria which have always been here since the start of life. Why did multicellularity start?

Nobody knows why multicellularity started. (The anemone article echoes the point: “The finding provides insight into one the most puzzling aspects of life on Earth. After billions of years during which all organisms on the planet were unicellular and microscopic, an explosion of complex marine soft-bodied organisms [..] suddenly appears in the fossil record.”) And we have agreed ad nauseam that bacteria did not need to evolve. I wrote: “Bacteria survive by constantly adapting to every environmental condition. We keep agreeing that they remain themselves, but somewhere along the line, unicellular organisms joined forces to create multicellularity, and that is presumably when the unexplained process of innovation and speciation began.”

DAVID: Bacteria never had a problem adapting as you first note and then you illogically want evolution to advance because more complex organisms can't survive.

The process of innovation and speciation, which began with multicellularity, IS evolution, so please don’t use pre-evolution bacteria to defend your belief that survivability played little or no role in evolution itself. See also the end of this post.

DAVID: You are simply disagreeing with my view of God. What I can't explain is why God chose evolution as His method of creation. I don't read his mind. Nothing illogical about my approach.
And later:
DAVID: That I can't explain why He chose His evolutionary method to achieve humans is not illogical in any way. I have my own interpretation of how it all happened under His control.

The inexplicability is the whole point. If your view of God’s purpose and intentions provides a reading of his mind for which you can’t find a logical explanation, then maybe your reading is inaccurate.

DAVID: You are dealing with my faith belief that God is the creator and is fully in control. I've given my reasons for jumping the chasm as developed from scientific discoveries. My logic is not your logic on your agnostic side of the chasm.

I accept your scientific reasons (design) for your faith that God is the creator, but with my theist hat on, I can make no sense of your highly subjective reading (totally divorced from science) of his powers, purpose, and method of achieving that purpose, the three of which you yourself cannot fit together.

dhw: Your logical gap is expanding: (a) If your God wanted to produce a whale, why bother with intermediate stages, and (b) if your God only wanted to produce H. sapiens, why bother with eight stages of whale?

DAVID: Exactly my point. Unless very complex phenotypical and physiological are designed the new stages would not have survived. Why did God bother? The only reason I can think of, and I've guessed, they are part of the food chain. Your answer is?

Once more, please explain why your God needed to provide food, then different food, then more different food in order to fulfil his one purpose (us), which you believe he could have done without whales, since he’s in full control. You know my answer: the hypothesis (unproven, because nobody “knows”) that – theistic version - your God created a mechanism enabling the cell communities of which all organisms are made to autonomously work out their own ways of survival and/or improvement, though he could dabble if he wanted to. (And if it helps you, this would allow for the possibility that multicellularity, like Chixculub, was a dabble.)

DAVID: I accept what we see God create. You don't.

If he exists, I can hardly not accept what he created! But that does not mean he created every innovation, econiche etc. for 3.5+ billion years, or that he did so only in order to produce us.

DAVID: I accept His method, as illogical as it may seem to you.

You not “accept” his method of preprogramming and/or dabbling every innovation, econiche etc.; you have imposed it on what you see, and the illogicality lies in the irreconcilability of the three factors listed above.

DAVID: Why become more complex if it makes survival more difficult? Talk about illogical!

You are again reverting to pre-evolution bacteria and the mystery of multicellularity, though the theory you have quoted suggests “that the organisms, which are similar to the world’s earliest complex lifeforms, are adapted to survival in a low-oxygen environment... .” (My bold.) Once more: if you really believe that survivability plays no role, please explain why you think your God changed legs to fins, and extracted pre-baleen teeth and then a few million years later inserted baleens for the sake of complexity and not survival. And please explain the relevance of your statement that “humans survive better than any other animal on earth with the modifications as they came out of the trees.”

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