Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 10:33 (569 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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: In my attempt to understand God's creation, I must accept what is known. My explanations are reasonable thoughts in regard to a Creator who is purposeful, selfless in His intentions and sees Himself as gaining nothing for himself, except the satisfaction of a job well done. You don't look at Him that way.

An interesting set of assumptions about God's character by someone who claims that we shouldn’t try to read God’s mind. But I agree that your God must have had a purpose in creating life. The “satisfaction of a job well done” does not explain why he gave himself the job in the first place, but it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that he set himself a task that would bring him satisfaction. Why do you think your first-cause, isolated God needed to do something that would bring him satisfaction?

DAVID: In interpreting a very diverse bush of life, My best idea is that it provides food until evolution runs its current course.

So God said to himself: “I shall create all sorts of life so that they can keep eating each other until I decide enough is enough, and that will give me satisfaction.”

DAVID: That humans are His main purpose is obvious.

We have had this conversation before, and I asked you what other purpose he might have had, if humans were his “main” purpose. The answer until now has been that humans were his only purpose.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: It all fits together for me. Even in creating whales to create a very complex ecosystem in oceans.

So now God says to himself: “I want to create complex and very complex ecosystems, and these will give me satisfaction.” That’s logical enough on its own – the pleasure of creating all sorts of creatures. But it does not mean that all these complex ecosystems were designed to keep life going until he could fulfil what you keep telling us was his sole purpose from the beginning – H. sapiens. THAT is where your hypotheses become irreconcilable.

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: God chose to evolve what appears. There is no reason for me to know why. I simply must accept his choice of method. Perhaps His creative powers require it. Religions in the Bible infer the ability for direct creation, but the Bible, in my view, is a human creation, not the real truth.

Forget the Bible, then. It is you who insist that he is in full control. His choice of method to do what? If he wanted to gain the satisfaction of creating lots of different ecosystems, your hypothesis makes sense: the pleasure of watching different forms of life evolve. You say he designed each one, and I suggest that he equipped them to do the designing themselves. The end product is the same. But if his sole purpose was to create us, you run into your logical brick wall: why specially create the whale if he could have created us without the whale?

DAVID: I can explain whales to my satisfaction.

Only by changing God’s purpose, as you have done above.

dhw: ... 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.

DAVID: Of course, in creating new ecosystems, the organisms in that system must be capable of survival. God is not inconsistent in his methods.

We are discussing your insistence that survival plays little or no role in evolution. So did your God perform the above operations for the satisfaction of creating a new toothless whale and a new ecosystem (nothing to do with fulfilling his sole purpose of creating us), or were they designed to enable the pre-whale and pre-baleen whale to survive?

dhw: 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.”

DAVID: Answered immediately above.

Not answered at all. If your God specially designed modifications that enable humans to survive better than any other animal, how can you say survivability played little or no role in the modifications your God specially designed?

DAVID (under “How we became marathoners”): A gene has been found, which allowed us to run down prey. We sweat, they don't. And later: On two feet we obviously needed this ability to run down game.

But according to you, this evolutionary development enhancing our ability to catch our food has nothing to do with survivability.

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