Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, December 21, 2018, 19:16 (272 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If God exists, of course he is in charge and of course he is the driving force behind evolution. But I’m sorry, that does not mean your interpretation of his purposes and methods has to be correct. In your hypothesis, were the fins, baleens, webs, migration and camouflage designed to aid survivability or not? If they were, it is clearly absurd to say that survivability plays no role even in your view of evolution as a divinely preprogrammed or directly dabbled process. And if we regard as possible my own (theistic) hypothesis that your God created the mechanism for organisms to devise their own means of survival, the theist can still say that God is in charge, and the result is precisely what he wanted: innovations, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, all geared to the survival of the organisms concerned.

DAVID: That is no need for me to explain why God chose to evolve life to the point it is at. Of course each level of complexity He creates will survive until He moves on to the next more complex stage. From that viewpoint all of my theories make perfect sense. Of course, you don't look at it that way, so it makes no sense to you even as you make your attempts at being theistic.

dhw: There is no need for you to explain anything, but that makes all discussion pointless. If you admit you can’t understand why something was done in a certain way, you can hardly go on to say that it makes perfect sense. As for my “attempts at being theistic”, they are attempts to gain insight into the great mysteries that none of us can solve. I am an agnostic because I am torn 50/50 between belief and disbelief. That does not mean my attempts to understand the purposes and methods of a possible God are any less valid than your own. That is why I try to find explanations that make sense, and – to redress the balance between us – that is why your scientific approach to the mystery of life itself is of such great value to me. But in discussing your God’s purposes and methods, I look for the same logic you apply to your argument for your God’s existence. I can’t find it. You admit that you can’t find it either, but you don’t need to and clearly don’t want to. Perhaps we should therefore close this thread, but the same problem will keep arising whenever you tell us that a particular innovation, econiche, lifestyle or natural wonder is evidence for your highly personal interpretation of your God’s purposes and methods. (my bold)

Our view of God differs widely. Of course my interpretation is personal. I don't intend it to be otherwise. I have no reason to accept your view of God, which I view as very skewed to a very skeptical position. Of course God makes survivable organisms. He couldn't do otherwise. But I view God as the prime mover and controller of evolution and thus survival which is necessary is a secondary consideration to God's control. As for the bolded statement that I can 't understand God's methods, note I didn't claim it made perfect sense. I don't have to. I accept what I see as God's chosen method. I can wonder why, but that doesn't stop me from accepting it and then analyzing what I see. It is obvious you can't do that and end up on your foggy picket fence. I would ask you, if you could fully explain God's methods and reasoning, would you accept Him? I doubt it.


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