Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, December 24, 2018, 09:04 (27 days ago) @ David Turell

I am again telescoping threads.

DAVID: Evolution is a process of building from one stage onto another more advanced stage.

Each of which introduces new means of survival in order to cope with ever changing conditions. It also branches out into a great bush, which throws into question your hypothesis that your God’s sole purpose from the very beginning was to create the brain of H. sapiens.

DAVID: Survival must occur until it is no longer necessary at that particular stage. Raup called it "Bad Luck" from his Darwin viewpoint.

Evolution occurs when organisms acquire new structures (either autonomously or through your God) which help them to survive. Organisms fail to survive when they are unable to adapt to new conditions. It’s bad luck whether they lack the means to survive or your God decides he’s had enough of them, but any innovation that enables them to survive (a) advances evolution, and (b) makes nonsense of the claim that survivability plays little or no role in evolution. Even you admit that the fins and baleens and camouflage and migration patterns and spider webs are instruments for survival!

DAVID: Linnemann makes sense only if organisms can speciate on their own and make the giant leaps in form and physiology that major speciation implies. Your reliance on survival as a driving force is a direct repudiation of any possibility of God existing.

If your God invented a mechanism enabling organisms to design their own means of survival, there is no repudiation of the possibility of God’s existence. It is only a repudiation of your personal belief that your God himself designed every facet of evolution, and did so in order to enable organisms to survive until he could design H. sapiens, although apparently survivability plays no role in evolution!

DAVID: Since I am sure God knew His goals, He had to remain in charge.

dhw: Not if his goal was to create a process that would function independently of his control (with the option of a dabble if he felt like it).

DAVID: I think you wish He would be that way but I view the evidence from evolution as being obviously too purposeful to fit that scenario. Evidence: take humans out of trees and remove their hair so they can outrun game, or predators.

I don’t “wish” anything. You claim that he had to remain in charge. I have pointed out that if his goal was to create a process that did NOT require him to be in charge, your statement is inaccurate.

Meanwhile, you could hardly offer a better example of the role survivability plays in evolution. Your God removes the hair and sets the hominin up on two legs with the purpose of enabling him to catch food or escape from predators – two crucial ways of surviving, and yet you tell us that “there is little real evidence that survival plays any role in evolution if humans are used as an example” and “humans survive better than any other animal on earth with the modifications as they came out of the trees.” Likewise with your favourite example of the whale. Did your God change pre-whale’s legs into fins for the sake of complexity, or for the sake of survival in a new environment?

DAVID: I don't know why you are arguing. I've said as prime mover God will design for survival.

But you keep telling us that survival has no role in evolution!

DAVID: I'm willing to consider every possibility before settling on one that fits God's role as prime mover. You take every opportunity to make Him less than prime!

dhw: Absolutely not! If he exists, of course he is prime, and he is prime in all the theistic hypotheses I have offered you but which you are NOT willing to consider. You keep admitting that you can’t explain why he “chose” higgledy-piggledy evolution as his method to fulfil his one and only goal, and then you claim that nevertheless your speculations are logical!

DAVID: Logically I don't have to explain. i simply have to interpret what He did.

We are discussing several interpretations of what he did. In my view, an interpretation which makes logical sense is more likely to be true than an interpretation which even the interpreter cannot logically explain.

DAVID: My entry about marathoning is a great example of stepwise: out of trees on two feet and loss of hair to allow hunting by running down game that can't outrun the hominin: Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 21:30.

dhw: Indeed, an excellent example of Darwinian stepwise evolution, and as you quite rightly indicate, this step enabled the hominin to improve his chances of survival – although you will tell us in the same breath that this step in evolution had nothing to do with survival.

DAVID: Your interpretation of my statement is exactly opposite to the meaning of my statements.

As above, you tell us that the purpose of the evolutionary changes was to catch prey and avoid predators (= survival), and yet you tell us that survival plays no role in evolution. One of these statements is “exactly opposite” to the other.

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