Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 22:45 (149 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What we are debating is the driving force behind each advance or change in evolution as it progresses from simple to complex. I view God as designing each advance and providing for necessary survival in each stage. My point could not be clearer. You constantly muddy the waters with your insistence that I do not recognize survival has a role: dhw: "apparently survivability plays no role in evolution!" Of course it has a role, but it is not the driving force as touted by you and your mentor, Darwin.

dhw: I challenged your claim with examples (fins, baleens, monarch migration, spiders’ webs) and later humans (hairlessness and bipedalism as aids to hunting and escape from predators), all of which improve chances of survival. You have now accepted this, but have switched the argument to God being the “driving force”, designing each advance. (Survival doesn’t design anything – in this context it is a purpose not a force.) This is a different subject altogether, in which my alternative hypothesis is that God does not design each advance but the “driving force” is cellular intelligence, perhaps designed by your God. (Darwin’s proposal is random mutations with gradual refinements and natural selection.) If you now wish to withdraw your statement that “there is little real evidence that survival plays any role in evolution”, we can end this part of the discussion.

Obviously intelligence is the driving force. The role survival plays is survival, which is a requirement for any process of evolution. That is all I have ever claimed.


dhw: Another disagreement concerns your belief that the motivation for each change is complexification, not survivability. I see no point in complexity for the sake of complexity, and again point out that I do not regard fins, toothlessness and baleens as more complex than legs and teeth. Nor do I see the great bush of life as a straight progression from simple to complex, and I cannot find any logical connection with your overall hypothesis summarized below.

Again you ignore the evidence bacteria present. There was never a need for them to complexify into multicellular forms. Does necessity drive evolution? No!


dhw: My criticisms of your overall hypothesis – your God designed every innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder to provide food so that life would survive until he could fulfil his sole purpose of producing H. sapiens, although he is always in full control – is not meant as a personal attack, and I apologize if that is the impression you have gained. I simply find it illogical. But I must point out that my lack of scientific training does not miraculously endow this hypothesis or the complexity-rather-than-survivability hypothesis with any scientific basis or theistic logic. It’s true that there are crowds of scientifically trained ID scientists who think God is the designer (40%?), and the rest (60%?) think there may be a designer God or no designer God at all. Your scientific training provides you with a logical basis for your belief in God, but not for your interpretation of his possible purposes and methods.

I agree it is my interpretation of the science, which I view as granting me the right to quote whomever scientist I read and re-interpret his/her conclusions to fit my views from my training. As for my illogicality, if humans are the current pinnacle of evolutionary achievement one cannot avoid the conclusion they, based on the issue of necessary advancement, noted above, are the current and perhaps only goal. N o ay tgo den y that.


dhw: My hypothesis is not a matter of “convenience”, and there is no diminishing of your God’s purposeful drive or goal orientation if he set out to create what his method actually did create: an ever changing bush of life. You can’t explain why your always-in-control God chose to achieve your idea of his sole purpose (us) by your idea of his method (3.5+ billion years’ worth of specially designed organisms that have little or nothing to do with us). I can only repeat that if you can’t explain your hypothesis, perhaps you should consider the different scenarios I have proposed, which are not beliefs but alternative explanations, the logic of which you have not denied. In fairness, though, you have agreed that experimentation (e.g. your God not knowing how to achieve his purpose, which = his not being in full control) is possible.

You continue to logically recognize the need for food energy for life'd evolution to continue over time, but refuse to accept it as a prime reason for the bush of diversity, and invent spectacle which has no basis on logical clues, while the need for food is obvious. I use what we obviously know, nothing more. I suggest adding nothing which lacks evidence, which is all I suggest using as I do.


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