Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, December 28, 2018, 12:21 (148 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 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.

The starting point of this discussion was your claim that “there is little real evidence that survival plays any role in evolution”. All the developments I listed (fins, baleens, camouflage, migration, webs etc.), plus millions of others, constitute evolution, and you believe your God designed them all for the purpose of survival, so if you now wish to withdraw your original claim, we can end this part of the discussion.

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.

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

I have made the same point over and over again: we do not know why multicellularity occurred, but once it had, the innovations which constitute evolution were either necessary for survival or improved organisms’ chances of survival, as you have now agreed. Again you ignore the fact that evolution was not a straight line from simple to complex, and the great bush does not suggest that your God’s only purpose was to create us.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: 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.

I have never questioned your right to quote whichever scientists you like, and to interpret their findings as you wish. However, I do question your right to dismiss my own criticisms of your conclusions on the grounds that I have had no scientific training, and would point out that scientists who disagree with you have had just as much scientific training as you have.

DAVID: 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. No way to deny that. [dhw: I have rewritten your last sentence as it somehow got garbled.]

I have no objection to the argument that humans are currently the most intelligent and most powerful evolutionary achievement. Your illogicality lies in your belief that your God is always in full control and yet spent 3.5+ billion years specially designing millions of innovations, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders to provide food for more and more innovations, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders before specially designing what you keep telling us was his only goal (though modified here with “perhaps”). Well, perhaps we weren’t his only goal. Perhaps – if he exists – his goal was to create the great bush of life (whether directly or indirectly through the invention of cellular intelligence) which constitutes life’s history, or perhaps humans came as a later idea, or he was experimenting to achieve his goal (= not always in full control).

DAVID: 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…

I don’t know why you insert “over time”, but otherwise I most certainly do accept the need for food energy as a prime reason for the bush of diversity. Once multicellularity had begun, survival depended on the ability to eat and not be eaten, so different organisms (combinations of cells) progressively found different ways of finding food while not becoming food – hence the fact now acknowledged by you that the innovations I have listed (fins, baleens etc.) serve the purpose of survival.

DAVID: ...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.

I’m glad you recognize as obvious the point that, far from survival not playing any role in evolution, evolutionary innovation has resulted from the need for organisms to obtain food in order to survive, to which we must add the need to cope with changing environmental conditions (which 99% of organisms have failed to do). What you have added are the various hypotheses – all lacking evidence – listed above in the sentence beginning “Your illogicality lies…”


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