Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, December 30, 2018, 08:53 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

Again I have edited this in order to clarify the arguments.

DAVID: You are simply questioning God's chosen method with your own psychoanalysis of God's mind. I say He chose to do it this way because that is what the facts are.

dhw: If God exists, of course evolution was his chosen method, but the question is: method to do what?

DAVID: Why do you constantly question the evolution of humans as God's purpose? That is what has happened and there is no visible reason for it. What we left behind in the other primates has evidence that they will do just fine, if we don't continue to crowd them out.

As we have agreed so many times before, and as you repeat below, there is no visible reason why evolution should have proceeded beyond bacteria. The fact that humans are more self-aware, intelligent and powerful than any other species does not mean that your God specially designed millions of other species extant and extinct merely in order to provide food so that life could go on for 3.5+ billion years until he could produce us.

DAVID: I interpret the evidence as I see it, and see logic in the diversity as providing energy to take the time to evolve. As for questioning His full control, that allows him to chose any method He wished. I don't know why you won't accept that. I do.

And this is where your logic breaks down, as you readily admit, because you cannot explain why, if humans were his sole purpose and he was in full control and could choose any method he wished, he chose to spend 3.5+ thousand million years specially designing millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders before he specially designed us.

DAVID: You keep fussing about the time evolution took. Accept that it did.

Of course evolution has taken time, and will continue to take time until life dies out! That doesn’t mean your God gave himself the commandment: “Thou shalt take 3.5+ billion years and specially design and kill off millions of life forms etc. before specially designing the one thing thou wantest to design.”

DAVID: From a naturalist viewpoint like Darwin, there is no obvious reason for bacteria to advance to multicellular. Multicellular involves multiple problems which require design. Marked environmental challenges like mammals stuck in water require monumental design problems. The advance to humans required monumental design of skeletal posture as well has creating a brain like no other.

Precisely. Yet again: If your God could choose any method he liked to fulfil his one and only purpose, why did he specially design whale fins and baleens, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, 50,000 spider webs, all the complexities of all the mammals and reptiles and birds and fish extant and extinct for 3.5+ billion years? You can’t explain it, so maybe one or other or all of your hypotheses (God in total control, H. sapiens as sole purpose, special design of all life forms etc.) are wrong.

DAVID: As for a priori reasoning, not my case: I was agnostic until I studied evolution from as scientific standpoint, and I discovered there had to be a designer mind.

I have always accepted the logic behind your belief in design. Your “a priori” comment and mine referred to cellular intelligence, not to your belief in God.

DAVID: I've also had a lifetime study of cellular behavior and all I've ever seen in the studies is logical automaticity of response. You are the a priori guy.

The scientists I quote have also had a lifetime study of cells, and have reached a different, a posteriori conclusion. You admit that the odds are 50/50. I have not reached any conclusion, but have used their findings as the basis of a hypothesis. I keep telling you that it is a hypothesis, not a belief, but I find it at least as convincing as your own hypotheses.

DAVID: Be sure to look at pointy eggs and whales. What we are debating about is all in the information hidden in the code of the genome's black box . We know what it runs but not how, and it is obvious to me it contains all the intelligent responses to stimuli needed. […] You do not run your body as it survives. You use your body for your chosen activities, thanks to the autonomic system it has.

I like the analogy. We don’t know how it runs, but there is a 50/50 chance that micro-organisms use their autonomous intelligence as I do (though to nothing like the same degree) to process information, communicate it to others, take decisions etc. and perform their chosen activities through the autonomic parts of their bodies.


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