Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, January 09, 2019, 12:31 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It doesn't matter to me that God chose to evolve us. It makes perfect sense that God wanted to do it that way, if you simply accept that God does what He wants as the controller.

dhw: If he exists, of course he does what he wants. But you make him want what you want him to want (to specially design H. sapiens), although for reasons you don’t understand, you have him waiting 3.5+ billion years while he specially designs millions of other life forms so that they can eat each other.

DAVID: I don't have to know His reasons. It is your 'humanizing of God' problem. I've simply accepted that God chose to evolve us. We can't ask him why , and I've given you the econiche logical solution a a food supply function. It explains the diversity you worry over, without ranging far afield to give God extra desires or thoughts at a human level.

If your God exists, we can only ask ourselves why he might have done something. The food supply argument has nothing to do with the evolution of humans, as you have admitted, and in any case you seem to think that H. sapiens didn't evolve, as such, but was specially designed. Your human reasoning tells you that since we are the latest and most intelligent species of all, God must have wanted us from the beginning. That want is no less “human” than suggesting we were the last inventions he thought of, or he did want some sort of thinking being, but didn’t know how to get it.

dhw: You and I can only use our human reason, but we can’t be positive about any of our speculations. Your human reasoning has come up with a hypothesis that you can’t understand, and so you tell us that it is God’s reasoning/logic and we must simply accept it!

DAVID: We can't do anything else but accept that is how He chose to do it.

How he chose to do what? I have given you different interpretations of what he chose to do,
and how he chose to do it. You agree that they make logical sense, but we must accept your interpretation of the method he used to achieve your interpretation of what he wanted to achieve! Your “human reasoning” is illogical, mine is logical, but we can only accept yours!

DAVID: […] Your point is logical: if all powerful, why did He wait so long? Logical answers: either it was His choice or He had to do it that way, for reasons we do not understand, but might one day with enough research into the problems evolution present.

Different logical, theistic answers: maybe he did NOT start out with the purpose of creating H. sapiens; maybe he did have that purpose but didn’t know how to achieve it; maybe he started out with the purpose of creating an ever changing bush of life (as history shows) by means of an autonomous mechanism which would respond to ever changing conditions, although he dabbled when he wanted to. None of these explanations are more “humanizing” than the claim that he “wanted” humans from the start but chose to spend 3.5+ billion years designing other things, and all of these explanations remove the logical impasse which your human reasoning has created but which you insist represents a correct reading of your God’s mind.

DAVID: But science is limited in how we practice and perceive it with our limits; this article explains our limits:
https://aeon.co/essays/the-blind-spot-of-science-is-the-neglect-of-lived-experience?utm...

The limitations of science do not support your illogical reading of your God’s mind. Here is a much earlier article on the limitations of science. I expect you will recognize its source:

Science can only concern itself with the material world as we know it. Science cannot speculate on matters beyond the scope of what can be tried and tested, and so by definition any belief in a non-physical world must be unscientific. But unscientific does not mean unreal or non-existent. There are many things in our lives that transcend the material world as we know it – love, art, music, beauty, premonitions and so on – but more importantly, the tools with which we examine the material world are inadequate. Birds and insects are able to perceive things that we cannot. We are clever enough to devise instruments that hugely enhance our capabilities of perception, but even then, they will only be able to show us that which the human brain is able to perceive. How, then, can we know that there are no other forms of life and being that exist on a totally different plane? A deaf man might argue that because he can hear nothing, sound doesn’t exist. This is not to denigrate science. It is simply a denial of the right of science to exclude the possibility of phenomena outside its range. By extension, it is a denial of the right of an atheist to claim that religious faith is unscientific and therefore wrong.

Of course one must add that the limitations of science do not mean we must accept any old conclusions regarding a non-material world! We must simply remain open to all possible sources of knowledge.


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