Human evolution; "Little foot's" balance mechanism (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, January 24, 2019, 10:30 (28 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I would have thought that for most people the role of survival as a driving force is blindingly obvious etc. etc.

DAVID: Our difference is that I view God as driving evolution step by step which makes survival a non-driving force.

dhw: No it doesn’t. In your hypothesis, of course your God is the driving force behind the creation of life and evolution. The doer is the driving force behind the deed, and the reason for the deed is the driving force behind the doer. In your hypothesis, survival is the driving force behind your God’s decision to specially design whale fins, cuttlefish camouflage and monarch butterfly flight paths.

DAVID: Total misinterpretation of my clearly stated position. God's driving force is His purpose to produce humans through a process of evolving ever-complex organisms. Survival must be included in the progressive designs or evolution cannot proceed. This is a nuanced view that seems to escape you, probably because you do not have a view of God similar to mine.

I certainly don’t share your view that your God specially designed whale fins, cuttlefish camouflage and monarch flight paths in order to produce humans through a process of “ever-complex” organisms, and like yourself I cannot understand why he would impose a 3.5+ billion-year schedule upon himself (see below) to create the only life form he wanted to create. But of course I agree that evolution could not have proceeded if every life form died out – regardless of where it was leading! That is why – even if your God exists and designed every single life form etc. – the reason for all the individual innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders that constitute the history of life and evolution is to improve chances of survival. And that is why it is absurd to claim that “there is little real evidence that survival plays any role in evolution”, which was the starting point of this particular discussion

DAVID: Your usual trope. Of course God seems to have procrastinated if He decided to chose evolution as his means of creation. Why won't you allow Him the right to make that choice? It is what history tells us, and doesn't require your fanciful theories about God wildly human desires.

If God exists, of course he chose evolution as his means of creation. What I am contesting is your right to insist that he only wanted to create H. sapiens, and imposed a 3.5+ billion-year waiting time on himself, and only created all the other life forms so that they could eat one another until his self-imposed waiting time was over. “Wildly human desires” are your mantra whenever I challenge your logic (not God’s), as in this exchange taken from the “Genome complexity” thread on the same subject:

dhw: Your idea is that your always-in-control God specially designed a bush of food to fill in 3.5+ billion years of life until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design. I suggest that the helter-skelter bush is the result of him wishing to create a helter-skelter bush. We needn’t go into the “humanizing” reasons we both hypothesize.

DAVID: But all you have done is look for humanizing reasons. There is no reason for humans with consciousness to appear unless God desired that result of evolution.

If your God exists, there is no reason for the higgledy-piggledy bush to appear unless he desired that result of evolution. Why is that a “humanizing” reason, and the appearance of humans is not a “humanizing” reason. Why would he want a higgledy-piggledy bush to appear? I can’t give you a reason without “humanizing him”. Why would he want humans to appear? Give me a reason without “humanizing” him. You can’t. That’s why you came up with: he wants us to think about him, to have a relationship with him, to admire what he has created. And so it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that since history shows us a higgledy-piggledy bush, your God may have wanted a higgledy-piggledy bush, and we needn’t go into the “humanizing” reasons we both hypothesize.

dhw: You then asked me which of Darwin’s ideas I “cling” to, and I gave you a complete list of those I accepted and those I rejected.

DAVID: Fine. Common descent is a step-wize development of more and more complexity. As above I view God as the driver designer.

dhw: I know you do. Sometimes you even view God as having specially designed every step and every species “de novo” although you claim to believe in evolution and common descent. Anyway, you asked me which of Darwin’s ideas I “cling” to, and I answered you.

DAVID: I don't understand you. My view of God's control is obviously a form of common descent, one you don't like, but that doesn't change its validity as a viewpoint.

Your view changes from day to day. How can you reconcile common descent with “I think God creates species de novo in an evolving order” (January 16)? If he modifies existing species (= common descent), then speciation is not de novo!

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