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

by dhw, Friday, January 25, 2019, 10:52 (431 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 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.

dhw: 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: Have you presented any actual evidence?

What do you want me to do? Should I cut off the whale’s fins and tail, remove the cuttlefish’s camouflage, stop the monarch butterfly from migrating, go round snipping out the web-making equipment of 50,000 types of spider, and then report back to tell you how long they survive? You claim that your God specially designed all these innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, and did so to enable the organisms to SURVIVE until his mysteriously self-imposed waiting time of 3.5+ billion years had elapsed, and only then could he design the only thing he wanted to design. "Have you presented any actual evidence?" If the purpose of an innovation, lifestyle or natural wonder (whether specially designed by your God or not) is to help the organism to survive, it is patently absurd to say that survival plays no role in evolution.

DAVID: 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.

dhw: 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!

DAVID: My view is quite fixed. You misinterpret my use of de novo. Each species is a new species although it certainly may be a modification. It may have come from a previous form but it still is something new. I use it is the Latin sense of something new from something in the past.

A lot of your views are indeed fixed. Lots of species are now old, and so I presume you mean that each new species is a new species, which I suspect we would all agree on. But if you create something de novo, it means you create it from scratch, not that you modify something that already exists. Creationists believe that their God created each species separately, or de novo (= anew, afresh, from the beginning), whereas evolutionists believe that all species evolved out of earlier species. You are as aware of this as I am. Even with my limited knowledge of Latin, I don’t know how “de novo” can mean “from something in the past”.

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