Big brain evolution: our mutation rate is slowing (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, January 28, 2019, 13:48 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You have not accepted the history of God's actions as not only representing God's actions but his decision to do it that way. Why is it illogical to conclude He decided to use that method as factual history presents?

dhw: And yet again, no, no, no, I have not accepted your interpretation of the factual history or of God’s method. The factual history is confined to the existence of past and present organisms including ourselves as the latest known species.

DAVID: Your objection is illogical. I start with the premise God runs evolution. To evolve us He used that method so it must be His choice of action. You don't start with my premise so you keep disagreeing.

It is not a fact that God even exists, but for the sake of argument I have accepted your basic premise that he does and that he created life and the mechanisms for evolution. So of course evolution is his choice of method, but again and again I ask “method to do what?” and your answer is that 1) he is in full control, 2) he specially designed millions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders over 3.5+ billion years, and 3) this was his method of designing 4) the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. It is the combination of these four fixed beliefs that is illogical.

dhw: All our speculations are unprovable. You cannot explain why he waited 3.5+ billion years to do the only thing he wanted to do. If the reason was limited power, then he is not all powerful. But if he is all powerful, then it makes no sense to say he only wanted one thing, was perfectly capable of doing it, but didn’t do it. The best view is to accept the limitations of the factual history as above, and look for possible explanations that do make sense. I have offered you several theistic explanations, all of which you have agreed are logical (I’ll repeat them if you want me to), but you refuse to consider them.

DAVID: Once again you have accepted a Biblical version of an all-powerful God. I don't have to explain why He chose evolution. With unlimited power, He always could have made a choice.

I have not accepted ANY version. It is you who keep insisting that only one version is correct, and that is why your combined hypotheses are illogical. I have offered you two alternatives in which your God is NOT in full control (his purpose was to create a self-aware being but he didn’t know how to do it; or the self-aware being came late on in his thinking). But if he is in full control, with unlimited power, then (another theistic alternative) it was not his one and only purpose from the beginning to produce H. sapiens, but he chose to create a process that would run itself and produce an ever changing and often unexpected spectacle.

DAVID: Of course He is a spectator to His creation, but there is no evidence He desired a spectacle for His 'enjoyment', one of your favorite humanizing suppositions about God. I'm simply in interpreting what history shows us.

dhw: Of course there’s no evidence of what he desires (assuming he even exists). Where is your evidence for the illogical hypotheses bolded above? You harp on about purpose, and you agree that he watches the spectacle with interest. Then let’s drop the word “enjoyment”. Now please tell me why you think he finds it interesting.

DAVID: We have free will, which means we humans might do the unexpected, even by Him. I'm in no position to know if God sees the future and can predict our actions. We are in the position to blow ourselves up, and He will have to start again.

dhw: But the spectacle began long, long before we even existed. Are you saying that he didn’t watch what you believe to have been all his special designs with interest? If you think he might be interested in the “unexpected”, wouldn’t it also be interesting for him to give evolution itself a free rein to see what unexpected forms of life might evolve? Why would he specially design 3.5+ billion years' worth of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders if they were of no interest to him?

DAVID: Back to your same unanserable questions. I'm sure He watches everything He created, like an artist enjoying his own paintings.

Thank you for the image. It is you are now using the word “enjoy”. Since you are sure, perhaps you will stop ridiculing the idea that the history of evolution is that of a spectacle in itself, as opposed to serving no purpose other than to provide 3.5+ billion years of food until your God could specially design the only thing he wanted to design.


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