God and Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, February 03, 2019, 10:26 (16 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: For argument’s sake, I am accepting God’s existence, and that he must have had a purpose. I also accept evolution, and so evolution must have been his method of achieving his purpose. What I do NOT accept are your fixed beliefs 1) that he specially designed every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life and evolution (although I accept the possibility of dabbles), and 2) that his one and only purpose in designing billions of galaxies, solar systems, black holes, stars, and every single organism that ever lived was to design H. sapiens.
I have divided your next comment into three:

DAVID: 1) Can you explain why we are here? I have a very different series of logical thoughts than you do. 2) If survival drives evolution as you believe (an irrational theory never proven), we have no need to be here battling on our computers, evolved way beyond survival necessity! We are a totally unexpected miraculous result. 3) So once again you have questioned God's choice of method. Either He had to do it this way or He chose the method, no way of telling!

1) If God exists, then I would assume that whatever is/was here is what he wanted to be here: i.e. the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution, including us. See below for a possible "why" in your own words.

2) There is nothing irrational in arguing that the purpose of fins, camouflage and migration is to improve organisms’ chances of survival, and purpose is a driving force (which you yourself have called an “immediate” driving force). We have agreed ad nauseam that NO multicellular species were “necessary” for life to continue, since bacteria have survived unscathed. They are all “miraculous”, as indeed are bacteria (which are also driven to change their structure in order to survive changing conditions). I would suggest that multicellularity initiated innovation. We don’t know how – hence the different theories, such as random mutations, cellular intelligence, divine dabbling, or a 3.8-billion-year-old library of instructions which apparently cells go into, with instructions telling them which of the billions of instructions to obey.
3) Once again I am not questioning your God, I am questioning your interpretation of his purpose and method.

DAVID: … theistic evolution is not your natural automatic evolution.

dhw: There is no reason to contrast theistic evolution with “natural evolution”, and I don’t know why you insert the word “automatic”. If (one possibility:) your God created a mechanism enabling cell communities to work out their own ways to improve their chances of survival, then you have theistic, non-automatic, natural evolution.

DAVID: There is not a smidgen of evidence organisms can act as you wish.

There is not a smidgen of evidence for your divine dabbling and/or your divine library of instructions. They are both unproven hypotheses. And there is no reason to contrast theistic evolution with natural evolution.

dhw: Your own thinking “may not apply”, so why bother to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose in creating the universe and life was to design H. sapiens, and he decided that he would take 3.5+ billion years designing billions of other life forms etc. before doing it?

DAVID: Answered above. We can 't know if God is limited or not.

Hardly an answer, but at least this removes your earlier insistence that your God is always in control. So now you accept that even if humans really were his one and only purpose, he might not have known how to produce them and therefore had to experiment. That is one of the various logical hypotheses I have offered you.

DAVID: I'm sure He watches everything He created, like an artist enjoying his own paintings.

dhw: So, still sticking to a theistic explanation of evolution, you now agree that your God’s purpose in creating the bush of life might have been to enjoy watching the bush of life. And since you think he enjoys watching humans because we have free will, perhaps you will even agree that “freedom” (i.e. cell communities freely using their God-given evolutionary mechanisms to create their own designs) might make all forms of life - your “everything” - interesting to him. (I live in hope. :-) )

DAVID: No hope. I'm sure He watches, maybe in enjoyment.

dhw: I’ll settle for a “maybe”. That is sufficient to show that “maybe” he has what you call “human” thoughts, and “maybe” there is something wrong with your hypothesis that, while specially designing whale fins, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch’s flight paths and weaverbirds’ nests, his thought was: “I must improve their chances of survival so that life will survive for 3.5+ billion years until I can fulfil my one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens.”

DAVID: Again questioning God's method with no possible answer. And the issue always exists. Why are we here? Survival does not require it. I'll chose to believe it is God's choice.

Stop dodging. You are always on about God’s purpose. Well, if you are sure he watches everything he created, like an artist enjoying his own paintings, then it is possible that he created everything - not just humans - for his own enjoyment (your word, not mine), and that general freedom would enhance the interest. See above re survival.

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