Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 10:24 (518 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God exists, he used evolution to create EVERY form of life. You are only prepared to accept your preprogramming/dabbling method (even though it is not a belief), which means he specially designed every life form, including humans. You categorically reject random mutations and cellular intelligence as alternative methods. And so it does not make sense that your God specially preprogrammed all the non-human life forms to keep eating or not eating one another even though – in your hypothesis – he was perfectly capable of specially designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: Of course I reject random mutations. That issue is dead.


DAVID: As for cellular intelligence, I agree they appear to act intelligently. Appearance leads you to hope cells are intelligent, which is a way of reducing God's powers of total control.

Not a reduction of powers of control! If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

DAVID: Yet you keep accepting God has the right to choose His method of creation, which history tells us is by evolving life from bacteria to the present forms. Your statement above is just the opposite, and insists God should have jumped in and used the Bible's six-day direct production of humans and all the rest now extant. That puts your feet on both sides of your picket fence.

I do not insist on any of the various hypotheses which I have proposed and which you agree fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. Our disagreement concerns the fact that your own proposal insists that the only purpose for evolving life from bacteria to all its millions of non-human forms extant and extinct was to produce H. sapiens, although you admit that you have no idea why your God would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose.

DAVID: […] So I'll repeat my positions: God is purposeful and has goals as He creates. He creates by evolving, first the universe from the Big Bang, then the Earth, a very special planet, which can support life, then evolved life from its first beginnings to finally produce humans. That is the exact pattern of our history. With the assumption that God is in charge, it all fits together.

For argument’s sake, I am accepting the existence of God, and here you have picked on all the points about which we agree (except perhaps “finally” since we have no idea what life forms might exist over the next, say, three thousand million years). Missing from this excellent summary, once more, is your illogical contention that your in-total-control God specially designed every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder (special design being glossed over by the word ”evolved”), and his purpose for doing so was to keep life going until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design.


DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

DAVID: I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

dhw: That was a reference to your hypothesis that every single bacterial adaptation is automatic – i.e., the result of the same process of divine preprogramming or dabbling you invoke (but do not believe in) as your counter to cellular intelligence.

DAVID: My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism.

So your theory presumably would be that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all these different species to provide the same solutions when confronted by the same problems. My counter proposal would be that given the same problems, it is not surprising that different intelligences should come up with the same solutions.

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