Unanswered questions (General)

by David Turell @, Monday, May 27, 2019, 16:41 (247 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

DAVID: Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?

dhw: That is the whole point about speciation. Have you forgotten that hominins and humans are not the only species to have existed on earth? I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:


"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars. Abstract thought entails comprehension of concepts that are disconnected from particular objects. When I think about the ham sandwich I am eating for lunch, I am thinking concretely. When I think about the nutritional consequences of my choice of sandwich, I am thinking abstractly.

"Only man thinks abstractly; that is the ability to reason. No animal, no matter how clever, can think abstractly or reason. Animals can be very clever but their cleverness is always about concrete things—about the bone they are playing with, or about the stranger they are barking at. They don’t think about “play” or “threat” as abstract concepts.

"Reason is a power characteristic of man, to be sure, but it is not “an evolved power.” It didn’t “evolve.” The ability to reason didn’t evolve because it’s not a material power of the mind. Reason is an immaterial power of the mind—it is abstracted from particular things, and cannot logically be produced by a material thing."

DAVID: Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did.

dhw: History tells those of us who believe in evolution that if God exists he chose to evolve ALL forms of life. It does not tell us that he specially designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled) every form of life for the sole purpose of enabling them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. […] I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

dhw: Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc.

DAVID: […] Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.)

DAVID: But there are always econiches operating to fill the energy needs.

dhw: Yes, they come and go, and species come and go accordingly, and this fact has absolutely nothing to do with your contention, as above, that every single econiche was specially designed so that organisms could or could not eat one another until your God specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

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