Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 09:46 (484 days ago) @ David Turell

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).

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

Your bold statement is based on what I consider an absurdly inadequate definition of reason:

"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars.

Here is what I regard as a far more accurate definition: “the ability to think, understand and form judgments that are based on facts (Longman)”. Over and over again you have reproduced examples of organisms solving problems. Nobody would claim that their problem-solving, decision-making abilities can match those of humans, but that is not the point. Adapting to new conditions, hunting prey or evading predators, building safe and efficient habitats, solving problems – all these require “a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence”, and I boldly suggest that you should rethink your acceptance of an absurdly limited definition of “reason”.

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.

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

If God exists, I can accept this. My own theistic hypothesis of a God-designed autonomous intelligence also leads to the complexities evolving through God’s design. It is the rest of your overall hypothesis that marks the difference between us: i.e. that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every single organism, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche, and that he did so in order keep organisms eating or not eating one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. I’m sorry, but your “simple difference” is yet another attempt to ignore the fact that it is the combination of your hypotheses that doesn’t gel.

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