David's theory of evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, November 04, 2019, 11:41 (330 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

This theory, according to you, is not illogical so long as “one does not apply human reasoning" to it.

DAVID: It is not 'contrary to human reason'. I simply accept His works without question.

His works, if he exists, are the bush of life, with humans as the latest species. You have accepted that points 1 – 3 form the basis of your theory concerning his purpose and method. Your own comment on this was: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” What else could that mean if it doesn’t mean “contrary to human reasoning”?

DAVID: I'm sorry you object to my reasonable approach, not to question God's thinking.

It is not God’s thinking but your own which I am questioning, and you have told us that your theory is not illogical so long as we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history. Are you telling us that you are divine? Why don’t you just agree with yourself and acknowledge that even though your theory defies human logic, and is one of several possible explanations of how and why evolution happened, it’s the only one you’re prepared to believe.


dhw: We are arguing about your insistence […] that every innovation had to be planned in advance of the environmental changes it was meant to cope with. The rest of my post is devoted to explaining that moth ears and whale flippers would have evolved IN RESPONSE to new needs and not IN ANTICIPATION of them

DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. (They remain bacteria, but I’m simply describing the process: organisms react to new problems; solutions are not provided in advance.) Pre-whales may have entered the water because food was scarce on land; pre-eared moths may have begun hunting by night because so many were being killed during the day. The environmental change then triggered the anatomical changes which led to speciation: marine life led to flippers replacing legs; hunting in the dark required enhanced sensitivity to sound – hence the ears.

DAVID: […] The issue between us remains. How did that happen? Moths with ears are a slightly different new species, which requires design. Your answer for speciation is not my answer. As you have kindly noted my 'Atheist Delusion' book is a very strong argument for design.

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here […] is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). As for how speciation happens, nobody knows. Your theory is that your God either dabbled or foresaw every future environmental change and/or problem, and preprogrammed the first cells with every response and/or solution, (though approx. 90% of species would be left to die). I propose (theistic version) that he gave cells the intelligence to work out their own designs. The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us. (Now bolded by dhw – see below.)

DAVID: That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems.

Yes, design requires minds. You say only God has a mind - apart from humans - and I suggest (theistic version) that he may have created cellular minds (though of course nothing like our own). No, advance design is not required to handle new problems. You say you believe in common descent: this means that each new species is formed from existing species. When existing species are confronted with a new problem, either they solve it or they die. (New conditions may also offer new opportunities to existing organisms.) The RESULT of this interaction – i.e. the interaction only begins when conditions change - between organism and environment may be minor changes (adaptations) or major changes (innovations), though there is no clear borderline between the two. As above, bacteria continue to die until they find a counter to new medicines; pre-whale leg cells are restructured to form flippers BECAUSE they have adopted a marine way of life; pre-eared moth cells (I have no idea which ones) are restructured to form ears BECAUSE they have adopted a nocturnal way of life. And now I can only refer you back to my previous post, with the two theories and my comments bolded.

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