David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 15:58 (224 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You complain when I won't accept your theory, and you won't accept mine. We debate, differ.

dhw: Chalk and cheese. I grant you your 50/50 chance of God’s existence and am prepared to debate accordingly. But I have given you logical reasons for my non-acceptance of your theory/belief that an always-in-control God knows exactly what he wants, can get it any way he wants, and spends 3.X billion years designing anything but the one thing he wants. Your rejection of my theory (which is not a belief) is not based on anything logical but simply on your belief that a 50/50 possibility is actually a 100% impossibility.

DAVID: You are simply praising yourself for not making a choice. For me the evidence is overwhelming.

There is no evidence whatsoever for your theory as bolded above. My various alternative explanations for the bush at least have the merit of being logical, as you keep agreeing. The theistic theory that a God-designed cellular intelligence produced the higgledy-piggledy bush depends on what you accept as being a 50/50 chance that cells are autonomously intelligent, but you reject it on the grounds that a 50/50% possibility = 100% impossibility. How on earth this constitutes me praising myself I really cannot fathom.

dhw: …you did not answer my question: why is a God-designed intelligent cell theory more “wishful” that God-designed automatons? Please answer.

DAVID: Common descent could easily be sen as a creation by God, rather than a free-for-all by self-designing organisms.

So how does that make the one more “wishful” than the other?

DAVID: I've told you from the beginning I am a theistic evolutionist. God creates our evolution. The ID folks don't like me, as I keep bringing in a God they like to hide. With your 'theistic hat' on you are the same.

dhw: Yes, I offer you various alternative views of theistic evolution, all of which you accept as being perfectly logical, in contrast to your own, which has your God specially designing every branch of the bush of life in order to specially design just one.

DAVID: Just as evolutionary history demonstrates, if one concludes God is in charge.

As above, evolutionary history does not demonstrate that God in charge designed every twig, and did so for the sole purpose of keeping life going until he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

dhw: My answer is precisely the same as it has been ever since you raised the problem of gaps. That a major change in the environment (some folk think it was an increase in oxygen) triggered the Cambrian Explosion,

DAVID: […] The appearance of more oxygen only allows for the possibility that a new action might take place. It is not a required response unless some process is pushing it.

Of course. First we have the mechanisms for adaptation and innovation which are used to improve an organism’s chances of survival. Second we have an increase in oxygen. This triggers the mechanisms, which proceed to adapt and/or innovate in order to cope with or exploit the new environment. I don’t know why you refuse to recognize this as a possible explanation of the gaps. See also below.

dhw: You don’t believe this theory, which is your right. I don’t accept the biblical version of separate creation, but you do. That is also your right.

DAVID: Exactly our difference.

dhw: How does this make you an evolutionist?

DAVID: Remember I view God as driving common descent.

But you keep harping on about the gaps and the Cambrian, which apparently involves new organisms out of nothing. You have even accepted what I wrote above: that you accept the biblical version of separate creation. So once and for all, taking the Cambrian as our test case: do you believe your God preprogrammed/dabbled existing organisms to produce the innovations, or do you believe the gaps denote separate creation?

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