Natures wonders: ants and other insects farm (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, May 23, 2020, 11:23 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I view God as letting some evolving processes proceed as they do, until He doesn't like the endpoint, such as giant animals which are simply variations within species.

dhw: You have opened the door to the possibility that your God could have set any evolved process in motion and let it continue unless he wished to dabble. That is precisely the theistic theory of evolution that I have been proposing for what seems like years.

DAVID: Note I've limited this to changes within species, and never speciation on its own, which is what you wish could happen. Mo God speciates what He wants. That doesn't change.

Not a wish but a theory. You can limit your proposal if you like, but that doesn’t invalidate mine! Furthermore, the theory that your God set evolution in motion and let it continue (apart from dabbling) offers a perfectly logical explanation – in stark contrast to your own theory – for the WHOLE bush of life, extant and extinct, as you have repeatedly acknowledged. But you just don’t like it.

Under “making a ribosome”:

Then they took a step back, allowing the various parts to autonomously assemble themselves into the ribosomal units, without outside direction or interference. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note the first bold. One major step was using life's own process rather than humans doing it. And many folks deny it was all designed!

I have noted it – especially the terms “autonomously” and “without outside direction or interference”. What a wonderful description of a process whereby living organisms from micro to macro “do it” themselves rather than God doing it. But yes indeed, the mechanisms running the process offer a powerful case for design.

dhw: [...] that you have “”no idea” why such a God would have specially designed 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life forms and econiches before specially designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: This is a perfect example of distortion. My 'no idea' refers only to the fact that I don't question His choice of evolving humans from bacteria. I cannot know His reasons. I accept the history.

dhw: You constantly IGNORE the 3.X billion years of non-human history, and THAT is the “glaring difference” between us. (See below)

DAVID: I'm not thinking as you distort my direct logic, which you accept when you admit God can evolve us any way He wants. We evolved from bacteria from 3.8 bya. God did it! You create a difference totally illogically. If God can choose his method, the 3.8 applies. Your complaint constantly adds up to why was God so patient?

Yet again, you ignore the whole of pre-human life history! My complaint, yet again, is your own distorted logic in insisting that your all-powerful God, whose sole purpose was to design H. sapiens – which he could have done any way he wanted – chose to design millions of now extinct non-human life forms, econiches, natural wonders etc. before designing the only species (plus econiches) he wanted to design.

dhw: There is no such thing as “God-lite”. If God exists, he has just as much right, for instance, to create a mechanism that allows evolution to take its own course (but “stop it if he wishes”) as to hands-on dabble every species. I don’t complain about you using “humanizing” terms. I complain that you dismiss theories as “humanizing” although your own is no more and no less “humanizing” than those I offer, and your theory defies human logic whereas you admit that my alternatives don’t.

DAVID: All my guesses about God' reasons you asked for are just that. Neither of us can really investigate His thought processes, and all our guesses tend to humanize him. I prefer not to do that as it diminishes Him in my mind. And you can't know His reason. And yes, He must have had His reason, which religions try to tell us, but they are in the same boat as we. There are many other reasons to believe in God, besides what is on His mind. I'll stick with Adler: The odds of His direct interest in us is 50/50.

I have no objection to any of this. But a) since we can’t know God’s thoughts, there can be no such judgement as “God-lite”, b) he has just as much right to create a self-directing form of evolution as one that he preprogrammes or dabbles, and c) your insistence that he is all-powerful and in control of everything is no less “humanizing” that any of my alternatives, all of which allow for one or other of your basic premises, whereas neither of us can find a logical way of COMBINING them.


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