Back to David's theory of evolution: God's error corrections (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, September 12, 2020, 12:39 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Mountain out of mole hill, ignoring the point that most lives are long and errorless.

dhw: I really don’t know why you raised the subject of “errors” if all you want us to do is ignore the errors. Those that result in untold suffering and death are the problem, and I’m sure you didn’t tell your young patients who were dying of cancer that they were making a mountain out of a molehill and they should only think about all the folk who were living till their nineties and would eventually die of old age.

DAVID: I have inadvertently exposed your underlying bias. I remember your championship of catastrophe theories. You tend to always emphasize the dark side of reality. Errors are rare when the whole picture is analyzed. Note today's comment on DNA translation and error controls and your bleak outlook below:

Now you are really scraping the barrel. It is you who raised the problem of “errors”. You focused on evolutionary errors, and identified them as having changed the course of evolution, but then hurriedly changed your mind when you found that made you into a Darwinian, and so you minimized their importance. You focused on disease-causing errors, and twisted yourself in knots by saying God didn’t care about them and yet provided backups, though sometimes these didn’t work and he left it to us to correct what he couldn’t correct. All I have done is (a) try to unravel your tangled web of thought and (b) offer an alternative interpretation of the “errors”. We are completely united in our wonderment at the miracle of life and all the things that work.

DAVID: You interpreted my comments as denigration, showing your biased view.

You presented a God who designed a system containing errors he could not prevent, although he tried his best to correct them but, in the case of disease-causing errors, couldn’t do so. Yes, I see that as denigration. That is not “bias” – I simply find your “defence” unconvincing. But you may be right – perhaps he is helpless in certain cases. I don’t have a fixed view (=bias) and was merely commenting on your fixed view (= bias). My alternative, however, proposes a God who knows what he wants and designs it as he wants it, i.e. giving cells the freedom to be nice or nasty, and by extension to design their own ways of survival, thereby leading to the supercolossal variety of life forms and natural wonders that make up the history of our wonderful world. And no “errors” or futile attempts to control them. Just a theory, and it’s not “bleak”. It’s simply a different interpretation of your God’s capabilities and intentions.

DAVID: Wonderful example of not understanding or appreciating the system God gave us in living organisms. It is a distorted version of how God handled things as I see Him, full of purpose and direction.

It’s not a distortion of any kind. It’s DIFFERENT from the way you see things, but it is also full of purpose and direction – only it’s a different purpose and direction from those which you cling to and which lead you into the confusion I have summarized above.

DAVID: You have Him letting things dash about in all directions.

I have him calmly and deliberately inventing a system which results in cells “dashing about in all directions” (though hardly dashing, since the process covered billions of years) to create the huge variety of life forms and natural wonders that make up life’s history. It is you who have HIM dashing about in all directions, designing every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder, giving courses in nest-building and operating on the brains of sleeping Moroccans.


DAVID (under “Genome complexity"): If this looks highly complex, it is. Only design can create this degree of controls resulting in accurate translation and transcription. Miraculous, yet we know mistakes can happen. It depends upon your viewpoint as to how to conceive of this. Paul Davies calls life a miracle in his book about life. But some wail over the mistakes in molecular function as though they are a huge disaster and present an impotent God. It all depends on the real recognition that life functions perfectly well almost all the time. I have presented the problem of errors to demonstrate a more complete picture of the problems attendant with this mechanism of life.

It is you who brought up the subject of disease-causing errors and set out to explain them, and yes, I would say they are a huge disaster, but that doesn’t mean I do not also wonder at the miracle of life. As above, your method of explaining them swung from your God not caring to your God providing backups which don’t always work and leaving it to humans to do the correcting, and finally to your estimate that they only constitute 0.000001% of the system so we shouldn’t think about them. I certainly wouldn’t describe your God as impotent, but if he created a system which produced errors he couldn’t control, though he really wanted to control them, I don’t see how you can avoid the conclusion that this entails a degree of incompetence. You say he couldn’t have done it otherwise. I say maybe he didn’t WANT to do it otherwise. Which of these theories is more respectful of your God’s powers?


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