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

by dhw, Thursday, September 24, 2020, 11:30 (31 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The failure to control disease-causing errors IS a problem, as you say above, and your solution is not to think about them.

DAVID: Distorted version of my thinking. I've discussed the very important editing systems.

You’ve discussed all the editorial successes, and don’t want to discuss the failures!

dhw: In the meantime, you have advanced the theory that your God unwillingly and unavoidably gave molecules/cells the freedom to disobey his instructions and to do their own thing (hence what you call the “errors”). So your God unwillingly lost control of them

DAVID: The red thought is typical of how you always attempt to degrade what God does. I stated God designed exactly the system He needed to create life.

It is YOU who “degrade” him by insisting that he did not WANT what you call the errors, could not prevent them, and in the case of those that cause disease, did what he could to correct them but sometimes failed! And his failures are the subject of discussion here. I suggest that he designed the system he WANTED to design, including the so-called “errors”. Why is this “degrading”?

dhw: I’m not trying to shake your faith in God’s existence (or do you mean more than just his existence?)…

I’d be interested to know the answer to this question.

DAVID: My faith is stronger than ever.

dhw: That is not what I was asking. But you tell us ”it is difficult to imagine that God purposely allowed harm to his creations” and he has concern for us. I suspect this is the faith that makes you reject the possibility that your God might have any attributes you don’t like.

DAVID: My God and your God are two different personalities.

I have offered a variety of theistic explanations for the course of evolution, e.g. God experimenting, learning as he goes along, enjoying creation for its own sake, and you have dismissed all of them as “humanizing”. You see him as being concerned about us, not wishing us any harm, trying to protect us from the harm his designs (poisonous spiders, nasty bacteria and viruses) might cause us. How does your “humanized” view of his personality invalidate any of the “humanizing” interpretations I offer in my alternative theistic explanations of life’s history?

dhw: Molecules/cells must change if evolution is to happen. Evolutionary advances are not mistakes. Once again, you are confusing them with disease-causing errors, but both these and evolutionary changes are the result of molecules/cells being free. You say your God couldn’t prevent their freedom, and I propose that he intended it. Why is that negative?

DAVID: Because your God loses total control over the course of evolution. Mine maintains control.

He doesn’t “lose” control – that was YOUR theory at the beginning of this discussion. My theory is that he didn’t WANT control in the first place (though he can dabble if he wishes to). Your theory that he maintains control creates problems: if he wishes us no harm, why did he design all the harmful bacteria and viruses that cause us so much harm? If he didn’t design them, then he lost control or he never wanted control. As regards evolution, I don’t see how you can believe he gave molecules freedom to cause disease (negative) but not to fight disease, or to adapt to or exploit changing conditions (positive), which I propose are crucial factors in triggering speciation.

dhw: How about another possibility? That a world in which everything was perfect, there were no threats, no baddies, no problems, would be pretty dull, and you need the dark in order to appreciate the light? That’s the world we’ve got, and if your God exists, maybe that’s the world he wanted. If he doesn’t want the world we’ve got, and if he’s all-powerful, why do you think he doesn’t step in and change it?

DAVID: I've said in my first book God did not create a Garden of Eden for us, as dull. Just your point and I agree.

So do you agree that your God may have deliberately created the good and the bad in order to avoid “dullness”? In that case, why all this talk of “errors”? Why do you assume your God actually wanted perfection in the first place, could not avoid these “errors”, but tried hard to correct them? And why insist on every species and every natural wonder being directly designed, when a crucial factor to relieve dullness is unpredictability? Why give humans free will? If our free will alleviates dullness, why can’t the same motivation apply to evolution in general? There is no escaping the fact that this proposal would explain the ever changing, higgledy-piggledy history of life on Earth as we know it, as would my alternatives (God experimenting, learning, enjoying)...What we both agree on (after your initial confusion at the start of this discussion) is that errors in the system DID NOT cause evolution! You say the changes were directly designed by your God, and I propose that they resulted from the cellular intelligence which your God may have designed. So I suggest you drop the concept of evolutionary “errors” altogether and focus on the problem of disease.

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