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

by dhw, Saturday, September 26, 2020, 12:14 (25 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from “brain expansion”:

DAVID: God purposely set up the best system of living biochemistry He could. He ran a tight program of evolution, as noted in today's other entry that presents convergence again. God would trust intelligent cells that He created only if He gave them explicit guidelines for new advances. All presented before.

dhw: The “best system” entailed giving molecules the freedom to disobey his instructions, which means he is NOT in control! That is why, according to you, he did his best to correct the errors but sometimes failed. Convergence fits the pattern of intelligent cells responding in similar ways to similar problems. If God was unable to control disease-causing cells which disobeyed his instructions, why do you assume that evolutionary cells could do nothing but follow his instructions?

DAVID: Your 'best system' is not my considered biochemical thinking about the freedom of molecules. The molecules must be free in order for the high speed manufacturing and cell splitting can go on at the speed it must have in a liquid environment. They don't work on a solid assembly line but still work like 24-hour factories. Frankly, I wish you appreciated this. Your theorizing is skipping over all of the absolute requirements.

I appreciate that it all works wonderfully well, but unfortunately your response "is skipping over" the problem of "errors", which is the subject of this article. These, you keep telling us, are inevitable. You distinguished between two categories of “error”: evolutionary and disease-causing. After a lot of confusion, you decided that the evolutionary “errors” were of no significance. And you decided that we should not bother about the disease-causing errors and should only focus on all those parts of the system that worked perfectly. THAT is the subject of this discussion, together with the implications of the "freedom" your God could not avoid giving to the molecules.

dhw: I am not talking about good viruses and bacteria! They are not the problem! Why did he design the bad ones that cause all the trouble? If he didn’t design them and didn’t want them, then the system he created was such that he lost control. Yet again, your solution to the problem is to ignore it. I have never proposed a God who works without “direct purpose”. Species modify to changing environments, and unless you think your God preprogrammes the environments and the modifications, you will have to accept that the cell communities have the autonomous ability to change their structures accordingly. I am proposing that the same ability is also capable of innovation in response to changing conditions – and that sometimes it’s actually difficult to distinguish between adaptation and innovation. This idea, however, remains unproven – nobody knows the cause of speciation. Hence the different theories.

DAVID: This discussion is back to theodicy to which my answer is God knows what He is doing, even if some of it looks bad to us. I don't accept intelligent cells at all, on their own. They simply follow God's instruction. And God speciates.

I know you don’t accept intelligent cells. That is the reason for my now bolded sentence concerning adaptation. Either cells are "free" to adapt, or your God preprogrammed or dabbled every adaptation.Please comment. I agree that if God exists he knows what he is doing. Theodicy is only a problem if you believe that God is concerned about his creatures and wishes them no harm. It is no problem at all if you believe that his intention was to let life and evolution run free, and the mixture of good and bad was created intentionally. Hence our next exchange:

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.

dhw: 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”?

DAVID: The errors are part and parcel of the living biochemical system that keeps us alive. They had to be discussed.

And if what you call the “errors” were essential to God’s plan to create a mixture of good and bad, and not a dull “Garden of Eden”, we have resolved the issue: he had to give the molecules/cells their freedom if dullness was to be avoided.

DAVID: And I had no idea, in advance, it would make you so uncomfortable.

It doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all. I find the above explanation perfectly understandable and acceptable.

DAVID: God's dealt with the problem, I presume to His satisfaction and I agree with what He has done as the correct system by carefully analyzing how it works and why it has to work the way it does. It seems your discomfort has lead to much negative theory about God and his desires and purposes.

But you have agreed with my point that you can’t have the good without the bad, as it would result in a dull “Garden of Eden”. There is nothing negative or positive in this. We are simply looking for explanations. But the discomfort is obviously yours, because elsewhere you have insisted that your God wouldn’t do anything to harm his creations, he cares for us etc. It is this “humanized” view of God which makes you so uncomfortable that you prefer to focus on all the successes and not even to discuss the disease-causing errors.


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