The simplest explanation? (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, October 02, 2020, 12:51 (23 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Cells certainly process information and act on it, following directive information to do so.

dhw: “Directive information” is a substitute for your normal word “instructions”, and that means God either preprogrammed every solution to every problem and every innovation 3.8 billion years ago, or he directly dabbled them. Why is that more likely than him designing cellular intelligence to adapt and innovate for the rest of time?

DAVID: I'm back to: only God can speciate.

According to you, he speciates by preprogramming or dabbling, and I’ve asked you why this is more likely than him designing cellular intelligence to do the speciating.

DAVID: I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.

dhw: What progress has been made on the theory that 3.8 billion years ago God provided all cells/cell communities with instructions on how to respond to all situations for the rest of time except for those which required his direct intervention (dabbling)?

DAVID: Apples and oranges. Shapiro is a science theory, not a theological discussion.

dhw: How cells function is not a theological subject. If you claim that apart from what your God dabbled, right from the beginning the very first cells already contained instructions (“directive information”) on how to solve all problems and to turn into every single species and to design every single natural wonder in the whole history of life, there must be somewhere in the cell for those instructions to be stored – just as there must be somewhere in the cells where decisions are taken. Other than finding the relevant mechanism, what other kind of “progress” do you expect either theory to make?

DAVID: Understanding all the layers of control in the genome is still being discovered. Genome wide networks of cooperating genes is one of the latest approaches in the literature. One gene, one function is really dead as an approach: https://academic.oup.com/bib/article/21/4/1224/5522018

And this is science, not theology. How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: I agree this is the world He designed/wanted. He got here by tight design control. The freedom of molecular action is a requirement of God's design. He wanted it because it is the only way it can work under optimal design.

dhw: The question is how far that freedom might extend. And “tight design” raises the horrible problem of theodicy. If your God created this good and bad world by “tight design”, it can only mean that apart from the disease-causing “errors” in your theory (which were unavoidable and which he tried in vain to eradicate), everything else, including bad viruses and bacteria and meat-eating and possibly also natural catastrophes (as opposed to man-made) was directly designed. Maybe it was, but you can’t believe your God would deliberately want to harm us, can you? Nasty problem for you. Easily solved by my “simplest explanation”!

DAVID: As long as there are folks like me, theodicy will be present, and handled by believers by accepting God knows what He is doing.

But you and they don’t know why He has done what he has done. That is why you and they have a problem. Setting aside your own fixed beliefs, please explain why you do not think my “simplest explanation” is feasible. Brief summary: God did not want a dull Garden of Eden, but wanted an unpredictable mixture of good and bad (you can’t appreciate the one without the other), and therefore gave organisms the means of steering their own evolutionary course, as exemplified by human free will.


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