Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Thursday, December 17, 2020, 10:38 (608 days ago) @ David Turell

Fine tuning
dhw: Why wanting a free-for-all and creating it should make your God into a weak human I really don’t know. It makes me wonder how you can then go on to champion the idea of free will, if your God is such a control freak.

DAVID: I see God as a control freak only over evolutionary design creations. He doesn't need control over our personal behaviour.

dhw: We are not talking of need but of what God wants. If he wants humans to have a free-for-all, why should he not want evolution to develop freely?

DAVID: Remember, I view evolution as ended, and with free will humans are certainly having a free-for-all.

Even if it were true that evolution has ended, that does not invalidate the theory that your God wanted a free-for-all! And the fact that humans are having a free-for-all is a clear indication that your God is perfectly capable of wanting a free-for-all, so there is absolutely no reason to insist that he couldn’t have wanted evolution itself to be a free-for all.

Egnor’s latest
dhw: So your God stepped in nine times to perform operations, even after the animal had entered the water. Sounds like he’s making it up as he goes along. And all this because he wanted to design H. sapiens – another series of operations, with a leggy twiddle here, and a pelvis twiddle there, and brain surgery over and over again. I’m not surprised that you have no idea why an always-in-total-control God would have used such methods.

DAVID: He didn't tell me.

dhw: I'm not surprised. Why in heaven's name would he own up to using such a roundabout way of fulfilling his one and only purpose?

DAVID: Ask Him. I don't know, but not knowing bothers you, not me.

dhw: We cannot “know” anything. We can only theorize. What “bothers” me is a theory which even its proposer can’t make sense of.

DAVID: You want 'sense'. It is of no matter to me.

This makes a mockery of all discussion. In any case, you have written two brilliant books, the basis of which is that life’s complexities only make “sense” if we accept the argument for design, i.e. for a designer, i.e. for God. You only want “sense” when you can find it, but thank you for admitting once more that your theory makes no sense to you.

Arctic squirrels
QUOTE: "Arctic ground squirrels can survive harsh winters with below-freezing temps by holing up for some eight months without eating. These hibernators “live at the most extreme edge of existence, just barely hovering over death, and we don’t fully understand how this works…”

DAVID: I would like a Darwinist tell me how this extreme change was evolved. Not step by step by chance. It was designed.

Maybe Arctic winters were not always as harsh as they are now, and millions of years ago, as winters gradually became harsher, the intelligent cells that run all adaptations introduced and refined these remarkable ways of countering the harshness. Exactly the same process as with all adaptation: the cell communities restructure themselves in order to meet new requirements. Just a theory – and of course one must allow for God as the designer of the intelligent cell. I find this vastly more convincing than the theory of random mutations, and also of God preprogramming the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago with squirrelly methods of countering extreme cold, or stepping in to operate on a batch of shivering squirrels as part of his goal of evolving humans.

QUOTES: “Kangaroos in zoos and sanctuaries use body language to ask humans for help, much like horses and dogs do, which suggests that even wild animals can learn to engage in interspecies communication just by being around humans."

"McElligott and his colleagues studied 16 kangaroos of three different subspecies living in captivity in Australia. Using methods similar to those used in previous studies on horses, dogs and goats, the scientists first trained the kangaroos to find a tasty treat – bits of carrots, corn or sweet potatoes – in a small box. Then they closed the box in a way that made it impossible for kangaroos to open and observed how the animals responded."

DAVID: this is just domestication. Newborn horses want nothing to do with us, and we have to teach them we are OK.

100% agreed. This one made me laugh. Animals are not wild if they have been trained by humans! I suggest the researchers devise a test for a pride of lions in the African jungle, and stand close by to see what will happen. We know that wild animals help their own species, and there are lots of symbiotic relationships in which different species also help one another (e.g. birds picking alligators’ teeth); feral children brought up by animals would be another example, though very rare.

Chimps ‘r’ not us
QUOTE: "This is exciting, because we now have a way to identify genomic regions that might have contributed to the evolution of our cognitive abilities!"

Perhaps we should note in passing that the researchers take it for granted that our “cognitive abilities” depend on our material selves.

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