Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, December 19, 2020, 08:18 (397 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: Oops, I thought you thought that humans were your God’s one and only purpose for designing all these functioning new forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans. And if he deliberately gave his one and only goal a free run, why is it not possible that the 99% of non-human life forms also had a free run, i.e. were the product of his deliberate desire NOT to control every one of his creations.

DAVID: Again a weak God who is runing things second-hand. Depends upon one's view of God.

Nothing weak about a God who knows what he wants and gets it. If he chose NOT to run humans, why is it out of the question that he might have chosen NOT to run evolution (apart, perhaps, from occasional dabbles)? An unpredictable free-for-all would be so much more interesting for him than a dull Garden of Eden.

Egnor’s latest
DAVID: Don't you realize I wrote the two books not knowing God's reasons for his choices of methods of creation???

dhw: My memory of the two books is not as complete as yours. But perhaps you can point me to a passage in which you state explicitly that your God preprogrammed every undabbled innovation, life form, life style, econiche, strategy and natural wonder 3.8 billion years ago, and every single one was part of the goal of evolving humans, although 99% had no connection with humans.

DAVID: I specifically said He designed evolution.

You certainly did, and created a strong and logical case. Fortunately, you never said anything remotely like the theory I have just summarized above. Very wise of you.

Arctic squirrels
DAVID: It is true palm trees were at the North Pole, but the hibernation is so extreme I still feel design is the cause.

dhw: So do I, and I have explained how I think the design took place.

AVID: And I've answered I don't believe such an extreme adaptation occurred naturally.

By “naturally” you usually mean without God’s direct participation (preprogramming or dabbling). If God gave animals the intelligence to design their own defences against changing conditions, the adaptations would indeed be “natural”, but the term should not be equated with Darwinian randomness or with atheism. Just clarifying.

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!"

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

DAVID: Ourselves are immaterial but must use the available brain to form abstract thoughts.

dhw: Chimps and other animals all have to use their brains in order to process information, take decisions and give material expression to those decisions. Even bacteria have to do the same, though they haven’t got brains. Do they all have souls?

DAVID: In the Jewish religion they have animal souls.

That would make sense for dualists. I wonder where the boundary lies. Do ants have souls, then? What is your own view about animal souls?

Strange quark stars may exist
DAVID: We don't understand why quarks are quarks, and the designer isn't talking, but with our brains we can figure out lots of the mysteries. And the moral is survival is not needed to have a brain like this. This clearly means survivability is not an issue which causes any sort of any evolutionary advance. It is an unproven Darwinistic proposal. 'Survival of the fittest' is a tautology, and doesn't tell us how speciation happens.

How you can twist the subject of strange stars to yet another silly moan about Darwin is beyond me. In any case, “survival of the fittest” is not meant to tell us what mechanism enables organisms to turn into new species. Darwin’s theory about that was random mutations, with the beneficial ones surviving. We both reject that. The urge to survive, or to improve chances of survival, is what spurs the changes that lead to speciation. Even you will have to admit that that is the obvious reason for known adaptations. And it is perfectly possible that our brains began to change as a result of our ancestors developing or having to develop new means of surviving/improving their chances of survival. Nothing to do with strange quark stars.

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