Back to theodicy and David's theories (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:43 (87 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My question was not about things we know are not “vestigial”, but about things we all regard as “bad”! Discoveries about the retina, appendix and thymus do not mean we will one day discover that Covid-19, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Alzheimer’s, MND etc. etc. (i.e. diseases caused by bad bacteria, viruses, “errors” in the system) are what we would call “good”.

DAVID: Our discoveries about what we thought were 'bad' does mean we may find some good reasons. And remember God made us with the brains to fight these problems which could be purposeful on His part to challenge us. The Garden of Eden is boring, and I know you accept that.

I’m glad you think there may be some “good” reasons for all the diseases that cause so much suffering. It’s a shame, though, that you can’t think of any, as it somewhat weakens your opposition to the free-for-all hypothesis I have proposed. Well done for accepting that your God might not want to watch a boring creation like the Garden of Eden.

dhw: You have agreed yet again that it is possible for God to have human characteristics so please stop trying to use that as your get-out, and in any case you are sure that he is interested in the “spectacles” you say he has directly created. And how do you know what God is like?

DAVID: Again you know God's self-interest in being entertained by spectacle. I view God as being interested in His creations as any inventor would be, but never as a reqjired entertaining spectacle for His enjoyment as you infer.

I don’t “know” anything – even if God exists. I don’t like and have never used the word “entertain”. I wouldn’t call Beethoven’s 9th, or Shakespeare’s King Lear, or Michelangelo’s David, or the telephone, or computers, or rockets entertaining. Why do you try to cheapen creativity and inventiveness by using such vocabulary? If your God is interested in his own inventions – just like us humans – it is patently illogical to dismiss the hypothesis that he might have created his inventions because he wanted something interesting to do and to watch.

dhw: Then once and for all, tell us the logic that would lead your God - whose one and only purpose according to you was to design H. sapiens - to directly design millions of life forms, econiches etc. etc, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID:The obvious connection is evolution from simple to complex. As pure logical guess: He wished us to be the only being on Earth that recognized He exists. He certainly doesn't need or want recognition but perhaps He wanted to see how we would think about creation and how it happened. Per Adler, our most unusual arrival begs for explanation, and he and I have given it to you. Do you ever really question why we are here? It is a key philosophic thought question.

I’m pleased to see you speculating on God’s possible human characteristics and on why we are here, but I am not pleased that once again you have completely ignored my request for a logical answer to the question why, if we were his one and only purpose, he directly designed millions and millions of life forms, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. THAT is your illogical theory of evolution, and I wish you would stop dodging the issue, accept that the theory is illogical but your faith in it is unshakable, and leave it at that.

Coelacanth

QUOTE: "Horizontal gene transfer fuzzies up the picture of where the transposons came from but we know from other species that it can occur via parasitism," says Yellan.

DAVID: Is gene horizontal transfer an organismal ability, or does God step in and make the changes? Since I think God speciates, I feel He steps in.

So do you think the coelacanth was “part of the goal of evolving humans”? Sounds more like part of a free-for-all to me, with parasites finding their own means of survival.

Transposons

QUOTE: "Lest we give the impression that the transposon hazard is something we should be better off without, consider that transposons are solely responsible for most, or at least many, of the higher evolutionary refinements we enjoy today." [David's bold]

DAVID: Is this God's supreme method for advancing evolution?

I’m not sure what you are implying. Do you think God pops in to transfer the genes from one life form to another, or preprogrammed their jumps 3.8 billion years ago? Or is it possible that the whole process is part of a great free-for-all for which he devised the mechanism? (And let’s not forget that the “hazard” can have bad repercussions as well as good.)

Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:

DAVID: The authors are trying to sell a method of speciation, but what I see is strong evidence of insect brain plasticity, mimicking ours, a strong indication brain plasticity is a property throughout species.

If the brain changes in order to meet the new requirements of changing conditions, the same process would apply to all species that have brains. This fits in perfectly with the theory that speciation comes about through responses to new conditions – the exact opposite of your theory that your God pops in to perform operations in preparation for new conditions.


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