Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, June 18, 2021, 12:57 (130 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am not interpreting the evolutionary process, but simply accepting the history as God's work. It is your refusal to accept that approach that is totally illogical.

dhw: The history is that millions of life forms, econiches, natural wonders etc. have come and gone, and humans are the latest species to have emerged from the huge bush. It is not history that your God individually designed every species, econiche, natural wonder etc., and it is not history that his one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, and it is not history that every single life form etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [=designing] humans.” That is all interpretation, and the combination of interpretations leads you to the absurd conclusion that your all-powerful God only wanted to design humans plus lunch and therefore designed millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: This is a total distortion of my position in your twisted view. I am simply stating God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria.

So you no longer believe that we were his only purpose, that he designed every living form etc. himself, and every single one of them was “part of the goal of evolving humans” plus our lunch?

DAVID: The rest of our discussions have revolved about how evolution reached humans, and your wonder as to why God would want to do it that way.

It revolves around the combination of your beliefs I’ve just summarized. Please stop dodging!

DAVID: We are the result of His works in evolution. That we are so unusual is supreme support God did it.

According to you, the complexities of ALL living things provide support that God did it, and ALL living things are the result of his works in evolution. So why did he “evolve” (= design) millions of life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans if humans and their lunch were his only goal? You simply go on and on dodging this question, except when you admit that you have no idea why.

DAVID: Only the current bush supports current life. And yes, past supports past

dhw: So will you please finally stop saying that “the huge bush of life is required to support our current population” when the dispute concerns your God’s reason for specially designing the huge PAST bush of life, which had no connection with humans!

DAVID: Same dicing and slicing the continuity of the evolutionary process.


Same attempt to gloss over the fact that although the bush of life sprang from the first cells (= continuity), the branches of the bush were not connected with one another! Only one branch allows for continuity between bacteria and humans, and 99% of past lunches have no connection with present lunches.

A.N. Whitehead
DAVID: I've viewed Whitehead as not accepting God but accepting evolution as a sort of God.

WHITEHEAD: "It is as true to say that the World is immanent in God, as that God is immanent in the World.

He was a believer, and this quote is closely akin to your panentheism. But he rejected your version of a transcendent, all-knowing God. What you call wishy-washy and namby-pamby if an agnostic dares to challenge your own fixed view.

Ardipithecus ramidus
QUOTE: "Ardi’s unusual mix of apelike and monkeylike traits demolishes the long-standing assumption that today’s chimpanzees provide a reasonable model of either early hominids or the last common ancestor of people and chimps" etc.

All these different “ancestors” must surely make you wonder why your God didn’t just get on with designing what he knew he wanted to design. Unless, of course, he had other aims, or perhaps was experimenting…

Even our White matter is different
QUOTE: A complete portrait of the structural basis of cognition and emotion cannot neglect the white matter because it interacts so intimately with its gray matter counterpart."

DAVID: The main point is the enormous connectivity between the brain parts which allows to to have the thinking capacity we have. Had to be designed.

The heading of this thread is misleading. Our fellow animals also have white matter, but we just have much more of it. This is the basis of what we’ve called “complexification”. Whether our cells generate the thinking capacity which requires this enormous connectivity is, of course, the question that lies at the heart of the materialism v dualism debate.

Magic embryology
QUOTE: We were looking for the gene conversation that will allow the head to start developing in the embryo, and found that it was initiated by cells in the hypoblast—a disc of cells outside the embryo. They send the message to adjoining embryo cells, which respond by saying 'OK, now we'll set ourselves aside to develop into the head end.'"

DAVID: It has to be a highly controlled, orchestrated, programmed series of events. Therefore highly designed and never by chance mutations.

Agreed. And isn’t it amazing how often these researchers find themselves talking in terms of cells conversing and sending messages! All these processes must have had a beginning, and if cells are intelligent, as some prominent scientists believe - and a good friend of mine acknowledges that the odds are 50/50 – they could have developed the original design which, of course, would then have been passed on.


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