Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, September 25, 2021, 07:53 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: … survival does not drive evolution.

dhw: It is not survival but the quest for survival. In your theory, this means that instead of organisms adapting to or exploiting new conditions, your God looks into his crystal ball, sees the new environment coming, and so fulfils the quest for survival by dabbling the changes he hasn’t already preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago (e.g. changing legs into flippers). These are the changes that cause speciation. So how can preparations for survival come to mean that survival is not the purpose of preparations for survival? And how come "purpose" is not the driving force behind an action?

DAVID: We know organisms have the epigenetic resources to make minor adaptations. You stretch that somehow into speciation.

dhw: That is irrelevant to the question of why, according to you, preparations for survival somehow mean that survival is not the purpose of preparations for survival.

DAVID: Repeat: species must survive until God is ready to produce the next new form from them.

And the next form will also contain changes that allow it to cope with or exploit new conditions. Repeat: how can preparations for survival come to mean that survival is not the purpose of preparations for survival? And how come "purpose" is not the driving force behind an action?

DAVID: For me design for future use is required and God does that in His designing. God drives evolution, not survival.

dhw: And for me, design for future use is NOT required, since I believe evolutionary changes take place IN RESPONSE to changing conditions and not in anticipation of them.
Look at your own entry under "Immunity system":

dhw: the result of these combined activities is the vast variety of life forms etc. that make up the history of evolution.

DAVID: All the result of God's designed instructions to quickly respond to new challenges.

Precisely: even in your theory, you inadvertently find yourself agreeing that organisms change in response to new challenges, not in anticipation of them. As regards the "drive", I have just pointed out that the two concepts are not incompatible. Your God’s purpose in changing the anatomies of his creatures was, according to you, to prepare them for survival, which means that the purpose of the changes that lead to speciation is to prepare the creatures for survival. The purpose of something is usually the force that drives the doer into action. So for you, your God drives evolution by fulfilling his purpose of preparing life forms to survive under new conditions.

DAVID: Yes, but He also makes them more advanced and complex in succeeding stages on His way to producing us.

I don’t know why you’ve shoved that in. Didn't the advanced complexities serve the purpose of improving chances and methods of survival?

Leaving atheism:

I shan’t repeat a lot of quotes, as I have written similar things myself. Of course atheism depends on faith in chance (see my home page), and science is limited to the material world (see limitations of science), and nobody can prove anything (see the last 13 years of this website). One quote I do take issue with:

"Third, deity. Without exception, every worldview is ruled over by a god or gods.

He’s just been moaning about atheists. Does he think atheist humanists have a world view ruled over by a god or gods?

DAVID: So where does this place agnosticism? […]I accept, as he does that science has found more puzzles in the reality of the universe than answers, but also amazing complexity in living biochemistry that he does not address. That is where I find God must exist.

I agree with you about design – one of the most potent arguments for faith in the existence of a designer. As regards agnosticism, clearly it debunks his statement that every worldview is ruled over by a god or gods, and it leaves us with the obvious fact that since all definitive views are based on faith, not fact, all definitive views are highly suspect, and the only logical choice is to keep an open mind. If death is the end, we shall never know, but if there is life after death, we shall learn more. Either way, I strongly advise everyone to enjoy life while you’ve got it - but not at other people's expense. Do as you would be done by, and the world will be a better place for you and for others. Trust me, you don't need a god or gods to view the world in that light.:-)

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