Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, September 26, 2021, 11:26 (324 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: 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: Of course species must survive until the next step in evolution. My point you are talking around is God designs evolution.

I have just been discussing the implications of your belief that your God designed every phase of evolution! You have told us that “species must survive until God is ready to produce the next new form from them”. And so the process goes from species to species, with each one being prepared in advance for survival. And so I ask: how can preparations for survival come to mean that survival is not the purpose of preparations for survival?

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

dhw: 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.

AVID: Yes, as one part of just advancing forms into more complex forms until He arrives at humans.

Back we go to your belief that ALL speciation is “part of the goal of evolving [=designing] humans" and their food, but you are still left with your theory that your God made all the increasingly complex changes to enable each new species to survive until he performed his next round of operations. (In passing, I really don’t know why you think sparrows are more complex than, say, tyrannosaurus rex – one of their possible ancestors.)

DAVID: God's job is to advance all forms to design evolution from bacteria to humans.

I didn’t know he had a job. I thought he had a goal, and once again you confine that goal to humans, and conveniently forget all the life forms that had no connection to humans.

DAVID: Reductionism will not explain life:

QUOTE: If the question is, “Can science explain life?” then the answer I think someday will be “mostly, yes”.

By which he means the physical processes that enable us to breathe, digest, reproduce etc.

QUOTE: "But the deeper question remains: will this ongoing process of explanatory refinement exhaust the weirdness of being alive or the mystery of life that I described in the opening? I think not.

A lovely article, which I think will find echoes in many minds, whether theistic, atheistic or agnostic.

DAVID: the writer is struggling with the concept of our consciousness without saying the word. But his key point is reductionism cannot give us an explanation of it. I would like to note my presentation of reductionist science discoveries won't get that explanation. What they do show is the need for a brilliant designer behind the underpinnings of life itself that produce consciousness. Briefly, consciousness cannot exist without being designed.

It’s very refreshing to read an article which refrains from pushing a particular agenda. Your final remark, of course, puts a bullet into the atheist’s gun: If consciousness cannot exist without being designed, who designed the consciousness which you believe designed our consciousness? The usual pathetic answer is “first cause”, which explains absolutely nothing, since ‘first cause’ could just as well be non-conscious matter chancing to form the first rudiments of consciousness, which then evolves. Just as difficult to believe as a supreme consciousness without a cause!

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