Return to David's theory of evolution, purpose & theodicy (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, April 01, 2024, 12:00 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […[ It seems that we both accept [Raup’s) statistics, and that is the end of his part in our story. So there is no point in telling me that I “distort” his analysis when I challenge your absurdly illogical theory that in order to design us and our food (his only purpose) God messily and inefficiently designed 99.9 out of 100 species that had no connection with his purpose. Raup’s generally accepted statistics can be interpreted even theistically in far less insulting ways.

DAVID: The bold is your now cookbook discussion of the reality of evolution. Everything produced through lines of evolution are necessarily here for humans to use.

dhw: It is not reality that your God’s only purpose was us, or that he specially designed every species that ever lived, and it is certainly not reality that every species that ever lived was necessary for us to exist and to use. Listen to yourself:

dhw: Do you believe that we and our food are directly descended from 99.9% of all creatures that ever lived?

DAVID: No. From the 0.1% surviving.

DAVID: Whose necessary 99.9% were their ancestors!! Stop twisting evolution.

This is pathetic. 0.1% of creatures that ever lived were the ancestors, and 99.9% were not the ancestors. The precise figures don’t matter anyway. The point is that according to you, your God designed and then killed off the vast majority of species as they had no connection with his purpose. You don’t know why, so you say his method was messy, cumbersome and inefficient, but you refuse to consider any alternatives.

DAVID: A neutral theology is what I try to follow based on my concept of God's personality.

dhw: I can’t see any “neutrality” in your concept of God as a messy, cumbersome and inefficient designer. Nor is it neutral to assume that your God is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good. Nor is it neutral if you tell us with great authority that he doesn’t need love, that he doesn’t experiment, that he is selfless, that although he enjoys creating he couldn’t possibly create things for his own enjoyment. Nor is it neutral to “trust God” although you cannot find a single reason why he allows human evil, while you even blame him for “natural” evils like bad bugs.

DAVID: Welcome to faith and trust. I take from theologian presentations what fits my concepts developed from reading Adler's books and Karen Anderson's "A History of God", clearly describing Hebrew, Christian and Muslim forms of God as they evolved. Not a glimmer of your contrived versions.

dhw: Sorry, but you said your approach was neutral. How can all the above be called neutral, and how can you call it neutral if it is based on YOUR concept???

DAVID: I search into all forms of faith for ideas to study and perhaps use. Total neutrality.

Neutrality does not refer to the search but to the conclusions drawn from the search. Your conclusions all fit in with the principle you explained to us a little while ago: “I first start with a form of God I wish to believe in. The rest follows.” And you call that neutrality!

Darwinism and God

dhw: The starting point of this discussion was your statement that “Two alternatives exist: God or nature”.

I have pointed out that millions of people, including Darwin, the Pope, the Rev. Charles Kingsley and me, believe(d) that the two are compatible.

DAVID: Not through the eyes of ID!! With them and I join them, it is either/or. They have declared Darwin theory dead. God designed it.

dhw: Then that should be your statement: ID-ers dismiss Darwinism and claim that Darwinism and God are incompatible. Meanwhile, lots of other people believe that Darwinism is valid and that it is perfectly compatible with God. You do not have the authority to tell them that they are wrong.[…]

DAVID: The theory is basically dead. Darwin's late declarations re' God in latter editions is not the point.

1)The basic theory of common descent, with natural selection determining what survives and what doesn’t, is not basically dead. 2) Your point was that Darwinism and God were alternatives. Millions of people disagree with you. Please don’t state your opinions as if they were facts.


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