Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Sunday, March 29, 2009, 09:37 (3955 days ago)

Since there appears to be a lull in proceedings, I thought it might be an appropriate moment to ask some questions. These are addressed to those who have recently put forward arguments which I've found difficult to follow, but of course if anyone else would like to comment, they should feel free to do so.

To George: In your post of 25 February under "Science and love etc." you rejected my assumption that as an atheist you would say it is not true that God exists. You wrote: 'I do not say it is not true. I say it depends on what you mean by "God". And the fact is that science does back the non-existence of many versions of "God".' My question to you, then, is what definition and/or version of "God" might you NOT dismiss as not true?

To David: You believe in a designer, but you advise us not to attribute any human qualities to it. This suggests to me that your version of the designer has no personal interest in us. If so, I have two questions:
1) How does this panentheist God differ from that of the deists?
2) If the designer has no personal interest in us, why should it matter to us ... apart from the scientific satisfaction of explaining the origin of life and the universe (though not of the designer) ... whether there is or is not a God?

To Mark:
1) What criteria do you use for judging that some parts of the Bible are true and others are not?
2) If you agree that all religions (including Christianity) are based on tales and traditions written down or passed on orally by people of different beliefs, what criteria do you use for judging that all religions except Christianity are false?

To John:
1) You say you are a materialist, a monist, and an agnostic. How do you reconcile materialism with agnosticism?
2) (Maybe the same question put another way:) Bearing in mind that an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in God, and therefore leaves open the possibility that God exists, what sort of God do you consider to be possible?

And two general questions:
1) Are we cells in a superorganism?
2) Are all religions facets of the same universal truth, or are they elaborate fictions devised by humans to explain the inexplicable and to lay down rules for individual and social behaviour?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, March 30, 2009, 03:03 (3954 days ago) @ dhw


To David: You believe in a designer, but you advise us not to attribute any human qualities to it. This suggests to me that your version of the designer has no personal interest in us. If so, I have two questions:
1) How does this panentheist God differ from that of the deists?
2) If the designer has no personal interest in us, why should it matter to us ... apart from the scientific satisfaction of explaining the origin of life and the universe (though not of the designer) ... whether there is or is not a God?

And two general questions:
1) Are we cells in a superorganism?
2) Are all religions facets of the same universal truth, or are they elaborate fictions devised by humans to explain the inexplicable and to lay down rules for individual and social behaviour?

To answer the questions addressed to me simply: deism is a belief in a God force that created the universe and is within it, is still present but not particularly active in controlling the progression. Panentheism believes that the God force is both within and without the universe and pervades all parts of the universe and is active. Pantheism feels God is only within the universe but is active. Since space and time began with the creative Big Bang, where was the God force before that? I think it is more logical that the God force existed as a mass of quantum energy of intellegence in a void and thought the universe into existence. We don't know that the God force is interested in us or not. Religion claims He is. We have minds, a part of His universal mind; we can be in communication with that mind, which I find a satisfying concept. I think your expectations are so influenced by existing religious teaching, you cannot see beyond those expectations of God propagandized by religion.

As for the two questions. 1) we are not part of a superorganism. We are not ants in a cooperative colony. 2) There is a built-in tendency for religiosity, as Karen Armstrong declares. Newberg's books on the neurophysiology of the meditating brain clearly point to this. I don't know that the religions know the 'truth'. There are so many of them with all the answers, that demonstrates the fact they are just guessing.

Unanswered questions

by George Jelliss ⌂ @, Crewe, Monday, March 30, 2009, 22:04 (3953 days ago) @ dhw

My question to you, then, is what definition and/or version of "God" might you NOT dismiss as not true?

There's rather too many negatives there and I'm not sure whether they all cancel each other out or not!

If someone defines God as being Nature or the Universe, and does not assign this God personal properties that Nature and Universe have not been shown to possess this would be an acceptable definition. For instance a form of Nature Worship.

1) Are we cells in a superorganism?

Not yet, but we could evolve that way, especially if some religion like Islam takes hold. The concept of the "Ummah" is rather like that of a superorganism. I think of it as like the Hum of a hive.

2) Are all religions facets of the same universal truth...?

No. Despite the claims of ecumenicalists, Religions are all different.

--
GPJ

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, April 01, 2009, 09:27 (3952 days ago) @ George Jelliss

George: "If someone defines God as being Nature or the Universe, and does not assign this God personal properties [...] this would be an acceptable definition."

First of all, thank you for answering my questions so clearly. I'm sure you will have realized yourself that this response comes very close to David Turell's panentheism, and it confirms my feeling that there's a great deal of common ground between all of us. Categories can be unnecessarily divisive. Atheist, agnostic, theist, panentheist...we separate ourselves with these titles, but the fact is that we all acknowledge there is some sort of incomprehensible force at work.

Of course the nature of that force is where the ...isms diverge, and this ties in with my question whether all religions are facets of the same universal truth, or elaborate fictions etc. You have replied that religions are all different. That's certainly true, but by facets I meant different angles, and my question relates to what religions have in common: most have at their centre the incomprehensible force which we all acknowledge and which somehow brought us into existence. You could call that force Yahweh, God, Allah, Brahma, Tao, Nature, Energy....The details vary enormously, but the essence is the same, so maybe the "or" in my question was wrong. Religions could all be facets of one universal truth, but at the same time could also be elaborate fictions to explain the inexplicable. After all, we often use images in order to capture the essence of something.

I also asked if we were cells in a superorganism, and both you and David have said no, though you think we might evolve that way "especially if some religion like Islam takes hold". The superorganism I had in mind was the universe, or Nature. There seem to be so many interconnections on the macrocosmic as well as the microcosmic level that it's an image I'm reluctant to dismiss.

Unanswered questions

by George Jelliss ⌂ @, Crewe, Wednesday, April 01, 2009, 14:03 (3952 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I'm sure you will have realized yourself that this response comes very close to David Turell's panentheism ... we all acknowledge there is some sort of incomprehensible force at work.

I don't acknowledge there is some sort of "incomprehensible force" at work. Nature to my way of thinking is quite simple and thus comprehensible. I also don't see it as a "force", but simply subject to necessity. Since DT supports intelligent design I presume his "panentheos" must have intelligence capable of making designs.

dhw: my question relates to what religions have in common: most have at their centre the incomprehensible force which we all acknowledge and which somehow brought us into existence.

Respectfully, No! Also I increasingly suspect that "nonexistence" is a meaningless concept with regard to the universe. The forces that brought life into existence from non-life can only be those known to physics and chemistry, although the precise sequence of events is not yet known.

dhw: The superorganism I had in mind was the universe, or Nature. There seem to be so many interconnections on the macrocosmic as well as the microcosmic level that it's an image I'm reluctant to dismiss.

What are these connections you refer to? Apart from the fact that the whole universe obeys the same laws of physics (which is partly a philosophical assumption to simplify our study of the subject) there are in fact very few actual connections or interactions between distant parts of the universe. Certainly not enough to make it an "organism" of some sort. Beyond the event horizon there is in fact no interaction at all possible, and this will be more so as the universe expands even faster.

--
GPJ

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, April 02, 2009, 13:06 (3951 days ago) @ George Jelliss

George: I don't acknowledge that there is some sort of "incomprehensible force" at work. Nature to my way of thinking is quite simple and thus comprehensible. I also don't see it as a "force", but simply subject to necessity.

Ah well, there was me thinking we'd found common ground between all the different positions! There is probably no way round this clash of views, and I am the one who must admit to ignorance. I don't know what caused the Big Bang, I don't know what constitutes the "dark matter" and "dark energy" that is said to make up 96% of the universe, I don't know how life and reproduction arose, I don't know how material cells can become conscious of themselves, or can generate new organs and faculties of their own accord. But if it's all simple and comprehensible, more fool me.

You continue: "The forces [or perhaps you mean "necessities" since you don't see Nature as a force] that brought life into existence from non-life can only be those known to physics and chemistry, although the precise sequence of events is not yet known." If you mean that the elements that constitute living matter must be known to us, I can hardly disagree with you, and one day perhaps we will know "the precise sequence of events", if by that you mean which bits combined with which in what order. But generations of brilliantly intelligent, conscious minds have struggled in vain to find out what forces (or necessities) made it all happen, which is odd if it's so simple and comprehensible.

I suggested that we might be cells in a superorganism, since there are so many connections on a microcosmic as well as a macrocosmic level. You ask what these connections are, and say: "There are in fact very few actual connections or interactions between distant parts of the universe." I don't know why you limit the universe to its distant parts, but in any case considering how little we know about it (see above), I'm surprised you can talk of facts in this context. I was actually thinking of the anthropic principle, which Dawkins believes bolsters his case for "why there almost certainly is no God" (see The God Delusion, Chapter 4, for details of connections), whereas theists take it as evidence for design. Wikipedia sums up the principle as follows: "Anthropic reasoning typically concludes that the stability of structures essential for life, from atomic nuclei to the whole universe, depends on delicate balances between different fundamental forces." I'm suggesting a parallel: just as my body depends on stable structures and delicate balances within itself, all acting independently of my consciousness and yet still part of me (e.g. heart, circulation, immune system, lungs etc.), maybe the universe functions in the same way. I offer it more as an image than a theory, as part of my attempt to comprehend the things you consider so simple.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 20:54 (280 days ago) @ dhw

It is ten years on from the rudimentary and tentative proposals made by three of us, an atheist, a theist and an agnostic. All the entries are worth reviewing in view of the ensuing ten years of research findings. My comment that Karen Armstrong's view of the maturity of The Quran by insisting we must view God through nature (His works) is mirrored by Spinoza, the Jewish atheist philosopher:

https://aeon.co/essays/at-a-time-of-zealotry-spinoza-matters-more-than-ever?utm_source=...

"For Spinoza, God is Nature, and all there is is Nature (his phrase is Deus sive Natura, ‘God or Nature’). Whatever is exists in Nature, and happens with a necessity imposed by the laws of Nature. There is nothing beyond Nature and there are no departures from Nature’s order – miracles and the supernatural are an impossibility.

"Spinoza is often labelled a ‘pantheist’, but ‘atheist’ is a more appropriate term. Spinoza does not divinise Nature. Nature is not the object of worshipful awe or religious reverence. ‘The wise man,’ he says, ‘seeks to understand Nature, not gape at it like a fool’. The only appropriate attitude to take toward God or Nature is a desire to know it through the intellect."

So where does that leave us with unanswered questions?

With the new ten-year findings at the molecular level of living biochemistry and genomic activity, as a study of Nature. Intelligent design is more alive and well because everything discovered supports their point of view that only mental activity can plan such complexity. Irreducible complexity is just one concept that really cannot be refuted. Behe's review of the accepted literature finds that current evolution among established existing species is simply loss of one adapted attribute to benefit another existing one. It is simply a rearrangement of what exists and to me implies major evolution is complete and no major speciation will ever occur in the future beyond refinement of what currently exists. ID is clever in that religion is not mentioned nor is one favored. They simply state there must be a planning mind. And for me their evidence is irrefutable.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, April 21, 2019, 10:48 (280 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is ten years on from the rudimentary and tentative proposals made by three of us, an atheist, a theist and an agnostic. All the entries are worth reviewing in view of the ensuing ten years of research findings. […]

Thank you for reminding us of this discussion. The entries are all well worth revisiting.

DAVID: With the new ten-year findings at the molecular level of living biochemistry and genomic activity, as a study of Nature. Intelligent design is more alive and well because everything discovered supports their point of view that only mental activity can plan such complexity. Irreducible complexity is just one concept that really cannot be refuted. […] ID is clever in that religion is not mentioned nor is one favored. They simply state there must be a planning mind. And for me their evidence is irrefutable.

I agree that such complexity requires mental activity. I do not agree that there must be “a” planning mind. This denotes one single being that designed the whole shebang – whether you call it God, Yahweh, Allah or Bonga-Bonga. An alternative is billions of intelligences, as life forms build on the biochemical and genomic activities of their predecessors to create ever increasing complexity. The question of how the first intelligence(s) came into being applies to both theories, and is unanswerable.

DAVID: Behe's review of the accepted literature finds that current evolution among established existing species is simply loss of one adapted attribute to benefit another existing one. It is simply a rearrangement of what exists and to me implies major evolution is complete and no major speciation will ever occur in the future beyond refinement of what currently exists.

The fact that for a comparatively short period of life’s history there has been no major speciation (by which I mean totally new life forms, as opposed to variations within existing species) does not answer any of our questions. I don’t know what Behe means by adaptation benefiting an existing attribute. Examples of organisms adapting to pollution, or changing colour or patterns to camouflage themselves in new environments, or bacteria finding means to counter new threats to their existence, all require some form of restructuring in order to preserve the species. The ability to make the changes already exists, but they only occur when the environment changes. If all he means is that adaptation helps to preserve the species as it is, he is stating the obvious. Or do you think he is supporting your belief in a pre-existing, 3.8-billion-year old-computer programme with solutions for every problem that has arisen/will arise throughout the history of life?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 21, 2019, 17:37 (279 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It is ten years on from the rudimentary and tentative proposals made by three of us, an atheist, a theist and an agnostic. All the entries are worth reviewing in view of the ensuing ten years of research findings. […]

dhw: Thank you for reminding us of this discussion. The entries are all well worth revisiting.

DAVID: With the new ten-year findings at the molecular level of living biochemistry and genomic activity, as a study of Nature. Intelligent design is more alive and well because everything discovered supports their point of view that only mental activity can plan such complexity. Irreducible complexity is just one concept that really cannot be refuted. […] ID is clever in that religion is not mentioned nor is one favored. They simply state there must be a planning mind. And for me their evidence is irrefutable.

dhw: I agree that such complexity requires mental activity. I do not agree that there must be “a” planning mind. This denotes one single being that designed the whole shebang – whether you call it God, Yahweh, Allah or Bonga-Bonga. An alternative is billions of intelligences, as life forms build on the biochemical and genomic activities of their predecessors to create ever increasing complexity. The question of how the first intelligence(s) came into being applies to both theories, and is unanswerable.

DAVID: Behe's review of the accepted literature finds that current evolution among established existing species is simply loss of one adapted attribute to benefit another existing one. It is simply a rearrangement of what exists and to me implies major evolution is complete and no major speciation will ever occur in the future beyond refinement of what currently exists.

dhw: The fact that for a comparatively short period of life’s history there has been no major speciation (by which I mean totally new life forms, as opposed to variations within existing species) does not answer any of our questions. I don’t know what Behe means by adaptation benefiting an existing attribute. Examples of organisms adapting to pollution, or changing colour or patterns to camouflage themselves in new environments, or bacteria finding means to counter new threats to their existence, all require some form of restructuring in order to preserve the species. The ability to make the changes already exists, but they only occur when the environment changes. If all he means is that adaptation helps to preserve the species as it is, he is stating the obvious. Or do you think he is supporting your belief in a pre-existing, 3.8-billion-year old-computer programme with solutions for every problem that has arisen/will arise throughout the history of life?

"My belief" is not a belief but a logical way that God might have controlled evolution. Our current period of no new species is the constant pattern of evolution, long periods of stasis followed by bursts of new forms, as in the Cambrian explosion, totally denying Darwin's step- by-step theory. In all of history, species last for very long periods before disappearing, most often by sudden environmental disasters as in Chixculub/dinosaurs. Another denial of Darwin is convergent evolution:

"Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species."

https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/gunter-bechly-new-human-find-in-the-phil...

All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, April 22, 2019, 09:22 (279 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The fact that for a comparatively short period of life’s history there has been no major speciation (by which I mean totally new life forms, as opposed to variations within existing species) does not answer any of our questions. I don’t know what Behe means by adaptation benefiting an existing attribute. Examples of organisms adapting to pollution, or changing colour or patterns to camouflage themselves in new environments, or bacteria finding means to counter new threats to their existence, all require some form of restructuring in order to preserve the species. The ability to make the changes already exists, but they only occur when the environment changes. If all he means is that adaptation helps to preserve the species as it is, he is stating the obvious. Or do you think he is supporting your belief in a pre-existing, 3.8-billion-year old-computer programme with solutions for every problem that has arisen/will arise throughout the history of life?

DAVID: "My belief" is not a belief but a logical way that God might have controlled evolution.

Thank you for reminding me that you do not actually believe in your hypothesis of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for the whole of life. I can’t say I blame you. I accept, however, that it is a logical way for your God to have controlled evolution. What is not logical is that you consider this to have been a logical way for your God to have fulfilled what you believe to have been his one and only purpose to create H. sapiens. That is why you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method.

DAVID: Our current period of no new species is the constant pattern of evolution, long periods of stasis followed by bursts of new forms, as in the Cambrian explosion, totally denying Darwin's step- by-step theory. In all of history, species last for very long periods before disappearing, most often by sudden environmental disasters as in Chixculub/dinosaurs.

That was the point of my first sentence, and it answers none of our unanswered questions. I don’t know why you constantly refer to the acknowledged weaknesses in Darwin’s theory. Darwin did not pretend to have all the answers to all the unanswered questions. You and I agree that evolution in the form of common descent happened. The disagreements are over HOW it happened, and nobody can tell us.

DAVID: Another denial of Darwin is convergent evolution:
"Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species."
https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/gunter-bechly-new-human-find-in-the-phil...

Same again. You seem to think that by rubbishing certain aspects of Darwin’s theory, you are somehow answering the unanswered questions!

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, April 22, 2019, 15:45 (278 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: "My belief" is not a belief but a logical way that God might have controlled evolution.

dhw: Thank you for reminding me that you do not actually believe in your hypothesis of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for the whole of life. I can’t say I blame you. I accept, however, that it is a logical way for your God to have controlled evolution. What is not logical is that you consider this to have been a logical way for your God to have fulfilled what you believe to have been his one and only purpose to create H. sapiens. That is why you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method.

Your demand that I explain God's choice to use evolution of life as a means of creating humans makes no sense, yet you persist in reverting to it. I don't have to explain it if
I simply accept it as the way He did it. I see you as having the problem.


DAVID: Our current period of no new species is the constant pattern of evolution, long periods of stasis followed by bursts of new forms, as in the Cambrian explosion, totally denying Darwin's step- by-step theory. In all of history, species last for very long periods before disappearing, most often by sudden environmental disasters as in Chixculub/dinosaurs.

dhw: That was the point of my first sentence, and it answers none of our unanswered questions. I don’t know why you constantly refer to the acknowledged weaknesses in Darwin’s theory. Darwin did not pretend to have all the answers to all the unanswered questions. You and I agree that evolution in the form of common descent happened. The disagreements are over HOW it happened, and nobody can tell us.

My only point is periods of stasis suggest God steps in to push the process along. Darwin certainly had no answers and tends to remove God from any actions.

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 13:05 (278 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: "My belief" is not a belief but a logical way that God might have controlled evolution.

dhw: Thank you for reminding me that you do not actually believe in your hypothesis of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for the whole of life. I can’t say I blame you. I accept, however, that it is a logical way for your God to have controlled evolution. What is not logical is that you consider this to have been a logical way for your God to have fulfilled what you believe to have been his one and only purpose to create H. sapiens. That is why you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method.

DAVID: Your demand that I explain God's choice to use evolution of life as a means of creating humans makes no sense, yet you persist in reverting to it. I don't have to explain it if I simply accept it as the way He did it. I see you as having the problem.

If God exists, he used evolution to create EVERY form of life. You are only prepared to accept your preprogramming/dabbling method (even though it is not a belief), which means he specially designed every life form, including humans. You categorically reject random mutations and cellular intelligence as alternative methods. And so it does not make sense that your God specially preprogrammed all the non-human life forms to keep eating or not eating one another even though – in your hypothesis – he was perfectly capable of specially designing the only thing he wanted to design.

And under “Big brain evolution”, from which this thread seems to have taken over:

DAVID: I accept God and use history to tell me how He chose to do things. Your problem with faith is obvious.

I have no problem with your “accepting” God’s existence. My problem is with your refusal to face the fact that if you have no idea why he would choose the method you attribute to him (preprogramming or dabbling the whole of evolution, though even you do not find it convincing enough to believe) in order to achieve the purpose you attribute to him (producing H. sapiens), there may be a flaw in your interpretation of history.

[…]

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

DAVID: I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

That was a reference to your hypothesis that every single bacterial adaptation is automatic – i.e., the result of the same process of divine preprogramming or dabbling you invoke (but do not believe in) as your counter to cellular intelligence.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 17:32 (277 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 17:43

DAVID: Your demand that I explain God's choice to use evolution of life as a means of creating humans makes no sense, yet you persist in reverting to it. I don't have to explain it if I simply accept it as the way He did it. I see you as having the problem.

dhw: If God exists, he used evolution to create EVERY form of life. You are only prepared to accept your preprogramming/dabbling method (even though it is not a belief), which means he specially designed every life form, including humans. You categorically reject random mutations and cellular intelligence as alternative methods. And so it does not make sense that your God specially preprogrammed all the non-human life forms to keep eating or not eating one another even though – in your hypothesis – he was perfectly capable of specially designing the only thing he wanted to design.

Of course I reject random mutations. That issue is dead. As for cellular intelligence,
I agree they appear to act intelligently. Appearance leads you to hope cells are intelligent, which is a way of reducing God's powers of total control. Yet you keep accepting God has the right to choose His method of creation, which history tells us is by evolving life from bacteria to the present forms. Your statement above is just the opposite, and insists God should have jumped in and used the Bible's six-day direct production of humans and all the rest now extant. That puts your feet on both sides of your picket fence.


And under “Big brain evolution”, from which this thread seems to have taken over:

DAVID: I accept God and use history to tell me how He chose to do things. Your problem with faith is obvious.

dhw: I have no problem with your “accepting” God’s existence. My problem is with your refusal to face the fact that if you have no idea why he would choose the method you attribute to him (preprogramming or dabbling the whole of evolution, though even you do not find it convincing enough to believe) in order to achieve the purpose you attribute to him (producing H. sapiens), there may be a flaw in your interpretation of history.

Your thinking is really diffuse. So I'll repeat my positions: God is purposeful and has goals as He creates. He creates by evolving, first the universe from the Big Bang, then the Earth, a very special planet, which can support life, then evolved life from its first beginnings to finally produce humans. That is the exact pattern of our history. With the assumption that God is in charge, it all fits together.


[…]

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

DAVID: I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

dhw: That was a reference to your hypothesis that every single bacterial adaptation is automatic – i.e., the result of the same process of divine preprogramming or dabbling you invoke (but do not believe in) as your counter to cellular intelligence.

My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 10:24 (277 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God exists, he used evolution to create EVERY form of life. You are only prepared to accept your preprogramming/dabbling method (even though it is not a belief), which means he specially designed every life form, including humans. You categorically reject random mutations and cellular intelligence as alternative methods. And so it does not make sense that your God specially preprogrammed all the non-human life forms to keep eating or not eating one another even though – in your hypothesis – he was perfectly capable of specially designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: Of course I reject random mutations. That issue is dead.

Agreed.

DAVID: As for cellular intelligence, I agree they appear to act intelligently. Appearance leads you to hope cells are intelligent, which is a way of reducing God's powers of total control.

Not a reduction of powers of control! If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

DAVID: Yet you keep accepting God has the right to choose His method of creation, which history tells us is by evolving life from bacteria to the present forms. Your statement above is just the opposite, and insists God should have jumped in and used the Bible's six-day direct production of humans and all the rest now extant. That puts your feet on both sides of your picket fence.

I do not insist on any of the various hypotheses which I have proposed and which you agree fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. Our disagreement concerns the fact that your own proposal insists that the only purpose for evolving life from bacteria to all its millions of non-human forms extant and extinct was to produce H. sapiens, although you admit that you have no idea why your God would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose.

DAVID: […] So I'll repeat my positions: God is purposeful and has goals as He creates. He creates by evolving, first the universe from the Big Bang, then the Earth, a very special planet, which can support life, then evolved life from its first beginnings to finally produce humans. That is the exact pattern of our history. With the assumption that God is in charge, it all fits together.

For argument’s sake, I am accepting the existence of God, and here you have picked on all the points about which we agree (except perhaps “finally” since we have no idea what life forms might exist over the next, say, three thousand million years). Missing from this excellent summary, once more, is your illogical contention that your in-total-control God specially designed every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder (special design being glossed over by the word ”evolved”), and his purpose for doing so was to keep life going until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design.

[…]

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

DAVID: I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

dhw: That was a reference to your hypothesis that every single bacterial adaptation is automatic – i.e., the result of the same process of divine preprogramming or dabbling you invoke (but do not believe in) as your counter to cellular intelligence.

DAVID: My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism.

So your theory presumably would be that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all these different species to provide the same solutions when confronted by the same problems. My counter proposal would be that given the same problems, it is not surprising that different intelligences should come up with the same solutions.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 19:41 (276 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: As for cellular intelligence, I agree they appear to act intelligently. Appearance leads you to hope cells are intelligent, which is a way of reducing God's powers of total control.

dhw: Not a reduction of powers of control! If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

Of course, granting cells free rein reduces God's control of the direction of evolution. In the final step, humans are allowed to control their actions (history), but not their evolution, which your bolded twisted logic implies.


dhw: I do not insist on any of the various hypotheses which I have proposed and which you agree fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. Our disagreement concerns the fact that your own proposal insists that the only purpose for evolving life from bacteria to all its millions of non-human forms extant and extinct was to produce H. sapiens, although you admit that you have no idea why your God would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose.

Answered above. God sequentially each stage with purpose.


DAVID: […] So I'll repeat my positions: God is purposeful and has goals as He creates. He creates by evolving, first the universe from the Big Bang, then the Earth, a very special planet, which can support life, then evolved life from its first beginnings to finally produce humans. That is the exact pattern of our history. With the assumption that God is in charge, it all fits together.

dhw: For argument’s sake, I am accepting the existence of God, and here you have picked on all the points about which we agree (except perhaps “finally” since we have no idea what life forms might exist over the next, say, three thousand million years). Missing from this excellent summary, once more, is your illogical contention that your in-total-control God specially designed every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder (special design being glossed over by the word ”evolved”), and his purpose for doing so was to keep life going until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design.

Again you refer to God as diddling around until He popped humans into existence.


[…]

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

dhw: It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

DAVID: I was referring specifically to genetic patterns for form development, not every action in responding to daily activities.

dhw: That was a reference to your hypothesis that every single bacterial adaptation is automatic – i.e., the result of the same process of divine preprogramming or dabbling you invoke (but do not believe in) as your counter to cellular intelligence.

DAVID: My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism.

dhw: So your theory presumably would be that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all these different species to provide the same solutions when confronted by the same problems. My counter proposal would be that given the same problems, it is not surprising that different intelligences should come up with the same solutions.

Only if such intelligence existed in cells. Remember I view cells as acting intelligently from God's instructions.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, April 25, 2019, 12:57 (276 days ago) @ David Turell

I’m combining this thread with “bacterial intelligence", as they are now covering the same material.

DAVID: I have clearly stated God may be unlimited or limited. History allows both possibilities…

dhw: One day you clearly state that he is in full control, and the next you say he may have limits.

DAVID: […] It is possible that God is limited in how He can create. […] It simply may be that life is so complex, advances must be evolved, but that still puts God completely in charge.

I have no problem with God being completely in charge - if he wants to be. But limitations (non-omnipotence) are one way to remove the anomaly of having an omnipotent God choosing not to design the only thing he wanted to design. (See below for evolution and design.)

dhw: On this thread the subject is cellular intelligence and its relevance to your God’s use of evolution to achieve his purpose(s). In my proposal there is “total” purpose and nothing tentative, the purpose being to create a process that will provide the ever changing spectacle of life which constitutes its history (but always allowing for dabbles).

DAVID: An 'ever changing spectacle' is humanizing God in the extreme. A purposeful God does not need spectacle. In my view, He fully knows what He wants as a goal, and accomplishes it.

I agree that your purposeful God would fully know and accomplish his goal, which you say was to produce humans. If you can speculate on that, why shouldn’t we speculate on possible purposes for producing the bush and humans? A while ago you volunteered enjoyment, wanting us to admire his work, and wanting a relationship with us. How do you know that a one-and-only God didn’t get fed up with his isolation? How do you know that he doesn’t produce things for enjoyment, or that he doesn’t have a range of feelings like ours: love, hate, boredom, fascination, pleasure, disgust, loneliness? Do you really believe a creator could create such things without knowing them himself? Of course we can only humanize, but that doesn’t mean that our humanizations are wrong.

dhw: I am suggesting that your vehement opposition to the concept of cellular intelligence – despite your setting the odds at 50/50 – is that it represents a major threat to your strong belief that your always-in-control God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, linked to your proposal (but not belief) that for no apparent reason – you have “no idea” why he chose this method – he specially designed every life form in life’s history for the purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. (David's bold)

DAVID: […] I fully believe God chose to evolve humans. His choice of method is His choice, and clearly is supported by the historical record. We evolved. […] As for the bolded comment, it is totally off the mark as it implies God diddled aimless around until He finally plugged in the goal, humans.

The only evolutionary methods you propose are divine preprogramming and dabbling, which both entail special design. You apply this not only to the human brain but also to whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the construction of the weaverbird’s nest. And you have no idea why your God specially designed (preprogrammed/dabbled) all this when, according to you, he only wanted to specially design (preprogramme/dabble) us. It is YOU who have him diddling around!

DAVID: As for cellular intelligence, I agree they appear to act intelligently. Appearance leads you to hope cells are intelligent, which is a way of reducing God's powers of total control.

dhw: Not a reduction of powers of control! If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

DAVID: […] In the final step, humans are allowed to control their actions (history), but not their evolution, which your bolded twisted logic implies.

Yet again you are missing the point of the analogy. If he was willing to give up control over human actions, why should he not have been willing to give up control over the direction of evolution? In both cases your “this is what will happen…” gives way to my “let’s see what will happen if…”
[…]
DAVID: My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism.

dhw: So your theory presumably would be that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all these different species to provide the same solutions when confronted by the same problems. My counter proposal would be that given the same problems, it is not surprising that different intelligences should come up with the same solutions.

DAVID: Only if such intelligence existed in cells. Remember I view cells as acting intelligently from God's instructions.

Yes, these are the alternatives: cellular intelligence versus a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or direct divine dabbling for every convergent solution, as these are the only forms of “instructions” you can come up with.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 25, 2019, 18:24 (275 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: An 'ever changing spectacle' is humanizing God in the extreme. A purposeful God does not need spectacle. In my view, He fully knows what He wants as a goal, and accomplishes it.

dhw: I agree that your purposeful God would fully know and accomplish his goal, which you say was to produce humans. If you can speculate on that, why shouldn’t we speculate on possible purposes for producing the bush and humans? A while ago you volunteered enjoyment, wanting us to admire his work, and wanting a relationship with us. How do you know that a one-and-only God didn’t get fed up with his isolation? How do you know that he doesn’t produce things for enjoyment, or that he doesn’t have a range of feelings like ours: love, hate, boredom, fascination, pleasure, disgust, loneliness? Do you really believe a creator could create such things without knowing them himself? Of course we can only humanize, but that doesn’t mean that our humanizations are wrong.

But it also means we cannot know if speculations are in any way correct. What we do know assuming that God is in charge, and He chose to evolve humans from the first bacteria. That is historical fact.


dhw: The only evolutionary methods you propose are divine preprogramming and dabbling, which both entail special design. You apply this not only to the human brain but also to whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the construction of the weaverbird’s nest. And you have no idea why your God specially designed (preprogrammed/dabbled) all this when, according to you, he only wanted to specially design (preprogramme/dabble) us. It is YOU who have him diddling around!

Consider first life: It is extremely complex if it is to survive. And it is no where close to the complexity of an introspective human brain. You've accepted if God is in charge He has the right to evolve each and every of His goals. I persist in viewing God as choosing to evolve more and more complexity over the time necessary. No diddling. Each new advanced design may well require design planning considerations. Preprogramming or constant dabbling are each probabilities of method.


dhw: Not a reduction of powers of control! If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

DAVID: […] In the final step, humans are allowed to control their actions (history), but not their evolution, which your bolded twisted logic implies.

dhw: Yet again you are missing the point of the analogy. If he was willing to give up control over human actions, why should he not have been willing to give up control over the direction of evolution? In both cases your “this is what will happen…” gives way to my “let’s see what will happen if…”

I didn't miss your 'logic'. Control of evolution is not at all equivalent to human choices of action in life.

[…]
DAVID: My reference is to the concept of convergence, the fact that the same thing develops over and over in evolution in many, many very different species, unrelated by the pattern of branching in the common descent from an original organism.

dhw: So your theory presumably would be that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all these different species to provide the same solutions when confronted by the same problems. My counter proposal would be that given the same problems, it is not surprising that different intelligences should come up with the same solutions.

DAVID: Only if such intelligence existed in cells. Remember I view cells as acting intelligently from God's instructions.

dhw: Yes, these are the alternatives: cellular intelligence versus a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or direct divine dabbling for every convergent solution, as these are the only forms of “instructions” you can come up with.

Can you come up with other methods of instructing, considering God is running the show in full command?

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, April 26, 2019, 10:10 (275 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: An 'ever changing spectacle' is humanizing God in the extreme. A purposeful God does not need spectacle. In my view, He fully knows what He wants as a goal, and accomplishes it.

dhw: I agree that your purposeful God would fully know and accomplish his goal, which you say was to produce humans. If you can speculate on that, why shouldn’t we speculate on possible purposes for producing the bush and humans? A while ago you volunteered enjoyment, wanting us to admire his work, and wanting a relationship with us. How do you know that a one-and-only God didn’t get fed up with his isolation? How do you know that he doesn’t produce things for enjoyment, or that he doesn’t have a range of feelings like ours: love, hate, boredom, fascination, pleasure, disgust, loneliness? Do you really believe a creator could create such things without knowing them himself? Of course we can only humanize, but that doesn’t mean that our humanizations are wrong.

DAVID: But it also means we cannot know if speculations are in any way correct. What we do know assuming that God is in charge, and He chose to evolve humans from the first bacteria. That is historical fact.

Hold on! Not even the existence of God is historical fact. But IF he exists, and since we both accept the theory of common descent, we agree that he would have chosen to evolve ALL forms of life from earlier forms. That does not mean (a) that his sole purpose was to produce humans, (b) that his only method of evolving all forms of life was special design by preprogramming or dabbling, or (c) that he specially designed all forms of life so that they would eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans. Of course my proposals concerning his nature, purpose and method are speculative. And your statement that “a purposeful God does not need spectacle” is as speculative as all your other hypotheses concerning the existence, purpose and method of your God. All answers to "unanswered questions" are speculative!

dhw: The only evolutionary methods you propose are divine preprogramming and dabbling, which both entail special design. You apply this not only to the human brain but also to whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the construction of the weaverbird’s nest. And you have no idea why your God specially designed (preprogrammed/dabbled) all this when, according to you, he only wanted to specially design (preprogramme/dabble) us. It is YOU who have him diddling around!

DAVID: Consider first life: It is extremely complex if it is to survive. And it is no where close to the complexity of an introspective human brain. You've accepted if God is in charge He has the right to evolve each and every of His goals. I persist in viewing God as choosing to evolve more and more complexity over the time necessary. No diddling. Each new advanced design may well require design planning considerations. Preprogramming or constant dabbling are each probabilities of method.

Now you are focusing on the argument for design, and completely ignoring the point at issue, which is that you have no idea why a God whose sole purpose is to produce humans would choose to specially design millions of other complex non-human life forms before specially designing the only one he wants to design. THAT is the diddling around which you cannot explain.

dhw: If God exists, cellular intelligence would denote his CHOICE not to control the history, but to allow it to run its own course, just as you believe he gave humans free will so that they could create their own history.

DAVID: […] In the final step, humans are allowed to control their actions (history), but not their evolution, which your bolded twisted logic implies.

dhw: Yet again you are missing the point of the analogy. If he was willing to give up control over human actions, why should he not have been willing to give up control over the direction of evolution? In both cases your “this is what will happen…” gives way to my “let’s see what will happen if…”

DAVID: I didn't miss your 'logic'. Control of evolution is not at all equivalent to human choices of action in life.

Of course it’s not. The analogy is that in both scenarios, your God would purposefully have given up control.

[…]

dhw: …these are the alternatives: cellular intelligence versus a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or direct divine dabbling for every convergent solution, as these are the only forms of “instructions” you can come up with.

DAVID: Can you come up with other methods of instructing, considering God is running the show in full command?

No, and that is why I am challenging your assumption that your God chose to remain in full command. Like yourself, I find it impossible to explain why he would specially design (through preprogramming and/or dabbling) whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration and the weaverbird’s nest if all he wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens. And so as an alternative I am proposing that he chose to create a form of “show” or spectacle which would run itself through cellular intelligence, though always allowing him the option of dabbling if he felt like it.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, April 26, 2019, 18:48 (274 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But it also means we cannot know if speculations are in any way correct. What we do know assuming that God is in charge, and He chose to evolve humans from the first bacteria. That is historical fact.

dhw: Hold on! Not even the existence of God is historical fact. But IF he exists, and since we both accept the theory of common descent, we agree that he would have chosen to evolve ALL forms of life from earlier forms. That does not mean (a) that his sole purpose was to produce humans, (b) that his only method of evolving all forms of life was special design by preprogramming or dabbling, or (c) that he specially designed all forms of life so that they would eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans. Of course my proposals concerning his nature, purpose and method are speculative. And your statement that “a purposeful God does not need spectacle” is as speculative as all your other hypotheses concerning the existence, purpose and method of your God. All answers to "unanswered questions" are speculative!

My concept of a purposeful God is obviously not your casual theistic approach to studying Him. You constantly ignore Adler's philosophic point that we are so different in kind it is obvious we were purposefully evolved. My complete list of logical conclusions gave me very reasonable structure to accept God. Have you noticed, I've quit speculating?


DAVID: Consider first life: It is extremely complex if it is to survive. And it is no where close to the complexity of an introspective human brain. You've accepted if God is in charge He has the right to evolve each and every of His goals. I persist in viewing God as choosing to evolve more and more complexity over the time necessary. No diddling. Each new advanced design may well require design planning considerations. Preprogramming or constant dabbling are each probabilities of method.

dhw: Now you are focusing on the argument for design, and completely ignoring the point at issue, which is that you have no idea why a God whose sole purpose is to produce humans would choose to specially design millions of other complex non-human life forms before specially designing the only one he wants to design. THAT is the diddling around which you cannot explain.

Ah, slinking back to your favorite non-issue. I will not back down from the logical point that God has the right to choose to evolve humans rather than directly create them as in the OT.

DAVID: I didn't miss your 'logic'. Control of evolution is not at all equivalent to human choices of action in life.

dhw: Of course it’s not. The analogy is that in both scenarios, your God would purposefully have given up control.

Very poor analogy. Evolution requires constant design planning if a goal is to be achieved. You deny goals and humans were a special creation allowed to have free choice. An analogies are best when equal.


[…]

dhw: …these are the alternatives: cellular intelligence versus a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or direct divine dabbling for every convergent solution, as these are the only forms of “instructions” you can come up with.

DAVID: Can you come up with other methods of instructing, considering God is running the show in full command?

dhw: No, and that is why I am challenging your assumption that your God chose to remain in full command. Like yourself, I find it impossible to explain why he would specially design (through preprogramming and/or dabbling) whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration and the weaverbird’s nest if all he wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens. And so as an alternative I am proposing that he chose to create a form of “show” or spectacle which would run itself through cellular intelligence, though always allowing him the option of dabbling if he felt like it.

Back to a human God who loves shows and spectacles.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, April 27, 2019, 13:36 (274 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But it also means we cannot know if speculations are in any way correct. What we do know assuming that God is in charge, and He chose to evolve humans from the first bacteria. That is historical fact.

dhw: Hold on! Not even the existence of God is historical fact. But IF he exists, and since we both accept the theory of common descent, we agree that he would have chosen to evolve ALL forms of life from earlier forms. [I went on to list your three totally non-historical speculations, repeated with asterisks below.***] Of course my proposals concerning his nature, purpose and method are speculative. And your statement that “a purposeful God does not need spectacle” is as speculative as all your other hypotheses concerning the existence, purpose and method of your God. All answers to "unanswered questions" are speculative!

DAVID: My concept of a purposeful God is obviously not your casual theistic approach to studying Him. You constantly ignore Adler's philosophic point that we are so different in kind it is obvious we were purposefully evolved. My complete list of logical conclusions gave me very reasonable structure to accept God. Have you noticed, I've quit speculating?

You have not quit speculating. You have quit trying to find any logical link between your various speculations. If your God exists, then directly or indirectly he is responsible for EVERY life form that has ever evolved. All species are different in kind, but the huge and always acknowledged gulf between our level of consciousness/intelligence and that of other species has no bearing on your continued insistence (though you now claim it is not a belief) that ALL the others were specifically designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled), and your God specifically designed them in order to keep life going until he “purposefully evolved” (= preprogrammed or dabbled) the only life form he wanted to evolve: H. sapiens, who is the latest known life form***. That is the COMBINATION of speculations you refuse to quit, despite the fact that you have no idea why he would have chosen your speculative method to achieve your speculative purpose rather than any of the others I have proposed. This is not a matter of “acceptance” but of blinkered speculation.

DAVID: Ah, slinking back to your favorite non-issue. I will not back down from the logical point that God has the right to choose to evolve humans rather than directly create them as in the OT.

Ah, slinking back to slithering over the issue. Of course he had the right to choose. But once again: your concept of evolution is special design (by programming or dabbling) of every single life form extant and extinct, including humans. I have suggested that he did NOT specially design every single life form, or – if humans really were his sole purpose – he may have had to experiment, or humans may have come late on in his thinking. You simply keep refusing to view your hypotheses as a whole, and it is their COMBINATION which is so illogical that you yourself cannot explain it.

DAVID: […] Control of evolution is not at all equivalent to human choices of action in life.

dhw: Of course it’s not. The analogy is that in both scenarios, your God would purposefully have given up control.

DAVID: Very poor analogy. Evolution requires constant design planning if a goal is to be achieved. You deny goals and humans were a special creation allowed to have free choice. An analogies are best when equal.

I do not deny goals or design (planning is another matter), but I challenge your concept of a single goal for the whole of life (designing H. sapiens), and I propose that your God wanted the process of evolution to produce an ever changing variety of life forms by setting up a system of different intelligences responding autonomously in different ways to a variety of conditions. That is also precisely what happens when humans have free will. Two possible examples of your God deliberately giving up control (though retaining the option to dabble).

[…]

DAVID: Can you come up with other methods of instructing, considering God is running the show in full command?

dhw: No, and that is why I am challenging your assumption that your God chose to remain in full command. [...] as an alternative I am proposing that he chose to create a form of “show” or spectacle which would run itself through cellular intelligence, though always allowing him the option of dabbling if he felt like it.

DAVID: Back to a human God who loves shows and spectacles.

Back to your insistence on God’s purposefulness, which is limited to specially designing a bush of life forms for the sole purpose of eating or not eating one another until he specially designs H. sapiens, for which he has no purpose, or if he has, we mustn’t talk about it because you happen to know that your God has no characteristics in common with his creations (except perhaps enjoyment, desire for admiration and for a relationship with us).

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 27, 2019, 16:06 (273 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My concept of a purposeful God is obviously not your casual theistic approach to studying Him. You constantly ignore Adler's philosophic point that we are so different in kind it is obvious we were purposefully evolved. My complete list of logical conclusions gave me very reasonable structure to accept God. Have you noticed, I've quit speculating?

dhw: You have not quit speculating. You have quit trying to find any logical link between your various speculations. If your God exists, then directly or indirectly he is responsible for EVERY life form that has ever evolved. All species are different in kind, but the huge and always acknowledged gulf between our level of consciousness/intelligence and that of other species has no bearing on your continued insistence (though you now claim it is not a belief) that ALL the others were specifically designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled), and your God specifically designed them in order to keep life going until he “purposefully evolved” (= preprogrammed or dabbled) the only life form he wanted to evolve: H. sapiens, who is the latest known life form***. That is the COMBINATION of speculations you refuse to quit, despite the fact that you have no idea why he would have chosen your speculative method to achieve your speculative purpose rather than any of the others I have proposed. This is not a matter of “acceptance” but of blinkered speculation.

It is your problem as I constantly state. It is perfectly logical to assume God chose to evolve humans as His means of creation. It requires no further speculation. You refuse to consider Adler's philosophic position about our specialness, as a way to define God's purpose.


DAVID: Ah, slinking back to your favorite non-issue. I will not back down from the logical point that God has the right to choose to evolve humans rather than directly create them as in the OT.

dhw: Ah, slinking back to slithering over the issue. Of course he had the right to choose. But once again: your concept of evolution is special design (by programming or dabbling) of every single life form extant and extinct, including humans. I have suggested that he did NOT specially design every single life form, or – if humans really were his sole purpose – he may have had to experiment, or humans may have come late on in his thinking. You simply keep refusing to view your hypotheses as a whole, and it is their COMBINATION which is so illogical that you yourself cannot explain it.

Once again all you are doing is going over possible causes of God's choice of mechanism of creation. I firmly state that God started life, something you slip over in your argument. If He created life, it is perfectly logical He proceeded to design forms in evolution to achieve His definite purpose as outlined by Adler. The God I envision is very firm in his resolve. Yours is squishy.


dhw: I do not deny goals or design (planning is another matter), but I challenge your concept of a single goal for the whole of life (designing H. sapiens), and I propose that your God wanted the process of evolution to produce an ever changing variety of life forms by setting up a system of different intelligences responding autonomously in different ways to a variety of conditions. That is also precisely what happens when humans have free will. Two possible examples of your God deliberately giving up control (though retaining the option to dabble).

A very strained equivalence. No organism but humans makes introspective decisions.


[…]

DAVID: Can you come up with other methods of instructing, considering God is running the show in full command?

dhw: dhw: No, and that is why I am challenging your assumption that your God chose to remain in full command. [...] as an alternative I am proposing that he chose to create a form of “show” or spectacle which would run itself through cellular intelligence, though always allowing him the option of dabbling if he felt like it.

Your view of a mamby-pamby God is not mine.


DAVID: Back to a human God who loves shows and spectacles.

dhw: Back to your insistence on God’s purposefulness, which is limited to specially designing a bush of life forms for the sole purpose of eating or not eating one another until he specially designs H. sapiens, for which he has no purpose, or if he has, we mustn’t talk about it because you happen to know that your God has no characteristics in common with his creations (except perhaps enjoyment, desire for admiration and for a relationship with us).

We have discussed a plethora of possible logical reasons for God to create humans. The only thing we can safely say with assurance is that He wanted to do it.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, April 28, 2019, 11:38 (273 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is perfectly logical to assume God chose to evolve humans as His means of creation. It requires no further speculation.

For anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it is logical to assume that he chose evolution as his means of creation! And he used it to create not just humans but also billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and that is the problem for your anthropocentric interpretation of life’s history, which you cannot solve and therefore try to gloss over, as follows:

DAVID: You refuse to consider Adler's philosophic position about our specialness, as a way to define God's purpose.

You have simply ignored my response to this. I wrote: "All species are different in kind, but the huge and always acknowledged gulf between our level of consciousness/intelligence and that of other species [i.e. Adler's view of our specialness"] has no bearing on your continued insistence (though you now claim it is not a belief) that ALL the others were specifically designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled), and your God specifically designed them in order to keep life going until he “purposefully evolved” (= preprogrammed or dabbled) the only life form he wanted to evolve: H. sapiens, who is the latest known life form. That is the COMBINATION of speculations you refuse to quit, despite the fact that you have no idea why he would have chosen your speculative method to achieve your speculative purpose rather than any of the others I have proposed.

DAVID: Ah, slinking back to your favorite non-issue. I will not back down from the logical point that God has the right to choose to evolve humans rather than directly create them as in the OT.

dhw: Ah, slinking back to slithering over the issue. Of course he had the right to choose. But once again: your concept of evolution is special design (by programming or dabbling) of every single life form extant and extinct, including humans. I have suggested that he did NOT specially design every single life form, or – if humans really were his sole purpose – he may have had to experiment, or humans may have come late on in his thinking. You simply keep refusing to view your hypotheses as a whole, and it is their COMBINATION which is so illogical that you yourself cannot explain it.

DAVID: Once again all you are doing is going over possible causes of God's choice of mechanism of creation. I firmly state that God started life, something you slip over in your argument.

An absurd accusation, when I am tackling the issue of your God’s possible purposes and methods!

DAVID: If He created life, it is perfectly logical He proceeded to design forms in evolution to achieve His definite purpose as outlined by Adler. The God I envision is very firm in his resolve. Yours is squishy. And later: Your view of a mamby-pamby God is not mine.

More slithering. You have no idea why your God chose to specially design billions of non-human forms in order to specially design the only form he wanted to design. You keep admitting that you can’t explain it, and that all my alternatives fit in logically with the history of life. The idea that your God may have created something for his own enjoyment does not deprive him of his firm resolve or of his power. Why on earth you should consider that your own proposed analogy of a painter enjoying his art makes the artist squishy and namby-pamby I don’t know.

dhw: Back to your insistence on God’s purposefulness, which is limited to specially designing a bush of life forms for the sole purpose of eating or not eating one another until he specially designs H. sapiens, for which he has no purpose, or if he has, we mustn’t talk about it because you happen to know that your God has no characteristics in common with his creations (except perhaps enjoyment, desire for admiration and for a relationship with us).

DAVID: We have discussed a plethora of possible logical reasons for God to create humans. The only thing we can safely say with assurance is that He wanted to do it.

The only reasons you have come up with are that God wanted us to admire his works, and also wanted to have a relationship with us. Please give us your other proposals, and explain to us why these are not “squishy” or “namby-pamby”.

dhw: I challenge your concept of a single goal for the whole of life (designing H. sapiens), and I propose that your God wanted the process of evolution to produce an ever changing variety of life forms by setting up a system of different intelligences responding autonomously in different ways to a variety of conditions. That is also precisely what happens when humans have free will. Two possible examples of your God deliberately giving up control (though retaining the option to dabble).

DAVID: A very strained equivalence. No organism but humans makes introspective decisions.

You know very well that the analogy only concerns giving up control.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 28, 2019, 20:16 (272 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It is perfectly logical to assume God chose to evolve humans as His means of creation. It requires no further speculation.

dhw: For anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it is logical to assume that he chose evolution as his means of creation! And he used it to create not just humans but also billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and that is the problem for your anthropocentric interpretation of life’s history, which you cannot solve and therefore try to gloss over,

If God chose to evolve humans from the start of life (and you agree He had that right of choice), He had to do it through all the levels of complexity until He arrived at humans. Taht is what evolution implies and, in fact, requires. To me you are totally confused in your objection.


DAVID: You refuse to consider Adler's philosophic position about our specialness, as a way to define God's purpose.

dhw: You have simply ignored my response to this....That is the COMBINATION of speculations you refuse to quit, despite the fact that you have no idea why he would have chosen your speculative method to achieve your speculative purpose rather than any of the others I have proposed.[/i]

I've ignored it because it makes no sense. Adler's long book was exactly to establish our specialness as fully demonstrating our role as God's endpoint. It comes across as an extremely important philosophic concept. You might get a copy and read it .


DAVID: If He created life, it is perfectly logical He proceeded to design forms in evolution to achieve His definite purpose as outlined by Adler. The God I envision is very firm in his resolve. Yours is squishy. And later: Your view of a mamby-pamby God is not mine.

dhw: More slithering. You have no idea why your God chose to specially design billions of non-human forms in order to specially design the only form he wanted to design. You keep admitting that you can’t explain it, and that all my alternatives fit in logically with the history of life. The idea that your God may have created something for his own enjoyment does not deprive him of his firm resolve or of his power. Why on earth you should consider that your own proposed analogy of a painter enjoying his art makes the artist squishy and namby-pamby I don’t know.

Why should I bother repeating that evolution is obviously developing from single cells to the human brain with all those forms necessarily in between? How else would God do it? Your objections are totally illogical.


dhw: Back to your insistence on God’s purposefulness, which is limited to specially designing a bush of life forms for the sole purpose of eating or not eating one another until he specially designs H. sapiens, for which he has no purpose, or if he has, we mustn’t talk about it because you happen to know that your God has no characteristics in common with his creations (except perhaps enjoyment, desire for admiration and for a relationship with us).

DAVID: We have discussed a plethora of possible logical reasons for God to create humans. The only thing we can safely say with assurance is that He wanted to do it.

dhw: The only reasons you have come up with are that God wanted us to admire his works, and also wanted to have a relationship with us. Please give us your other proposals, and explain to us why these are not “squishy” or “namby-pamby”.

I view God very differently than you, as you try to imagine Him. I see Him as totally purposeful while you constantly fill him with human thought patterns.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, April 29, 2019, 13:15 (272 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is perfectly logical to assume God chose to evolve humans as His means of creation. It requires no further speculation.

dhw: For anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it is logical to assume that he chose evolution as his means of creation! And he used it to create not just humans but also billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and that is the problem for your anthropocentric interpretation of life’s history, which you cannot solve and therefore try to gloss over.

DAVID: If God chose to evolve humans from the start of life (and you agree He had that right of choice), He had to do it through all the levels of complexity until He arrived at humans. Taht is what evolution implies and, in fact, requires. To me you are totally confused in your objection.

If he “had” to arrive at humans by specially designing all levels of complexity step by step (in contrast to the biblical version of direct creation), his powers must have been limited, and “all levels of complexity” do not explain why he also specially designed the billions of non-human life forms and styles and natural wonders extant and extinct. Once more: you have no idea why he chose this method of designing the only thing he wanted to design, and yet you insist that it is logical. In your next comment, once again you skate over the massive problem set by your COMBINED hypotheses by focusing on only one:

DAVID: I've ignored it because it makes no sense. Adler's long book was exactly to establish our specialness as fully demonstrating our role as God's endpoint. It comes across as an extremely important philosophic concept. You might get a copy and read it.

I have no objection to the argument that we are special, and I accept the possibility that humans are your God’s endpoint. What I do not accept is the argument that your God specially designed the whale’s flippers, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest, and did so for the sole purpose of providing food until he could specially design us. Does Adler also offer this interpretation of your God’s method of producing humans? If he doesn’t, then my disagreement is not with Adler but with you.

DAVID: […] The God I envision is very firm in his resolve. Yours is squishy. And later: Your view of a mamby-pamby God is not mine.

dhw: The idea that your God may have created something for his own enjoyment does not deprive him of his firm resolve or of his power. Why on earth you should consider that your own proposed analogy of a painter enjoying his art makes the artist squishy and namby-pamby I don’t know.

DAVID: Why should I bother repeating that evolution is obviously developing from single cells to the human brain with all those forms necessarily in between? How else would God do it? Your objections are totally illogical.

This is not an answer to the point I have raised - why is enjoyment squishy and namby-pamby and without resolve? But in any case you yourself have no idea why the whale’s flippers multiplied by millions of other examples were “necessary” in order to get the human brain to evolve from single cells.

DAVID: We have discussed a plethora of possible logical reasons for God to create humans. The only thing we can safely say with assurance is that He wanted to do it.

dhw: The only reasons you have come up with are that God wanted us to admire his works, and also wanted to have a relationship with us. Please give us your other proposals, and explain to us why these are not “squishy” or “namby-pamby”.

DAVID: I view God very differently than you, as you try to imagine Him. I see Him as totally purposeful while you constantly fill him with human thought patterns.

There is no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and purposes that we humans can understand! Are you now saying it’s not possible that your God enjoys his creations, wants our admiration and wants a relationship with us?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, April 29, 2019, 22:03 (271 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If God chose to evolve humans from the start of life (and you agree He had that right of choice), He had to do it through all the levels of complexity until He arrived at humans. That is what evolution implies and, in fact, requires. To me you are totally confused in your objection.

dhw: If he “had” to arrive at humans by specially designing all levels of complexity step by step (in contrast to the biblical version of direct creation), his powers must have been limited,

I didn't say God "HAD" to design humans step by step and therefore was limited. I thought you were above mischaracterizing my statements. I said 'if God chose to evolve' as I have bolded above. My bolded preface is the key t what follows. Shame on you.

dhw: and “all levels of complexity” do not explain why he also specially designed the billions of non-human life forms and styles and natural wonders extant and extinct. Once more: you have no idea why he chose this method of designing the only thing he wanted to design, and yet you insist that it is logical.

Of course logical. What does the entire history of evolution look like? I'm simply accepting it as God's chosen method of creation. You certainly don't have to.

dhw: In your next comment, once again you skate over the massive problem set by your COMBINED hypotheses by focusing on only one:

DAVID: I've ignored it because it makes no sense. Adler's long book was exactly to establish our specialness as fully demonstrating our role as God's endpoint. It comes across as an extremely important philosophic concept. You might get a copy and read it.

dhw: I have no objection to the argument that we are special, and I accept the possibility that humans are your God’s endpoint. What I do not accept is the argument that your God specially designed the whale’s flippers, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest, and did so for the sole purpose of providing food until he could specially design us. Does Adler also offer this interpretation of your God’s method of producing humans? If he doesn’t, then my disagreement is not with Adler but with you.

No, Adler's prime point is our specialness is a key philosophic consideration atht strongly indicating we are God's prime purpose. Adler is one major part of all the points I've raised in accepting God as the creator of the evolution of life and humans. Never off point.


DAVID: Why should I bother repeating that evolution is obviously developing from single cells to the human brain with all those forms necessarily in between? How else would God do it? Your objections are totally illogical.

dhw: But in any case you yourself have no idea why the whale’s flippers multiplied by millions of other examples were “necessary” in order to get the human brain to evolve from single cells.

Same answer. God ran the whole process of evolution as his choice of creation.


DAVID: We have discussed a plethora of possible logical reasons for God to create humans. The only thing we can safely say with assurance is that He wanted to do it.

dhw: The only reasons you have come up with are that God wanted us to admire his works, and also wanted to have a relationship with us. Please give us your other proposals, and explain to us why these are not “squishy” or “namby-pamby”.

DAVID: I view God very differently than you, as you try to imagine Him. I see Him as totally purposeful while you constantly fill him with human thought patterns.

dhw: There is no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and purposes that we humans can understand! Are you now saying it’s not possible that your God enjoys his creations, wants our admiration and wants a relationship with us?

We have no way of really knowing how God views His creations. All you have suggested are certainly possible, and are ones I have suggested also. Not as humanizing as desiring a spectacle.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, May 01, 2019, 07:03 (270 days ago) @ David Turell

Once again I wrote but somehow failed to post this reply yesterday, so once again my apologies!

DAVID: If God chose to evolve humans from the start of life (and you agree He had that right of choice), He had to do it through all the levels of complexity until He arrived at humans. That is what evolution implies and, in fact, requires. To me you are totally confused in your objection. (David's bold)

dhw: If he “had” to arrive at humans by specially designing all levels of complexity step by step (in contrast to the biblical version of direct creation), his powers must have been limited,

DAVID: I didn't say God "HAD" to design humans step by step and therefore was limited. I thought you were above mischaracterizing my statements. I said 'if God chose to evolve' as I have bolded above. My bolded preface is the key to what follows. Shame on you.

In effect what you said was that if he chose to do it this way, he had to do it this way, and this way according to you was that he had to specially design billions of non-human life forms in order to keep life going until he specially designed the succession of particular complexities that led to H. sapiens. Not only do you have no idea why he made this choice, but also if he “had to” do it this way, then he had no choice, and if he had no choice, his powers were limited. At best, then, since you believe he created everything from the start, he chose to limit his own powers.

dhw: Once more: you have no idea why he chose this method of designing the only thing he wanted to design, and yet you insist that it is logical.

DAVID: Of course logical. What does the entire history of evolution look like? I'm simply accepting it as God's chosen method of creation. You certainly don't have to.

The entire history of evolution looks like a vast bush of different life forms etc. extant and extinct, with humans as the latest of many, and of course if God exists, he chose to use evolution as his method of achieving whatever his purpose might have been. But if humans were the ONLY thing he wanted, it is hardly surprising that you have no idea why he chose to create them in the manner described above.

dhw: I have no objection to the argument that we are special, and I accept the possibility that humans are your God’s endpoint. What I do not accept is the argument that your God specially designed the whale’s flippers, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest, and did so for the sole purpose of providing food until he could specially design us. Does Adler also offer this interpretation of your God’s method of producing humans? If he doesn’t, then my disagreement is not with Adler but with you.

DAVID: No, Adler's prime point is our specialness is a key philosophic consideration atht strongly indicating we are God's prime purpose. Adler is one major part of all the points I've raised in accepting God as the creator of the evolution of life and humans. Never off point.

Never off point in relation to belief in God (the design argument, which I accept as logical) and to belief that humans were the “prime” purpose (also logical, though “prime” does not mean one and only). Totally off point in relation to your hypothesis that your God specially designed (i.e. preprogrammed or dabbled) every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder with the sole purpose of specially designing humans. Yet again, it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which you yourself cannot understand, and clearly it is no use calling on Adler to support it.

DAVID: I view God very differently than you, as you try to imagine Him. I see Him as totally purposeful while you constantly fill him with human thought patterns.

dhw: There is no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and purposes that we humans can understand! Are you now saying it’s not possible that your God enjoys his creations, wants our admiration and wants a relationship with us?

DAVID: We have no way of really knowing how God views His creations. All you have suggested are certainly possible, and are ones I have suggested also. Not as humanizing as desiring a spectacle.

Do you really think that wanting admiration and wanting a relationship is less human than wanting enjoyment? It was you who offered the painter analogy, so I don’t know why you are now so against it. We have no way of really knowing whether God exists, let alone how he views us. But there is still no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and having purposes we humans can understand. If you do not wish to discuss his possible purposes, there is no point in constantly harping on about his purposefulness!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 01, 2019, 19:34 (269 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I didn't say God "HAD" to design humans step by step and therefore was limited. I thought you were above mischaracterizing my statements. I said 'if God chose to evolve' as I have bolded above. My bolded preface is the key to what follows. Shame on you.


dhw: In effect what you said was that if he chose to do it this way, he had to do it this way, and this way according to you was that he had to specially design billions of non-human life forms in order to keep life going until he specially designed the succession of particular complexities that led to H. sapiens. Not only do you have no idea why he made this choice, but also if he “had to” do it this way, then he had no choice, and if he had no choice, his powers were limited. At best, then, since you believe he created everything from the start, he chose to limit his own powers.

He may have decided to limit his powers by choice, or He was limited. It doesn't matter. He evolved humans over the time it took. You now have stated my opinion the way I view it.


DAVID: No, Adler's prime point is our specialness is a key philosophic consideration atht strongly indicating we are God's prime purpose. Adler is one major part of all the points I've raised in accepting God as the creator of the evolution of life and humans. Never off point.

dhw: Never off point in relation to belief in God (the design argument, which I accept as logical) and to belief that humans were the “prime” purpose (also logical, though “prime” does not mean one and only). Totally off point in relation to your hypothesis that your God specially designed (i.e. preprogrammed or dabbled) every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder with the sole purpose of specially designing humans. Yet again, it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which you yourself cannot understand, and clearly it is no use calling on Adler to support it.

You understand my view above and deny it here. Weird. Adler is on point in my decision making. If we are so special, we were an obvious prime objective in creation


DAVID: We have no way of really knowing how God views His creations. All you have suggested are certainly possible, and are ones I have suggested also. Not as humanizing as desiring a spectacle.

dhw: Do you really think that wanting admiration and wanting a relationship is less human than wanting enjoyment? It was you who offered the painter analogy, so I don’t know why you are now so against it. We have no way of really knowing whether God exists, let alone how he views us. But there is still no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and having purposes we humans can understand. If you do not wish to discuss his possible purposes, there is no point in constantly harping on about his purposefulness!

I'm not against any interpretation of God's reasons at a human level. I just point out they are humanizing and may not apply. All we do is guess.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, May 02, 2019, 09:21 (269 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In effect what you said was that if he chose to do it this way, he had to do it this way, and this way according to you was that he had to specially design billions of non-human life forms in order to keep life going until he specially designed the succession of particular complexities that led to H. sapiens. Not only do you have no idea why he made this choice, but also if he “had to” do it this way, then he had no choice, and if he had no choice, his powers were limited. At best, then, since you believe he created everything from the start, he chose to limit his own powers.

DAVID: He may have decided to limit his powers by choice, or He was limited. It doesn't matter. He evolved humans over the time it took. You now have stated my opinion the way I view it.

Evolution of everything has taken the time it has taken. Now that your opinion is that God may have been limited or, presumably, may not have been limited (the God who is always in charge and in control), we can obviously tailor our hypotheses accordingly. And since you have no idea why he would have chosen yours, perhaps you might reconsider the theistic alternatives I have offered (e.g. humans not the one and only purpose, humans late arrival in God’s thinking, experimentation, bush resulting from free rein with dabbles)...

DAVID: No, Adler's prime point is our specialness is a key philosophic consideration atht strongly indicating we are God's prime purpose. Adler is one major part of all the points I've raised in accepting God as the creator of the evolution of life and humans. Never off point.

dhw: Never off point in relation to belief in God (the design argument, which I accept as logical) and to belief that humans were the “prime” purpose (also logical, though “prime” does not mean one and only). Totally off point in relation to your hypothesis that your God specially designed (i.e. preprogrammed or dabbled) every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder with the sole purpose of specially designing humans. Yet again, it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which you yourself cannot understand, and clearly it is no use calling on Adler to support it.

DAVID: You understand my view above and deny it here. Weird. Adler is on point in my decision making. If we are so special, we were an obvious prime objective in creation.

But apparently he does not offer any support for your hypotheses that your God preprogrammed or dabbled (= specially designed) every other life form etc., and that he did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed us! THAT is the section of your overall hypothesis which I keep challenging.

dhw: We have no way of really knowing whether God exists, let alone how he views us. But there is still no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and having purposes we humans can understand. If you do not wish to discuss his possible purposes, there is no point in constantly harping on about his purposefulness!

DAVID: I'm not against any interpretation of God's reasons at a human level. I just point out they are humanizing and may not apply. All we do is guess.

I’m glad you are no longer against the hypothesis that your God may have created life as a spectacle to relieve his isolation or to enjoy, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and of course you are right, we can only guess. That also applies to the very existence of God.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 02, 2019, 19:45 (268 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: In effect what you said was that if he chose to do it this way, he had to do it this way, and this way according to you was that he had to specially design billions of non-human life forms in order to keep life going until he specially designed the succession of particular complexities that led to H. sapiens. Not only do you have no idea why he made this choice, but also if he “had to” do it this way, then he had no choice, and if he had no choice, his powers were limited. At best, then, since you believe he created everything from the start, he chose to limit his own powers.

DAVID: He may have decided to limit his powers by choice, or He was limited. It doesn't matter. He evolved humans over the time it took. You now have stated my opinion the way I view it.

dhw: Evolution of everything has taken the time it has taken. Now that your opinion is that God may have been limited or, presumably, may not have been limited (the God who is always in charge and in control), we can obviously tailor our hypotheses accordingly. And since you have no idea why he would have chosen yours, perhaps you might reconsider the theistic alternatives I have offered (e.g. humans not the one and only purpose, humans late arrival in God’s thinking, experimentation, bush resulting from free rein with dabbles)...

I don't need to know why He chose to evolve us. Since He is in charge (as I believe) it was simply His choice. I am positive we are His prime purpose. I have no reason to accept your views which are logical for you if you continue to have no fixed positions.


DAVID: No, Adler's prime point is our specialness is a key philosophic consideration atht strongly indicating we are God's prime purpose. Adler is one major part of all the points I've raised in accepting God as the creator of the evolution of life and humans. Never off point.

dhw: Never off point in relation to belief in God (the design argument, which I accept as logical) and to belief that humans were the “prime” purpose (also logical, though “prime” does not mean one and only). Totally off point in relation to your hypothesis that your God specially designed (i.e. preprogrammed or dabbled) every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder with the sole purpose of specially designing humans. Yet again, it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which you yourself cannot understand, and clearly it is no use calling on Adler to support it.

DAVID: You understand my view above and deny it here. Weird. Adler is on point in my decision making. If we are so special, we were an obvious prime objective in creation.

dhw: But apparently he does not offer any support for your hypotheses that your God preprogrammed or dabbled (= specially designed) every other life form etc., and that he did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed us! THAT is the section of your overall hypothesis which I keep challenging.

Adler has nothing to do with agreeing with me. I use his point of our specialness to reach my views.


dhw: We have no way of really knowing whether God exists, let alone how he views us. But there is still no contradiction between “totally purposeful” and having purposes we humans can understand. If you do not wish to discuss his possible purposes, there is no point in constantly harping on about his purposefulness!

DAVID: I'm not against any interpretation of God's reasons at a human level. I just point out they are humanizing and may not apply. All we do is guess.

dhw: I’m glad you are no longer against the hypothesis that your God may have created life as a spectacle to relieve his isolation or to enjoy, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and of course you are right, we can only guess. That also applies to the very existence of God.

I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts,to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, May 03, 2019, 12:20 (268 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Evolution of everything has taken the time it has taken. Now that your opinion is that God may have been limited or, presumably, may not have been limited (the God who is always in charge and in control), we can obviously tailor our hypotheses accordingly. And since you have no idea why he would have chosen yours, perhaps you might reconsider the theistic alternatives I have offered (e.g. humans not the one and only purpose, humans late arrival in God’s thinking, experimentation, bush resulting from free rein with dabbles)...

DAVID: I don't need to know why He chose to evolve us. Since He is in charge (as I believe) it was simply His choice. I am positive we are His prime purpose.

The latter is covered by the logical hypotheses of divine limitations, late arrival of idea, and experimentation, as opposed to the hypothesis of your God’s total control and no idea why he chose to go on specially designing anything but what he wanted to specially design.

DAVID: I have no reason to accept your views which are logical for you if you continue to have no fixed positions.

Not my views. I am simply offering different alternatives to your fixed position which leaves you with no idea etc. as above.

DAVID: Adler has nothing to do with agreeing with me. I use his point of our specialness to reach my views.

I accept your/Adler’s point of specialness, so you needn’t keep saying I ignore it, and we can focus on the rest of your hypotheses.

dhw: I’m glad you are no longer against the hypothesis that your God may have created life as a spectacle to relieve his isolation or to enjoy, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and of course you are right, we can only guess. That also applies to the very existence of God.

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, May 03, 2019, 19:27 (267 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Evolution of everything has taken the time it has taken. Now that your opinion is that God may have been limited or, presumably, may not have been limited (the God who is always in charge and in control), we can obviously tailor our hypotheses accordingly. And since you have no idea why he would have chosen yours, perhaps you might reconsider the theistic alternatives I have offered (e.g. humans not the one and only purpose, humans late arrival in God’s thinking, experimentation, bush resulting from free rein with dabbles)...

DAVID: I don't need to know why He chose to evolve us. Since He is in charge (as I believe) it was simply His choice. I am positive we are His prime purpose.

The latter is covered by the logical hypotheses of divine limitations, late arrival of idea, and experimentation, as opposed to the hypothesis of your God’s total control and no idea why he chose to go on specially designing anything but what he wanted to specially design.

DAVID: I have no reason to accept your views which are logical for you if you continue to have no fixed positions.

Not my views. I am simply offering different alternatives to your fixed position which leaves you with no idea etc. as above.

DAVID: Adler has nothing to do with agreeing with me. I use his point of our specialness to reach my views.

dhw: I accept your/Adler’s point of specialness, so you needn’t keep saying I ignore it, and we can focus on the rest of your hypotheses.

dhw: I’m glad you are no longer against the hypothesis that your God may have created life as a spectacle to relieve his isolation or to enjoy, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and of course you are right, we can only guess. That also applies to the very existence of God.

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

d hw: By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, May 04, 2019, 13:47 (267 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

dhw: By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

DAVID: I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

If he exists, of course he is different from us, but if these attributes form part of his thought – as they obviously would since he would be the first cause of everything – then it is clearly absurd to dismiss them as possible factors that may guide his purpose.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 04, 2019, 19:09 (266 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

dhw: By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

DAVID: I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

dhw: If he exists, of course he is different from us, but if these attributes form part of his thought – as they obviously would since he would be the first cause of everything – then it is clearly absurd to dismiss them as possible factors that may guide his purpose.

All we can do is guess at God's thoughts. Our individual concept of who God is, His attributes, etc., will color our perception of Him and His thoughts.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, May 05, 2019, 09:49 (266 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

dhw: By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

DAVID: I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

dhw: If he exists, of course he is different from us, but if these attributes form part of his thought – as they obviously would since he would be the first cause of everything – then it is clearly absurd to dismiss them as possible factors that may guide his purpose.

DAVID: All we can do is guess at God's thoughts. Our individual concept of who God is, His attributes, etc., will color our perception of Him and His thoughts.

No disagreement there. And I really can’t imagine you believing in him and yet not having a personal, humanized perception of him. But since you keep insisting on his purposefulness, you can hardly complain if I try to analyse what his purposes might be, and how they fit in with the historical facts of life’s history.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 05, 2019, 20:10 (265 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I was never against your suppositions about God's thoughts, to which you have every right. I have the right to continue to criticize them as humanizing.

dhw: By all means, but I find it hard to imagine how your God could have created love, beauty, humour, hate, cruelty, vanity etc. if as first cause he didn’t have a clue what they were. In any case, since you constantly emphasize your God’s purposefulness, it seems pretty pointless then to dismiss any attempt to extrapolate purpose from the results of his work!

DAVID: I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

dhw: If he exists, of course he is different from us, but if these attributes form part of his thought – as they obviously would since he would be the first cause of everything – then it is clearly absurd to dismiss them as possible factors that may guide his purpose.

DAVID: All we can do is guess at God's thoughts. Our individual concept of who God is, His attributes, etc., will color our perception of Him and His thoughts.

dhw: No disagreement there. And I really can’t imagine you believing in him and yet not having a personal, humanized perception of him. But since you keep insisting on his purposefulness, you can hardly complain if I try to analyse what his purposes might be, and how they fit in with the historical facts of life’s history.

It may surprise you, but I sincerely try not to have a human view of God. In my books I pointedly stress not using the Bible and its descriptions of God just for that reason. I've agreed with Adler, it is definitely not clear if God answers prayer or reacts with us in any personal way. My belief in God offers strength for me to live life properly. And I'll stick with the Adler argument, humans are so unusual as a result of evolution, they most reflect God's prime purpose.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, May 06, 2019, 11:37 (265 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'm sure God knows/knew about all of our attributes which the magnificent brain He gave us allows. I will still insist, God does not think as we do.

dhw: If he exists, of course he is different from us, but if these attributes form part of his thought – as they obviously would since he would be the first cause of everything – then it is clearly absurd to dismiss them as possible factors that may guide his purpose.

DAVID: All we can do is guess at God's thoughts. Our individual concept of who God is, His attributes, etc., will color our perception of Him and His thoughts.

dhw: No disagreement there. And I really can’t imagine you believing in him and yet not having a personal, humanized perception of him. But since you keep insisting on his purposefulness, you can hardly complain if I try to analyse what his purposes might be, and how they fit in with the historical facts of life’s history.

DAVID: It may surprise you, but I sincerely try not to have a human view of God. In my books I pointedly stress not using the Bible and its descriptions of God just for that reason.

Yes, this was an admirable trait of your books. It is your dogmatic and illogical combination of purpose and method (specially designing millions of life forms etc. in order to specially design just one) that creates the problems here, but fortunately - if I remember rightly – you did not promote this particular combination in either of your books.

DAVID: I've agreed with Adler, it is definitely not clear if God answers prayer or reacts with us in any personal way. My belief in God offers strength for me to live life properly. And I'll stick with the Adler argument, humans are so unusual as a result of evolution, they most reflect God's prime purpose.

No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, May 06, 2019, 20:35 (264 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It may surprise you, but I sincerely try not to have a human view of God. In my books I pointedly stress not using the Bible and its descriptions of God just for that reason.

dhw: Yes, this was an admirable trait of your books. It is your dogmatic and illogical combination of purpose and method (specially designing millions of life forms etc. in order to specially design just one) that creates the problems here, but fortunately - if I remember rightly – you did not promote this particular combination in either of your books.

It is simple. If you viewed God's personality as I do. it would all become logical to you.


DAVID: I've agreed with Adler, it is definitely not clear if God answers prayer or reacts with us in any personal way. My belief in God offers strength for me to live life properly. And I'll stick with the Adler argument, humans are so unusual as a result of evolution, they most reflect God's prime purpose.

dhw: No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans?

All your so-called "God's purposes' are giving Him imagined weak humanoid thinking on His part. I don't understand the last comment of yours that I have in bold. I've never stated what you imply I've stated. Humans were His primary purpose, but He may not have a purposeful relationship with single individuals, per Adler.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 09:26 (264 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It may surprise you, but I sincerely try not to have a human view of God. In my books I pointedly stress not using the Bible and its descriptions of God just for that reason.

dhw: Yes, this was an admirable trait of your books. It is your dogmatic and illogical combination of purpose and method (specially designing millions of life forms etc. in order to specially design just one) that creates the problems here, but fortunately - if I remember rightly – you did not promote this particular combination in either of your books.

DAVID: It is simple. If you viewed God's personality as I do. it would all become logical to you.

Since you “have no idea” (your own words) why he would have chosen your interpretation of his method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose, there is little point in insisting that it is logical.

DAVID: I've agreed with Adler, it is definitely not clear if God answers prayer or reacts with us in any personal way. My belief in God offers strength for me to live life properly. And I'll stick with the Adler argument, humans are so unusual as a result of evolution, they most reflect God's prime purpose.

dhw: No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans? [David’s bold]

DAVID: All your so-called "God's purposes' are giving Him imagined weak humanoid thinking on His part.

See under “Bacterial intelligence” for my detailed response to this argument.

DAVID: I don't understand the last comment of yours that I have in bold. I've never stated what you imply I've stated. Humans were His primary purpose, but He may not have a purposeful relationship with single individuals, per Adler.

It was not a comment but a question. Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 15:38 (263 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans? [David’s bold]

DAVID: All your so-called "God's purposes' are giving Him imagined weak humanoid thinking on His part.

See under “Bacterial intelligence” for my detailed response to this argument.

DAVID: I don't understand the last comment of yours that I have in bold. I've never stated what you imply I've stated. Humans were His primary purpose, but He may not have a purposeful relationship with single individuals, per Adler.

dhw: It was not a comment but a question. Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

Nothing is forbidden! I think all of us would agree that if God is in change He wanted to produce humans, because we are the current endpoint of evolution. As far as 'me' being produced that is a matter of odds with sperm and egg, not God. As to the past discussions about God's reasons for producing us, we have covered all possibilities we can think of, which proves nothing.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, May 08, 2019, 09:41 (263 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans? [David’s bold]

DAVID: I don't understand the last comment of yours that I have in bold. I've never stated what you imply I've stated. Humans were His primary purpose, but He may not have a purposeful relationship with single individuals, per Adler.

dhw: It was not a comment but a question. Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

DAVID: Nothing is forbidden! I think all of us would agree that if God is in change He wanted to produce humans, because we are the current endpoint of evolution. As far as 'me' being produced that is a matter of odds with sperm and egg, not God. As to the past discussions about God's reasons for producing us, we have covered all possibilities we can think of, which proves nothing.

Nothing can be proved, and that is why we offer hypotheses and then test their likelihood. If we don’t do so, there will be nothing for us to discuss! And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 08, 2019, 20:05 (262 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: No problem. I simply find it inconsistent that you go on and on about God’s purposefulness, and then refuse to consider different concepts of purpose to fit in with the history of life as we know it. Why is it so important for you to tell us that his purpose for producing life was to produce humans if you don’t care about his purpose for producing humans? [David’s bold]

DAVID: I don't understand the last comment of yours that I have in bold. I've never stated what you imply I've stated. Humans were His primary purpose, but He may not have a purposeful relationship with single individuals, per Adler.

dhw: It was not a comment but a question. Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

DAVID: Nothing is forbidden! I think all of us would agree that if God is in change He wanted to produce humans, because we are the current endpoint of evolution. As far as 'me' being produced that is a matter of odds with sperm and egg, not God. As to the past discussions about God's reasons for producing us, we have covered all possibilities we can think of, which proves nothing.

dhw: Nothing can be proved, and that is why we offer hypotheses and then test their likelihood. If we don’t do so, there will be nothing for us to discuss! And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

I don't have a point. I have a conclusion, based on the realization that evolution appears driven, not at random. Aquatic mammals show that point. Humans are a totally unexpected result with their consciousness- bearing giant brains. Design is required. Only a reasoning brain can design the livcing complexities we observe. Therefore there is a God who runs the show. All logical for me to accept.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, May 09, 2019, 12:04 (262 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

DAVID: Nothing is forbidden! I think all of us would agree that if God is in change He wanted to produce humans, because we are the current endpoint of evolution. As far as 'me' being produced that is a matter of odds with sperm and egg, not God. As to the past discussions about God's reasons for producing us, we have covered all possibilities we can think of, which proves nothing.

dhw: Nothing can be proved, and that is why we offer hypotheses and then test their likelihood. If we don’t do so, there will be nothing for us to discuss! And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

DAVID: I don't have a point. I have a conclusion, based on the realization that evolution appears driven, not at random. Aquatic mammals show that point. Humans are a totally unexpected result with their consciousness- bearing giant brains. Design is required. Only a reasoning brain can design the living complexities we observe. Therefore there is a God who runs the show. All logical for me to accept.

A sequence of non sequiturs. I agree that evolution is driven and not random, and aquatic animals do indeed show that point, since all their restructuring is clearly driven by the need to make adjustments to life in the water. I agree that human consciousness is special, though I have no idea who you think was around to “expect” or not “expect” this outcome. However, as you are constantly at pains to point out, every unique feature and natural wonder is “totally unexpected”, since bacteria have coped perfectly well since the beginning. I agree with you that design is required for all the complexities, including those that distinguish one species from another, and I have no quarrel with your logic in concluding that a designing brain may have been responsible – but responsible for what? Again we go back to your programming/dabbling hypothesis and my cellular intelligence hypothesis. You simply cannot tell me that your God is incapable of designing autonomous cellular intelligence as the designing mechanism of evolution, and so we are left with the fact that neither your hypothesis nor mine is proven. Stalemate if you wish to use that line of argument.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 09, 2019, 22:14 (261 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Why is it so important for you to tell us that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens? What is your point? I would have thought that anyone who believed this would regard it as a mere stepping-stone to the question of WHY his God produced him – but apparently that is forbidden territory!

DAVID: Nothing is forbidden! I think all of us would agree that if God is in change He wanted to produce humans, because we are the current endpoint of evolution. As far as 'me' being produced that is a matter of odds with sperm and egg, not God. As to the past discussions about God's reasons for producing us, we have covered all possibilities we can think of, which proves nothing.

dhw: Nothing can be proved, and that is why we offer hypotheses and then test their likelihood. If we don’t do so, there will be nothing for us to discuss! And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

DAVID: I don't have a point. I have a conclusion, based on the realization that evolution appears driven, not at random. Aquatic mammals show that point. Humans are a totally unexpected result with their consciousness- bearing giant brains. Design is required. Only a reasoning brain can design the living complexities we observe. Therefore there is a God who runs the show. All logical for me to accept.

dhw: A sequence of non sequiturs. I agree that evolution is driven and not random, and aquatic animals do indeed show that point, since all their restructuring is clearly driven by the need to make adjustments to life in the water. I agree that human consciousness is special, though I have no idea who you think was around to “expect” or not “expect” this outcome.

I'm just following Davies' analysis that the arrival of folks with consciousness, who can study their own universe, is an extremely significant event, although he carries the point no further, but I do.

dhw: However, as you are constantly at pains to point out, every unique feature and natural wonder is “totally unexpected”, since bacteria have coped perfectly well since the beginning. I agree with you that design is required for all the complexities, including those that distinguish one species from another, and I have no quarrel with your logic in concluding that a designing brain may have been responsible – but responsible for what? Again we go back to your programming/dabbling hypothesis and my cellular intelligence hypothesis. You simply cannot tell me that your God is incapable of designing autonomous cellular intelligence as the designing mechanism of evolution, and so we are left with the fact that neither your hypothesis nor mine is proven. Stalemate if you wish to use that line of argument.

I've answered the issue of self-invention. God is too purposeful and in charge to allow freedom of action. That is my concept of God., but not yours, which allows Him to relinquish control.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, May 10, 2019, 11:57 (261 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

DAVID: I don't have a point. I have a conclusion, based on the realization that evolution appears driven, not at random. Aquatic mammals show that point. Humans are a totally unexpected result with their consciousness- bearing giant brains. Design is required. Only a reasoning brain can design the living complexities we observe. Therefore there is a God who runs the show. All logical for me to accept.

dhw: A sequence of non sequiturs. I agree that evolution is driven and not random, and aquatic animals do indeed show that point, since all their restructuring is clearly driven by the need to make adjustments to life in the water. I agree that human consciousness is special, though I have no idea who you think was around to “expect” or not “expect” this outcome.

DAVID: I'm just following Davies' analysis that the arrival of folks with consciousness, who can study their own universe, is an extremely significant event, although he carries the point no further, but I do.

We would all agree that it is a remarkable event. What is at issue is your insistence that only the divine preprogramming or dabbling of every single non-human life form can have produced that event, and in particular your outright rejection of the possibility that your God might have given cells/cell communities the intelligence to do their own designing.

DAVID: I've answered the issue of self-invention. God is too purposeful and in charge to allow freedom of action. That is my concept of God, but not yours, which allows Him to relinquish control.

Just as according to you he has relinquished control over the human will. Producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself unless there is a purpose for producing humans! But you don’t want to discuss God’s possible purposes on the grounds that this “humanizes” him! So we are left with the same old scenario: he only wanted to produce humans (don’t ask why) and he did this by not producing humans until he had produced loads and loads of non-humans to keep eating each other.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, May 10, 2019, 20:51 (260 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And still you refuse to tell us why it is so important for you to tell us that God’s only purpose was to produce H. sapiens. What is your point?

DAVID: I don't have a point. I have a conclusion, based on the realization that evolution appears driven, not at random. Aquatic mammals show that point. Humans are a totally unexpected result with their consciousness- bearing giant brains. Design is required. Only a reasoning brain can design the living complexities we observe. Therefore there is a God who runs the show. All logical for me to accept.

dhw: A sequence of non sequiturs. I agree that evolution is driven and not random, and aquatic animals do indeed show that point, since all their restructuring is clearly driven by the need to make adjustments to life in the water. I agree that human consciousness is special, though I have no idea who you think was around to “expect” or not “expect” this outcome.

DAVID: I'm just following Davies' analysis that the arrival of folks with consciousness, who can study their own universe, is an extremely significant event, although he carries the point no further, but I do.

dhw: We would all agree that it is a remarkable event. What is at issue is your insistence that only the divine preprogramming or dabbling of every single non-human life form can have produced that event, and in particular your outright rejection of the possibility that your God might have given cells/cell communities the intelligence to do their own designing.

DAVID: I've answered the issue of self-invention. God is too purposeful and in charge to allow freedom of action. That is my concept of God, but not yours, which allows Him to relinquish control.

dhw: Just as according to you he has relinquished control over the human will. Producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself unless there is a purpose for producing humans! But you don’t want to discuss God’s possible purposes on the grounds that this “humanizes” him! So we are left with the same old scenario: he only wanted to produce humans (don’t ask why) and he did this by not producing humans until he had produced loads and loads of non-humans to keep eating each other.

Human will can do little to the underlying course of evolution. You are attempting to equate two very separate levels of control. You act as if we haven't discussed all of His possible reasons for producing free will humans. Anything more is more guesswork. Our free will is the result of our brain's ability to analyze and conceptualize and makes our living actions much less than automatically living as other animals do.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, May 11, 2019, 09:41 (260 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've answered the issue of self-invention. God is too purposeful and in charge to allow freedom of action. That is my concept of God, but not yours, which allows Him to relinquish control.

dhw: Just as according to you he has relinquished control over the human will. Producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself unless there is a purpose for producing humans! But you don’t want to discuss God’s possible purposes on the grounds that this “humanizes” him! So we are left with the same old scenario: he only wanted to produce humans (don’t ask why) and he did this by not producing humans until he had produced loads and loads of non-humans to keep eating each other.

DAVID: Human will can do little to the underlying course of evolution. You are attempting to equate two very separate levels of control. You act as if we haven't discussed all of His possible reasons for producing free will humans. Anything more is more guesswork. Our free will is the result of our brain's ability to analyze and conceptualize and makes our living actions much less than automatically living as other animals do.

As usual, you have avoided the point of the analogy, which is your claim that your God does not wish to relinquish control. If he is prepared to let humans go their own way, why should he not be prepared to let evolution go its own way, perhaps in order to see where his experiment will lead, though always allowing for a dabble? Perhaps now you will respond to the point that relinquishing control could be part of a purpose, and that producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself without there being a purpose for producing humans!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 11, 2019, 21:03 (259 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've answered the issue of self-invention. God is too purposeful and in charge to allow freedom of action. That is my concept of God, but not yours, which allows Him to relinquish control.

dhw: Just as according to you he has relinquished control over the human will. Producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself unless there is a purpose for producing humans! But you don’t want to discuss God’s possible purposes on the grounds that this “humanizes” him! So we are left with the same old scenario: he only wanted to produce humans (don’t ask why) and he did this by not producing humans until he had produced loads and loads of non-humans to keep eating each other.

DAVID: Human will can do little to the underlying course of evolution. You are attempting to equate two very separate levels of control. You act as if we haven't discussed all of His possible reasons for producing free will humans. Anything more is more guesswork. Our free will is the result of our brain's ability to analyze and conceptualize and makes our living actions much less than automatically living as other animals do.

dhw: As usual, you have avoided the point of the analogy, which is your claim that your God does not wish to relinquish control. If he is prepared to let humans go their own way, why should he not be prepared to let evolution go its own way, perhaps in order to see where his experiment will lead, though always allowing for a dabble?


Your analogy is very weak. It implies that now that humans have free will, we will run our own further evolution. Not at all likely.

dhw: Perhaps now you will respond to the point that relinquishing control could be part of a purpose, and that producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself without there being a purpose for producing humans!

I do not accept that God relinquished control over evolution. From the other post today:

"If you accept the possibility that God ran the progressive complexity of advancing evolution, and humans are the current last event, than obviously they must be accepted as a goal."

We have discussed m any times the many possible purposes God might have had to produce humans. They are all logical assumptions, but must remain just that since God is not talking to us. We continue to differ in our individual views of God's personality, in which I see Him as highly purposeful and very assured in how to reach His goals. That is not your view.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, May 12, 2019, 09:05 (259 days ago) @ David Turell

I am combining this post with the one on “bacterial intelligence”, as they now cover the same ground.

DAVID: I've simply chosen to accept God's choice of method to create what He desires to create.

dhw: If God exists, and since we both accept that evolution happened, we both accept that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. Our disagreement is over how he used evolution and what he wanted to create.

DAVID: We both see the same history of evolution. You are the one fighting with God's choice. It cannot be explained, just accepted.

Yet again, I am not fighting your God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice.

DAVID: If you accept the possibility that God ran the progressive complexity of advancing evolution, and humans are the current last event, than obviously they must be accepted as a goal. You are arguing that other goals might be coming.

That is absolutely not what I am arguing! My argument is that if H. sapiens was the only goal (you keep switching to “a” goal, but refuse to acknowledge any other goal), it makes no sense to claim that your always-in-control God specially designed millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and did so in order that the life forms could eat or not eat one another before he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. Please stop trying to divert attention away from a scenario concerning which you admit that you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a method.

dhw: As usual, you have avoided the point of the [free will] analogy, which is your claim that your God does not wish to relinquish control. If he is prepared to let humans go their own way, why should he not be prepared to let evolution go its own way, perhaps in order to see where his experiment will lead, though always allowing for a dabble?

DAVID: Your analogy is very weak. It implies that now that humans have free will, we will run our own further evolution. Not at all likely.

I don’t know why you are unable to see that the analogy concerns God’s willingness to relinquish control. If he allows humans to take their own decisions, he is not controlling each individual destiny. You have even said you think he watches us with interest. So maybe he also created a system through which organisms did their own designing, and again he could watch the results with interest. The analogy concerns his willingness to relinquish control.

dhw: Perhaps now you will respond to the point that relinquishing control could be part of a purpose, and that producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself without there being a purpose for producing humans!

DAVID: We have discussed many times the many possible purposes God might have had to produce humans. They are all logical assumptions, but must remain just that since God is not talking to us. We continue to differ in our individual views of God's personality, in which I see Him as highly purposeful and very assured in how to reach His goals. That is not your view.

If he exists, I would also see him as highly purposeful and very assured in how to reach his goals. And I have offered you logical alternatives concerning his purposes and his methods. The only option you have offered for these is so illogical that even you have admitted time and again that you have no idea why he would have chosen it. So maybe he didn’t.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 12, 2019, 20:40 (258 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've simply chosen to accept God's choice of method to create what He desires to create.

dhw: If God exists, and since we both accept that evolution happened, we both accept that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. Our disagreement is over how he used evolution and what he wanted to create.

DAVID: We both see the same history of evolution. You are the one fighting with God's choice. It cannot be explained, just accepted.

dhw: Yet again, I am not fighting your God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice.

My interpretation is simply following the history of evolution. Humans are very special per Adler, so if God is in charge, He determined they would arrive, and they did. Simple.


DAVID: If you accept the possibility that God ran the progressive complexity of advancing evolution, and humans are the current last event, than obviously they must be accepted as a goal. You are arguing that other goals might be coming.

dhw: That is absolutely not what I am arguing! My argument is that if H. sapiens was the only goal (you keep switching to “a” goal, but refuse to acknowledge any other goal), it makes no sense to claim that your always-in-control God specially designed millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and did so in order that the life forms could eat or not eat one another before he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. Please stop trying to divert attention away from a scenario concerning which you admit that you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a method.

Of course, I cannot know why He made his choice of method. You are the one who demands an interpretation, and you constantly imply, why is it that God waited so long to produce us? Why not, since He is eternal and time means nothing to him..


dhw: As usual, you have avoided the point of the [free will] analogy, which is your claim that your God does not wish to relinquish control. If he is prepared to let humans go their own way, why should he not be prepared to let evolution go its own way, perhaps in order to see where his experiment will lead, though always allowing for a dabble?

DAVID: Your analogy is very weak. It implies that now that humans have free will, we will run our own further evolution. Not at all likely.

dhw: I don’t know why you are unable to see that the analogy concerns God’s willingness to relinquish control. If he allows humans to take their own decisions, he is not controlling each individual destiny. You have even said you think he watches us with interest. So maybe he also created a system through which organisms did their own designing, and again he could watch the results with interest. The analogy concerns his willingness to relinquish control.

Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!


dhw: Perhaps now you will respond to the point that relinquishing control could be part of a purpose, and that producing humans is hardly a purpose in itself without there being a purpose for producing humans!

DAVID: We have discussed many times the many possible purposes God might have had to produce humans. They are all logical assumptions, but must remain just that since God is not talking to us. We continue to differ in our individual views of God's personality, in which I see Him as highly purposeful and very assured in how to reach His goals. That is not your view.

dhw: If he exists, I would also see him as highly purposeful and very assured in how to reach his goals. And I have offered you logical alternatives concerning his purposes and his methods. The only option you have offered for these is so illogical that even you have admitted time and again that you have no idea why he would have chosen it. So maybe he didn’t.

I have a perfect right to accept God's choice of method, which I view is entirely logical. You have again totally misinterpreted my discussions. Common descent is something we both accept as a method of evolution. God chose to evolve. I fail to see your unreasonable problem.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, May 13, 2019, 10:31 (258 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We both see the same history of evolution. You are the one fighting with God's choice. It cannot be explained, just accepted.

dhw: Yet again, I am not fighting your God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice.

DAVID: My interpretation is simply following the history of evolution. Humans are very special per Adler, so if God is in charge, He determined they would arrive, and they did. Simple.
And:
[...] you constantly imply, why is it that God waited so long to produce us? Why not, since He is eternal and time means nothing to him.

Back you go to ONE element of your interpretation. Once more: I am questioning your COMBINATION of assumptions. You have your always-in-control God saying to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens (ASSUMPTION 1), and so first I will specially design (ASSUMPTION 2) dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyles and the weaverbird’s nest, and I will do so (ASSUMPTION 3) in order that they should all eat or not one eat another until I design the only thing I want to design.” That is what makes no sense, and you admit that even you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a “method”!

dhw:[…] If he allows humans to take their own decisions, he is not controlling each individual destiny. You have even said you think he watches us with interest. So maybe he also created a system through which organisms did their own designing, and again he could watch the results with interest. The analogy concerns his willingness to relinquish control.

DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

DAVID: I have a perfect right to accept God's choice of method, which I view is entirely logical. You have again totally misinterpreted my discussions. Common descent is something we both accept as a method of evolution. God chose to evolve. I fail to see your unreasonable problem.

As above, you have no idea why your always-in-control God would have chosen your interpretation of his method to achieve your interpretation of his goal, but you say it is “entirely logical”. My problem is that if the combined parts of a hypothesis make no sense even to the person who proposes it, I would expect him to share my doubts as to the correctness of the hypothesis as a whole and to consider other hypotheses. Why is that “unreasonable”?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, May 13, 2019, 17:33 (257 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We both see the same history of evolution. You are the one fighting with God's choice. It cannot be explained, just accepted.

dhw: Yet again, I am not fighting your God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice.

DAVID: My interpretation is simply following the history of evolution. Humans are very special per Adler, so if God is in charge, He determined they would arrive, and they did. Simple.
And:
[...] you constantly imply, why is it that God waited so long to produce us? Why not, since He is eternal and time means nothing to him.

dhw: Back you go to ONE element of your interpretation. Once more: I am questioning your COMBINATION of assumptions. You have your always-in-control God saying to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens (ASSUMPTION 1), and so first I will specially design (ASSUMPTION 2) dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyles and the weaverbird’s nest, and I will do so (ASSUMPTION 3) in order that they should all eat or not one eat another until I design the only thing I want to design.” That is what makes no sense, and you admit that even you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a “method”!

You constantly return to the same refrain that you feel God shouldn't have waited to produce humans and has no right to choose to evolve humans. My entry today about carbon shows God had to evolve processes in the universe first. If I apply your strange thinking to the universe, why didn't He create the universe full blown, and the Earth full blown?


dhw:[…] If he allows humans to take their own decisions, he is not controlling each individual destiny. You have even said you think he watches us with interest. So maybe he also created a system through which organisms did their own designing, and again he could watch the results with interest. The analogy concerns his willingness to relinquish control.

DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

dhw: It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

That is your idea, not mine. However, giving us free will allows Him the option of watching to see how we use it. God will not lose control over speciation . He is more purposeful than you think, as I view Him.


DAVID: I have a perfect right to accept God's choice of method, which I view is entirely logical. You have again totally misinterpreted my discussions. Common descent is something we both accept as a method of evolution. God chose to evolve. I fail to see your unreasonable problem.

dhw: As above, you have no idea why your always-in-control God would have chosen your interpretation of his method to achieve your interpretation of his goal, but you say it is “entirely logical”. My problem is that if the combined parts of a hypothesis make no sense even to the person who proposes it, I would expect him to share my doubts as to the correctness of the hypothesis as a whole and to consider other hypotheses. Why is that “unreasonable”?

Why do you enter my mind and tell me I find myself as illogical? It makes perfect sense to me that God has the right to choose His method of creation, and previously you've agreed, if He is in change, He has the perfect right to choose His method. Your repeated argument is empty verbiage.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 13:14 (257 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Once more: I am questioning your COMBINATION of assumptions. You have your always-in-control God saying to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens (ASSUMPTION 1), and so first I will specially design (ASSUMPTION 2) dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyles and the weaverbird’s nest, and I will do so (ASSUMPTION 3) in order that they should all eat or not one eat another until I design the only thing I want to design.” That is what makes no sense, and you admit that even you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a “method”!

DAVID: You constantly return to the same refrain that you feel God shouldn't have waited to produce humans and has no right to choose to evolve humans. My entry today about carbon shows God had to evolve processes in the universe first. If I apply your strange thinking to the universe, why didn't He create the universe full blown, and the Earth full blown?

That is NOT my refrain! Look at the other assumptions. I am not questioning evolution, and if God exists, then of course evolution was his method of achieving his purpose. But if his only purpose was to design humans, why according to you did he specially design dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest? You don’t know, and that is why you admit that you have “no idea” why he chose such a method.

DAVID: Why do you enter my mind and tell me I find myself as illogical?

When I ask the above question about dinosaurs etc., you tell us it was so that these organisms could eat or not eat one another until he implemented the method he chose, though you don’t know why: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time.” If you have no idea why he would choose your interpretation of his method in order to fulfil your interpretation of his purpose, you can hardly claim that your interpretations are logical.

DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

dhw: It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

DAVID: That is your idea, not mine. However, giving us free will allows Him the option of watching to see how we use it.

Precisely. And giving evolution free rein allows him the option of watching just what his wonderful invention can produce.

DAVID: God will not lose control over speciation.

How do you know?

DAVID: He is more purposeful than you think, as I view Him.

Watching to see how we use our free will and watching to see what his invention can produce are as purposeful as any purpose you can name, and they provide a perfectly logical explanation for all the natural wonders that have nothing whatsoever to do with your single purpose of producing H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 15:10 (256 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You constantly return to the same refrain that you feel God shouldn't have waited to produce humans and has no right to choose to evolve humans. My entry today about carbon shows God had to evolve processes in the universe first. If I apply your strange thinking to the universe, why didn't He create the universe full blown, and the Earth full blown?

dhw: That is NOT my refrain! Look at the other assumptions. I am not questioning evolution, and if God exists, then of course evolution was his method of achieving his purpose. But if his only purpose was to design humans, why according to you did he specially design dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest? You don’t know, and that is why you admit that you have “no idea” why he chose such a method.

Same refrain. What is evolution except designing all the animals you just listed?


DAVID: Why do you enter my mind and tell me I find myself as illogical?

dhw: When I ask the above question about dinosaurs etc., you tell us it was so that these organisms could eat or not eat one another until he implemented the method he chose, though you don’t know why: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time.” If you have no idea why he would choose your interpretation of his method in order to fulfil your interpretation of his purpose, you can hardly claim that your interpretations are logical.

Same totally illogical reasoning. My 'no idea' means I have not entered God's mind to know why He chose long term evolution over direst creation, as in the Bible..


DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

dhw: It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

So again you relieve Him of control. We will always differ here, as you propose a less than purposeful God..


DAVID: God will not lose control over speciation.

How do you know?

DAVID: He is more purposeful than you think, as I view Him.

dhw: Watching to see how we use our free will and watching to see what his invention can produce are as purposeful as any purpose you can name, and they provide a perfectly logical explanation for all the natural wonders that have nothing whatsoever to do with your single purpose of producing H. sapiens.

I can't understand the blank spot in your objection to make my choice accepting God's choice to evolve humans as illogical. If He chose to evolve us, He had to create all of the evolution we see.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 13:33 (256 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am not questioning evolution, and if God exists, then of course evolution was his method of achieving his purpose. But if his only purpose was to design humans, why according to you did he specially design dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest? You don’t know, and that is why you admit that you have “no idea” why he chose such a method.

DAVID: Same refrain. What is evolution except designing all the animals you just listed?

Evolution is the process by which living organisms have developed from earlier ancestral forms. Nobody knows how this process works. Evolution does not mean that your God specially designed every single organism for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens.

dhw: If you have no idea why he would choose your interpretation of his method in order to fulfil your interpretation of his purpose, you can hardly claim that your interpretations are logical.

DAVID: Same totally illogical reasoning. My 'no idea' means I have not entered God's mind to know why He chose long term evolution over direct creation, as in the Bible.

But you pretend that you HAVE entered God’s mind by assuming that he only wanted to produce H. sapiens, while your concept of evolution is that God specially designs every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder! Why bother to specially design the whale and the weaverbird's nest if he only wants to specially design humans? THAT is the combination of hypotheses that makes no sense. At least my hypothesis has the merit of logical coherence: if he wanted a free-for-all, the method (autonomous cellular intelligence) and purpose are perfectly matched, although they do not correspond to your own attempt to “enter God’s mind”.

DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

dhw: It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

DAVID: So again you relieve Him of control. We will always differ here, as you propose a less than purposeful God.

I am not “relieving him of control”. I am proposing that his possible purpose was served by relinquishing control. You persist in claiming that creating something to watch with interest is not a purpose, and yet at the same time, you refuse even to offer us a purpose for creating life, including humans!

dhw: Watching to see how we use our free will and watching to see what his invention can produce are as purposeful as any purpose you can name, and they provide a perfectly logical explanation for all the natural wonders that have nothing whatsoever to do with your single purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I can't understand the blank spot in your objection to make my choice accepting God's choice to evolve humans as illogical. If He chose to evolve us, He had to create all of the evolution we see.

Again, he apparently "had to" specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests in order to specially design humans. And you find this logical. Once more: the proposal that he only wanted to “evolve” (for you = specially design) humans does not explain why he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form extant and extinct.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 18:16 (255 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same refrain. What is evolution except designing all the animals you just listed?

dhw: Evolution is the process by which living organisms have developed from earlier ancestral forms. Nobody knows how this process works. Evolution does not mean that your God specially designed every single organism for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens.

That is my interpretation.


dhw: If you have no idea why he would choose your interpretation of his method in order to fulfil your interpretation of his purpose, you can hardly claim that your interpretations are logical.

DAVID: Same totally illogical reasoning. My 'no idea' means I have not entered God's mind to know why He chose long term evolution over direct creation, as in the Bible.

dhw: But you pretend that you HAVE entered God’s mind by assuming that he only wanted to produce H. sapiens, while your concept of evolution is that God specially designs every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder! Why bother to specially design the whale and the weaverbird's nest if he only wants to specially design humans? THAT is the combination of hypotheses that makes no sense. At least my hypothesis has the merit of logical coherence: if he wanted a free-for-all, the method (autonomous cellular intelligence) and purpose are perfectly matched, although they do not correspond to your own attempt to “enter God’s mind”.

Twisted reasoning again. Evolving humans from single cells is God's choice, Assuming God is in charge, that is what history tells us. You won't accept the importance of our exceptionality as a key point to the reasoning. I'm with Adler, you are not.


DAVID: Control of human actions is never equivalent to a control of evolution itself! You are straining at gnats!

dhw: It is not an equivalent to control of evolution, it is an example of your God being willing to relinquish control over his creations. If he can watch unpredictable humans with interest, why can’t he watch unpredictable speciation with interest?

DAVID: So again you relieve Him of control. We will always differ here, as you propose a less than purposeful God.

dhw; I am not “relieving him of control”. I am proposing that his possible purpose was served by relinquishing control. You persist in claiming that creating something to watch with interest is not a purpose, and yet at the same time, you refuse even to offer us a purpose for creating life, including humans!

I don't understand your comment: I claim humans were the main purpose!


dhw: Watching to see how we use our free will and watching to see what his invention can produce are as purposeful as any purpose you can name, and they provide a perfectly logical explanation for all the natural wonders that have nothing whatsoever to do with your single purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I can't understand the blank spot in your objection to make my choice accepting God's choice to evolve humans as illogical. If He chose to evolve us, He had to create all of the evolution we see.

dhw: Again, he apparently "had to" specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests in order to specially design humans. And you find this logical. Once more: the proposal that he only wanted to “evolve” (for you = specially design) humans does not explain why he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form extant and extinct.

His choice was to start with single cells and then evolve what history shows us He evolved! I don't understand your problem, which to me is a convoluted invention to continue a debate.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, May 16, 2019, 08:42 (255 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Same refrain. What is evolution except designing all the animals you just listed?

dhw: Evolution is the process by which living organisms have developed from earlier ancestral forms. Nobody knows how this process works. Evolution does not mean that your God specially designed every single organism for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens.

DAVID: That is my interpretation.

Yes indeed, and you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: Twisted reasoning again. Evolving humans from single cells is God's choice…

Evolving EVERY life form from single cells is your God’s choice (although your definition of “evolving” is specially designing).

DAVID: …Assuming God is in charge, that is what history tells us. You won't accept the importance of our exceptionality as a key point to the reasoning. I'm with Adler, you are not.

I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens.

DAVID: So again you relieve Him of control. We will always differ here, as you propose a less than purposeful God.

dhw: I am not “relieving him of control”. I am proposing that his possible purpose was served by relinquishing control. You persist in claiming that creating something to watch with interest is not a purpose, and yet at the same time, you refuse even to offer us a purpose for creating life, including humans!

DAVID: I don't understand your comment: I claim humans were the main purpose!

You keep claiming that they were the ONLY purpose (which is what makes nonsense of your purposeful God’s specially designing every non-human life form) and you don’t like to offer any other purpose. What on earth is the point of telling us how purposeful your God is, and then saying that humans were the purpose, if you are not prepared to ask what was the purpose of humans? And why do you think that your God specially designed millions of life forms etc. that came and went, but it could not have been his purpose to design millions of life forms etc. that came and went?

DAVID: I can't understand the blank spot in your objection to make my choice accepting God's choice to evolve humans as illogical. If He chose to evolve us, He had to create all of the evolution we see.

dhw: Again, he apparently "had to" specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests in order to specially design humans. And you find this logical. Once more: the proposal that he only wanted to “evolve” (for you = specially design) humans does not explain why he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form extant and extinct.

DAVID: His choice was to start with single cells and then evolve what history shows us He evolved! I don't understand your problem, which to me is a convoluted invention to continue a debate.

Yes, history shows us that what evolved from single cells were millions of different life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, the latest of which are humans. The problem is your insistence that he specially designed all of them, although the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens. Since you admit that you have no idea why he would choose such a method of producing the only thing he wanted to produce, I really don’t know why you continue the debate by trying to ignore this blatant incongruity!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 16, 2019, 19:12 (254 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: That is my interpretation.

dhw: Yes indeed, and you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

I simply accept it as God's choice.


DAVID: Twisted reasoning again. Evolving humans from single cells is God's choice…

dhw: Evolving EVERY life form from single cells is your God’s choice (although your definition of “evolving” is specially designing).

DAVID: …Assuming God is in charge, that is what history tells us. You won't accept the importance of our exceptionality as a key point to the reasoning. I'm with Adler, you are not.

dhw: I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens.

Fine, noting you don't accept God, but don't reject Him either. that makes hourv iew of Him difderent than mine.


DAVID: So again you relieve Him of control. We will always differ here, as you propose a less than purposeful God.

dhw: I am not “relieving him of control”. I am proposing that his possible purpose was served by relinquishing control. You persist in claiming that creating something to watch with interest is not a purpose, and yet at the same time, you refuse even to offer us a purpose for creating life, including humans!

DAVID: I don't understand your comment: I claim humans were the main purpose!

dhw: You keep claiming that they were the ONLY purpose (which is what makes nonsense of your purposeful God’s specially designing every non-human life form) and you don’t like to offer any other purpose. What on earth is the point of telling us how purposeful your God is, and then saying that humans were the purpose, if you are not prepared to ask what was the purpose of humans? And why do you think that your God specially designed millions of life forms etc. that came and went, but it could not have been his purpose to design millions of life forms etc. that came and went?

Again, the Adler argument regarding our special place in evolution. You cannot deny our exceptionality.


DAVID: I can't understand the blank spot in your objection to make my choice accepting God's choice to evolve humans as illogical. If He chose to evolve us, He had to create all of the evolution we see.

dhw: Again, he apparently "had to" specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests in order to specially design humans. And you find this logical. Once more: the proposal that he only wanted to “evolve” (for you = specially design) humans does not explain why he also chose to “evolve” (= specially design) every other life form extant and extinct.

DAVID: His choice was to start with single cells and then evolve what history shows us He evolved! I don't understand your problem, which to me is a convoluted invention to continue a debate.

dhw: Yes, history shows us that what evolved from single cells were millions of different life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, the latest of which are humans. The problem is your insistence that he specially designed all of them, although the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens. Since you admit that you have no idea why he would choose such a method of producing the only thing he wanted to produce, I really don’t know why you continue the debate by trying to ignore this blatant incongruity!

Humans are a desired endpoint, but God decided top designed everything from the bottom up. I view him as having to design everything to get to the final step, humans. It was all necessary, which you constantly gloss over. Your thinking about God's method is totally distorted. He followed a proper stepwise evolutionary plan to reach an endpoint, humans

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, May 17, 2019, 08:44 (254 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: That is my interpretation.

dhw: Yes indeed, and you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I simply accept it as God's choice.

You do not accept it as God’s choice. You accept your own interpretation of God’s choice, even though you have no idea why he would make such a choice.

DAVID: Twisted reasoning again. Evolving humans from single cells is God's choice…

dhw: Evolving EVERY life form from single cells is your God’s choice (although your definition of “evolving” is specially designing).

DAVID: …Assuming God is in charge, that is what history tells us. You won't accept the importance of our exceptionality as a key point to the reasoning. I'm with Adler, you are not.

dhw: I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. [See later re the bold]

DAVID: Fine, noting you don't accept God, but don't reject Him either. that makes your view of Him different than mine.

An agnostic has just as much right as a theist to interpret a possible God’s purposes and methods, and my agnosticism does not in any way invalidate the arguments I advance against your own personal interpretation of these. In fact I suspect quite a few theists would have trouble “accepting” your version of your God’s choice.

DAVID: I claim humans were the main purpose!

dhw: You keep claiming that they were the ONLY purpose (which is what makes nonsense of your purposeful God’s specially designing every non-human life form) and you don’t like to offer any other purpose. What on earth is the point of telling us how purposeful your God is, and then saying that humans were the purpose, if you are not prepared to ask what was the purpose of humans? And why do you think that your God specially designed millions of life forms etc. that came and went, but it could not have been his purpose to design millions of life forms etc. that came and went?

DAVID: Again, the Adler argument regarding our special place in evolution. You cannot deny our exceptionality.

I keep agreeing that we are exceptional. See bold above. That does not answer my questions!

DAVID: Humans are a desired endpoint, but God decided to design everything from the bottom up. I view him as having to design everything to get to the final step, humans. It was all necessary, which you constantly gloss over. Your thinking about God's method is totally distorted. He followed a proper stepwise evolutionary plan to reach an endpoint, humans

Why was it "necessary" for your God to specially design dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, the monarch's lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest in order to get to the “final step” which according to you he specially designed anyway? You have no idea, so please stop “glossing over” the incongruity that arises from your combined hypotheses.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, May 17, 2019, 19:04 (253 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yes indeed, and you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I simply accept it as God's choice.

dhw: You do not accept it as God’s choice. You accept your own interpretation of God’s choice, even though you have no idea why he would make such a choice.

We view God entirely differently. As stated in the other thread, God has the perfect right to decide to evolve humans from previously evolved organisms.


dhw: I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. [See later re the bold]

DAVID: Fine, noting you don't accept God, but don't reject Him either. that makes your view of Him different than mine.

dhw: An agnostic has just as much right as a theist to interpret a possible God’s purposes and methods, and my agnosticism does not in any way invalidate the arguments I advance against your own personal interpretation of these. In fact I suspect quite a few theists would have trouble “accepting” your version of your God’s choice.

I have my own personal view of God.I doubt many other theists would agree with me. This is not an election of concept by a vote of views


DAVID: Again, the Adler argument regarding our special place in evolution. You cannot deny our exceptionality.

dhw: I keep agreeing that we are exceptional. See bold above. That does not answer my questions!

Yes it does. See next:


DAVID: Humans are a desired endpoint, but God decided to design everything from the bottom up. I view him as having to design everything to get to the final step, humans. It was all necessary, which you constantly gloss over. Your thinking about God's method is totally distorted. He followed a proper stepwise evolutionary plan to reach an endpoint, humans

dhw: Why was it "necessary" for your God to specially design dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, the monarch's lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest in order to get to the “final step” which according to you he specially designed anyway? You have no idea, so please stop “glossing over” the incongruity that arises from your combined hypotheses.

I have explained over and over the need for ecosystems to feed the existing individuals in ongoing evolution. i don't need an explanation of God's choice. I accept it. You don't. I've not glossed over. You don't accept my answers as to my reasoning. For me, you have invented an objection that does not exist.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, May 18, 2019, 11:50 (253 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: [...] you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I simply accept it as God's choice.

dhw: You do not accept it as God’s choice. You accept your own interpretation of God’s choice, even though you have no idea why he would make such a choice.

DAVID: We view God entirely differently. As stated in the other thread, God has the perfect right to decide to evolve humans from previously evolved organisms.

Which does not explain why he also “evolved” (which according to you means specially designed) a billion other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders.

DAVID: I have explained over and over the need for ecosystems to feed the existing individuals in ongoing evolution.

And that has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of why an always-in-control God specially designed all these econiches and non-human life forms etc. when his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense, even though you admit that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen your “method”.

dhw: I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens.

DAVID: Fine, noting you don't accept God, but don't reject Him either. that makes your view of Him different than mine.

dhw: An agnostic has just as much right as a theist to interpret a possible God’s purposes and methods, and my agnosticism does not in any way invalidate the arguments I advance against your own personal interpretation of these. In fact I suspect quite a few theists would have trouble “accepting” your version of your God’s choice.

DAVID: I have my own personal view of God.I doubt many other theists would agree with me. This is not an election of concept by a vote of views

My point was that my agnosticism is totally irrelevant to the arguments I advance against your personal and illogical interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. Clearly other theists would also disagree with you. Let's just stick to the arguments.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 18, 2019, 16:12 (252 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Saturday, May 18, 2019, 16:20

dhw: [...] you have “no idea” why your God would choose this method of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: I simply accept it as God's choice.

dhw: You do not accept it as God’s choice. You accept your own interpretation of God’s choice, even though you have no idea why he would make such a choice.

DAVID: We view God entirely differently. As stated in the other thread, God has the perfect right to decide to evolve humans from previously evolved organisms.

dhw: Which does not explain why he also “evolved” (which according to you means specially designed) a billion other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders.

Because that is how evolution works, from simple organisms to complex, which wsas God's choice of a creation process.


DAVID: I have explained over and over the need for ecosystems to feed the existing individuals in ongoing evolution.

dhw: And that has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of why an always-in-control God specially designed all these econiches and non-human life forms etc. when his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense, even though you admit that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen your “method”.

You have again reproduced your mantra. God chose the method of creation by evolving all forms from the start of life to humans; I have chosen nothing except to accept God's obvious choice of action. Do you remember I believe in God?


dhw: I accept our exceptionality. I do not accept that your God specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens.

DAVID: Fine, noting you don't accept God, but don't reject Him either. that makes your view of Him different than mine.

dhw: An agnostic has just as much right as a theist to interpret a possible God’s purposes and methods, and my agnosticism does not in any way invalidate the arguments I advance against your own personal interpretation of these. In fact I suspect quite a few theists would have trouble “accepting” your version of your God’s choice.

DAVID: I have my own personal view of God.I doubt many other theists would agree with me. This is not an election of concept by a vote of views

dhw: My point was that my agnosticism is totally irrelevant to the arguments I advance against your personal and illogical interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. Clearly other theists would also disagree with you. Let's just stick to the arguments.

Why won't you allow me to have my own theological views? Your objections are totally illogical, once it is accepted that God chose to evolve everything, and you've agreed if He is in charge, He can do just that. What you want is a God who set evolution in motion and allowed it freedom to evolve any way it wanted. But in allowing for dabbles, you really admit God is in charge to do whatever He wants. Your approach is totally incomprehensible as applied to theism. It is either/or. God is in charge of evolution or He isn't. I view Him in total charge and managing every stage of evolution as we know it. It is my explanation of speciation.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 09:24 (248 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God has the perfect right to decide to evolve humans from previously evolved organisms.

dhw: Which does not explain why he also “evolved” (which according to you means specially designed) a billion other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders.

DAVID: Because that is how evolution works, from simple organisms to complex, which was God's choice of a creation process.

Yes, that is how evolution works, but it does not explain why your God designed billions of non-human life forms if his only purpose was to design humans!

DAVID: Why won't you allow me to have my own theological views? Your objections are totally illogical, once it is accepted that God chose to evolve everything, and you've agreed if He is in charge, He can do just that. What you want is a God who set evolution in motion and allowed it freedom to evolve any way it wanted. But in allowing for dabbles, you really admit God is in charge to do whatever He wants. Your approach is totally incomprehensible as applied to theism. It is either/or. God is in charge of evolution or He isn't. I view Him in total charge and managing every stage of evolution as we know it. It is my explanation of speciation.

Of course if he exists he can do what he wants. And I am fully aware that you believe he designed every stage of evolution, plus every lifestyle, plus every natural wonder, as under “sling shot spiders” and all your other entries describing biological complexities. The spider is a good example of your incongruous mixture of hypotheses:
DAVID: If this developed by trial and error (Darwin), the spiders would never have survived to perfect the method. Only design fits the process of development.

Why would a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens bother to design a sling shot spider? You simply refuse to recognize that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense. By all means have your God in total charge designing absolutely everything, but please don’t tell us that he did so for the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. You have no idea why your God chose to design the slingshot spider as a method of designing H. sapiens - so maybe he didn’t design the spider, or maybe he designed it because he liked designing such wonders for their own sake.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 18:59 (247 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God has the perfect right to decide to evolve humans from previously evolved organisms.

dhw: Which does not explain why he also “evolved” (which according to you means specially designed) a billion other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders.

DAVID: Because that is how evolution works, from simple organisms to complex, which was God's choice of a creation process.

dhw: Yes, that is how evolution works, but it does not explain why your God designed billions of non-human life forms if his only purpose was to design humans!

DAVID: Why won't you allow me to have my own theological views? Your objections are totally illogical, once it is accepted that God chose to evolve everything, and you've agreed if He is in charge, He can do just that. What you want is a God who set evolution in motion and allowed it freedom to evolve any way it wanted. But in allowing for dabbles, you really admit God is in charge to do whatever He wants. Your approach is totally incomprehensible as applied to theism. It is either/or. God is in charge of evolution or He isn't. I view Him in total charge and managing every stage of evolution as we know it. It is my explanation of speciation.

dhw: Of course if he exists he can do what he wants. And I am fully aware that you believe he designed every stage of evolution, plus every lifestyle, plus every natural wonder, as under “sling shot spiders” and all your other entries describing biological complexities. The spider is a good example of your incongruous mixture of hypotheses:

DAVID: If this developed by trial and error (Darwin), the spiders would never have survived to perfect the method. Only design fits the process of development.

dhw: Why would a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens bother to design a sling shot spider? You simply refuse to recognize that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense. By all means have your God in total charge designing absolutely everything, but please don’t tell us that he did so for the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. You have no idea why your God chose to design the slingshot spider as a method of designing H. sapiens - so maybe he didn’t design the spider, or maybe he designed it because he liked designing such wonders for their own sake.

You continue your illogical series of ideas about God. If God is in control of evolution then He created everything that appeared before He arrived at the speciation of humans. You are continuing to question why He chose to evolve humans. I don't know why, as I admit. But there is nothing illogical about my thoughts.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, May 24, 2019, 10:05 (247 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why would a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens bother to design a sling shot spider? You simply refuse to recognize that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense. By all means have your God in total charge designing absolutely everything, but please don’t tell us that he did so for the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. You have no idea why your God chose to design the slingshot spider as a method of designing H. sapiens - so maybe he didn’t design the spider, or maybe he designed it because he liked designing such wonders for their own sake.

DAVID: You continue your illogical series of ideas about God. If God is in control of evolution then He created everything that appeared before He arrived at the speciation of humans. You are continuing to question why He chose to evolve humans. I don't know why, as I admit. But there is nothing illogical about my thoughts.

I am not questioning why he chose to evolve humans (if he exists). I am pointing out that your idea of evolution is that your God specially designed absolutely everything, and so I am questioning why he chose to specially design billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders if his only purpose was to specially design humans. You have no idea why, but you still think it’s logical.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, May 24, 2019, 19:36 (246 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Why would a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens bother to design a sling shot spider? You simply refuse to recognize that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that makes no sense. By all means have your God in total charge designing absolutely everything, but please don’t tell us that he did so for the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. You have no idea why your God chose to design the slingshot spider as a method of designing H. sapiens - so maybe he didn’t design the spider, or maybe he designed it because he liked designing such wonders for their own sake.

DAVID: You continue your illogical series of ideas about God. If God is in control of evolution then He created everything that appeared before He arrived at the speciation of humans. You are continuing to question why He chose to evolve humans. I don't know why, as I admit. But there is nothing illogical about my thoughts.

dhw: I am not questioning why he chose to evolve humans (if he exists). I am pointing out that your idea of evolution is that your God specially designed absolutely everything, and so I am questioning why he chose to specially design billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders if his only purpose was to specially design humans. You have no idea why, but you still think it’s logical.

Of course it is logical, if one assumes, as I do, that God chose to evolve humans, starting with Archaia 3.8 billion years ago.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, May 25, 2019, 09:43 (246 days ago) @ David Turell

I am telescoping threads again, since most of them deal with unanswered questions.

From “Origin of eukaryotes”:

QUOTE: "It’s one more clue that helps fill in the picture on how life on earth evolved and one more step toward bringing this fascinating group of organisms to the limelight."

DAVID: Filling in the gaps, but not the Cambrian gap.

dhw: Research is ongoing, and more and more gaps are being filled. So far, so good. Who knows what will emerge during the next thousand years?

DAVID: Scientists recognizing God because of their findings?

Maybe, but we’re talking here about common descent and the mechanics of evolution, whereby organisms speciate by adapting and/or innovating in accordance with environmental changes. Gaps have always been a problem, but as you rightly acknowledge, the gaps are gradually being filled in.

dhw (under “human evolution"): Yes, we know you think your God either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder, but this does not in any way reduce the importance of the environment’s influence on evolution, and it does not answer the question of whether your God deliberately engineered every single environmental change, both global and local. Please stick to the subject.

DAVID: The subject is how speciation happens, and the question cannot be answered at this time, but we both have suggested logical possibilities.

So do you still think your God designed every single organismal change before it was required, and if so do you think he preprogrammed or dabbled every environmental change, both global and local?

DAVID: If God is in control of evolution then He created everything that appeared before He arrived at the speciation of humans. You are continuing to question why He chose to evolve humans. I don't know why, as I admit. But there is nothing illogical about my thoughts.

dhw: I am not questioning why he chose to evolve humans (if he exists). I am pointing out that your idea of evolution is that your God specially designed absolutely everything, and so I am questioning why he chose to specially design billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders if his only purpose was to specially design humans. You have no idea why, but you still think it’s logical.

DAVID: Of course it is logical, if one assumes, as I do, that God chose to evolve humans, starting with Archaia 3.8 billion years ago.

We can now abandon the thread about our complex speech mechanism, as you simply repeat the same answer: "God chose to evolve humans from the earliest life, which He created first."
Bearing in mind that your concept of evolution is that your always-in-control God SPECIALLY DESIGNED every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in history, please explain why it was necessary for him to specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration pattern and the weaverbird’s nest so that they could all eat or not eat one another until he SPECIALLY DESIGNED all the special features of all the different hominins, hominids and homos leading to sapiens. In the past you have acknowledged that you have “no idea”. Apparently you now have a logical explanation. If you haven’t, then please acknowledge that this combination of hypotheses is illogical and we can move on.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 25, 2019, 17:01 (245 days ago) @ dhw

dhw (under “human evolution"): Yes, we know you think your God either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder, but this does not in any way reduce the importance of the environment’s influence on evolution, and it does not answer the question of whether your God deliberately engineered every single environmental change, both global and local. Please stick to the subject.


DAVID: The subject is how speciation happens, and the question cannot be answered at this time, but we both have suggested logical possibilities.

dhw: So do you still think your God designed every single organismal change before it was required, and if so do you think he preprogrammed or dabbled every environmental change, both global and local?

I am convinced God directed the evolution of life as history tells us. He certainly evolved the development of the Earth so it could support life. As for local environment, the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment.


DAVID: If God is in control of evolution then He created everything that appeared before He arrived at the speciation of humans. You are continuing to question why He chose to evolve humans. I don't know why, as I admit. But there is nothing illogical about my thoughts.

dhw: I am not questioning why he chose to evolve humans (if he exists). I am pointing out that your idea of evolution is that your God specially designed absolutely everything, and so I am questioning why he chose to specially design billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders if his only purpose was to specially design humans. You have no idea why, but you still think it’s logical.

DAVID: Of course it is logical, if one assumes, as I do, that God chose to evolve humans, starting with Archaia 3.8 billion years ago.

dhw: We can now abandon the thread about our complex speech mechanism, as you simply repeat the same answer: "God chose to evolve humans from the earliest life, which He created first."
Bearing in mind that your concept of evolution is that your always-in-control God SPECIALLY DESIGNED every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in history, please explain why it was necessary for him to specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration pattern and the weaverbird’s nest so that they could all eat or not eat one another until he SPECIALLY DESIGNED all the special features of all the different hominins, hominids and homos leading to sapiens.

Thoroughly explained that since life requires a constant ingestion of energy, the econiches, of which you have seen many examples, are required and the contain many of the marvelous features of life you list above.

dhw: In the past you have acknowledged that you have “no idea”. Apparently you now have a logical explanation. If you haven’t, then please acknowledge that this combination of hypotheses is illogical and we can move on.

My 'no idea' quote meaning is unchanged. I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. As usual you have picked it out of context. I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter. But they have other roles:

https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gardenguides.com%2F113032-fl...

Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating. Pollination occurs as butterflies seek what they need from plants, often those that provide nectar. While roaming on their spindly legs, they pick up pollen and move it from flower to flower. Albeit less efficient than that involving bees, this symbiotic relationship between butterfly and plant ensures the survival of both.

Comment: You need to look deeper into the nature God created when you criticize me for my views. Look how deep the monarch role really is in nature! My opinions come from very careful research.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, May 26, 2019, 10:55 (245 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (under “human evolution"): Yes, we know you think your God either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder, but this does not in any way reduce the importance of the environment’s influence on evolution, and it does not answer the question of whether your God deliberately engineered every single environmental change, both global and local. Please stick to the subject.

DAVID: The subject is how speciation happens, and the question cannot be answered at this time, but we both have suggested logical possibilities.

dhw: So do you still think your God designed every single organismal change before it was required, and if so do you think he preprogrammed or dabbled every environmental change, both global and local?

DAVID: I am convinced God directed the evolution of life as history tells us. He certainly evolved the development of the Earth so it could support life. As for local environment, the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment.

Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

dhw: Bearing in mind that your concept of evolution is that your always-in-control God SPECIALLY DESIGNED every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in history, please explain why it was necessary for him to specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration pattern and the weaverbird’s nest so that they could all eat or not eat one another until he SPECIALLY DESIGNED all the special features of all the different hominins, hominids and homos leading to sapiens.

DAVID: Thoroughly explained that since life requires a constant ingestion of energy, the econiches, of which you have seen many examples, are required and the contain many of the marvelous features of life you list above.

Yes indeed – ALL life requires energy, and that has nothing to do with your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create H. sapiens. So once more: why did he bother to create all the extinct econiches containing all the extinct non-human life forms etc. etc.?

dhw: In the past you have acknowledged that you have “no idea”. Apparently you now have a logical explanation. If you haven’t, then please acknowledge that this combination of hypotheses is illogical and we can move on.

DAVID: My 'no idea' quote meaning is unchanged. I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. As usual you have picked it out of context. I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc….see below.

DAVID: But they have other roles:
https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gardenguides.com%2F113032-fl...
Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.) So now please explain at last why your God specially designed every undabbled life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and delicately balanced econiche in life’s history when the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 26, 2019, 16:15 (244 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So do you still think your God designed every single organismal change before it was required, and if so do you think he preprogrammed or dabbled every environmental change, both global and local?

DAVID: I am convinced God directed the evolution of life as history tells us. He certainly evolved the development of the Earth so it could support life. As for local environment, the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment.

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?


dhw: Bearing in mind that your concept of evolution is that your always-in-control God SPECIALLY DESIGNED every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in history, please explain why it was necessary for him to specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration pattern and the weaverbird’s nest so that they could all eat or not eat one another until he SPECIALLY DESIGNED all the special features of all the different hominins, hominids and homos leading to sapiens.

DAVID: Thoroughly explained that since life requires a constant ingestion of energy, the econiches, of which you have seen many examples, are required and the contain many of the marvelous features of life you list above.

dhw: Yes indeed – ALL life requires energy, and that has nothing to do with your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create H. sapiens. So once more: why did he bother to create all the extinct econiches containing all the extinct non-human life forms etc. etc.?

Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did.


dhw: In the past you have acknowledged that you have “no idea”. Apparently you now have a logical explanation. If you haven’t, then please acknowledge that this combination of hypotheses is illogical and we can move on.

DAVID: My 'no idea' quote meaning is unchanged. I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. As usual you have picked it out of context. I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

dhw: Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc….see below.

DAVID: But they have other roles:
https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gardenguides.com%2F113032-fl...
Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.) So now please explain at last why your God specially designed every undabbled life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and delicately balanced econiche in life’s history when the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens.

Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did. Same old illogical objection to my acceptance of how God chose to create. Same old implication: why not direct creation? Because we know evolution occurred.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 26, 2019, 16:45 (244 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So do you still think your God designed every single organismal change before it was required, and if so do you think he preprogrammed or dabbled every environmental change, both global and local?

DAVID: I am convinced God directed the evolution of life as history tells us. He certainly evolved the development of the Earth so it could support life. As for local environment, the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment.

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.


Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?


dhw: Bearing in mind that your concept of evolution is that your always-in-control God SPECIALLY DESIGNED every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in history, please explain why it was necessary for him to specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration pattern and the weaverbird’s nest so that they could all eat or not eat one another until he SPECIALLY DESIGNED all the special features of all the different hominins, hominids and homos leading to sapiens.

DAVID: Thoroughly explained that since life requires a constant ingestion of energy, the econiches, of which you have seen many examples, are required and the contain many of the marvelous features of life you list above.

dhw: Yes indeed – ALL life requires energy, and that has nothing to do with your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create H. sapiens. So once more: why did he bother to create all the extinct econiches containing all the extinct non-human life forms etc. etc.?


Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did.


dhw: In the past you have acknowledged that you have “no idea”. Apparently you now have a logical explanation. If you haven’t, then please acknowledge that this combination of hypotheses is illogical and we can move on.

DAVID: My 'no idea' quote meaning is unchanged. I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. As usual you have picked it out of context. I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

dhw: Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc….see below.

DAVID: But they have other roles:
https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gardenguides.com%2F113032-fl...
Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.)

But there are always econiches operating to fill the energy needs

dhw: So now please explain at last why your God specially designed every undabbled life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and delicately balanced econiche in life’s history when the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens.

Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did. Same old illogical objection to my acceptance of how God chose to create. Same old implication: why not direct creation? Because we know evolution occurred.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, May 27, 2019, 09:23 (244 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am convinced God directed the evolution of life as history tells us. He certainly evolved the development of the Earth so it could support life. As for local environment, the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment.

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

DAVID: Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?

That is the whole point about speciation. Have you forgotten that hominins and humans are not the only species to have existed on earth? I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

DAVID: […] life requires a constant ingestion of energy, the econiches, of which you have seen many examples, are required and the contain many of the marvelous features of life you list above.

dhw: Yes indeed – ALL life requires energy, and that has nothing to do with your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create H. sapiens. So once more: why did he bother to create all the extinct econiches containing all the extinct non-human life forms etc. etc.?

DAVID: Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did.

History tells those of us who believe in evolution that if God exists he chose to evolve ALL forms of life. It does not tell us that he specially designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled) every form of life for the sole purpose of enabling them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. […] I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

dhw: Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc.

DAVID: […] Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.)

DAVID: But there are always econiches operating to fill the energy needs.

Yes, they come and go, and species come and go accordingly, and this fact has absolutely nothing to do with your contention, as above, that every single econiche was specially designed so that organisms could or could not eat one another until your God specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, May 27, 2019, 16:41 (243 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

DAVID: Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?

dhw: That is the whole point about speciation. Have you forgotten that hominins and humans are not the only species to have existed on earth? I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/

"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars. Abstract thought entails comprehension of concepts that are disconnected from particular objects. When I think about the ham sandwich I am eating for lunch, I am thinking concretely. When I think about the nutritional consequences of my choice of sandwich, I am thinking abstractly.

"Only man thinks abstractly; that is the ability to reason. No animal, no matter how clever, can think abstractly or reason. Animals can be very clever but their cleverness is always about concrete things—about the bone they are playing with, or about the stranger they are barking at. They don’t think about “play” or “threat” as abstract concepts.

"Reason is a power characteristic of man, to be sure, but it is not “an evolved power.” It didn’t “evolve.” The ability to reason didn’t evolve because it’s not a material power of the mind. Reason is an immaterial power of the mind—it is abstracted from particular things, and cannot logically be produced by a material thing."


DAVID: Your same old mantra. If God chose to evolve humans, as I believe, history tells us what He did.

dhw: History tells those of us who believe in evolution that if God exists he chose to evolve ALL forms of life. It does not tell us that he specially designed (= preprogrammed or dabbled) every form of life for the sole purpose of enabling them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to evolve life to reach human creation. […] I view what I have presented as totally logical. For example, the flipper allowed land-based mammals to enter an aquatic environment. The monarch's migration is a simple response to summer/winter.

dhw: Exactly. Evolutionary change is geared to environmental change, as I have been saying all along. And you have no idea why your God chose to evolve (= specially design) not “life” itself but every single non-human life form etc.

DAVID: […] Butterflies, with their strikingly colored, delicate wings, aren’t just good lookers. They serve an important purpose for many flowering plants they rely on for food, shelter and procreating etc. etc.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.)

DAVID: But there are always econiches operating to fill the energy needs.

dhw: Yes, they come and go, and species come and go accordingly, and this fact has absolutely nothing to do with your contention, as above, that every single econiche was specially designed so that organisms could or could not eat one another until your God specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 09:46 (243 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Interesting, since many of evolution’s innovations – including various pre-human changes - may well have sprung from local environments. So maybe your God designed a mechanism that would respond to absolutely any environmental change, and he left it to chance (uncontrolled local environments) to determine how organisms used that mechanism. And yet you claim that he specially designed every undabbled innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in advance, which is pretty weird if he didn’t know what environments each “pre-species” would have to deal with.

DAVID: Not weird. Have you forgotten the hominins had a developing brain that could think and reason in differing climates?

dhw: That is the whole point about speciation. Have you forgotten that hominins and humans are not the only species to have existed on earth? I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

DAVID: You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:

Your bold statement is based on what I consider an absurdly inadequate definition of reason:

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/
"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars.

Here is what I regard as a far more accurate definition: “the ability to think, understand and form judgments that are based on facts (Longman)”. Over and over again you have reproduced examples of organisms solving problems. Nobody would claim that their problem-solving, decision-making abilities can match those of humans, but that is not the point. Adapting to new conditions, hunting prey or evading predators, building safe and efficient habitats, solving problems – all these require “a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence”, and I boldly suggest that you should rethink your acceptance of an absurdly limited definition of “reason”.

dhw: As usual, you fasten onto one aspect of your combination of hypotheses, and ignore the combination that is the problem. Here you are repeating the fact that all econiches are delicately balanced. (And when the balance is disturbed the econiche may disappear.)

DAVID: But there are always econiches operating to fill the energy needs.

dhw: Yes, they come and go, and species come and go accordingly, and this fact has absolutely nothing to do with your contention, as above, that every single econiche was specially designed so that organisms could or could not eat one another until your God specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

If God exists, I can accept this. My own theistic hypothesis of a God-designed autonomous intelligence also leads to the complexities evolving through God’s design. It is the rest of your overall hypothesis that marks the difference between us: i.e. that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every single organism, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche, and that he did so in order keep organisms eating or not eating one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. I’m sorry, but your “simple difference” is yet another attempt to ignore the fact that it is the combination of your hypotheses that doesn’t gel.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 18:06 (242 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: That is the whole point about speciation. Have you forgotten that hominins and humans are not the only species to have existed on earth? I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

DAVID: You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:

Your bold statement is based on what I consider an absurdly inadequate definition of reason:

https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/
"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars.

dhw: Here is what I regard as a far more accurate definition: “the ability to think, understand and form judgments that are based on facts (Longman)”. Over and over again you have reproduced examples of organisms solving problems. Nobody would claim that their problem-solving, decision-making abilities can match those of humans, but that is not the point. Adapting to new conditions, hunting prey or evading predators, building safe and efficient habitats, solving problems – all these require “a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence”, and I boldly suggest that you should rethink your acceptance of an absurdly limited definition of “reason”.

Nothing abstract in what you describe as your preferred definition. Abstract thinking IS the difference. My dog acts with purpose, which is what you are describing, but he cannot consider the underlying meaning of what he did.


dhw: Yes, they come and go, and species come and go accordingly, and this fact has absolutely nothing to do with your contention, as above, that every single econiche was specially designed so that organisms could or could not eat one another until your God specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

dhw: If God exists, I can accept this. My own theistic hypothesis of a God-designed autonomous intelligence also leads to the complexities evolving through God’s design. It is the rest of your overall hypothesis that marks the difference between us: i.e. that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every single organism, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche, and that he did so in order keep organisms eating or not eating one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. I’m sorry, but your “simple difference” is yet another attempt to ignore the fact that it is the combination of your hypotheses that doesn’t gel.

What gels is accepting that God chose to run all of evolution purposely starting with the appearance of living organisms and eventually arrived at humans. It all revolves around Adler's argument that humans are different in kind.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 11:35 (242 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

DAVID: You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:

dhw: Your bold statement is based on what I consider an absurdly inadequate definition of reason:
https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/
"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars.”

dhw: Here is what I regard as a far more accurate definition: “the ability to think, understand and form judgments that are based on facts (Longman)”. Over and over again you have reproduced examples of organisms solving problems. Nobody would claim that their problem-solving, decision-making abilities can match those of humans, but that is not the point. Adapting to new conditions, hunting prey or evading predators, building safe and efficient habitats, solving problems – all these require “a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence”, and I boldly suggest that you should rethink your acceptance of an absurdly limited definition of “reason”.

DAVID: Nothing abstract in what you describe as your preferred definition. Abstract thinking IS the difference. My dog acts with purpose, which is what you are describing, but he cannot consider the underlying meaning of what he did.

We are not talking about the difference between humans and other organisms, but about the definition of “reason”! I do not accept that reason means the power to think abstractly. We ourselves use reason all the time to solve concrete problems, and so do our fellow animals. That is why I consider my definition to be correct and the definition as abstract thinking to be woefully inadequate.

DAVID: Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

dhw: […] I’m sorry, but your “simple difference” is yet another attempt to ignore the fact that it is the combination of your hypotheses that doesn’t gel.

DAVID: What gels is accepting that God chose to run all of evolution purposely starting with the appearance of living organisms and eventually arrived at humans. It all revolves around Adler's argument that humans are different in kind.

Yes, if God exists, he chose to run evolution with living organisms, and eventually humans arrived, and humans are indeed different in kind from whales and monarch butterflies and weaverbirds. But none of that means that your always-in-control God personally designed every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche in the history of the world, or that he did so in order to enable life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. Please stop glossing over the incongruities through vague generalisations.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 30, 2019, 01:39 (241 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am proposing that instead of every undabbled response to every unpredictable, random change in the environment being preprogrammed, ALL organisms were equipped with a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence to enable them to cope with or exploit the changes (although eventually the vast majority of them could not think or reason intelligently enough to survive).

DAVID: You should rethink your statement I have bolded. I will boldly state that only humans have the power to reason:

dhw: Your bold statement is based on what I consider an absurdly inadequate definition of reason:
https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/
"The accepted definition of reason is simple and straightforward: it is the power to think abstractly, without concrete particulars.”

dhw: Here is what I regard as a far more accurate definition: “the ability to think, understand and form judgments that are based on facts (Longman)”. Over and over again you have reproduced examples of organisms solving problems. Nobody would claim that their problem-solving, decision-making abilities can match those of humans, but that is not the point. Adapting to new conditions, hunting prey or evading predators, building safe and efficient habitats, solving problems – all these require “a form of thinking, reasoning intelligence”, and I boldly suggest that you should rethink your acceptance of an absurdly limited definition of “reason”.

DAVID: Nothing abstract in what you describe as your preferred definition. Abstract thinking IS the difference. My dog acts with purpose, which is what you are describing, but he cannot consider the underlying meaning of what he did.

dhw: We are not talking about the difference between humans and other organisms, but about the definition of “reason”! I do not accept that reason means the power to think abstractly. We ourselves use reason all the time to solve concrete problems, and so do our fellow animals. That is why I consider my definition to be correct and the definition as abstract thinking to be woefully inadequate.

You are correct: there is concrete reasoning of fact (as my dog) and abstract reasoning (as only in humans). I was only considering the abstract level, but need to be considered..


DAVID: Our difference is simple: I believe the complexities of living creatures evolved through God's design.

dhw: […] I’m sorry, but your “simple difference” is yet another attempt to ignore the fact that it is the combination of your hypotheses that doesn’t gel.

DAVID: What gels is accepting that God chose to run all of evolution purposely starting with the appearance of living organisms and eventually arrived at humans. It all revolves around Adler's argument that humans are different in kind.

dhw: Yes, if God exists, he chose to run evolution with living organisms, and eventually humans arrived, and humans are indeed different in kind from whales and monarch butterflies and weaverbirds. But none of that means that your always-in-control God personally designed every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche in the history of the world, or that he did so in order to enable life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. Please stop glossing over the incongruities through vague generalisations.

Your description of my thoughts show no incongruities. What is wrong with God running, in total control, evolution from the invention of life to the design of each form? That is how
I conceive of God's role.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, May 30, 2019, 08:55 (241 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We are not talking about the difference between humans and other organisms, but about the definition of “reason”! I do not accept that reason means the power to think abstractly. We ourselves use reason all the time to solve concrete problems, and so do our fellow animals. That is why I consider my definition to be correct and the definition as abstract thinking to be woefully inadequate.

DAVID: You are correct: there is concrete reasoning of fact (as my dog) and abstract reasoning (as only in humans). I was only considering the abstract level, but need to be considered.

Thank you. I’m glad that point has been cleared up.

dhw: Yes, if God exists, he chose to run evolution with living organisms, and eventually humans arrived, and humans are indeed different in kind from whales and monarch butterflies and weaverbirds. But none of that means that your always-in-control God personally designed every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche in the history of the world, or that he did so in order to enable life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. Please stop glossing over the incongruities through vague generalisations.

DAVID: Your description of my thoughts show no incongruities. What is wrong with God running, in total control, evolution from the invention of life to the design of each form? That is how I conceive of God's role.

Then you have not understood my response, so I’ll try again. As you have described it, there is no incongruity. The incongruity lies in your fixed belief that he specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that every single life form should eat or not eat other life forms until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. You yourself admit that you have no idea why, if he is always in total control, he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose. It is the combination of your hypotheses that is incongruous. But you refuse to contemplate the possibility that either he did NOT design every life form etc., or he did design them all but his one and only purpose in doing so was not to produce H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 30, 2019, 15:38 (240 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: We are not talking about the difference between humans and other organisms, but about the definition of “reason”! I do not accept that reason means the power to think abstractly. We ourselves use reason all the time to solve concrete problems, and so do our fellow animals. That is why I consider my definition to be correct and the definition as abstract thinking to be woefully inadequate.

DAVID: You are correct: there is concrete reasoning of fact (as my dog) and abstract reasoning (as only in humans). I was only considering the abstract level, but need to be considered.

Thank you. I’m glad that point has been cleared up.

dhw: Yes, if God exists, he chose to run evolution with living organisms, and eventually humans arrived, and humans are indeed different in kind from whales and monarch butterflies and weaverbirds. But none of that means that your always-in-control God personally designed every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder and econiche in the history of the world, or that he did so in order to enable life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. Please stop glossing over the incongruities through vague generalisations.

DAVID: Your description of my thoughts show no incongruities. What is wrong with God running, in total control, evolution from the invention of life to the design of each form? That is how I conceive of God's role.

dhw: Then you have not understood my response, so I’ll try again. As you have described it, there is no incongruity. The incongruity lies in your fixed belief that he specially designed every single life form, and did so in order that every single life form should eat or not eat other life forms until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. You yourself admit that you have no idea why, if he is always in total control, he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose. It is the combination of your hypotheses that is incongruous. But you refuse to contemplate the possibility that either he did NOT design every life form etc., or he did design them all but his one and only purpose in doing so was not to produce H. sapiens.

I view God doing what He wants to do, and the history of evolution tells us how He did it, externally examined. The creatures are the creatures. Where theory enters is when I guess at pre-programming or dabbling as means of creation. My view of Adler's philosophy tells me humans were the prime and final purpose. With those beliefs my thoughts are entirely consistent.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, May 31, 2019, 10:05 (240 days ago) @ David Turell

I have again transferred material to this thread, where it is more appropriate.

DAVID (transferred from “cellular intelligence”): I agree that God might have designed a semi-autonomous design mechanism, but you view God as wishy-washy in control of evolution, and i view Him in firm control.

dhw: Semi-autonomous is meaningless.

DAVID: Semi-autonomous applies only to the mechanism you imagine God might have given to organisms so they can speciate.

Since you insist that your God either preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, please specify precisely what half of the process of speciation is autonomous.

dhw: Either he did or he didn’t preprogramme or dabble every design. There is nothing “wishy-washy” about a God who decides to create an autonomous mechanism that takes its own decisions – or are you now telling us that your God is wishy-washy because he gave humans free will?

DAVID: […]I view God as maintaining tight control of evolution. You, obviously, do not.

Why is it “wishy-washy” for your God deliberately to invent mechanisms which control themselves?

dhw: Your “firm control” contradicts your belief that the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens, but for some unknown reason he proceeded to design 3.5+ billion years’ worth of non-human life forms. Furthermore, you have recently decided that he did NOT control local environmental changes, which means he did not control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with! A weird kind of "firm control".

DAVID: You make a constant note that species come and go. Succumbing to environmental changes is part of the pattern of evolution.

Of course it is, and it makes nonsense of the claim that your in-control God specially designed all the different species extant and extinct if he only wanted to design one species, namely H. sapiens. And please tell us how he remains in “firm control” if he does not “control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with” – namely changing environmental conditions. Does he keep permanent watch on a crystal ball?

DAVID: […] God does not offer any plan to maintain all species forever, which is the implication!

That is not the implication at all! If God exists, it is as clear as it could possibly be that he did not want species to last for ever, but you claim that he specially designed all of them although the only one he wanted to design was H. sapiens! Yet again: Why did he specially design billions of life forms etc. if he only wanted to design H. sapiens? You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the combination of your different hypotheses that renders them incongruous.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, May 31, 2019, 15:28 (239 days ago) @ dhw

I have again transferred material to this thread, where it is more appropriate.

DAVID (transferred from “cellular intelligence”): I agree that God might have designed a semi-autonomous design mechanism, but you view God as wishy-washy in control of evolution, and i view Him in firm control.

dhw: Semi-autonomous is meaningless.

DAVID: Semi-autonomous applies only to the mechanism you imagine God might have given to organisms so they can speciate.

dhw: Since you insist that your God either preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, please specify precisely what half of the process of speciation is autonomous.

I use semi-autonomous in the sense that it is totally controlled by guidelines, when an organism initiates the process.


dhw: Your “firm control” contradicts your belief that the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens, but for some unknown reason he proceeded to design 3.5+ billion years’ worth of non-human life forms. Furthermore, you have recently decided that he did NOT control local environmental changes, which means he did not control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with! A weird kind of "firm control".

DAVID: You make a constant note that species come and go. Succumbing to environmental changes is part of the pattern of evolution.

dhw: Of course it is, and it makes nonsense of the claim that your in-control God specially designed all the different species extant and extinct if he only wanted to design one species, namely H. sapiens. And please tell us how he remains in “firm control” if he does not “control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with” – namely changing environmental conditions. Does he keep permanent watch on a crystal ball?

The usual complaint ignoring the point that if God started life and wished to create humans He chose an evolutionary process on exhibit in history. He had the right to choose His method! I do not know how much control God kept on environmental changes, but I think He evolved our special Earth to support life.


DAVID: […] God does not offer any plan to maintain all species forever, which is the implication!

dhw: That is not the implication at all! If God exists, it is as clear as it could possibly be that he did not want species to last for ever, but you claim that he specially designed all of them although the only one he wanted to design was H. sapiens! Yet again: Why did he specially design billions of life forms etc. if he only wanted to design H. sapiens? You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the combination of your different hypotheses that renders them incongruous.

Nothing incongruous if you believed in the power of God. You are arguing God should not have chosen to evolve humans. Why shouldn't He have chosen this method?

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, June 01, 2019, 10:06 (239 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Semi-autonomous applies only to the mechanism you imagine God might have given to organisms so they can speciate.

dhw: Since you insist that your God either preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, please specify precisely what half of the process of speciation is autonomous.

DAVID: I use semi-autonomous in the sense that it is totally controlled by guidelines, when an organism initiates the process.

How does an organism initiate the process if it is “totally controlled by guidelines”? According to you, all the changes take place before they are actually needed – either through dabbling or through a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme. So does the organism say to itself: “Oh, I’m going to have to enter the water. Let me switch on God’s legs-into-flippers programme”? Or does it cry out to God: “Help, I’m going to have to enter the water! Please come and dabble me some flippers”? If not, once more: please tell us which half of the process is autonomous.

DAVID: You make a constant note that species come and go. Succumbing to environmental changes is part of the pattern of evolution.

dhw: Of course it is, and it makes nonsense of the claim that your in-control God specially designed all the different species extant and extinct if he only wanted to design one species, namely H. sapiens. And please tell us how he remains in “firm control” if he does not “control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with” – namely changing environmental conditions. Does he keep permanent watch on a crystal ball?

DAVID: The usual complaint ignoring the point that if God started life and wished to create humans He chose an evolutionary process on exhibit in history. He had the right to choose His method! I do not know how much control God kept on environmental changes, but I think He evolved our special Earth to support life.

If he exists, then of course he evolved Earth to support life, but you wrote (25 May): “the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment”, so you are at least prepared to accept the possibility that your God was not in full control. I am not questioning the fact that evolution happened, and if God exists he clearly wanted and invented the process of evolution. But...as follows:
Dhw: Yet again: Why did he specially design billions of life forms etc. if he only wanted to design H. sapiens? You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the combination of your different hypotheses that renders them incongruous.

DAVID: Nothing incongruous if you believed in the power of God. You are arguing God should not have chosen to evolve humans. Why shouldn't He have chosen this method?

According to you, evolve = specially design, and neither you nor I can understand why if he ONLY wanted to specially design humans, he specially designed millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. You can’t explain this incongruity, so maybe he did not ONLY want to design humans, or he did not specially design all the millions of life forms etc. Please stop isolating your hypotheses when you know it is their COMBINATION that is incongruous.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 01, 2019, 15:12 (238 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Semi-autonomous applies only to the mechanism you imagine God might have given to organisms so they can speciate.

dhw: Since you insist that your God either preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, please specify precisely what half of the process of speciation is autonomous.

DAVID: I use semi-autonomous in the sense that it is totally controlled by guidelines, when an organism initiates the process.

dhw: How does an organism initiate the process if it is “totally controlled by guidelines”? According to you, all the changes take place before they are actually needed – either through dabbling or through a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme. So does the organism say to itself: “Oh, I’m going to have to enter the water. Let me switch on God’s legs-into-flippers programme”? Or does it cry out to God: “Help, I’m going to have to enter the water! Please come and dabble me some flippers”? If not, once more: please tell us which half of the process is autonomous.

'Semi-" means the organism has some options: it can initiate the process of a new form, but it must follow design requirements. I'm trying to interpret your IM theories in terms of the God I envision.


DAVID: You make a constant note that species come and go. Succumbing to environmental changes is part of the pattern of evolution.

dhw: Of course it is, and it makes nonsense of the claim that your in-control God specially designed all the different species extant and extinct if he only wanted to design one species, namely H. sapiens. And please tell us how he remains in “firm control” if he does not “control the very thing which his innovations were designed in advance to cope with” – namely changing environmental conditions. Does he keep permanent watch on a crystal ball?

DAVID: The usual complaint ignoring the point that if God started life and wished to create humans He chose an evolutionary process on exhibit in history. He had the right to choose His method! I do not know how much control God kept on environmental changes, but I think He evolved our special Earth to support life.

dhw: If he exists, then of course he evolved Earth to support life, but you wrote (25 May): “the various massive ice ages which did not deter hominin development suggest He did not control local environment”, so you are at least prepared to accept the possibility that your God was not in full control. I am not questioning the fact that evolution happened, and if God exists he clearly wanted and invented the process of evolution. But...as follows:
Dhw: Yet again: Why did he specially design billions of life forms etc. if he only wanted to design H. sapiens? You simply refuse to acknowledge that it is the combination of your different hypotheses that renders them incongruous.

DAVID: Nothing incongruous if you believed in the power of God. You are arguing God should not have chosen to evolve humans. Why shouldn't He have chosen this method?

dhw: According to you, evolve = specially design, and neither you nor I can understand why if he ONLY wanted to specially design humans, he specially designed millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. You can’t explain this incongruity, so maybe he did not ONLY want to design humans, or he did not specially design all the millions of life forms etc. Please stop isolating your hypotheses when you know it is their COMBINATION that is incongruous.

I would love to meet your incongruity. It is entirely invisible to me. How do we get from the first life to humans? By evolution of forms though speciation, which I claim is the result of God's actions. God created all of evolution finally reaching humans. The thought comes from our knowledge of how we arrived. Again, your confused thinking seems to need a God who directly creates humans and also evolves the rest of the bush of life as after thoughts. His control of evolution had a direction and a purpose at the moment He produced first life.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, June 02, 2019, 13:50 (238 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I use semi-autonomous in the sense that it is totally controlled by guidelines, when an organism initiates the process.

dhw: […] please tell us which half of the process is autonomous.

DAVID: 'Semi-" means the organism has some options: it can initiate the process of a new form, but it must follow design requirements. I'm trying to interpret your IM theories in terms of the God I envision.

How does it autonomously initiate the process of a new form if the new form has already been preprogrammed or if God pops in to do a dabble? What are “design requirements”? If an organism is to switch from land to water, of course it must follow the requirements of life in the water – but again, according to you the design is preprogrammed or dabbled. Your attempt to interpret my autonomous IM theory entails removing all autonomy.

dhw: According to you, evolve = specially design, and neither you nor I can understand why if he ONLY wanted to specially design humans, he specially designed millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. You can’t explain this incongruity, so maybe he did not ONLY want to design humans, or he did not specially design all the millions of life forms etc. Please stop isolating your hypotheses when you know it is their COMBINATION that is incongruous.

DAVID: I would love to meet your incongruity. It is entirely invisible to me. How do we get from the first life to humans? By evolution of forms though speciation, which I claim is the result of God's actions. God created all of evolution finally reaching humans. The thought comes from our knowledge of how we arrived. Again, your confused thinking seems to need a God who directly creates humans and also evolves the rest of the bush of life as after thoughts.

It is you who claim that he directly created both humans AND the rest of the bush of life, because according to you he specially designed every innovation (including each step towards H. sapiens), econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder! I have never suggested that the rest of the bush of life is an afterthought. In order to remove your incongruities, I have proposed one hypothesis in which he specially created every aspect of the bush of life because that was what he wanted, and humans were an afterthought (thus explaining why he specially designed them after specially designing everything else).

DAVID: His control of evolution had a direction and a purpose at the moment He produced first life.

If he exists, I would not question that assumption. I only question your blinkered view that he specially created every life form etc., although his one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, whom he also specially created late on in the process.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 02, 2019, 18:10 (237 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I use semi-autonomous in the sense that it is totally controlled by guidelines, when an organism initiates the process.

dhw: […] please tell us which half of the process is autonomous.

DAVID: 'Semi-" means the organism has some options: it can initiate the process of a new form, but it must follow design requirements. I'm trying to interpret your IM theories in terms of the God I envision.

dhw: How does it autonomously initiate the process of a new form if the new form has already been preprogrammed or if God pops in to do a dabble? What are “design requirements”? If an organism is to switch from land to water, of course it must follow the requirements of life in the water – but again, according to you the design is preprogrammed or dabbled. Your attempt to interpret my autonomous IM theory entails removing all autonomy.

I know you want a free-wheeling IM. The only autonomy I accept in our theorizing about the possibility of an IM is the organisms can initiate the process.


dhw: According to you, evolve = specially design, and neither you nor I can understand why if he ONLY wanted to specially design humans, he specially designed millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. You can’t explain this incongruity, so maybe he did not ONLY want to design humans, or he did not specially design all the millions of life forms etc. Please stop isolating your hypotheses when you know it is their COMBINATION that is incongruous.

DAVID: I would love to meet your incongruity. It is entirely invisible to me. How do we get from the first life to humans? By evolution of forms though speciation, which I claim is the result of God's actions. God created all of evolution finally reaching humans. The thought comes from our knowledge of how we arrived. Again, your confused thinking seems to need a God who directly creates humans and also evolves the rest of the bush of life as after thoughts.

dhw: It is you who claim that he directly created both humans AND the rest of the bush of life, because according to you he specially designed every innovation (including each step towards H. sapiens), econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder! I have never suggested that the rest of the bush of life is an afterthought. In order to remove your incongruities, I have proposed one hypothesis in which he specially created every aspect of the bush of life because that was what he wanted, and humans were an afterthought (thus explaining why he specially designed them after specially designing everything else).'

Our disagreement is then God's purpose. we've discussed this before. My God fully knows from the beginning what He wants to achieve, but his chosen method is to evolve everything, every step along the way.


DAVID: His control of evolution had a direction and a purpose at the moment He produced first life.

dhw: If he exists, I would not question that assumption. I only question your blinkered view that he specially created every life form etc., although his one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, whom he also specially created late on in the process.

Again, your view of God is someone who bumbles along. God evolves his purposes. For me the evidence is clear.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, June 03, 2019, 11:28 (237 days ago) @ David Turell

I have telescoped different threads, as the arguments are repeated.

DAVID (on “whale” thread) Of course God knew He had to design all the levels of evolution until He reached the human level!

Please explain why God “had to” specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest until he reached human level. Please don’t say they all had to eat or not eat each other until he could specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: God prefers to evolve His end goals, as I have described about the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally life.

The only goal you’ve ever offered is H. sapiens. What other end goals do you now envisage? I do not have a problem with the argument that all these things evolved. I believe in evolution. My problem is your insistence that he personally designed every life form etc., and he did so for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens, which he specially designed anyway.

DAVID: The God you try to describe comes across as empty-headed, bumbling His way forward. Ridiculous!

Where do you get that from? I have consistently proposed that your God may have created life as an occupation for himself. This is not empty-headed. I have also proposed that he invented an autonomous mechanism to provide the fascinating variety of life forms which constitutes the history of life on Earth. That is not bumbling. In TWO of my hypotheses, I have proposed experimentation or afterthought for humans, since you yourself have “no idea” why your God chose your interpretation of his method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose.

Dhw: (under “bipedalism") I suggest the process was a natural progression as the perhaps God-given autonomous IM [inventive mechanism] in all organisms responded to the changing conditions which you think may have been out of the control of your totally-in-control God.

DAVID: I know you want a free-wheeling IM. The only autonomy I accept in our theorizing about the possibility of an IM is the organisms can initiate the process.

I asked how they could initiate it if it was already preprogrammed, or God popped in to do a dabble. Your version of an autonomous IM is an IM without autonomy!

DAVID: As usual you have no answer for my concept that God prefers to carefully evolves what He desires to create. I use history which agrees as the basis of my thinking.

History shows the evolution of millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, with humans a late arrival. I have no problem with the theistic view that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. I dispute the logic of your claim that he ONLY wanted to create H. sapiens, and therefore specially designed anything but H. sapiens for 3.5+ billion years.

DAVID: Our disagreement is then God's purpose. we've discussed this before. My God fully knows from the beginning what He wants to achieve, but his chosen method is to evolve everything, every step along the way.

I am not disputing the concept of a God who fully knows from the beginning what he wants to achieve (see above), and who uses evolution to achieve it. Our disagreement, yet again, is over your blinkered view that he specially created every single life form etc., although his one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, whom he also specially created late on in the process. As always, you gloss over the incongruity of these details through generalisations which I do not dispute.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, June 03, 2019, 14:23 (237 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID (on “whale” thread) Of course God knew He had to design all the levels of evolution until He reached the human level!

dhw: Please explain why God “had to” specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest until he reached human level. Please don’t say they all had to eat or not eat each other until he could specially design H. sapiens.

I simply believe God guided all of evolution and created the bush of life we see. Of course they had to eat each other


DAVID: God prefers to evolve His end goals, as I have described about the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally life.

dhw: The only goal you’ve ever offered is H. sapiens. What other end goals do you now envisage? I do not have a problem with the argument that all these things evolved. I believe in evolution. My problem is your insistence that he personally designed every life form etc., and he did so for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens, which he specially designed anyway.

He specially designed everything. H. sapiens was the final purpose.


DAVID: The God you try to describe comes across as empty-headed, bumbling His way forward. Ridiculous!

dhw: Where do you get that from? I have consistently proposed that your God may have created life as an occupation for himself. This is not empty-headed. I have also proposed that he invented an autonomous mechanism to provide the fascinating variety of life forms which constitutes the history of life on Earth. That is not bumbling. In TWO of my hypotheses, I have proposed experimentation or afterthought for humans, since you yourself have “no idea” why your God chose your interpretation of his method to achieve your interpretation of his purpose.

Again, you are describing a God as not knowing exactly what He wants to achieve, a God with human uncertainties.


DAVID: As usual you have no answer for my concept that God prefers to carefully evolves what He desires to create. I use history which agrees as the basis of my thinking.

dhw: History shows the evolution of millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, with humans a late arrival. I have no problem with the theistic view that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. I dispute the logic of your claim that he ONLY wanted to create H. sapiens, and therefore specially designed anything but H. sapiens for 3.5+ billion years.

Our specialness gives us the answer, and He started with single-celled forms to get there.


DAVID: Our disagreement is then God's purpose. we've discussed this before. My God fully knows from the beginning what He wants to achieve, but his chosen method is to evolve everything, every step along the way.

dhw: I am not disputing the concept of a God who fully knows from the beginning what he wants to achieve (see above), and who uses evolution to achieve it. Our disagreement, yet again, is over your blinkered view that he specially created every single life form etc., although his one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, whom he also specially created late on in the process. As always, you gloss over the incongruity of these details through generalisations which I do not dispute.

He had to create the bush of life to reach our creation. We come from some type of ape form! You agree He used evolution. What is your problem.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, June 04, 2019, 10:46 (236 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (on “whale” thread) Of course God knew He had to design all the levels of evolution until He reached the human level!

dhw: Please explain why God “had to” specially design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest until he reached human level. Please don’t say they all had to eat or not eat each other until he could specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: I simply believe God guided all of evolution and created the bush of life we see. Of course they had to eat each other.

But why did he “have to” specially design every single life form in the history of life if his only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, which he specially designed anyway?

DAVID: He specially designed everything. H. sapiens was the final purpose.

What do you mean by “final”? Previously you have said it was his sole purpose. Are you now coming round to the view that he had other purposes for specially designing every life form, lifestyle etc., but after 3.5 billion years he suddenly came up with a new and “final” purpose? That fits in with one of the hypotheses I have offered you – that humans were a late afterthought. (Another was experimentation, to explain the rest of his creations.)

DAVID: Again, you are describing a God as not knowing exactly what He wants to achieve, a God with human uncertainties.

I am offering you a logical reason for all the non-human designs IF H. sapiens was your God’s only purpose, because you yourself “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose.

DAVID: As usual you have no answer for my concept that God prefers to carefully evolves what He desires to create. I use history which agrees as the basis of my thinking.

dhw: History shows the evolution of millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, with humans a late arrival. I have no problem with the theistic view that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. I dispute the logic of your claim that he ONLY wanted to create H. sapiens, and therefore specially designed anything but H. sapiens for 3.5+ billion years.

DAVID: Our specialness gives us the answer, and He started with single-celled forms to get there.

Our specialness does not explain all the other special, non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders that started out from single cells.

DAVID: He had to create the bush of life to reach our creation. We come from some type of ape form! You agree He used evolution. What is your problem.

You know very well what “my” problem is, because you yourself have no idea why your always-
in-total-control God “had to” specially design millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles, econiches and natural wonders in order to “reach our creation”. My real problem is your refusal to acknowledge that our coming from some kind of ape form (apparently specially engineered by your God) does not explain the coming of everything else that has ever existed (also apparently engineered by your God) from other kinds of life form, if your God only ever wanted us in the first place.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 04, 2019, 18:31 (235 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I simply believe God guided all of evolution and created the bush of life we see. Of course they had to eat each other.


But why did he “have to” specially design every single life form in the history of life if his only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, which he specially designed anyway?

You simply refuse to see that if God controlled evolution from the start of life until He reached the evolution of humans, He designed everything that came first . That is my belief. You have the perfect right to refuse to accept my thoughts, but that is why there is a chasm between us. That makes it illogical to you but not to me.


DAVID: He specially designed everything. H. sapiens was the final purpose.

dhw: What do you mean by “final”? Previously you have said it was his sole purpose. Are you now coming round to the view that he had other purposes for specially designing every life form, lifestyle etc., but after 3.5 billion years he suddenly came up with a new and “final” purpose? That fits in with one of the hypotheses I have offered you – that humans were a late afterthought. (Another was experimentation, to explain the rest of his creations.)

You know what I mean. I believe that humans are the final stage. Again you present humanizing thoughts about God.

dhw: History shows the evolution of millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, with humans a late arrival. I have no problem with the theistic view that he used evolution to create what he wanted to create. I dispute the logic of your claim that he ONLY wanted to create H. sapiens, and therefore specially designed anything but H. sapiens for 3.5+ billion years.

DAVID: Our specialness gives us the answer, and He started with single-celled forms to get there.

dhw: Our specialness does not explain all the other special, non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders that started out from single cells.

Our specialness is way more special than all the other different forms. That is Adler's point


DAVID: He had to create the bush of life to reach our creation. We come from some type of ape form! You agree He used evolution. What is your problem.

dhw: You know very well what “my” problem is, because you yourself have no idea why your always-> in-total-control God “had to” specially design millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles, econiches and natural wonders in order to “reach our creation”. My real problem is your refusal to acknowledge that our coming from some kind of ape form (apparently specially engineered by your God) does not explain the coming of everything else that has ever existed (also apparently engineered by your God) from other kinds of life form, if your God only ever wanted us in the first place.

Same narrow view: I believe God had to do what He did if He chose to evolve us from the first cells. I'm simply looking at the known history of evolution. I simply accept God's choice of method of creation. I don't need to know 'why' He made that choice. Obviously you do, so it remains your problem, not mine. I cannot help you. You have again distorted what I have presented.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, June 05, 2019, 09:36 (235 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I simply believe God guided all of evolution and created the bush of life we see. Of course they had to eat each other.

dhw: But why did he “have to” specially design every single life form in the history of life if his only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, which he specially designed anyway?

DAVID: You simply refuse to see that if God controlled evolution from the start of life until He reached the evolution of humans, He designed everything that came first. That is my belief.

I know your belief. And you simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that you yourself “have no idea” why he chose to design millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders when according to you the only thing he wanted to (and did) specially design was H. sapiens! The implication of this illogical combination of beliefs is that at least one of them is wrong.

DAVID (under “salmon exercise”): A reminder. Enzymes are giant complex molecules which facilitate speed in protein reactions. How did chance evolution find this specific molecule? Since salmon have such a complex migratory reproduction system, this system and enzyme must have been designed.

So do please explain why your God specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system when according to you all he really wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens.

DAVID: He specially designed everything. H. sapiens was the final purpose.

dhw: What do you mean by “final”? Previously you have said it was his sole purpose. Are you now coming round to the view that he had other purposes for specially designing every life form, lifestyle etc., but after 3.5 billion years he suddenly came up with a new and “final” purpose? That fits in with one of the hypotheses I have offered you – that humans were a late afterthought. (Another was experimentation, to explain the rest of his creations.)

DAVID: You know what I mean. I believe that humans are the final stage. Again you present humanizing thoughts about God.

No, I don’t know what you mean. The fact that humans are the latest product of evolution does not mean that your God’s sole purpose in specially designing every single life form that ever existed was to pass the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: Our specialness gives us the answer, and He started with single-celled forms to get there.

dhw: Our specialness does not explain all the other special, non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders that started out from single cells.

DAVID: Our specialness is way more special than all the other different forms. That is Adler's point.

I’m concerned with your beliefs, not Adler’s. Now you seem to be saying God specially designed us to be extra special, and so he specially designed all the less special special things for the sole purpose of specially designing us! It’s still illogical.

DAVID: Same narrow view: I believe God had to do what He did if He chose to evolve us from the first cells. I'm simply looking at the known history of evolution. I simply accept God's choice of method of creation. I don't need to know 'why' He made that choice.

It is not God’s choice that I am querying, but your interpretation of his choice. For those who believe in God and evolution, history shows that his choice of method (evolution) produced a vast bush of life forms, the latest of which is H. sapiens. It does not show that he chose to specially design the vast bush for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 05, 2019, 18:57 (234 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You simply refuse to see that if God controlled evolution from the start of life until He reached the evolution of humans, He designed everything that came first. That is my belief.

dhw: I know your belief. And you simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that you yourself “have no idea” why he chose to design millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders when according to you the only thing he wanted to (and did) specially design was H. sapiens! The implication of this illogical combination of beliefs is that at least one of them is wrong.

I don't know why God chose to evolve bacteria to eventually produce humans. But that means He had to do exactly what you are objecting to. Nothing illogical, except to you.


DAVID (under “salmon exercise”): A reminder. Enzymes are giant complex molecules which facilitate speed in protein reactions. How did chance evolution find this specific molecule? Since salmon have such a complex migratory reproduction system, this system and enzyme must have been designed.

dhw: So do please explain why your God specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system when according to you all he really wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens.

He evolved everything. see above.


dhw: No, I don’t know what you mean. The fact that humans are the latest product of evolution does not mean that your God’s sole purpose in specially designing every single life form that ever existed was to pass the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design.

Why can't you accept the idea that God chose to evolve everything on the way to producing us?


DAVID: Our specialness gives us the answer, and He started with single-celled forms to get there.

dhw: Our specialness does not explain all the other special, non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders that started out from single cells.

DAVID: Our specialness is way more special than all the other different forms. That is Adler's point.

dhw: I’m concerned with your beliefs, not Adler’s. Now you seem to be saying God specially designed us to be extra special, and so he specially designed all the less special special things for the sole purpose of specially designing us! It’s still illogical.

Only to you.


DAVID: Same narrow view: I believe God had to do what He did if He chose to evolve us from the first cells. I'm simply looking at the known history of evolution. I simply accept God's choice of method of creation. I don't need to know 'why' He made that choice.

dhw: It is not God’s choice that I am querying, but your interpretation of his choice. For those who believe in God and evolution, history shows that his choice of method (evolution) produced a vast bush of life forms, the latest of which is H. sapiens. It does not show that he chose to specially design the vast bush for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens!

Again my point is our specialness and Adler's explanation. You quote Shapiro to support your views. I use my experts.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, June 06, 2019, 08:53 (234 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You simply refuse to see that if God controlled evolution from the start of life until He reached the evolution of humans, He designed everything that came first. That is my belief.

dhw: I know your belief. And you simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that you yourself “have no idea” why he chose to design millions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders when according to you the only thing he wanted to (and did) specially design was H. sapiens! The implication of this illogical combination of beliefs is that at least one of them is wrong.

DAVID: I don't know why God chose to evolve bacteria to eventually produce humans. But that means He had to do exactly what you are objecting to […]

It doesn’t mean he “had to do” what you believe he did! It means you can’t think of any logical reason for your beliefs!

dhw: So do please explain why your God specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system when according to you all he really wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens.

DAVID: He evolved everything.

Which according to you means he specially designed everything. So please give me the explanation I have asked for.

DAVID: Why can't you accept the idea that God chose to evolve everything on the way to producing us?

If you can’t explain why he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system in order to produce us, why should I accept it? Why can’t you accept the idea that your God might have chosen to design it because he enjoyed designing, or that he designed an autonomous inventive mechanism (cellular intelligence) to provide an ever changing bush of life (including the salmon’s migratory reproduction system), the latest product of which is us?

DAVID: Our specialness is way more special than all the other different forms. That is Adler's point.

dhw: I’m concerned with your beliefs, not Adler’s. Now you seem to be saying God specially designed us to be extra special, and so he specially designed all the less special special things for the sole purpose of specially designing us! It’s still illogical.

DAVID: Only to you.

Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

DAVID: Same narrow view: I believe God had to do what He did if He chose to evolve us from the first cells. I'm simply looking at the known history of evolution. I simply accept God's choice of method of creation. I don't need to know 'why' He made that choice.

dhw: It is not God’s choice that I am querying, but your interpretation of his choice. For those who believe in God and evolution, history shows that his choice of method (evolution) produced a vast bush of life forms, the latest of which is H. sapiens. It does not show that he chose to specially design the vast bush for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens!

DAVID: Again my point is our specialness and Adler's explanation. You quote Shapiro to support your views. I use my experts.

Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 06, 2019, 18:21 (233 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't know why God chose to evolve bacteria to eventually produce humans. But that means He had to do exactly what you are objecting to […]

dhw: It doesn’t mean he “had to do” what you believe he did! It means you can’t think of any logical reason for your beliefs!

My logic is equal to yours, but my logic involved from evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to accept God. I accept that God evolved humans. All the history is what He did.


dhw: So do please explain why your God specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system when according to you all he really wanted to design was the brain of H. sapiens.

DAVID: He evolved everything.

dhw: Which according to you means he specially designed everything. So please give me the explanation I have asked for.

DAVID: Why can't you accept the idea that God chose to evolve everything on the way to producing us?

dhw: If you can’t explain why he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system in order to produce us, why should I accept it? Why can’t you accept the idea that your God might have chosen to design it because he enjoyed designing, or that he designed an autonomous inventive mechanism (cellular intelligence) to provide an ever changing bush of life (including the salmon’s migratory reproduction system), the latest product of which is us?

Again you look for humanizing thoughts from God. I know what He did, not why He made his choices.


DAVID: Our specialness is way more special than all the other different forms. That is Adler's point.

dhw: I’m concerned with your beliefs, not Adler’s. Now you seem to be saying God specially designed us to be extra special, and so he specially designed all the less special special things for the sole purpose of specially designing us! It’s still illogical.

DAVID: Only to you.

dhw: Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

It is logical to assume God chose to evolve us from bacteria.


DAVID: Same narrow view: I believe God had to do what He did if He chose to evolve us from the first cells. I'm simply looking at the known history of evolution. I simply accept God's choice of method of creation. I don't need to know 'why' He made that choice.

dhw: It is not God’s choice that I am querying, but your interpretation of his choice. For those who believe in God and evolution, history shows that his choice of method (evolution) produced a vast bush of life forms, the latest of which is H. sapiens. It does not show that he chose to specially design the vast bush for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens!

DAVID: Again my point is our specialness and Adler's explanation. You quote Shapiro to support your views. I use my experts.

dhw: Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

Adler is not discussing why God chose to evolve us, except to point our our specialness. He never delve into God's methods, only his obvious purpose.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, June 07, 2019, 12:21 (233 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't know why God chose to evolve bacteria to eventually produce humans. But that means He had to do exactly what you are objecting to […]

dhw: It doesn’t mean he “had to do” what you believe he did! It means you can’t think of any logical reason for your beliefs!

DAVID: My logic is equal to yours, but my logic involved from evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to accept God. I accept that God evolved humans. All the history is what He did.

I have no quarrel with the logic behind your acceptance of a designer, and if he exists, he obviously used evolution as his method of creating new species. That does not mean he specially designed every single life form, or that his sole purpose for doing so was to get them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. You continue to ignore the fact that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which is illogical.

DAVID: Why can't you accept the idea that God chose to evolve everything on the way to producing us?

dhw: If you can’t explain why he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system in order to produce us, why should I accept it? Why can’t you accept the idea that your God might have chosen to design it because he enjoyed designing, or that he designed an autonomous inventive mechanism (cellular intelligence) to provide an ever changing bush of life (including the salmon’s migratory reproduction system), the latest product of which is us?

DAVID: Again you look for humanizing thoughts from God. I know what He did, not why He made his choices.

How do you know that he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system (i.e. he did not create a mechanism whereby the salmon could design the system itself), and what grounds have you for assuming that the purpose of this was that the salmon could eat or be eaten until your God specially designed H. sapiens, which was his only purpose in starting life?

dhw: Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

DAVID: It is logical to assume God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

For those who believe in God and evolution, it is logical that God chose to evolve all life forms from bacteria. It does not follow that he specially designed all life forms, or that he did so for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: Again my point is our specialness and Adler's explanation. You quote Shapiro to support your views. I use my experts.

dhw: Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

DAVID: Adler is not discussing why God chose to evolve us, except to point our our specialness. He never delve into God's methods, only his obvious purpose.

I am not querying our specialness, but clearly that is the only “view” of yours which Adler supports.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, June 07, 2019, 14:42 (232 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My logic is equal to yours, but my logic involved from evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to accept God. I accept that God evolved humans. All the history is what He did.

dhw: I have no quarrel with the logic behind your acceptance of a designer, and if he exists, he obviously used evolution as his method of creating new species. That does not mean he specially designed every single life form, or that his sole purpose for doing so was to get them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. You continue to ignore the fact that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which is illogical.

We continue to debate the same point. What is illogical about believing God managed evolution and designed all the steps? The book 'Nature's IQ' says exactly that and gave us weaverbirds to discuss.


DAVID: Why can't you accept the idea that God chose to evolve everything on the way to producing us?

dhw: If you can’t explain why he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system in order to produce us, why should I accept it? Why can’t you accept the idea that your God might have chosen to design it because he enjoyed designing, or that he designed an autonomous inventive mechanism (cellular intelligence) to provide an ever changing bush of life (including the salmon’s migratory reproduction system), the latest product of which is us?

DAVID: Again you look for humanizing thoughts from God. I know what He did, not why He made his choices.

dhw: How do you know that he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system (i.e. he did not create a mechanism whereby the salmon could design the system itself), and what grounds have you for assuming that the purpose of this was that the salmon could eat or be eaten until your God specially designed H. sapiens, which was his only purpose in starting life?

Again your IM. I accept it only with limits.

dhw: Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

DAVID: It is logical to assume God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

dhw: For those who believe in God and evolution, it is logical that God chose to evolve all life forms from bacteria. It does not follow that he specially designed all life forms, or that he did so for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens.

That is my belief.

DAVID: Again my point is our specialness and Adler's explanation. You quote Shapiro to support your views. I use my experts.

dhw: Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

DAVID: Adler is not discussing why God chose to evolve us, except to point our our specialness. He never delve into God's methods, only his obvious purpose.

dhw: I am not querying our specialness, but clearly that is the only “view” of yours which Adler supports.

Our specialness is something you reduce in your arguments.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, June 08, 2019, 09:36 (232 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You continue to ignore the fact that it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses which is illogical.

DAVID: We continue to debate the same point. What is illogical about believing God managed evolution and designed all the steps? The book 'Nature's IQ' says exactly that and gave us weaverbirds to discuss.

Nothing illogical at all. But yet again you focus on ONE of your hypotheses and ignore the other. What is illogical is that you have him specially designing every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, although according to you the only thing he wants to specially design and eventually does specially design is H. sapiens. Once more: it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that is illogical.

dhw: How do you know that he specially designed the salmon’s migratory reproduction system (i.e. he did not create a mechanism whereby the salmon could design the system itself), and what grounds have you for assuming that the purpose of this was that the salmon could eat or be eaten until your God specially designed H. sapiens, which was his only purpose in starting life?

DAVID: Again your IM. I accept it only with limits.

You have not answered my questions.

dhw: Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

DAVID: It is logical to assume God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

For anyone who believes in God and in evolution, it is logical to assume that he chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria. It is not logical to assume that he chose to specially design every single form of life for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: us.

DAVID: That is my belief.

The fact that it is your belief does not make it logical.

dhw: Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

DAVID: Adler is not discussing why God chose to evolve us, except to point out our specialness. He never delve into God's methods, only his obvious purpose.

dhw: I am not querying our specialness, but clearly that is the only “view” of yours which Adler supports.

DAVID: Our specialness is something you reduce in your arguments.

I agree with you and Adler that we are extraordinarily and uniquely and astonishingly and especially special. Adler does not support your belief that your God specially designed every other special organism, and did so in order that they would all eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design: the extraordinarily special us. Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 08, 2019, 15:24 (231 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We continue to debate the same point. What is illogical about believing God managed evolution and designed all the steps? The book 'Nature's IQ' says exactly that and gave us weaverbirds to discuss.

dhw: Nothing illogical at all. But yet again you focus on ONE of your hypotheses and ignore the other. What is illogical is that you have him specially designing every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, although according to you the only thing he wants to specially design and eventually does specially design is H. sapiens. Once more: it is the COMBINATION of your hypotheses that is illogical.

If God was in change of evolution, which is my belief, the history of evolution describes exactly what He did. He chose to evolve humans, and not perform direct creation of humans, which is what your criticism implies! It is illogical only to you.


dhw: Since you have no idea why he chose to specially design us by specially designing all the other special-but-less-special-than-us life forms, I don’t know how you can tell us you find it logical.

DAVID: It is logical to assume God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

dhw: For anyone who believes in God and in evolution, it is logical to assume that he chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria. It is not logical to assume that he chose to specially design every single form of life for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: us.

DAVID: That is my belief.

dhw: The fact that it is your belief does not make it logical.

But I believe my belief is arrived at logically. I have fully accepted God is in charge and chose to evolve humans.


dhw: Does Adler really support your view that your God specially designed every special life form, and that he did so in order to make them eat or not one another until he specially designed us?

DAVID: Adler is not discussing why God chose to evolve us, except to point out our specialness. He never delve into God's methods, only his obvious purpose.

dhw: I am not querying our specialness, but clearly that is the only “view” of yours which Adler supports.

DAVID: Our specialness is something you reduce in your arguments.

dhw: I agree with you and Adler that we are extraordinarily and uniquely and astonishingly and especially special. Adler does not support your belief that your God specially designed every other special organism, and did so in order that they would all eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design: the extraordinarily special us. Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

Not in those exact words, but all the ID folks believe God designed the evolution of humans, and most religious believers would agree, although some still believe in direct creation.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, June 09, 2019, 08:22 (231 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If God was in change of evolution, which is my belief, the history of evolution describes exactly what He did. He chose to evolve humans, and not perform direct creation of humans, which is what your criticism implies! It is illogical only to you.

The history of evolution describes 3.8 billion years’ worth of changing econiches, lifestyles, natural wonders, and life forms, the latest of which is humans. According to you, he chose to specially design every single stage in the evolution of humans, just as he chose to specially design every single non-human life form, lifestyle etc. You have no idea why he chose to specially design all of these if his only purpose was to specially design us, and my criticism does not imply anything other than the obvious fact that if you cannot explain why he chose the method you attribute to him in order to fulfil the one and only purpose you attribute to him, then you cannot claim that your interpretation of the history is logical.

dhw: I agree with you and Adler that we are extraordinarily and uniquely and astonishingly and especially special. Adler does not support your belief that your God specially designed every other special organism, and did so in order that they would all eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design: the extraordinarily special us. Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

DAVID: Not in those exact words, but all the ID folks believe God designed the evolution of humans, and most religious believers would agree, although some still believe in direct creation.

It is not a matter of “exact words”. There is a huge gulf between believing in a God who designed evolution and/or who specially designed humans, and believing in the details summarized above.

Under “our unique speech mechanism:

QUOTE: He concludes that the language faculty emerged with Homo sapiens, or shortly thereafter, but externalization in one form or another must have been a later development, and quite possibly involved little or no evolutionary change. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. Anatomy was fully developed before sapiens speech appeared. Anatomic form first, then function. Note, one of the authors is Noam Chomsky.

Note your own bold: “quite possibly…little or no change” does not mean it was definitely fully developed. In any case, we have discussed this ad nauseam. There is absolutely nothing in this article to contradict the proposal that the original changes to the anatomy were brought about by a need for an increasing variety of sounds. By the time sapiens arrived, all (or perhaps nearly all) the necessary changes were in place. Then generations built on the achievements of previous generations to expand the range of sounds, meanings and eventually linguistic structures. The process is called evolution.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 09, 2019, 18:42 (230 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If God was in change of evolution, which is my belief, the history of evolution describes exactly what He did. He chose to evolve humans, and not perform direct creation of humans, which is what your criticism implies! It is illogical only to you.

dhw: The history of evolution describes 3.8 billion years’ worth of changing econiches, lifestyles, natural wonders, and life forms, the latest of which is humans. According to you, he chose to specially design every single stage in the evolution of humans, just as he chose to specially design every single non-human life form, lifestyle etc. You have no idea why he chose to specially design all of these if his only purpose was to specially design us, and my criticism does not imply anything other than the obvious fact that if you cannot explain why he chose the method you attribute to him in order to fulfil the one and only purpose you attribute to him, then you cannot claim that your interpretation of the history is logical.

The usual distortion. I believe God chose to evolve and controlled the process. See the other thread.


dhw: I agree with you and Adler that we are extraordinarily and uniquely and astonishingly and especially special. Adler does not support your belief that your God specially designed every other special organism, and did so in order that they would all eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design: the extraordinarily special us. Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

DAVID: Not in those exact words, but all the ID folks believe God designed the evolution of humans, and most religious believers would agree, although some still believe in direct creation.

dhw: It is not a matter of “exact words”. There is a huge gulf between believing in a God who designed evolution and/or who specially designed humans, and believing in the details summarized above.

What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry,


Under “our unique speech mechanism:

QUOTE: He concludes that the language faculty emerged with Homo sapiens, or shortly thereafter, but externalization in one form or another must have been a later development, and quite possibly involved little or no evolutionary change. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. Anatomy was fully developed before sapiens speech appeared. Anatomic form first, then function. Note, one of the authors is Noam Chomsky.

dhw: Note your own bold: “quite possibly…little or no change” does not mean it was definitely fully developed. In any case, we have discussed this ad nauseam. There is absolutely nothing in this article to contradict the proposal that the original changes to the anatomy were brought about by a need for an increasing variety of sounds. By the time sapiens arrived, all (or perhaps nearly all) the necessary changes were in place. Then generations built on the achievements of previous generations to expand the range of sounds, meanings and eventually linguistic structures. The process is called evolution.

You have then admitted, first phenotypical development of anatomy and then the anatomy is learned to be used and language is learned to be developed through plasticity in the brain. Certainly needed, but drive by need is after the physical apparatus is available to use.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, June 10, 2019, 10:42 (230 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

DAVID: Not in those exact words, but all the ID folks believe God designed the evolution of humans, and most religious believers would agree, although some still believe in direct creation.

dhw: It is not a matter of “exact words”. There is a huge gulf between believing in a God who designed evolution and/or who specially designed humans, and believing in the details summarized above.

DAVID: What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry.

But they clearly do not share your belief that your God specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, for the sole purpose that the life forms should go on eating one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. Why do you always try to gloss over those beliefs which you know you can’t explain because they don’t make sense?

Under “our unique speech mechanism”:
QUOTE: He concludes that the language faculty emerged with Homo sapiens, or shortly thereafter, but externalization in one form or another must have been a later development, and quite possibly involved little or no evolutionary change. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. Anatomy was fully developed before sapiens speech appeared. Anatomic form first, then function. Note, one of the authors is Noam Chomsky.

dhw: Note your own bold: “quite possibly…little or no change” does not mean it was definitely fully developed. In any case, we have discussed this ad nauseam. There is absolutely nothing in this article to contradict the proposal that the original changes to the anatomy were brought about by a need for an increasing variety of sounds. By the time sapiens arrived, all (or perhaps nearly all) the necessary changes were in place. Then generations built on the achievements of previous generations to expand the range of sounds, meanings and eventually linguistic structures. The process is called evolution.

DAVID: You have then admitted, first phenotypical development of anatomy and then the anatomy is learned to be used and language is learned to be developed through plasticity in the brain. Certainly needed, but drive by need is after the physical apparatus is available to use.

Your last sentence is the nub of the matter. I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, June 10, 2019, 15:13 (229 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry.

dhw: But they clearly do not share your belief that your God specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, for the sole purpose that the life forms should go on eating one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. Why do you always try to gloss over those beliefs which you know you can’t explain because they don’t make sense?

Irreducible complexity is the basis of ID thought. A designer is required for every advance. ID discussions always imply God without saying so. My thoughts are an extrapolation of their theories.


Under “our unique speech mechanism”:
QUOTE: He concludes that the language faculty emerged with Homo sapiens, or shortly thereafter, but externalization in one form or another must have been a later development, and quite possibly involved little or no evolutionary change. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. Anatomy was fully developed before sapiens speech appeared. Anatomic form first, then function. Note, one of the authors is Noam Chomsky.

dhw: Note your own bold: “quite possibly…little or no change” does not mean it was definitely fully developed. In any case, we have discussed this ad nauseam. There is absolutely nothing in this article to contradict the proposal that the original changes to the anatomy were brought about by a need for an increasing variety of sounds. By the time sapiens arrived, all (or perhaps nearly all) the necessary changes were in place. Then generations built on the achievements of previous generations to expand the range of sounds, meanings and eventually linguistic structures. The process is called evolution.

DAVID: You have then admitted, first phenotypical development of anatomy and then the anatomy is learned to be used and language is learned to be developed through plasticity in the brain. Certainly needed, but drive by need is after the physical apparatus is available to use.

dhw: Your last sentence is the nub of the matter. I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 13:31 (229 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry.

dhw: But they clearly do not share your belief that your God specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, for the sole purpose that the life forms should go on eating one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. Why do you always try to gloss over those beliefs which you know you can’t explain because they don’t make sense?

DAVID: Irreducible complexity is the basis of ID thought. A designer is required for every advance. ID discussions always imply God without saying so. My thoughts are an extrapolation of their theories.

Of course they imply God. But I asked if anyone supported your belief that “every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry” means a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single undabbled advance? If they don’t specify your extrapolation, then I might just as well claim support for my theistic hypothesis that your God designed cellular intelligence.

dhw: I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

DAVID: We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

That depends on your definition of “perceive”. We know that cells are sensitive to their environment, respond to it, communicate with other cells, and make decisions, all of which might be regarded as attributes of intelligent perception. What we don’t know is the extent to which they can innovate. But the categorical denial of their ability to perceive would, I suspect, put you very much at odds with many of your fellow scientists, no matter how forcefully you state your personal opinion.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 14:35 (228 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Irreducible complexity is the basis of ID thought. A designer is required for every advance. ID discussions always imply God without saying so. My thoughts are an extrapolation of their theories.

dhw: Of course they imply God. But I asked if anyone supported your belief that “every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry” means a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single undabbled advance? If they don’t specify your extrapolation, then I might just as well claim support for my theistic hypothesis that your God designed cellular intelligence.

ID arguments for a designer are straightforward from real biochemical evidence. At least I start on solid ground. Your theory is based on an appearance of intelligence, all of which can easily be seen as automatic responses.


dhw: I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

DAVID: We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

dhw: That depends on your definition of “perceive”. We know that cells are sensitive to their environment, respond to it, communicate with other cells, and make decisions, all of which might be regarded as attributes of intelligent perception. What we don’t know is the extent to which they can innovate. But the categorical denial of their ability to perceive would, I suspect, put you very much at odds with many of your fellow scientists, no matter how forcefully you state your personal opinion.

I used 'perceive' in the sense of foretelling future needs. Thy can't do that .

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 09:06 (228 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Irreducible complexity is the basis of ID thought. A designer is required for every advance. ID discussions always imply God without saying so. My thoughts are an extrapolation of their theories.

dhw: Of course they imply God. But I asked if anyone supported your belief that “every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry” means a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single undabbled advance? If they don’t specify your extrapolation, then I might just as well claim support for my theistic hypothesis that your God designed cellular intelligence.

DAVID: ID arguments for a designer are straightforward from real biochemical evidence. At least I start on solid ground.

ID arguments are based on the belief that life is too complex to have arisen by chance. I have nothing against that argument.

DAVID: Your theory is based on an appearance of intelligence, all of which can easily be seen as automatic responses.

And can easily be seen as real intelligence, which may or may not have been invented by your God. There is nothing in my hypothesis to contradict ID, and since your ID-ers apparently do not propose a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every undabbled innovation in the history of life, you cannot claim that their views support your hypothesis or contradict mine.

DAVID: We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

dhw: That depends on your definition of “perceive”. We know that cells are sensitive to their environment, respond to it, communicate with other cells, and make decisions, all of which might be regarded as attributes of intelligent perception. What we don’t know is the extent to which they can innovate. But the categorical denial of their ability to perceive would, I suspect, put you very much at odds with many of your fellow scientists, no matter how forcefully you state your personal opinion.

DAVID: I used 'perceive' in the sense of foretelling future needs. Thy can't do that .

I have never ever seen the word “perceive” defined as an ability to see into the future. You are making a mockery of language. Furthermore, I keep emphasizing that unlike your own, my hypothesis does NOT depend on clairvoyance: I propose that evolution happens via reactions to changing environments and not via crystal-ball-gazing.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 15:19 (227 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your theory is based on an appearance of intelligence, all of which can easily be seen as automatic responses.

dhw: And can easily be seen as real intelligence, which may or may not have been invented by your God. There is nothing in my hypothesis to contradict ID, and since your ID-ers apparently do not propose a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every undabbled innovation in the history of life, you cannot claim that their views support your hypothesis or contradict mine.

But their ideas easily fit my theories about God's actions. They never discuss God.


DAVID: We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

dhw: That depends on your definition of “perceive”. We know that cells are sensitive to their environment, respond to it, communicate with other cells, and make decisions, all of which might be regarded as attributes of intelligent perception. What we don’t know is the extent to which they can innovate. But the categorical denial of their ability to perceive would, I suspect, put you very much at odds with many of your fellow scientists, no matter how forcefully you state your personal opinion.

DAVID: I used 'perceive' in the sense of foretelling future needs. Thy can't do that .

dhw: I have never ever seen the word “perceive” defined as an ability to see into the future. You are making a mockery of language. Furthermore, I keep emphasizing that unlike your own, my hypothesis does NOT depend on clairvoyance: I propose that evolution happens via reactions to changing environments and not via crystal-ball-gazing.

You are certainly a much better user of the English language, and of word meanings.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, June 13, 2019, 10:18 (227 days ago) @ David Turell

I am once again telescoping threads in order to avoid repetition.

DAVID: Your theory is based on an appearance of intelligence, all of which can easily be seen as automatic responses.

dhw: And can easily be seen as real intelligence, which may or may not have been invented by your God. There is nothing in my hypothesis to contradict ID, and since your ID-ers apparently do not propose a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every undabbled innovation in the history of life, you cannot claim that their views support your hypothesis or contradict mine.

DAVID: But their ideas easily fit my theories about God's actions. They never discuss God.

I originally asked you if ANYONE supported your hypothesis that your God specially designed every life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. Clearly Adler doesn’t and the ID-ers don’t. It would appear, then, that you are on your own.

DAVID: Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive. […] I used 'perceive' in the sense of foretelling future needs. They can't do that.

dhw: I have never ever seen the word “perceive” defined as an ability to see into the future. You are making a mockery of language. Furthermore, I keep emphasizing that unlike your own, my hypothesis does NOT depend on clairvoyance: I propose that evolution happens via reactions to changing environments and not via crystal-ball-gazing.

DAVID: You are certainly a much better user of the English language, and of word meanings.

Words are the only tools we have for these discussions, but they should be used for clarification, not obfuscation. The point remains: I do not suggest that cells are clairvoyant. I suggest that they respond intelligently to new demands and opportunities.

DAVID (under “Immunity system complexity”) : Once again you are totally inconsistent. Either God can choose to evolve humans from bacteria or He shouldn't have. You can't have it both ways. Your 'logical theistic explanations' always humanize God.

dhw: 1 Once again you refuse to put your different hypotheses together. If God exists and evolution is true, then God chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria. You keep ignoring the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single innovation, life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, including every step of human evolution. And so I keep asking why he would specially design millions of non-human life forms etc. if the only life form he wanted to specially design was us. […]

dhw: 2 How can you possibly know that your God does not have attributes in common with humans?

DAVID: 1: Evolving a future human from bacteria means all the stages and forms we see, including all the econiches for balance of food supply.

For “evolving” let us substitute what you actually mean: specially designing a human from bacteria apparently means specially designing different stages of human, plus billions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, such as dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, the weaverbird’s nest, the salmon’s migratory reproductive system etc. Why do you think that “to get from bacteria to humans required special design of all the 'non-human elements'” extant and extinct, if your God was able to and did specially design every stage of human evolution, which apparently was the only thing he wanted? You know that there is no logical answer to this question, which is why you repeatedly skirt round it.

DAVID: 2. God may have some attributes humans have. We can only imagine about them. He is special and different than we are.

Nobody is claiming that if God exists, he is not special and different! We do not know your God’s nature, and so we can only speculate about it. Why, then, do you stick rigidly to a hypothesis for which you can find no logical explanation, and yet recognize the logic of my various theistic hypotheses, but dismiss them purely on the assumption that your God does NOT think with human-type logic?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 14:31 (216 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But their ideas easily fit my theories about God's actions. They never discuss God.

dhw: I originally asked you if ANYONE supported your hypothesis that your God specially designed every life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. Clearly Adler doesn’t and the ID-ers don’t. It would appear, then, that you are on your own.

Just as you use scientific opinions that fit your desires and extrapolate how intelligent cells might be, I have my own theories based on ID research.


DAVID (under “Immunity system complexity”) : Once again you are totally inconsistent. Either God can choose to evolve humans from bacteria or He shouldn't have. You can't have it both ways. Your 'logical theistic explanations' always humanize God.

dhw: 1 Once again you refuse to put your different hypotheses together. If God exists and evolution is true, then God chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria. You keep ignoring the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single innovation, life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, including every step of human evolution. And so I keep asking why he would specially design millions of non-human life forms etc. if the only life form he wanted to specially design was us. […]

You refuse to accept the concept of God choosing to evolve life from bacteria to humans as a unitary process.


dhw: 2 How can you possibly know that your God does not have attributes in common with humans?

DAVID: 1: Evolving a future human from bacteria means all the stages and forms we see, including all the econiches for balance of food supply.

dhw: For “evolving” let us substitute what you actually mean: specially designing a human from bacteria apparently means specially designing different stages of human, plus billions of non-human life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, such as dinosaurs, whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, the weaverbird’s nest, the salmon’s migratory reproductive system etc. Why do you think that “to get from bacteria to humans required special design of all the 'non-human elements'” extant and extinct, if your God was able to and did specially design every stage of human evolution, which apparently was the only thing he wanted? You know that there is no logical answer to this question, which is why you repeatedly skirt round it.

All econiches are required. God's goal of humans does not mean He didn't want to design everything on the way. You are the one separating evolution into parts. I don't, and never have. Your interpretation of God's use of evolution is a human view of God's mind. Quit
humanizing Him.


DAVID: 2. God may have some attributes humans have. We can only imagine about them. He is special and different than we are.

dhw: Nobody is claiming that if God exists, he is not special and different! We do not know your God’s nature, and so we can only speculate about it. Why, then, do you stick rigidly to a hypothesis for which you can find no logical explanation, and yet recognize the logic of my various theistic hypotheses, but dismiss them purely on the assumption that your God does NOT think with human-type logic?

God's difference is something you give lip service to, but do not fully understand as you constantly humanize His thinking. My view of His nature and yours are wildly different. Your God is described as half-human in thought.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, June 24, 2019, 10:56 (216 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from the “Milky Way” thread, to avoid repetition:

dhw: According to your concept of evolution, your God chose to specially design every single life form that ever existed, although he only wanted to specially design humans. I argue that this makes no sense.

DAVID: As usual you are separating the process of evolution into separate parts. The concept of evolution that must folks recognize, is that life started with single cells and seamlessly developed into a bush of life, with humans at the top of the bush as evidenced by their complexity.

That is precisely the theory of common descent to which I subscribe. I will even accept the “top of the bush” if by that you mean the latest and most complex of species. But your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every “part”, i.e. every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, and you cannot explain why he specially designed all these “parts” if the ONLY thing he wanted to design was us.

DAVID: I see God as the guiding engineer of the process, totally in charge. I see you viewing God as performing illogically.

If God exists, then of course he is the guiding engineer of the process, but that does not mean he specially designed everything, or that he did so for the sole purpose of getting all life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans. THAT is your illogicality. You have yourself admitted that all my alternative hypotheses are totally logical.

dhw: I originally asked you if ANYONE supported your hypothesis that your God specially designed every life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. Clearly Adler doesn’t and the ID-ers don’t. It would appear, then, that you are on your own.

DAVID: Just as you use scientific opinions that fit your desires and extrapolate how intelligent cells might be, I have my own theories based on ID research.

Yes indeed. I am merely pointing out that you have not yet quoted ANY scientist who supports your theory as summarized above.

DAVID: You refuse to accept the concept of God choosing to evolve life from bacteria to humans as a unitary process.

Answered above. You refuse to accept the illogicality of your combination of hypotheses. Evolution does not mean special design of all life forms by God, or that they were all specially designed in order for him to specially design only one species! God’s choice could have been to create a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own creating, and THAT would logically explain the vast variety of life forms etc. which you cannot explain.

DAVID: Your interpretation of God's use of evolution is a human view of God's mind. Quit humanizing Him.

I was always under the impression that you were as human as I am, and I find your human view of your God's mind strangely illogical, as explained above.

dhw: We do not know your God’s nature, and so we can only speculate about it. Why, then, do you stick rigidly to a hypothesis for which you can find no logical explanation, and yet recognize the logic of my various theistic hypotheses, but dismiss them purely on the assumption that your God does NOT think with human-type logic?

DAVID: God's difference is something you give lip service to, but do not fully understand as you constantly humanize His thinking. My view of His nature and yours are wildly different. Your God is described as half-human in thought.

Do you fully understand the nature of God, then? How do you KNOW that despite your belief in his wanting a relationship with us, and his wanting us to admire his work, and his enjoying his own work like a painter enjoying his own paintings, he does NOT share any of the attributes of the creatures he designed?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, June 24, 2019, 15:23 (215 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: As usual you are separating the process of evolution into separate parts. The concept of evolution that must folks recognize, is that life started with single cells and seamlessly developed into a bush of life, with humans at the top of the bush as evidenced by their complexity.

dhw: That is precisely the theory of common descent to which I subscribe. I will even accept the “top of the bush” if by that you mean the latest and most complex of species. But your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every “part”, i.e. every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, and you cannot explain why he specially designed all these “parts” if the ONLY thing he wanted to design was us.

Why you cannot accept my belief that God took complete charge of designing evolution, I cannot understand. It is my belief and makes perfect sense to me. You believe your humanized God wouldn't have done it that way. Tell me what you think He did.


DAVID: I see God as the guiding engineer of the process, totally in charge. I see you viewing God as performing illogically.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he is the guiding engineer of the process, but that does not mean he specially designed everything, or that he did so for the sole purpose of getting all life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans. THAT is your illogicality. You have yourself admitted that all my alternative hypotheses are totally logical.'

You are arguing with my fixed belief of God's total control of evolution.


dhw: I originally asked you if ANYONE supported your hypothesis that your God specially designed every life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed H. sapiens. Clearly Adler doesn’t and the ID-ers don’t. It would appear, then, that you are on your own.

DAVID: Just as you use scientific opinions that fit your desires and extrapolate how intelligent cells might be, I have my own theories based on ID research.

Yes indeed. I am merely pointing out that you have not yet quoted ANY scientist who supports your theory as summarized above.

DAVID: You refuse to accept the concept of God choosing to evolve life from bacteria to humans as a unitary process.

dhw: Answered above. You refuse to accept the illogicality of your combination of hypotheses. Evolution does not mean special design of all life forms by God, or that they were all specially designed in order for him to specially design only one species! God’s choice could have been to create a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own creating, and THAT would logically explain the vast variety of life forms etc. which you cannot explain.

I do explain it. You won't accept the importance of econiches for food supply. Only plants can maker their own food.


DAVID: Your interpretation of God's use of evolution is a human view of God's mind. Quit humanizing Him.

I was always under the impression that you were as human as I am, and I find your human view of your God's mind strangely illogical, as explained above.

dhw: We do not know your God’s nature, and so we can only speculate about it. Why, then, do you stick rigidly to a hypothesis for which you can find no logical explanation, and yet recognize the logic of my various theistic hypotheses, but dismiss them purely on the assumption that your God does NOT think with human-type logic?

DAVID: God's difference is something you give lip service to, but do not fully understand as you constantly humanize His thinking. My view of His nature and yours are wildly different. Your God is described as half-human in thought.

dhw: Do you fully understand the nature of God, then? How do you KNOW that despite your belief in his wanting a relationship with us, and his wanting us to admire his work, and his enjoying his own work like a painter enjoying his own paintings, he does NOT share any of the attributes of the creatures he designed?

We can only suppose what He might share with us, or how close He is to us, or how much He might care about us. All guesses. Your list of my 'beliefs' is too strong. They are not certain beliefs but reasonable possibilities in his personality. We have no known facts as to why He created humans. All of theology is a house of cards. This is my true position as I decided He existed years ago.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 09:32 (215 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Why you cannot accept my belief that God took complete charge of designing evolution, I cannot understand. It is my belief and makes perfect sense to me. You believe your humanized God wouldn't have done it that way. Tell me what you think He did.

What do you mean by “designing evolution”? According to you he specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder. But according to you he had only one purpose, which was to design one particular species. THAT is what doesn’t make sense! I keep offering you different hypotheses concerning what he might have done, and you have found all of them perfectly logical. Do you really want me to repeat the list?

DAVID: You are arguing with my fixed belief of God's total control of evolution.

Yes indeed. The fact that it is your fixed belief does not make it logical or true.

DAVID: You refuse to accept the concept of God choosing to evolve life from bacteria to humans as a unitary process.

dhw: […] You refuse to accept the illogicality of your combination of hypotheses. Evolution does not mean special design of all life forms by God, or that they were all specially designed in order for him to specially design only one species! God’s choice could have been to create a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own creating, and THAT would logically explain the vast variety of life forms etc. which you cannot explain.

DAVID: I do explain it. You won't accept the importance of econiches for food supply. Only plants can make their own food.

Of course econiches are important for food supply. But that obvious fact does not explain why your God would specially design all these different econiches to feed millions of different life forms which he has specially designed, when according to you the only species he wanted to create and did eventually specially design was us.

DAVID: God's difference is something you give lip service to, but do not fully understand as you constantly humanize His thinking. My view of His nature and yours are wildly different. Your God is described as half-human in thought.

dhw: Do you fully understand the nature of God, then? How do you KNOW that despite your belief in his wanting a relationship with us, and his wanting us to admire his work, and his enjoying his own work like a painter enjoying his own paintings, he does NOT share any of the attributes of the creatures he designed?

DAVID: We can only suppose what He might share with us, or how close He is to us, or how much He might care about us. All guesses. Your list of my 'beliefs' is too strong. They are not certain beliefs but reasonable possibilities in his personality. We have no known facts as to why He created humans. All of theology is a house of cards. This is my true position as I decided He existed years ago.

We have no known facts concerning your God’s existence, let alone his nature. Reasonable possibilities are all we can offer, and your reasonable possibilities concerning his nature – which include my own proposal of enjoyment –are all humanizations. That does not mean they are wrong or that they do not fit in with the history of life as we know it. Your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create humans, and that he specially designed millions of other life forms etc. so that they could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans, is a house of cards which apparently you alone have built and which collapses at the first touch of logic. Even you have “no idea” why your God would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 15:21 (214 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why you cannot accept my belief that God took complete charge of designing evolution, I cannot understand. It is my belief and makes perfect sense to me. You believe your humanized God wouldn't have done it that way. Tell me what you think He did.

dhw: What do you mean by “designing evolution”? According to you he specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder. But according to you he had only one purpose, which was to design one particular species. THAT is what doesn’t make sense! I keep offering you different hypotheses concerning what he might have done, and you have found all of them perfectly logical. Do you really want me to repeat the list?

It makes no sense to your humanized God, as you imagine Him. God viewed humans as his desired endpoint. Evolution is one whole process. You are dividing evolution into parts, make everything else and then pop in humans


DAVID: You won't accept the importance of econiches for food supply. Only plants can make their own food.

dhw: Of course econiches are important for food supply. But that obvious fact does not explain why your God would specially design all these different econiches to feed millions of different life forms which he has specially designed, when according to you the only species he wanted to create and did eventually specially design was us.

Your strange version. Evolution is one process used to create humans. All under one original purpose. Stop dividing it up!


DAVID: God's difference is something you give lip service to, but do not fully understand as you constantly humanize His thinking. My view of His nature and yours are wildly different. Your God is described as half-human in thought.

dhw: Do you fully understand the nature of God, then? How do you KNOW that despite your belief in his wanting a relationship with us, and his wanting us to admire his work, and his enjoying his own work like a painter enjoying his own paintings, he does NOT share any of the attributes of the creatures he designed?

DAVID: We can only suppose what He might share with us, or how close He is to us, or how much He might care about us. All guesses. Your list of my 'beliefs' is too strong. They are not certain beliefs but reasonable possibilities in his personality. We have no known facts as to why He created humans. All of theology is a house of cards. This is my true position as I decided He existed years ago.

dhw: We have no known facts concerning your God’s existence, let alone his nature. Reasonable possibilities are all we can offer, and your reasonable possibilities concerning his nature – which include my own proposal of enjoyment –are all humanizations. That does not mean they are wrong or that they do not fit in with the history of life as we know it. Your fixed belief that your God’s only purpose was to create humans, and that he specially designed millions of other life forms etc. so that they could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed humans, is a house of cards which apparently you alone have built and which collapses at the first touch of logic. Even you have “no idea” why your God would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose.

As long as you humanize God, He will appear as weak and confused as most humans can be. It is your problem, not mine.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 11:40 (214 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Why you cannot accept my belief that God took complete charge of designing evolution, I cannot understand. It is my belief and makes perfect sense to me. You believe your humanized God wouldn't have done it that way. Tell me what you think He did.

dhw: What do you mean by “designing evolution”? According to you he specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder. But according to you he had only one purpose, which was to design one particular species. THAT is what doesn’t make sense! I keep offering you different hypotheses concerning what he might have done, and you have found all of them perfectly logical. Do you really want me to repeat the list?

DAVID: It makes no sense to your humanized God, as you imagine Him. God viewed humans as his desired endpoint.

An opinion stated as fact. You cannot read God’s mind any more than I can.

DAVID: Evolution is one whole process. You are dividing evolution into parts, make everything else and then pop in humans.

That is precisely what you have proposed: he specially designed every life form extinct and extant, and then specially designed humans. Yes, evolution is a “whole process” if you believe in common descent, with millions of life forms coming and going. Each species is a “part”, and according to you, humans are unlike any other species, which makes them a special “part”. I do not know why you believe the weaverbird’s nest to be part of your God’s special design of humans.

DAVID: You won't accept the importance of econiches for food supply. Only plants can make their own food.

dhw: Of course econiches are important for food supply. But that obvious fact does not explain why your God would specially design all these different econiches to feed millions of different life forms which he has specially designed, when according to you the only species he wanted to create and did eventually specially design was us.

DAVID: Your strange version. Evolution is one process used to create humans. All under one original purpose. Stop dividing it up!

Evolution is one process which history shows to have created millions of different life forms. Once again: you are dividing evolution up into lots and lots of different econiches, life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, all of which you claim were/are specially designed and yet were necessary to fulfil your God’s sole purpose of specially designing humans,though you have no idea why they were necessary.

DAVID: As long as you humanize God, He will appear as weak and confused as most humans can be. It is your problem, not mine.

Where do you get weakness and confusion from? Why, for instance, is it weak and confused to propose that your God enjoys his own creativity? What is confused about the deliberate creation of a mechanism that will provide an infinite variety of creations? Even within your own hypothesis, why is it weak and confused to perform experiments and observe their results? Your rigid hypothesis presents a God who only wants one thing but specially designs millions of other things, as described repeatedly above. As long you impose your own interpretation of his purpose and method, the obvious confusion will be yours, not your God’s.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 15:32 (213 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It makes no sense to your humanized God, as you imagine Him. God viewed humans as his desired endpoint.

dhw: An opinion stated as fact. You cannot read God’s mind any more than I can.

I can make that exact assumption based on the specialness of humans as com pared to what they evolved from. (Adler)


DAVID: Evolution is one whole process. You are dividing evolution into parts, make everything else and then pop in humans.

dhw: That is precisely what you have proposed: he specially designed every life form extinct and extant, and then specially designed humans. Yes, evolution is a “whole process” if you believe in common descent, with millions of life forms coming and going. Each species is a “part”, and according to you, humans are unlike any other species, which makes them a special “part”. I do not know why you believe the weaverbird’s nest to be part of your God’s special design of humans.

That is where your thinking is confused. Weaverbirds are just one tiny part of the whole process of designed evolution. Humans have no direct relation to any specific bird but are the result God designed.


DAVID: You won't accept the importance of econiches for food supply. Only plants can make their own food.

dhw: Of course econiches are important for food supply. But that obvious fact does not explain why your God would specially design all these different econiches to feed millions of different life forms which he has specially designed, when according to you the only species he wanted to create and did eventually specially design was us.

DAVID: Your strange version. Evolution is one process used to create humans. All under one original purpose. Stop dividing it up!

dhw: Evolution is one process which history shows to have created millions of different life forms. Once again: you are dividing evolution up into lots and lots of different econiches, life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, all of which you claim were/are specially designed and yet were necessary to fulfil your God’s sole purpose of specially designing humans,though you have no idea why they were necessary.

I've simply used the history of evolution, and concluded God chose to control and design that history.


DAVID: As long as you humanize God, He will appear as weak and confused as most humans can be. It is your problem, not mine.

dhw: Where do you get weakness and confusion from? Why, for instance, is it weak and confused to propose that your God enjoys his own creativity? What is confused about the deliberate creation of a mechanism that will provide an infinite variety of creations? Even within your own hypothesis, why is it weak and confused to perform experiments and observe their results? Your rigid hypothesis presents a God who only wants one thing but specially designs millions of other things, as described repeatedly above. As long you impose your own interpretation of his purpose and method, the obvious confusion will be yours, not your God’s.

I'm not confused, but seem that way on your muddled approach. How often do I have to repeat that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria? God created life and has controlled evolution, and at the current end of the process very special humans appeared? My description of God's actions follows the known history of evolution. He knew what had to be created over 3.8 billion years. Just as you conceive of the beginning, the middle and the end of a play on stage. God is not disjointed in His planning and thoughts from beginning to end. You are the one slicing up his thinking process. You want a weak God who gives up control. I see God as extremely purposeful, not playing with evolution for entertainment.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, June 27, 2019, 13:24 (213 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: [...] God viewed humans as his desired endpoint.

dhw: An opinion stated as fact. You cannot read God’s mind any more than I can.

DAVID: I can make that exact assumption based on the specialness of humans as com pared to what they evolved from. (Adler)

Yes, you can, but then you have to explain why he specially designed millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. Your only answer so far has been that he designed them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. Apparently Adler does not deal with this problem, and you cannot find anyone else who supports your explanation.

DAVID: You are dividing evolution into parts […]

Dhw: I do not know why you believe the weaverbird’s nest to be part of your God’s special design of humans.

DAVID: That is where your thinking is confused. Weaverbirds are just one tiny part of the whole process of designed evolution. Humans have no direct relation to any specific bird but are the result God designed.

So who is dividing evolution up into parts? You cannot explain why your God would specially design the weaverbird part of evolution if he only wanted to design the human part of evolution.

DAVID: As long as you humanize God, He will appear as weak and confused as most humans can be. It is your problem, not mine.

dhw: Where do you get weakness and confusion from? Why, for instance, is it weak and confused to propose that your God enjoys his own creativity? What is confused about the deliberate creation of a mechanism that will provide an infinite variety of creations? Even within your own hypothesis, why is it weak and confused to perform experiments and observe their results? Your rigid hypothesis presents a God who only wants one thing but specially designs millions of other things, as described repeatedly above. As long you impose your own interpretation of his purpose and method, the obvious confusion will be yours, not your God’s.

DAVID: I'm not confused, but seem that way on your muddled approach. How often do I have to repeat that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria? God created life and has controlled evolution, and at the current end of the process very special humans appeared? My description of God's actions follows the known history of evolution. He knew what had to be created over 3.8 billion years.

So let’s be clear: he, who was in full control, knew he "had to" specially design every single one of millions of non-human life forms, life styles and natural wonders extant and extinct before he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. But this is not confusing.

DAVID: Just as you conceive of the beginning, the middle and the end of a play on stage.

For your information, I do no such thing. I begin with an idea, and then the characters take over. Generally I have no idea where the play is heading, and many writers work in the same way. It’s a good image. Thank you.

DAVID: God is not disjointed in His planning and thoughts from beginning to end. You are the one slicing up his thinking process. You want a weak God who gives up control. I see God as extremely purposeful, not playing with evolution for entertainment.

There is nothing “weak” about a God who deliberately creates a mechanism that gives free rein to his creations. Hence, for example, human free will. Creation for the enjoyment of creation is a purpose. Why do you think it is “extremely purposeful” to design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration and the weaverbird’s nest in order to design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us?

David: (Under “The Mind of the octopus”): The octopus brain must be able to integrate all the sensory info coming from its eight legs. It is a strange but an advanced system. All part of the need for echoniches for food supply.

As above, your God’s extreme purposefulness now amounts to specially designing octopus brains and weaverbirds’ nests so that they can eat or not eat one another. You forgot to mention that his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. Please explain how these two extremely purposeful purposes fit together.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 27, 2019, 18:43 (212 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can make that exact assumption based on the specialness of humans as compared to what they evolved from. (Adler)

dhw: Yes, you can, but then you have to explain why he specially designed millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. Your only answer so far has been that he designed them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design. Apparently Adler does not deal with this problem, and you cannot find anyone else who supports your explanation.

I don't have to explain anything. I believe God chose to evolve humans from a start with bacteria. Thus the history of evolution is all His work. ID folks agree with me but don't name their required designer as God.


DAVID: I'm not confused, but seem that way on your muddled approach. How often do I have to repeat that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria? God created life and has controlled evolution, and at the current end of the process very special humans appeared? My description of God's actions follows the known history of evolution. He knew what had to be created over 3.8 billion years.

dhw: So let’s be clear: he, who was in full control, knew he "had to" specially design every single one of millions of non-human life forms, life styles and natural wonders extant and extinct before he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. But this is not confusing.

You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans.


DAVID: Just as you conceive of the beginning, the middle and the end of a play on stage.

dhw: For your information, I do no such thing. I begin with an idea, and then the characters take over. Generally I have no idea where the play is heading, and many writers work in the same way. It’s a good image. Thank you.

DAVID: God is not disjointed in His planning and thoughts from beginning to end. You are the one slicing up his thinking process. You want a weak God who gives up control. I see God as extremely purposeful, not playing with evolution for entertainment.

dhw: There is nothing “weak” about a God who deliberately creates a mechanism that gives free rein to his creations. Hence, for example, human free will. Creation for the enjoyment of creation is a purpose. Why do you think it is “extremely purposeful” to design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration and the weaverbird’s nest in order to design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us?

Because your vision of God is not very purposeful, as you humanize His thinking. Our vision of God differs widely.


David: (Under “The Mind of the octopus”): The octopus brain must be able to integrate all the sensory info coming from its eight legs. It is a strange but an advanced system. All part of the need for echoniches for food supply.

dhw: As above, your God’s extreme purposefulness now amounts to specially designing octopus brains and weaverbirds’ nests so that they can eat or not eat one another. You forgot to mention that his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. Please explain how these two extremely purposeful purposes fit together.

I have explained it to my satisfaction. God ran all of the process of evolution from the origin of life until what is present now.The history of evolution shows exactly what He did. Does your vision of God accept that He ran all of evolution? Simply His 'purpose' was to evolve humans with a start at bacteria. That is quite clear to me.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, June 28, 2019, 10:08 (212 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't have to explain anything. I believe God chose to evolve humans from a start with bacteria. Thus the history of evolution is all His work. ID folks agree with me but don't name their required designer as God.

And they don’t claim that your God designed every single life form extant and extinct for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. The only support you have is for the existence of a designer.

DAVID: […] My description of God's actions follows the known history of evolution. He knew what had to be created over 3.8 billion years.

dhw: So let’s be clear: he, who was in full control, knew he "had to" specially design every single one of millions of non-human life forms, life styles and natural wonders extant and extinct before he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. But this is not confusing.

DAVID: You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans.

I am trying to deny that your God “had to” specially design millions of non-human life forms extant and extinct in order to specially design humans. Even you can’t tell us why he “had to” do it this way. So maybe there was another reason for designing them all, or maybe he didn’t design them all.

dhw: There is nothing “weak” about a God who deliberately creates a mechanism that gives free rein to his creations. Hence, for example, human free will. Creation for the enjoyment of creation is a purpose. Why do you think it is “extremely purposeful” to design the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage, the monarch’s migration and the weaverbird’s nest in order to design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us?

DAVID: Because your vision of God is not very purposeful, as you humanize His thinking. Our vision of God differs widely.

What is the distinction between “purposeful” and “very purposeful”? Why is it right to say that your very purposeful God’s purpose was to create humans, but it is wrong to ask what was his purpose in creating humans, not to mention whales, monarch butterflies and weaverbirds’ nests? What is the point of insisting on “purposefulness” if you refuse to debate what the purposes might be?

dhw: As above, your God’s extreme purposefulness now amounts to specially designing octopus brains and weaverbirds’ nests so that they can eat or not eat one another. You forgot to mention that his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. Please explain how these two extremely purposeful purposes fit together.

DAVID: I have explained it to my satisfaction. God ran all of the process of evolution from the origin of life until what is present now.The history of evolution shows exactly what He did.

The history of evolution shows a succession of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. It does not show that your God designed every single one of them, and it does not show that your God’s purpose was that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens, which was his one and only purpose.

DAVID: Does your vision of God accept that He ran all of evolution? Simply His 'purpose' was to evolve humans with a start at bacteria. That is quite clear to me.

If God exists, my vision of him is that he set the process of evolution in motion. If he specially designed every organism, as you believe, then I would like a logical explanation as to how every organism that he specially designed could possibly serve the one and only purpose of specially designing humans.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, June 28, 2019, 16:12 (211 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't have to explain anything. I believe God chose to evolve humans from a start with bacteria. Thus the history of evolution is all His work. ID folks agree with me but don't name their required designer as God.

dhw: And they don’t claim that your God designed every single life form extant and extinct for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. The only support you have is for the existence of a designer.

True, but that is because they are not discussing evolution at our level of inquiry

DAVID: You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans.

dhw: I am trying to deny that your God “had to” specially design millions of non-human life forms extant and extinct in order to specially design humans. Even you can’t tell us why he “had to” do it this way. So maybe there was another reason for designing them all, or maybe he didn’t design them all.

I accept that God ran evolution and designed all stages. Hes had to do it 'this way' because that is what history tells us.


DAVID: Because your vision of God is not very purposeful, as you humanize His thinking. Our vision of God differs widely.

dhw: What is the distinction between “purposeful” and “very purposeful”? Why is it right to say that your very purposeful God’s purpose was to create humans, but it is wrong to ask what was his purpose in creating humans, not to mention whales, monarch butterflies and weaverbirds’ nests? What is the point of insisting on “purposefulness” if you refuse to debate what the purposes might be?

You are asking me to repeat previous discussions. Econiches for food on the way to humans. Why can'rt you accept that God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria? Questioning God's motives at a human level of thought solves nothing .


dhw: As above, your God’s extreme purposefulness now amounts to specially designing octopus brains and weaverbirds’ nests so that they can eat or not eat one another. You forgot to mention that his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. Please explain how these two extremely purposeful purposes fit together.

DAVID: I have explained it to my satisfaction. God ran all of the process of evolution from the origin of life until what is present now.The history of evolution shows exactly what He did.

dhw: The history of evolution shows a succession of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. It does not show that your God designed every single one of them, and it does not show that your God’s purpose was that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens, which was his one and only purpose.

You are right. There is no proof that God did anything. There is a concept called 'faith'.


DAVID: Does your vision of God accept that He ran all of evolution? Simply His 'purpose' was to evolve humans with a start at bacteria. That is quite clear to me.

dhw: If God exists, my vision of him is that he set the process of evolution in motion. If he specially designed every organism, as you believe, then I would like a logical explanation as to how every organism that he specially designed could possibly serve the one and only purpose of specially designing humans.

He designed humans from precursor primates. He got to that stage from previous stages of evolution.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, June 29, 2019, 10:27 (211 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: ID folks agree with me but don't name their required designer as God.

dhw: And they don’t claim that your God designed every single life form extant and extinct for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. The only support you have is for the existence of a designer.

DAVID: True, but that is because they are not discussing evolution at our level of inquiry.

So please don’t tell us that ID folks agree with you. But do please tell us if any scientists, philosophers or theologians support the above theory.

DAVID: I accept that God ran evolution and designed all stages. He had to do it 'this way' because that is what history tells us.

Why have you ignored the following exchange?
dhw: The history of evolution shows a succession of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. It does not show that your God designed every single one of them, and it does not show that your God’s purpose was that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens, which was his one and only purpose.

DAVID: You are right. There is no proof that God did anything. There is a concept called 'faith'.

End of discussion. You have faith that your illogical interpretation of your God’s mind is correct. So you needn’t claim that history supports you, or that Adler and ID folk support you. They don't. And I eagerly wait to hear if anybody supports you!

dhw: Why is it right to say that your very purposeful God’s purpose was to create humans, but it is wrong to ask what was his purpose in creating humans, not to mention whales, monarch butterflies and weaverbirds’ nests? What is the point of insisting on “purposefulness” if you refuse to debate what the purposes might be?

DAVID: You are asking me to repeat previous discussions. Econiches for food on the way to humans. Why can't you accept that God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria? Questioning God's motives at a human level of thought solves nothing.

Why can’t you accept that if God exists, he chose to evolve (though this does not mean specially design) ALL forms of life etc., and even you have “no idea” why he would do so if his only purpose was us? That is your faith. Re econiches:

DAVID: (Under “balance of nature”) Econiches provide food for all living animals, as long as they maintain their precise balance with a proper apex predator. Introducing domestic cats was a disaster and humans have learned this only in retrospect. Econiches fill the bush of life for a necessary reason.

Econiches are balanced until they become unbalanced, and then you have a new econiche. Nothing whatsoever to do with the theory that organisms eat or do not eat one another until your God can specially design the only thing he wants to design (us).

DAVID: He designed humans from precursor primates. He got to that stage from previous stages of evolution.

Since we both believe in common descent, we can agree that previous stages of evolution led to primates, and primates led to humans. That still doesn’t explain why a fully-in-control God “had to” specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, weaverbirds’ nests, salmon migratory reproduction, and slug/algae/bacteria triple symbiosis etc. in order to specially design us.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 29, 2019, 22:45 (210 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: ID folks agree with me but don't name their required designer as God.

dhw: And they don’t claim that your God designed every single life form extant and extinct for the sole purpose of getting them to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. The only support you have is for the existence of a designer.

DAVID: True, but that is because they are not discussing evolution at our level of inquiry.

dhw: So please don’t tell us that ID folks agree with you. But do please tell us if any scientists, philosophers or theologians support the above theory.

But of curse they agree with me, because I have accepted their point that God designed all of evolution. They just don't use the word God, but it is always implied.


DAVID: I accept that God ran evolution and designed all stages. He had to do it 'this way' because that is what history tells us.

Why have you ignored the following exchange?
dhw: The history of evolution shows a succession of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders. It does not show that your God designed every single one of them, and it does not show that your God’s purpose was that they should eat or not one another until he specially designed H. sapiens, which was his one and only purpose.

DAVID: You are right. There is no proof that God did anything. There is a concept called 'faith'.

dhw: End of discussion. You have faith that your illogical interpretation of your God’s mind is correct. So you needn’t claim that history supports you, or that Adler and ID folk support you. They don't. And I eagerly wait to hear if anybody supports you!

Why can't you allow me to integrate the reasonable principals of experts (ID and Adler)to reach a conclusion that God exists and that the specialness of humans proves the point that God exists?

dhw: Why is it right to say that your very purposeful God’s purpose was to create humans, but it is wrong to ask what was his purpose in creating humans, not to mention whales, monarch butterflies and weaverbirds’ nests? What is the point of insisting on “purposefulness” if you refuse to debate what the purposes might be?

DAVID: You are asking me to repeat previous discussions. Econiches for food on the way to humans. Why can't you accept that God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria? Questioning God's motives at a human level of thought solves nothing.

dhw: Why can’t you accept that if God exists, he chose to evolve (though this does not mean specially design) ALL forms of life etc., and even you have “no idea” why he would do so if his only purpose was us? That is your faith.


You have constantly totally misused my statement about: 'no idea' . What I don't know is why He chose to evolve rather than direct creation. We've had that discussion and perhaps He has limits or that He chose to evolve everything. Either/or.

Re econiches:


DAVID: (Under “balance of nature”) Econiches provide food for all living animals, as long as they maintain their precise balance with a proper apex predator. Introducing domestic cats was a disaster and humans have learned this only in retrospect. Econiches fill the bush of life for a necessary reason.

dhw: Econiches are balanced until they become unbalanced, and then you have a new econiche. Nothing whatsoever to do with the theory that organisms eat or do not eat one another until your God can specially design the only thing he wants to design (us).

You are quite correct! Econiches are so necessary they have the ability to re-adapt!


DAVID: He designed humans from precursor primates. He got to that stage from previous stages of evolution.

dhw: Since we both believe in common descent, we can agree that previous stages of evolution led to primates, and primates led to humans. That still doesn’t explain why a fully-in-control God “had to” specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, weaverbirds’ nests, salmon migratory reproduction, and slug/algae/bacteria triple symbiosis etc. in order to specially design us.

Because I view Him as in charge of conducting and designing all of evolution. It is God who speciates, my solution to understanding that problem. Speciation requires design!

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, June 30, 2019, 09:57 (210 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] do please tell us if any scientists, philosophers or theologians support the above theory.

DAVID: But of course they agree with me, because I have accepted their point that God designed all of evolution. They just don't use the word God, but it is always implied.

Please tell us which of them agrees with you that your God designed every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder, and that he did so for the sole purpose of getting all life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens.

DAVID: You are right. There is no proof that God did anything. There is a concept called 'faith'.

dhw: End of discussion. You have faith that your illogical interpretation of your God’s mind is correct. So you needn’t claim that history supports you, or that Adler and ID folk support you. They don't. And I eagerly wait to hear if anybody supports you!

DAVID: Why can't you allow me to integrate the reasonable principals of experts (ID and Adler) to reach a conclusion that God exists and that the specialness of humans proves the point that God exists?

It is the complexity of all life forms, including humans, that ID-ers use to support the case for design, and you have told us that Adler does NOT cover the theory I have summarized in my first comment. I accept the logic of the design theory as evidence of your God's existence. Our disagreement is over your fixed interpretation of your God’s purpose and method.

dhw: Why can’t you accept that if God exists, he chose to evolve (though this does not mean specially design) ALL forms of life etc., and even you have “no idea” why he would do so if his only purpose was us? That is your faith.

DAVID: You have constantly totally misused my statement about: 'no idea' . What I don't know is why He chose to evolve rather than direct creation. We've had that discussion and perhaps He has limits or that He chose to evolve everything. Either/or.

But you absolutely refuse to accept the possibility that he has limits. Your God is always in total charge (as you repeat below, now bolded). If you accepted limits, you would accept the logic of experimentation, or humans as a late afterthought.

DAVID: Econiches fill the bush of life for a necessary reason.

dhw: Econiches are balanced until they become unbalanced, and then you have a new econiche. Nothing whatsoever to do with the theory that organisms eat or do not eat one another until your God can specially design the only thing he wants to design (us).

DAVID: You are quite correct! Econiches are so necessary they have the ability to re-adapt!

So do please stop pretending that econiches in some way support your belief that your God specially designed them all so that organisms could eat or not eat one another until your God designed the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: He designed humans from precursor primates. He got to that stage from previous stages of evolution.

dhw: Since we both believe in common descent, we can agree that previous stages of evolution led to primates, and primates led to humans. That still doesn’t explain why a fully-in-control God “had to” specially design whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, weaverbirds’ nests, salmon migratory reproduction, and slug/algae/bacteria triple symbiosis etc. in order to specially design us.

DAVID: Because I view Him as in charge of conducting and designing all of evolution. It is God who speciates, my solution to understanding that problem. Speciation requires design!

But the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens does not require the design of all the above, so why did he “have to” design them?

dhw (under “Neanderthal research”): Your authoritative statement above (he knows exactly what he wants) fits in perfectly with the hypothesis that what he wanted was an autonomous mechanism to produce the higgledy-piggledy bush of comings and goings […]

DAVID: Same old retreat to your humanized view of God. In your view God allows an 'unpredictable' course of evolution. My God is supremely purposeful. He knows exactly what He wants to have happen.

My view is no more humanized than yours. There are plenty of humans who know exactly what they want to have happen. But supremely purposeful does not mean they know how to get what they want, so experimentation is one possibility. Another possibility is that your God WANTED unpredictability. Why should he WANT puppets on his strings? (You hate to acknowledge that human free will is an example of unpredictability – or do you believe in predestination?) If he WANTED human unpredictability, maybe he also WANTED unpredictable evolution (but allowed himself to dabble).

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, June 30, 2019, 18:53 (209 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But of course they agree with me, because I have accepted their point that God designed all of evolution. They just don't use the word God, but it is always implied.

dhw: Please tell us which of them agrees with you that your God designed every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder, and that he did so for the sole purpose of getting all life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens.

They do not discuss econiches as we do.


DAVID: You are right. There is no proof that God did anything. There is a concept called 'faith'.

dhw: It is the complexity of all life forms, including humans, that ID-ers use to support the case for design, and you have told us that Adler does NOT cover the theory I have summarized in my first comment. I accept the logic of the design theory as evidence of your God's existence. Our disagreement is over your fixed interpretation of your God’s purpose and method.

I am allowed a fixed interpretation. You are the one with an imagination about what/who God might be.


dhw: Why can’t you accept that if God exists, he chose to evolve (though this does not mean specially design) ALL forms of life etc., and even you have “no idea” why he would do so if his only purpose was us? That is your faith.

DAVID: You have constantly totally misused my statement about: 'no idea' . What I don't know is why He chose to evolve rather than direct creation. We've had that discussion and perhaps He has limits or that He chose to evolve everything. Either/or.

dhw: But you absolutely refuse to accept the possibility that he has limits. Your God is always in total charge (as you repeat below, now bolded). If you accepted limits, you would accept the logic of experimentation, or humans as a late afterthought.

The record does not indicate He had limits based on the history of the universe, the Earth and of life itself.


DAVID: You are quite correct! Econiches are so necessary they have the ability to re-adapt!

dhw: So do please stop pretending that econiches in some way support your belief that your God specially designed them all so that organisms could eat or not eat one another until your God designed the only thing he wanted to design.

Either God controlled all of evolution or He didn't. I believe He did and its history tells us what He did.

DAVID: Because I view Him as in charge of conducting and designing all of evolution. It is God who speciates, my solution to understanding that problem. Speciation requires design!

dhw: But the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens does not require the design of all the above, so why did he “have to” design them?

Creating humans by evolution required He design everything to satisfy the requirements of evolving the form..


dhw (under “Neanderthal research”): Your authoritative statement above (he knows exactly what he wants) fits in perfectly with the hypothesis that what he wanted was an autonomous mechanism to produce the higgledy-piggledy bush of comings and goings […]

DAVID: Same old retreat to your humanized view of God. In your view God allows an 'unpredictable' course of evolution. My God is supremely purposeful. He knows exactly what He wants to have happen.

dhw: My view is no more humanized than yours. There are plenty of humans who know exactly what they want to have happen. But supremely purposeful does not mean they know how to get what they want, so experimentation is one possibility. Another possibility is that your God WANTED unpredictability. Why should he WANT puppets on his strings? (You hate to acknowledge that human free will is an example of unpredictability – or do you believe in predestination?) If he WANTED human unpredictability, maybe he also WANTED unpredictable evolution (but allowed himself to dabble).

Your God is a large part human as you add all these human attributes to Him. I agree with our free will we are unpredictable. The right to dabble means He keeps total control of evolution, but not of His desired creatures He created, humans. Your argument makes no sense. Other than in Bible stories, there is no evidence God has ever tried to control us.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, July 01, 2019, 11:36 (209 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell us which of them agrees with you that your God designed every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder, and that he did so for the sole purpose of getting all life forms to eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens.

DAVID: They do not discuss econiches as we do.

Of course not. The subject is totally irrelevant to the design argument and to the existence of God and to your fixed belief that your God specially designed everything etc.…as above.

DAVID: I am allowed a fixed interpretation. You are the one with an imagination about what/who God might be.

Your fixed interpretation is your imagination of your God’s purpose (humans) and of his illogical method (you have “no idea why”) of achieving that purpose (special design of millions of non-humans), and of his nature (always knows what he wants, always knows how to get it, has total control), but sacrifices control of humans (see free will below).

DAVID: […] perhaps He has limits or that He chose to evolve everything. Either/or.

dhw: But you absolutely refuse to accept the possibility that he has limits. […] If you accepted limits, you would accept the logic of experimentation, or humans as a late afterthought.

DAVID: The record does not indicate He had limits based on the history of the universe, the Earth and of life itself.

Once more, the record (= history of life) does not show that God exists, and if he does, it does not show that he has limits or total control, or that he specifically designed every single life form etc., or that he did so for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens. Hence my different hypotheses to explain the record (= history of life), all of which you agree are logical, unlike your fixed belief which even you cannot explain.

DAVID: Because I view Him as in charge of conducting and designing all of evolution. It is God who speciates, my solution to understanding that problem. Speciation requires design!

dhw: But the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens does not require the design of all the above, so why did he “have to” design them?

DAVID: Creating humans by evolution required He design everything to satisfy the requirements of evolving the form.

So he had to design the whale’s flipper and the salmon’s migratory reproduction system and the weaverbird’s nest to satisfy his own requirements for specially designing the form of H. sapiens. And you consider this to be logical.

DAVID: Same old retreat to your humanized view of God. In your view God allows an 'unpredictable' course of evolution. My God is supremely purposeful. He knows exactly what He wants to have happen.

dhw: My view is no more humanized than yours. There are plenty of humans who know exactly what they want to have happen. But supremely purposeful does not mean they know how to get what they want, so experimentation is one possibility. Another possibility is that your God WANTED unpredictability. Why should he WANT puppets on his strings? (You hate to acknowledge that human free will is an example of unpredictability – or do you believe in predestination?) If he WANTED human unpredictability, maybe he also WANTED unpredictable evolution (but allowed himself to dabble).

DAVID: Your God is a large part human as you add all these human attributes to Him.

Neither you nor anybody can say that he has no human attributes. Frankly, if he doesn’t, he might just as well not be there as far as we humans are concerned, so I can’t help wondering why he would have wanted to create us in the first place. But how an always-in-control, all-planning being can create human attributes (e.g. love) without having the slightest experience of them is way beyond my comprehension.

DAVID: I agree with our free will we are unpredictable. The right to dabble means He keeps total control of evolution, but not of His desired creatures He created, humans. Your argument makes no sense. Other than in Bible stories, there is no evidence God has ever tried to control us.

My argument is that if he was prepared to give us free will, i.e. NOT to control us (= he WANTED unpredictability), he may also have been prepared to give evolution free rein, i.e. NOT to control it (= he WANTED unpredictability). I only mention free will in that context. (But always with the option of dabbling in both contexts.)

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, July 01, 2019, 18:44 (208 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am allowed a fixed interpretation. You are the one with an imagination about what/who God might be.

dhw: Your fixed interpretation is your imagination of your God’s purpose (humans) and of his illogical method (you have “no idea why”) of achieving that purpose (special design of millions of non-humans), and of his nature (always knows what he wants, always knows how to get it, has total control), but sacrifices control of humans (see free will below).

The only thing free will affords is freedom of action, and note that animals wander around doing what they want also. God controls speciation in my view, and can still do that if He wishes. Your free will objection is comparing apples and eggs.


DAVID: The record does not indicate He had limits based on the history of the universe, the Earth and of life itself.

dhw: Once more, the record (= history of life) does not show that God exists, and if he does, it does not show that he has limits or total control, or that he specifically designed every single life form etc., or that he did so for the sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens. Hence my different hypotheses to explain the record (= history of life), all of which you agree are logical, unlike your fixed belief which even you cannot explain.

My fixed belief is that the universe and the origin of life are God's creations. That He chose to evolve them indicates He did use direct creation to make humans. I explain my belief from my readings and in my books. Your explanations are logical if God is humanized.


DAVID: Creating humans by evolution required He design everything to satisfy the requirements of evolving the form.

dhw: So he had to design the whale’s flipper and the salmon’s migratory reproduction system and the weaverbird’s nest to satisfy his own requirements for specially designing the form of H. sapiens. And you consider this to be logical.

If God managed all of evolution, as I believe, of course it is logical. He created every state in evolution


DAVID: Your God is a large part human as you add all these human attributes to Him.

dhw: Neither you nor anybody can say that he has no human attributes. Frankly, if he doesn’t, he might just as well not be there as far as we humans are concerned, so I can’t help wondering why he would have wanted to create us in the first place. But how an always-in-control, all-planning being can create human attributes (e.g. love) without having the slightest experience of them is way beyond my comprehension.

Your mamby-pamby God cannot imagine or think of anything. And I agree, we have no idea if God has any human attributes


DAVID: I agree with our free will we are unpredictable. The right to dabble means He keeps total control of evolution, but not of His desired creatures He created, humans. Your argument makes no sense. Other than in Bible stories, there is no evidence God has ever tried to control us.

dhw: My argument is that if he was prepared to give us free will, i.e. NOT to control us (= he WANTED unpredictability), he may also have been prepared to give evolution free rein, i.e. NOT to control it (= he WANTED unpredictability). I only mention free will in that context. (But always with the option of dabbling in both contexts.)

Very contorted free-will argument as usual. He purposely gave us a giant brain , which makes us very special and with free will. It was obviously a result He desired. Our actions are unpredictable but He has full control over our possible further speciation, if He desires it. We can be free in actions and thoughts, impulsive or not. In a way so are other animals as they attack and eat each other.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, July 02, 2019, 11:53 (208 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am allowed a fixed interpretation. You are the one with an imagination about what/who God might be.

dhw: Your fixed interpretation is your imagination of your God’s purpose (humans) and of his illogical method (you have “no idea why”) of achieving that purpose (special design of millions of non-humans), and of his nature (always knows what he wants, always knows how to get it, has total control), but sacrifices control of humans (see free will below).

DAVID: The only thing free will affords is freedom of action, and note that animals wander around doing what they want also. God controls speciation in my view, and can still do that if He wishes. Your free will objection is comparing apples and eggs.

It is an example of your God being willing to sacrifice control, for whatever reason. Similarly, he could have created a mechanism whereby organisms designed their own evolution, for whatever reason. Now do please tell us what you think may have been your extremely purposeful God’s purpose for specially designing humans and giving them free will.

DAVID: My fixed belief is that the universe and the origin of life are God's creations. That He chose to evolve them indicates He did use direct creation to make humans. I explain my belief from my readings and in my books. Your explanations are logical if God is humanized.

I have no objection to your fixed belief that God created the universe and life. I object to your fixed belief that evolution means your God specially designed every single life form etc. You know my alternative.Yes, you explain your beliefs, but you cannot explain why your God would have specially designed millions of life forms etc. when (next fixed belief) the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens. It is impossible to talk of purpose without humanizing, and you agree that “we have no idea if God has any human attributes”, so why dismiss the possibility? (And as I pointed out before, a God without human attributes might as well not be there as far as I'm concerned, and I don't know how he could create attributes (e.g. love) if as first cause he had never experienced them.)

DAVID: Your mamby-pamby God cannot imagine or think of anything. And I agree, we have no idea if God has any human attributes.

It is YOUR God that cannot imagine or think of anything! It is YOUR God who has no attributes, but somehow – for no reason you are willing to offer us, though I hope you will now accede to my request above – simply wants to create humans and therefore creates millions of non-humans.

DAVID: Creating humans by evolution required He design everything to satisfy the requirements of evolving the form.

dhw: So he had to design the whale’s flipper and the salmon’s migratory reproduction system and the weaverbird’s nest to satisfy his own requirements for specially designing the form of H. sapiens. And you consider this to be logical.

DAVID: If God managed all of evolution, as I believe, of course it is logical. He created every state in evolution.

Yes indeed, if he designed everything, it is logical that he designed everything. But it is not logical that he ONLY wanted to design H. sapiens and therefore he designed the weaverbird’s nest. One of these fixed beliefs must be wrong.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 02, 2019, 19:21 (207 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am allowed a fixed interpretation. You are the one with an imagination about what/who God might be.

dhw: Your fixed interpretation is your imagination of your God’s purpose (humans) and of his illogical method (you have “no idea why”) of achieving that purpose (special design of millions of non-humans), and of his nature (always knows what he wants, always knows how to get it, has total control), but sacrifices control of humans (see free will below).

DAVID: The only thing free will affords is freedom of action, and note that animals wander around doing what they want also. God controls speciation in my view, and can still do that if He wishes. Your free will objection is comparing apples and eggs.

dhw: It is an example of your God being willing to sacrifice control, for whatever reason. Similarly, he could have created a mechanism whereby organisms designed their own evolution, for whatever reason. Now do please tell us what you think may have been your extremely purposeful God’s purpose for specially designing humans and giving them free will.

I can't give an exact reason in God's mind, as it is all guesses, but He obviously desired to give humans a portion of His consciousness, which is what history shows.


DAVID: My fixed belief is that the universe and the origin of life are God's creations. That He chose to evolve them indicates He did use direct creation to make humans. I explain my belief from my readings and in my books. Your explanations are logical if God is humanized.

dhw: I have no objection to your fixed belief that God created the universe and life. I object to your fixed belief that evolution means your God specially designed every single life form etc. You know my alternative.Yes, you explain your beliefs, but you cannot explain why your God would have specially designed millions of life forms etc. when (next fixed belief) the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens. It is impossible to talk of purpose without humanizing, and you agree that “we have no idea if God has any human attributes”, so why dismiss the possibility? (And as I pointed out before, a God without human attributes might as well not be there as far as I'm concerned, and I don't know how he could create attributes (e.g. love) if as first cause he had never experienced them.)

DAVID: Your mamby-pamby God cannot imagine or think of anything. And I agree, we have no idea if God has any human attributes.

dhw: It is YOUR God that cannot imagine or think of anything! It is YOUR God who has no attributes, but somehow – for no reason you are willing to offer us, though I hope you will now accede to my request above – simply wants to create humans and therefore creates millions of non-humans.

Again all you want is guesses about His intent. He hasn't told us, if one does not use the man-made Bible stories. All I can concretely say is humans are here, therefore, God wanted to create them.


DAVID: Creating humans by evolution required He design everything to satisfy the requirements of evolving the form.

dhw: So he had to design the whale’s flipper and the salmon’s migratory reproduction system and the weaverbird’s nest to satisfy his own requirements for specially designing the form of H. sapiens. And you consider this to be logical.

DAVID: If God managed all of evolution, as I believe, of course it is logical. He created every state in evolution.

dhw: Yes indeed, if he designed everything, it is logical that he designed everything. But it is not logical that he ONLY wanted to design H. sapiens and therefore he designed the weaverbird’s nest. One of these fixed beliefs must be wrong.

Again, gross distortion. God wanted to create humans though evolving life from a start with bacteria. He designed all of evolution's branches. He didn't get from A to Z in one great jump which is what your objections imply He should have done. He willingly took His time to reach human beings following His desired plan of creation. In your view, God didn't know what He was doing, but that fits the weak humanized God you favor.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, July 03, 2019, 11:11 (207 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your mamby-pamby God cannot imagine or think of anything. And I agree, we have no idea if God has any human attributes.

dhw: It is YOUR God that cannot imagine or think of anything! It is YOUR God who has no attributes, but somehow – for no reason you are willing to offer us, though I hope you will now accede to my request above [to tell us why you think your God wanted to create
humans] – simply wants to create humans and therefore creates millions of non-humans.

DAVID: Again all you want is guesses about His intent. He hasn't told us, if one does not use the man-made Bible stories. All I can concretely say is humans are here, therefore, God wanted to create them.

We CAN only guess. But if God exists and specially designed the weaverbird’s nest, as you claim, then clearly he wanted to create the weaverbird’s nest! Ditto every other organism, lifestyle and natural wonder you say he specially designed. So yet again: why did he specially design them if the ONLY thing he wanted to specially design was humans? It’s simply not logical!

DAVID: If God managed all of evolution, as I believe, of course it is logical. He created every state in evolution.

dhw: Yes indeed, if he designed everything, it is logical that he designed everything. But it is not logical that he ONLY wanted to design H. sapiens and therefore he designed the weaverbird’s nest. One of these fixed beliefs must be wrong.

DAVID: Again, gross distortion. God wanted to create humans though evolving life from a start with bacteria. He designed all of evolution's branches. He didn't get from A to Z in one great jump which is what your objections imply He should have done.

The distortion is entirely yours. I don’t say what he “should have done”. I say what you say he DID do, and since you say he DID design every life form, it makes no sense then to say he only wanted to design one. He must have had a reason for designing all the NON-HUMAN branches of evolution, but all you can suggest is that he designed every single one of them so that they could eat or not eat one another until he designed the only thing he wanted to design (H. sapiens). And since somehow you know that he is in total control, has no limitations and knows exactly what he wants to do in every case, I can’t help wondering why he would even have chosen to specially design lots of different hominins and homos before specially designing the only one he wanted. In other words, my doubts concern your interpretation of his nature, purpose and method, which results in a hypothesis which even you cannot explain.

DAVID: He willingly took His time to reach human beings following His desired plan of creation. In your view, God didn't know what He was doing, but that fits the weak humanized God you favor.

Another distortion. You know very well that I offer various alternative hypotheses to cover various possible purposes, and you have accepted that all of them are logical. You have also acknowledged that it is impossible to know whether your God has human attributes or not, and what attributes they might be. I note that you have not commented on my own disbelief that a first cause God can create attributes of which he has no knowledge or experience, plus the fact that a God without human attributes might just as well not be there, since clearly he and we would have nothing whatsoever in common.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 03, 2019, 15:17 (206 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again all you want is guesses about His intent. He hasn't told us, if one does not use the man-made Bible stories. All I can concretely say is humans are here, therefore, God wanted to create them.

dhw: We CAN only guess. But if God exists and specially designed the weaverbird’s nest, as you claim, then clearly he wanted to create the weaverbird’s nest! Ditto every other organism, lifestyle and natural wonder you say he specially designed. So yet again: why did he specially design them if the ONLY thing he wanted to specially design was humans? It’s simply not logical!

Wanting to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical. Econiches are also logical. You are the one who views my God as illogical. Your suppositions about God are always over-humanizing Him.


DAVID: If God managed all of evolution, as I believe, of course it is logical. He created every state in evolution.

dhw: Yes indeed, if he designed everything, it is logical that he designed everything. But it is not logical that he ONLY wanted to design H. sapiens and therefore he designed the weaverbird’s nest. One of these fixed beliefs must be wrong.

DAVID: Again, gross distortion. God wanted to create humans though evolving life from a start with bacteria. He designed all of evolution's branches. He didn't get from A to Z in one great jump which is what your objections imply He should have done.

dhw: The distortion is entirely yours. I don’t say what he “should have done”. I say what you say he DID do, and since you say he DID design every life form, it makes no sense then to say he only wanted to design one. He must have had a reason for designing all the NON-HUMAN branches of evolution, but all you can suggest is that he designed every single one of them so that they could eat or not eat one another until he designed the only thing he wanted to design (H. sapiens). And since somehow you know that he is in total control, has no limitations and knows exactly what he wants to do in every case, I can’t help wondering why he would even have chosen to specially design lots of different hominins and homos before specially designing the only one he wanted. In other words, my doubts concern your interpretation of his nature, purpose and method, which results in a hypothesis which even you cannot explain.

The only thing I cannot explain is why God made the choice to evolve, rather than direct creation. The history of evolution obviously shows what God did. You object to the history. Of course going from bacteria to humans involved designing everything along the way. Do econiches exist? Of course and with purpose. Evolution over time requires an energy source fur life to continue.


DAVID: He willingly took His time to reach human beings following His desired plan of creation. In your view, God didn't know what He was doing, but that fits the weak humanized God you favor.

dhw: Another distortion. You know very well that I offer various alternative hypotheses to cover various possible purposes, and you have accepted that all of them are logical. You have also acknowledged that it is impossible to know whether your God has human attributes or not, and what attributes they might be. I note that you have not commented on my own disbelief that a first cause God can create attributes of which he has no knowledge or experience, plus the fact that a God without human attributes might just as well not be there, since clearly he and we would have nothing whatsoever in common.

Your first cause God is simplistic. If God can plan a universe of the complexity it is, He can know in advance the attributes of human emotions. Whether He uses those emotions himself is not known but certainly possible.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, July 04, 2019, 10:37 (206 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Wanting to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical. Econiches are also logical. You are the one who views my God as illogical. Your suppositions about God are always over-humanizing Him.

It is your view of your God that I see as illogical. I believe that God, if he exists, would be logical. You and I believe that ALL life forms evolved from bacteria. It is not logical that he only wanted one life form to evolve from bacteria and yet specially designed millions of non-human life forms. Econiches provide food for ALL forms of life. It is not logical that your God designed all econiches in order to fulfil what you believe to have been his only purpose of designing H. sapiens. I do not make any suppositions about your God, but offer different alternatives, all of which you agree fit in logically with the history of life as we know it.

DAVID: The only thing I cannot explain is why God made the choice to evolve, rather than direct creation. The history of evolution obviously shows what God did. You object to the history. Of course going from bacteria to humans involved designing everything along the way. Do econiches exist? Of course and with purpose. Evolution over time requires an energy source fur life to continue.

I do not object to the history, which tells us only that all kinds of life forms and lifestyles and econiches have been and gone, and humans are the latest species to have evolved. I object to your view of evolution as your God specially designing every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and I do not understand why – as you wrote earlier - he “had to” design them all in order to design the only thing he wanted to design. I suggest he may have had a different motive for specially designing them, or he didn't specially design them. Of course econiches exist, and they constantly change, and they provide food for whichever life forms survive in them. Nothing whatsoever to do with your God’s sole purpose being to design H. sapiens.

dhw: I note that you have not commented on my own disbelief that a first cause God can create attributes of which he has no knowledge or experience, plus the fact that a God without human attributes might just as well not be there, since clearly he and we would have nothing whatsoever in common.

DAVID: Your first cause God is simplistic. If God can plan a universe of the complexity it is, He can know in advance the attributes of human emotions. Whether He uses those emotions himself is not known but certainly possible.

Your view of God is illogical and also inconsistent. If it is possible that he knows and “uses” those emotions, then why do you refuse to accept that those emotions might possibly give us a reason for his creating life, including humans? Your refusal, however, is only intermittent. At times you accept that your God might enjoy his own creativity just as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and you even suggest that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with us, which would be mighty difficult if we had no shared attributes.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 04, 2019, 21:51 (205 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Wanting to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical. Econiches are also logical. You are the one who views my God as illogical. Your suppositions about God are always over-humanizing Him.

dhw: It is your view of your God that I see as illogical. I believe that God, if he exists, would be logical. You and I believe that ALL life forms evolved from bacteria. It is not logical that he only wanted one life form to evolve from bacteria and yet specially designed millions of non-human life forms. Econiches provide food for ALL forms of life. It is not logical that your God designed all econiches in order to fulfil what you believe to have been his only purpose of designing H. sapiens. I do not make any suppositions about your God, but offer different alternatives, all of which you agree fit in logically with the history of life as we know it.

What you don't recognize is that econiches are vital to having a long-term evolution. God designed them because of the necessity .


DAVID: The only thing I cannot explain is why God made the choice to evolve, rather than direct creation. The history of evolution obviously shows what God did. You object to the history. Of course going from bacteria to humans involved designing everything along the way. Do econiches exist? Of course and with purpose. Evolution over time requires an energy source fur life to continue.

dhw: I do not object to the history, which tells us only that all kinds of life forms and lifestyles and econiches have been and gone, and humans are the latest species to have evolved. I object to your view of evolution as your God specially designing every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and I do not understand why – as you wrote earlier - he “had to” design them all in order to design the only thing he wanted to design. I suggest he may have had a different motive for specially designing them, or he didn't specially design them. Of course econiches exist, and they constantly change, and they provide food for whichever life forms survive in them. Nothing whatsoever to do with your God’s sole purpose being to design H. sapiens.

He could not have gotten to forming humans unless He did all the things you object to. See today's entries on the subject. Your view comes from an insistence of viewing him in partial human form, or state of mind.


dhw: I note that you have not commented on my own disbelief that a first cause God can create attributes of which he has no knowledge or experience, plus the fact that a God without human attributes might just as well not be there, since clearly he and we would have nothing whatsoever in common.

DAVID: Your first cause God is simplistic. If God can plan a universe of the complexity it is, He can know in advance the attributes of human emotions. Whether He uses those emotions himself is not known but certainly possible.

dhw: Your view of God is illogical and also inconsistent. If it is possible that he knows and “uses” those emotions, then why do you refuse to accept that those emotions might possibly give us a reason for his creating life, including humans? Your refusal, however, is only intermittent. At times you accept that your God might enjoy his own creativity just as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and you even suggest that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with us, which would be mighty difficult if we had no shared attributes.

The only reason I've suggested possible attributes of God is because I've made guess after you have pushed me to do so, out of politeness. I'd rather not guess, as taught by Adler.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, July 05, 2019, 12:34 (205 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What you don't recognize is that econiches are vital to having a long-term evolution. God designed them because of the necessity.
And under “Balance of Nature
QUOTE: "'But the life of an insect is pretty much governed by these basic things: eating, reproducing, and avoiding being eaten before you do the other two. So I don’t they would have time for play, just for fun. Everything pretty much has meaning. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: dhw loves to discuss and denigrate animals eating animals in ecosystems, which are created by God in His design of evolution. This author would disagreed with dhw! Nature must be in superb balance, all during the time from the first bacteria to the current time with humans.

I do not denigrate animals eating animals, but have pointed out over and over again that ecosystems are only temporarily in “superb balance” because they constantly change in accordance with which life forms are dominant at the time. But the main point, to which thousands of changing "balances" are entirely irrelevant, is your fixed belief that your God specially designed every life form and every ecosystem just so that all the life forms would or would not eat one other, which makes a mockery of your fixed belief that the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens! Once again, please stop separating your hypotheses when you know that it is the COMBINATION of hypotheses that you yourself cannot explain.

DAVID: He could not have gotten to forming humans unless He did all the things you object to.

I don’t object to any of the history of life! I object to your insistence that he could not have specially designed H. sapiens if he had not specially designed the weaverbird’s nest and billions of other life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders.

dhw: Your view of God is illogical and also inconsistent. If it is possible that he knows and “uses” those emotions, then why do you refuse to accept that those emotions might possibly give us a reason for his creating life, including humans? Your refusal, however, is only intermittent. At times you accept that your God might enjoy his own creativity just as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and you even suggest that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with us, which would be mighty difficult if we had no shared attributes.

DAVID: The only reason I've suggested possible attributes of God is because I've made guess after you have pushed me to do so, out of politeness. I'd rather not guess, as taught by Adler.

So your God’s only purpose was to create us, but we must not ask why he did so, and we must believe that he specially designed all the non-human life forms for the purpose of making them eat or not eat one another, which has nothing to do with his only purpose of creating us. If you would rather not guess at your God’s purposes, I suggest you drop the subject of purpose altogether, since the only guess you do make leads you to the fixed belief that he had to design the weaverbird’s nest etc. because otherwise he “couldn’t have gotten to forming humans”.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, July 05, 2019, 18:38 (204 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: dhw loves to discuss and denigrate animals eating animals in ecosystems, which are created by God in His design of evolution. This author would disagreed with dhw! Nature must be in superb balance, all during the time from the first bacteria to the current time with humans.

dhw: I do not denigrate animals eating animals, but have pointed out over and over again that ecosystems are only temporarily in “superb balance” because they constantly change in accordance with which life forms are dominant at the time. But the main point, to which thousands of changing "balances" are entirely irrelevant, is your fixed belief that your God specially designed every life form and every ecosystem just so that all the life forms would or would not eat one other, which makes a mockery of your fixed belief that the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens! Once again, please stop separating your hypotheses when you know that it is the COMBINATION of hypotheses that you yourself cannot explain.

I explain my approach as a single judgement. You are the separatist, splitting it into parts. In my view God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria. God ran evolution and produced the history we see. His goal was to eventually evolve humans. You think I am describing a confused and goalless God. I am not. God knew what He was doing all along.


dhw: Your view of God is illogical and also inconsistent. If it is possible that he knows and “uses” those emotions, then why do you refuse to accept that those emotions might possibly give us a reason for his creating life, including humans? Your refusal, however, is only intermittent. At times you accept that your God might enjoy his own creativity just as a painter enjoys his own paintings, and you even suggest that he wants us to admire his work and to have a relationship with us, which would be mighty difficult if we had no shared attributes.

DAVID: The only reason I've suggested possible attributes of God is because I've made guess after you have pushed me to do so, out of politeness. I'd rather not guess, as taught by Adler.

dhw: So your God’s only purpose was to create us, but we must not ask why he did so, and we must believe that he specially designed all the non-human life forms for the purpose of making them eat or not eat one another, which has nothing to do with his only purpose of creating us. If you would rather not guess at your God’s purposes, I suggest you drop the subject of purpose altogether, since the only guess you do make leads you to the fixed belief that he had to design the weaverbird’s nest etc. because otherwise he “couldn’t have gotten to forming humans”.

You continue your confusion about my approach stated above. My position is quite clear. Any guesses as to why He chose this path have been discussed over and over, and are all just guesses, many of which are logical, but the logicality does not prove they are correct. They are equivalent to angels on pin heads.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 08:14 (204 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: dhw loves to discuss and denigrate animals eating animals in ecosystems, which are created by God in His design of evolution. This author would disagreed with dhw! Nature must be in superb balance, all during the time from the first bacteria to the current time with humans.

dhw: I do not denigrate animals eating animals, but have pointed out over and over again that ecosystems are only temporarily in “superb balance” because they constantly change in accordance with which life forms are dominant at the time. But the main point, to which thousands of changing "balances" are entirely irrelevant, is your fixed belief that your God specially designed every life form and every ecosystem just so that all the life forms would or would not eat one other, which makes a mockery of your fixed belief that the only thing he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens! Once again, please stop separating your hypotheses when you know that it is the COMBINATION of hypotheses that you yourself cannot explain.

DAVID: I explain my approach as a single judgement. You are the separatist, splitting it into parts. In my view God chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria.

Of course evolution consists of parts: billions of life forms, lifestyles etc. And in your view, God chose to specially design every single one of them, starting out from bacteria. So if you say he chose to evolve humans starting with bacteria, you can hardly pretend that he didn’t “choose to evolve” (which for you means to specially design) the whale’s flipper, the cuttlefish’s camouflage and the weaverbird’s nest starting with bacteria.

DAVID: God ran evolution and produced the history we see. His goal was to eventually evolve humans. You think I am describing a confused and goalless God. I am not. God knew what He was doing all along.

I have no problem with the concept of your God knowing what he was doing all along. It is you who cannot solve the problem of why, if this is so, and his one and only goal was to eventually specially design humans, he “had to” specially design every other non-human life form. Experimentation, for instance, is neither confused nor goalless. Creation for the pleasure of creation is neither confused nor goalless. Seeing what will happen if...is neither confused nor goalless. Wanting to design only humans but specially designing millions of non-human life forms is nothing if not confusing.

DAVID: My position is quite clear. Any guesses as to why He chose this path have been discussed over and over, and are all just guesses, many of which are logical, but the logicality does not prove they are correct. They are equivalent to angels on pin heads.

But at least if they are logical we can say they are logical. You simply cannot find a logical reason for your own guess combining (a) his goal and (b) his method of achieving that goal. Logic therefore suggests that one of these two guesses might be wrong.

DAVID (commenting on “Balance of Nature”, re beavers): All part of the important balance of nature as created by God in his management of evolution. In my view humans were the goal of the creation of the entire process.

A total non sequitur. All ecosystems require some kind of balance if they are to survive. Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 16:14 (203 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God ran evolution and produced the history we see. His goal was to eventually evolve humans. You think I am describing a confused and goalless God. I am not. God knew what He was doing all along.

dhw: I have no problem with the concept of your God knowing what he was doing all along. It is you who cannot solve the problem of why, if this is so, and his one and only goal was to eventually specially design humans, he “had to” specially design every other non-human life form. Experimentation, for instance, is neither confused nor goalless. Creation for the pleasure of creation is neither confused nor goalless. Seeing what will happen if...is neither confused nor goalless. Wanting to design only humans but specially designing millions of non-human life forms is nothing if not confusing.

Why you are so confused is simple to solve. You accept that God ran evolution. Just accept the idea that God was always goal oriented, and chose to run evolution to produce humans as an end product.


DAVID: My position is quite clear. Any guesses as to why He chose this path have been discussed over and over, and are all just guesses, many of which are logical, but the logicality does not prove they are correct. They are equivalent to angels on pin heads.

dhw: But at least if they are logical we can say they are logical. You simply cannot find a logical reason for your own guess combining (a) his goal and (b) his method of achieving that goal. Logic therefore suggests that one of these two guesses might be wrong.

See above. It is your confusion, not mine. If God chose to evolve humans from bacteria, and designed the entire process as I believe, then everything makes perfect sense. You persist in splitting it up.


DAVID (commenting on “Balance of Nature”, re beavers): All part of the important balance of nature as created by God in his management of evolution. In my view humans were the goal of the creation of the entire process.

dhw: A total non sequitur. All ecosystems require some kind of balance if they are to survive. Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

As always the need for ecosystems to provide eaten energy so evolution could cover 3.8 billion years of time.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, July 07, 2019, 11:26 (203 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God ran evolution and produced the history we see. His goal was to eventually evolve humans. You think I am describing a confused and goalless God. I am not. God knew what He was doing all along.

dhw: I have no problem with the concept of your God knowing what he was doing all along. It is you who cannot solve the problem of why, if this is so, and his one and only goal was to eventually specially design humans, he “had to” specially design every other non-human life form. Experimentation, for instance, is neither confused nor goalless. Creation for the pleasure of creation is neither confused nor goalless. Seeing what will happen if...is neither confused nor goalless. Wanting to design only humans but specially designing millions of non-human life forms is nothing if not confusing.

DAVID: Why you are so confused is simple to solve. You accept that God ran evolution. Just accept the idea that God was always goal oriented, and chose to run evolution to produce humans as an end product.

If God exists, I accept that he started evolution, have no doubt he would have had a goal in doing so, but can see absolutely no logic in your proposal that he specially designed every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder for the sole purpose of ending up with humans. Please “just accept the idea” that there are other interpretations of goal and method that make far more sense. See above.

DAVID: My position is quite clear. Any guesses as to why He chose this path have been discussed over and over, and are all just guesses, many of which are logical, but the logicality does not prove they are correct. They are equivalent to angels on pin heads.

dhw: But at least if they are logical we can say they are logical. You simply cannot find a logical reason for your own guess combining (a) his goal and (b) his method of achieving that goal. Logic therefore suggests that one of these two guesses might be wrong.

DAVID: See above. It is your confusion, not mine. If God chose to evolve humans from bacteria, and designed the entire process as I believe, then everything makes perfect sense. You persist in splitting it up.

It does not make perfect sense that he should have had one goal (humans) and specially designed billions of life forms etc. in order to reach his one goal. You have confessed that you “have no idea” why he would have chosen such a method, so please stop telling us that it makes perfect sense.

DAVID (commenting on “Balance of Nature”, re beavers): All part of the important balance of nature as created by God in his management of evolution. In my view humans were the goal of the creation of the entire process.

dhw: A total non sequitur. All ecosystems require some kind of balance if they are to survive. Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

DAVID: As always the need for ecosystems to provide eaten energy so evolution could cover 3.8 billion years of time.

So God’s purpose in designing all these systems was for evolution to take 3.8 billion years (plus presumably the future). Or do you mean he said to himself: “I wanner specially design H. sapiens, and although I’m in full control, I have to take 3.5+ billion years to do it, so I gotta design something else in the meantime”?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 07, 2019, 20:40 (202 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why you are so confused is simple to solve. You accept that God ran evolution. Just accept the idea that God was always goal oriented, and chose to run evolution to produce humans as an end product.

dhw: If God exists, I accept that he started evolution, have no doubt he would have had a goal in doing so, but can see absolutely no logic in your proposal that he specially designed every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder for the sole purpose of ending up with humans. Please “just accept the idea” that there are other interpretations of goal and method that make far more sense. See above.

But the history of evolution tells us exactly what you object to. If God ran evolution as designer, of course He designed everything. What you won't accept is his role as designer.


DAVID (commenting on “Balance of Nature”, re beavers): All part of the important balance of nature as created by God in his management of evolution. In my view humans were the goal of the creation of the entire process.

dhw: A total non sequitur. All ecosystems require some kind of balance if they are to survive. Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

DAVID: As always the need for ecosystems to provide eaten energy so evolution could cover 3.8 billion years of time.

dhw: So God’s purpose in designing all these systems was for evolution to take 3.8 billion years (plus presumably the future). Or do you mean he said to himself: “I wanner specially design H. sapiens, and although I’m in full control, I have to take 3.5+ billion years to do it, so I gotta design something else in the meantime”?

You simply won 't accept my concept that God chose the process of evolution to create humans and the history of evolution shows how He designed it. Your false thin king is based on your overwhelming tendency to humanize His thoughts.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, July 08, 2019, 10:42 (202 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: But the history of evolution tells us exactly what you object to. If God ran evolution as designer, of course He designed everything. What you won't accept is his role as designer.

You keep glossing over the details of your hypothesis. If, for argument’s sake, we accept the existence of God, history does NOT tell us that he specially designed every single individual life form, lifestyle, econiche and natural wonder – and that is what you mean by he “ran evolution”. And history does not tell us that he designed every single one of these so that organisms could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. That is what makes no sense, as you have acknowledged when telling us that you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose. If God exists, of course he is the designer, and I have offered you several explanations which logically fit his role as designer to the history of evolution.

Dhw: Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

DAVID: As always the need for ecosystems to provide eaten energy so evolution could cover 3.8 billion years of time.

dhw: So God’s purpose in designing all these systems was for evolution to take 3.8 billion years (plus presumably the future). Or do you mean he said to himself: “I wanner specially design H. sapiens, and although I’m in full control, I have to take 3.5+ billion years to do it, so I gotta design something else in the meantime”?

DAVID: You simply won 't accept my concept that God chose the process of evolution to create humans and the history of evolution shows how He designed it. Your false thinking is based on your overwhelming tendency to humanize His thoughts.

He chose the process of evolution to create ALL forms of life. Your illogical thinking is based on your overwhelming desire to twist the history of life to fit in with your personal reading of God’s purpose (H. sapiens) and method (he “had to” design millions of non-human life forms etc. in order to do it). You have acknowledged that we have no way of knowing what, if any, human attributes your God may have, so it is clearly absurd to dismiss the possibility that he and we may have attributes in common, and you have acknowledged that all my hypotheses are logical, so they can hardly be called “false thinking”.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, July 08, 2019, 15:22 (201 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: But the history of evolution tells us exactly what you object to. If God ran evolution as designer, of course He designed everything. What you won't accept is his role as designer.

dhw: You keep glossing over the details of your hypothesis. If, for argument’s sake, we accept the existence of God, history does NOT tell us that he specially designed every single individual life form, lifestyle, econiche and natural wonder – and that is what you mean by he “ran evolution”.

Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: And history does not tell us that he designed every single one of these so that organisms could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. That is what makes no sense, as you have acknowledged when telling us that you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose. If God exists, of course he is the designer, and I have offered you several explanations which logically fit his role as designer to the history of evolution.

Once again you ignore an d distort my starting assumption.Your explanations are always from a humanized God.


Dhw: Now please tell us why your God specially designed beavers (not to mention whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests) when all he actually wanted to do was specially design humans.

DAVID: As always the need for ecosystems to provide eaten energy so evolution could cover 3.8 billion years of time.

dhw: So God’s purpose in designing all these systems was for evolution to take 3.8 billion years (plus presumably the future). Or do you mean he said to himself: “I wanner specially design H. sapiens, and although I’m in full control, I have to take 3.5+ billion years to do it, so I gotta design something else in the meantime”?

DAVID: You simply won 't accept my concept that God chose the process of evolution to create humans and the history of evolution shows how He designed it. Your false thinking is based on your overwhelming tendency to humanize His thoughts.

dhw: He chose the process of evolution to create ALL forms of life. Your illogical thinking is based on your overwhelming desire to twist the history of life to fit in with your personal reading of God’s purpose (H. sapiens) and method (he “had to” design millions of non-human life forms etc. in order to do it). You have acknowledged that we have no way of knowing what, if any, human attributes your God may have, so it is clearly absurd to dismiss the possibility that he and we may have attributes in common, and you have acknowledged that all my hypotheses are logical, so they can hardly be called “false thinking”.

Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 10:10 (201 days ago) @ David Turell

(Taken over from the thread on “panpsychism”):
dhw: Your efforts to defend your own theory of evolution (i.e. your always-in-control God “had to” design millions of non-human life forms in order to design the only thing he wanted to design) do not become more logical through your dismissal of other explanations involving your God’s possible human attributes (a) when these other explanations are totally logical, and (b) when you admit that we cannot know what human attributes your God has/doesn’t have.

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!

DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 14:59 (200 days ago) @ dhw

(Taken over from the thread on “panpsychism”):
dhw: Your efforts to defend your own theory of evolution (i.e. your always-in-control God “had to” design millions of non-human life forms in order to design the only thing he wanted to design) do not become more logical through your dismissal of other explanations involving your God’s possible human attributes (a) when these other explanations are totally logical, and (b) when you admit that we cannot know what human attributes your God has/doesn’t have.

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

dhw: And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!

I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find


DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.

My beliefs about God's actions are all logical, once I concluded God is real and acts as history shows us. I am comfortable with the starting logic I used to choose to believe in God.

Unanswered questions

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 21:06 (200 days ago) @ David Turell

(Taken over from the thread on “panpsychism”):
dhw: Your efforts to defend your own theory of evolution (i.e. your always-in-control God “had to” design millions of non-human life forms in order to design the only thing he wanted to design) do not become more logical through your dismissal of other explanations involving your God’s possible human attributes (a) when these other explanations are totally logical, and (b) when you admit that we cannot know what human attributes your God has/doesn’t have.

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

dhw: And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!


I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find


DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.


My beliefs about God's actions are all logical, once I concluded God is real and acts as history shows us. I am comfortable with the starting logic I used to choose to believe in God.

I think we reached the same conclusion along slightly different paths. I agree, though. I am firmly convinced God is real, and the logic and evidence that led me there, in my estimation, is strong.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 22:55 (200 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

(Taken over from the thread on “panpsychism”):
dhw: Your efforts to defend your own theory of evolution (i.e. your always-in-control God “had to” design millions of non-human life forms in order to design the only thing he wanted to design) do not become more logical through your dismissal of other explanations involving your God’s possible human attributes (a) when these other explanations are totally logical, and (b) when you admit that we cannot know what human attributes your God has/doesn’t have.

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

dhw: And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!


I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find


DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.


David: My beliefs about God's actions are all logical, once I concluded God is real and acts as history shows us. I am comfortable with the starting logic I used to choose to believe in God.


Tony: I think we reached the same conclusion along slightly different paths. I agree, though. I am firmly convinced God is real, and the logic and evidence that led me there, in my estimation, is strong.

I'm sure there is more than one way to find God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 10:25 (200 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

dhw: And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!

DAVID: I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find

Of course you are allowed to believe whatever takes your fancy, even though you “have no idea” why your God would choose your idea of his method to fulfil your idea of his purpose.

DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.

DAVID: My beliefs about God's actions are all logical, once I concluded God is real and acts as history shows us. I am comfortable with the starting logic I used to choose to believe in God.

TONY: I think we reached the same conclusion along slightly different paths. I agree, though. I am firmly convinced God is real, and the logic and evidence that led me there, in my estimation, is strong.

I have no problem with whatever logic you both use to conclude that God is real. My problem is with David’s illogical but fixed beliefs as summarized at the beginning of this post.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 15:06 (199 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course we may some personality attributes in common with God. But we can only guess at what might be correct. Your hypotheses are following human logic. We cannot know if they are God's, is always my point.

dhw: And your point is correct in all aspects of this discussion: we cannot know if God exists, and if he does, we cannot know his motives for creating life and evolution. But you pretend that you do know: your fixed belief is that (a) he personally preprogrammed/dabbled every single life form, (b) that he did so in order that they should eat or not eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until (c) he specially designed H. sapiens, and (d) H. sapiens was his one and only purpose for creating life. These fixed beliefs are all “guesses”, but you refuse to consider other guesses because we cannot know the truth!

DAVID: I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find

dhw: Of course you are allowed to believe whatever takes your fancy, even though you “have no idea” why your God would choose your idea of his method to fulfil your idea of his purpose.

I cannot question God's choices of action. I do not live in His decision-making process.


DAVID: Once again you gloss over my starting assumption that God chose to create through the process of evolution of all life to reach the goal of humans. Of course this is not history, but under my assumption, history shows what He did.

dhw: Once again, yes, history shows what he did (if he exists). And it does not show that he chose to create billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to reach the goal of humans”. I am not glossing this over; I am pointing out (a) that it is not history, and (b) that it is not logical.

DAVID: My beliefs about God's actions are all logical, once I concluded God is real and acts as history shows us. I am comfortable with the starting logic I used to choose to believe in God.

TONY: I think we reached the same conclusion along slightly different paths. I agree, though. I am firmly convinced God is real, and the logic and evidence that led me there, in my estimation, is strong.

dhw: I have no problem with whatever logic you both use to conclude that God is real. My problem is with David’s illogical but fixed beliefs as summarized at the beginning of this post.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, July 11, 2019, 10:17 (199 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find

dhw: Of course you are allowed to believe whatever takes your fancy, even though you “have no idea” why your God would choose your idea of his method to fulfil your idea of his purpose.

DAVID: I cannot question God's choices of action. I do not live in His decision-making process.

But it is you who have manufactured this particular “choice of action”, i.e. to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens by designing millions of non-human life forms extant and extinct. What you are really saying is that you refuse to question your own interpretation of your God’s choices of action, i.e. your fixed beliefs.

QUOTE from “balance of nature": We should not go around and vilify or smash sea urchins before we understand their role in the ecosystem better," he added. "They're not necessarily always the bad guy they're made out to be.'"

DAVID: More evidence that the diversity of life is the source of the ecosystems that provide the food energy to support life and these systems supported the long time it took for evolution to occur to this point.

Yes indeed, life could not continue without ecosystems that provide food. And yes indeed, life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years so far, through vast numbers of ever changing ecosystems extant and extinct. Nobody can possibly deny this. But it should be pointed out in passing that the special design of the sea urchin, like that of the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle, the weaverbird’s nest etc., has absolutely nothing to do with the theory that they were all specially designed by your God to keep life going until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, namely H. sapiens. But many thanks for yet another example of the astonishing complexities of life and the ways in which living organisms use existing conditions to enable them to survive.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, July 12, 2019, 02:21 (198 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I am allowed to have faith which when formed is a fixed belief. It comes from all the evidence I find

dhw: Of course you are allowed to believe whatever takes your fancy, even though you “have no idea” why your God would choose your idea of his method to fulfil your idea of his purpose.

DAVID: I cannot question God's choices of action. I do not live in His decision-making process.

dhw: But it is you who have manufactured this particular “choice of action”, i.e. to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens by designing millions of non-human life forms extant and extinct. What you are really saying is that you refuse to question your own interpretation of your God’s choices of action, i.e. your fixed beliefs.

Wnhy should I flip-flop. I've found a theory that for me best fits his actions.


QUOTE from “balance of nature": We should not go around and vilify or smash sea urchins before we understand their role in the ecosystem better," he added. "They're not necessarily always the bad guy they're made out to be.'"

DAVID: More evidence that the diversity of life is the source of the ecosystems that provide the food energy to support life and these systems supported the long time it took for evolution to occur to this point.

dhw: Yes indeed, life could not continue without ecosystems that provide food. And yes indeed, life has gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years so far, through vast numbers of ever changing ecosystems extant and extinct. Nobody can possibly deny this. But it should be pointed out in passing that the special design of the sea urchin, like that of the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle, the weaverbird’s nest etc., has absolutely nothing to do with the theory that they were all specially designed by your God to keep life going until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, namely H. sapiens. But many thanks for yet another example of the astonishing complexities of life and the ways in which living organisms use existing conditions to enable them to survive.

Of course, they best use the existing conditions because of design.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, July 12, 2019, 09:43 (198 days ago) @ David Turell

I have moved this discussion from the “Milky Way” thread, as it all relates to the unanswered question of how David can justify a fixed belief which runs against all logic (and for which he has apparently found no support among scientists, philosophers or theologians).

dhw: […] your theory - a God created every life form because he “had to” spend 3.5 billion years getting them to eat or not eat one another until he designed H. sapiens, and H. sapiens was the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: Distortion: My view is God chose to evolve humans over time. Never 'had to'.

dhw: ID does not support “God chose to evolve humans over time” either. But I have been quoting your “had to” for weeks. For example: exchange on 28 June at 10.08:

DAVID: You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans.

dhw: I am trying to deny that your God “had to” specially design millions of non-human life forms extant and extinct in order to specially design humans. Even you can’t tell us why he “had to” do it this way. So maybe there was another reason for designing them all, or maybe he didn’t design them all.

DAVID: The 'had to' is not your interpretation. Mine: If God chose evolution as His method, He knew He 'had to create' everything else before He got to humans. Start with the thought that God chose to evolve! Once that is stated, everything falls into place.

You want me to start by accepting the concept of evolution I have summarized above, and if I accept this, apparently it all falls into place! It doesn’t fall into place, even for you, as follows:

dhw: In any case, quite understandably, you have “no idea” why he would have “chosen” to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens by first specially designing millions of other life forms extant and extinct (= your interpretation of evolution). Or are you going to deny ever having said that too?

DAVID: Of course I have ' no idea' why He chose to create through evolution. I don't try to humanize his thinking, as you do.

You can’t think of any logical explanation for your fixed belief that he “chose to create” humans by specially designing millions of non-humans, but it must be right, even though there are other explanations which are perfectly logical. Everything “falls into place” although you can’t see how it falls into place.

DAVID: I cannot question God's choices of action. I do not live in His decision-making process.

dhw: But it is you who have manufactured this particular “choice of action […] What you are really saying is that you refuse to question your own interpretation of your God’s choices of action, i.e. your fixed beliefs, as summarized above.

DAVID: Why should I flip-flop. I've found a theory that for me best fits his actions.

And it all fits into place provided we assume that your God’s logic is totally incomprehensible. How about assuming that your God’s logic just might be comprehensible, and he might just possibly have some of the human attributes which you believe he created, and the reason why you have “no idea” why he chose a purpose and method you find incomprehensible might just be that one or other of your assumptions about his purpose and method might be wrong?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, July 12, 2019, 19:02 (197 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The 'had to' is not your interpretation. Mine: If God chose evolution as His method, He knew He 'had to create' everything else before He got to humans. Start with the thought that God chose to evolve! Once that is stated, everything falls into place.

dhw: You want me to start by accepting the concept of evolution I have summarized above, and if I accept this, apparently it all falls into place! It doesn’t fall into place, even for you, as follows:

dhw: In any case, quite understandably, you have “no idea” why he would have “chosen” to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens by first specially designing millions of other life forms extant and extinct (= your interpretation of evolution). Or are you going to deny ever having said that too?

DAVID: Of course I have ' no idea' why He chose to create through evolution. I don't try to humanize his thinking, as you do.

dhw: You can’t think of any logical explanation for your fixed belief that he “chose to create” humans by specially designing millions of non-humans, but it must be right, even though there are other explanations which are perfectly logical. Everything “falls into place” although you can’t see how it falls into place.

DAVID: I cannot question God's choices of action. I do not live in His decision-making process.

dhw: But it is you who have manufactured this particular “choice of action […] What you are really saying is that you refuse to question your own interpretation of your God’s choices of action, i.e. your fixed beliefs, as summarized above.

DAVID: Why should I flip-flop. I've found a theory that for me best fits his actions.

dhw: And it all fits into place provided we assume that your God’s logic is totally incomprehensible. How about assuming that your God’s logic just might be comprehensible, and he might just possibly have some of the human attributes which you believe he created, and the reason why you have “no idea” why he chose a purpose and method you find incomprehensible might just be that one or other of your assumptions about his purpose and method might be wrong?

I have never thought that God's actions were 'totally incomprehensible'. That has always been your problem, not mine. We have the full history of how our reality and we appeared. Some of the mechanisms are guess work, and that is where the concept of God comes into play as the creator. Assuming He creates (which I take on faith), then what we see is what He designed. You constantly try to step in to God's mind and make it part human and present Him as not sure of what He is attempting to do: your proposals that organisms themselves decide on how to evolve themselves further, or He has no full purpose drive and experiments on types of Homos to get to a satisfactory endpoint of sapiens. The difference in our thought patterns is that I see God knowing exactly what He wants and how to do it , and for you He dithers around. And I've agreed with you that all of your proposals are logical assuming the type of God you imagine God happens to be. I just don't agree at all with your imagined image of a humanized God. Our starting assumptions in logic will never agree, and so we will always disagree.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 09:52 (197 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Why should I flip-flop. I've found a theory that for me best fits his actions.

dhw: And it all fits into place provided we assume that your God’s logic is totally incomprehensible. How about assuming that your God’s logic just might be comprehensible, and he might just possibly have some of the human attributes which you believe he created, and the reason why you have “no idea” why he chose a purpose and method you find incomprehensible might just be that one or other of your assumptions about his purpose and method might be wrong?

DAVID: I have never thought that God's actions were 'totally incomprehensible'. That has always been your problem, not mine.

It’s not your God’s actions that are incomprehensible – it is your INTERPRETATION of his actions that makes no sense. You wrote:
DAVID: “Of course I have ‘no idea’ why he chose to create through evolution.”
Let us remember that for you evolution means your God’s special design of all life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What is incomprehensible is that in your version, your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, and you have no idea why he “chose” to do so by specially designing millions of other life forms etc.

DAVID: We have the full history of how our reality and we appeared. Some of the mechanisms are guess work, and that is where the concept of God comes into play as the creator. Assuming He creates (which I take on faith), then what we see is what He designed.

For the sake of argument, I have accepted the concept of God as the creator. The “full history” is 3.8 billion years of different life forms etc. The points at issue are why and how he designed them.

DAVID: You constantly try to step in to God's mind and make it part human and present Him as not sure of what He is attempting to do: your proposals that organisms themselves decide on how to evolve themselves further, or He has no full purpose drive and experiments on types of Homos to get to a satisfactory endpoint of sapiens. The difference in our thought patterns is that I see God knowing exactly what He wants and how to do it , and for you He dithers around.

It is true that both of us try to “step into God’s mind”. The rest is a complete misrepresentation of all my posts, and a poor attempt to divert attention away from your own admission that you cannot find any logic in your own hypothesis, as above. I offer several different theistic hypotheses to explain “the full history” of evolution: God experimenting to get what he wants, or experimenting to see what will happen if…, or humans as latecomers in his thinking, or designing an autonomous creative mechanism because what he wants is unpredictable variety (though he can dabble if he feels like it). You step into your God’s mind and have him wanting to and able to control everything, but wanting only to create H. sapiens, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the other non-human life forms, or even all the other non-sapiens forms of homo. He just “had to” do it this way.

DAVID: And I've agreed with you that all of your proposals are logical assuming the type of God you imagine God happens to be. I just don't agree at all with your imagined image of a humanized God. Our starting assumptions in logic will never agree, and so we will always disagree.

Your starting assumption “in logic” is that your God has one particular purpose and fulfils it in a way which even you cannot explain, and that means that your God’s logic is incomprehensible to you (again: you have “no idea” why he “had to” do it this way). My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to us, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 15:39 (196 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have never thought that God's actions were 'totally incomprehensible'. That has always been your problem, not mine.

dhw: It’s not your God’s actions that are incomprehensible – it is your INTERPRETATION of his actions that makes no sense. You wrote:
DAVID: “Of course I have ‘no idea’ why he chose to create through evolution.”
Let us remember that for you evolution means your God’s special design of all life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What is incomprehensible is that in your version, your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, and you have no idea why he “chose” to do so by specially designing millions of other life forms etc.

The bold is a total distortion of my view. I start with the Adler approach that humans are so special they had to be God's goal , and follow that by recognizing that humans arrived through an evolutionary process. Therefore, God chose to evolve humans. Very straight forward reasoning. The 'no idea' issue is recognizing that God as a creator produced the universe in the beginning without evolving it's creation. Therefore, God might be seen as having direct creation ability, and might have the ability to directly create humans, but chose not to. If that is the case then I 'have no idea' why He chose evolution, but the evidence is that He likes to evolve: create the universe and evolve it, create the special Earth and evolve it. start life and evolve it. All entirely logical.

dhw: It is true that both of us try to “step into God’s mind”. The rest is a complete misrepresentation of all my posts, and a poor attempt to divert attention away from your own admission that you cannot find any logic in your own hypothesis, as above. I offer several different theistic hypotheses to explain “the full history” of evolution: God experimenting to get what he wants, or experimenting to see what will happen if…, or humans as latecomers in his thinking, or designing an autonomous creative mechanism because what he wants is unpredictable variety (though he can dabble if he feels like it). You step into your God’s mind and have him wanting to and able to control everything, but wanting only to create H. sapiens, and so you have no idea why he would have designed all the other non-human life forms, or even all the other non-sapiens forms of homo. He just “had to” do it this way.

I have never said God 'had to do it this way.' God chose to use the method of evolution. His reasons are outlined in my answer above. And as usual your have reviewed an unpurposed God from your imagination.


DAVID: And I've agreed with you that all of your proposals are logical assuming the type of God you imagine God happens to be. I just don't agree at all with your imagined image of a humanized God. Our starting assumptions in logic will never agree, and so we will always disagree.

dhw; Your starting assumption “in logic” is that your God has one particular purpose and fulfils it in a way which even you cannot explain,

But I have explained my logic, really over and over

dhw: and that means that your God’s logic is incomprehensible to you (again: you have “no idea” why he “had to” do it this way). My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to us, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

The bolds above are exactly what I think. Your 'unfixed beliefs' lead you to imagine a very humanized God.

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 18:37 (196 days ago) @ David Turell

A philosophic discussion of the meaning of finding alien life to theists and atheists; the author mirrors much of my thinking about God:

https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-discovery-of-extraterrestrial-life-would-change-morality...

"My goal here is to explore some unexpected implications of the discovery of extraterrestrial life, and my conclusions are very speculative: extraterrestrial life would lend non-decisive support to several interesting and controversial philosophical positions. The discovery of life elsewhere would teach us that, while the Universe does have a purpose, human beings are irrelevant to that purpose. Aliens might well worship a God who is indifferent to us.

***

"The discovery of independently emerging life would thus teach us that life is ubiquitous. And that discovery could have very significant implications.

***

"The normative non-naturalist position is anomalous within a purely naturalist worldview that recognises only the natural facts and properties postulated by science.

***

"My central claim is that the discovery that life is ubiquitous would support normative non-naturalism.

***

If we discovered that life was ubiquitous, ... it then follows that the discovery of independently originating life supports normative non-naturalism – in the modest sense that this new information raises the probability that normative non-naturalism is true. Philosophical claims can be supported by empirical facts in surprising ways.

***

"Many theist religions stress the cosmic uniqueness of human beings – or even particular events in human history. This suggests that theists must insist that we are alone in the Universe. But another perennial strand of theist thinking points in the opposite direction. If we are alone, then this cannot be the best possible world. If humanity is valuable, then a possible world containing many other rational God-loving species would be better. If life is good, won’t God create a Universe teeming with every possible kind of life? Leibniz thought so, and argued that this best of all possible worlds is infinitely filled with life.

"If life turns out to be ubiquitous, then theists must obviously re-evaluate humanity’s place in the divine plan. But many theists, throughout the centuries, have been confident that this challenge can be met. After all, theists already believe that God has infinite love for every individual creature, and that this does nothing to diminish God’s love for me. Why should it matter that God’s love also extends to innumerably many alien individuals as well?

"The discovery of extraterrestrial life would thus support theism in two ways. We saw earlier that independently originating life would raise the probability of two other hypotheses that support theism, namely Kantianism and normative non-naturalism. We now see that ubiquitous life would also allow theists to agree with Leibniz that God has, indeed, created the best of all possible worlds.

***

"Theists argue that the best explanation for the existence of this Universe is that it was created by a benevolent God. One prima facie counter-example is offered by widespread, apparently gratuitous evil. This suggests instead a creator who is indifferent to the fate of individual human beings. Theists reply that, unless we suppose that God cares about rationality, knowledge or intelligibility, we cannot explain why this Universe is governed by regular intelligible mathematical laws. The Universe appears to be designed to be understood by its own inhabitants. So far as we know, we are the only inhabitants who could possibly understand it. So we must be essential to God’s plan.

***

"The intelligibility of the Universe is prima facie evidence that God cares for us. Human suffering is prima facie evidence that God does not. The discovery of ubiquitous life tips the balance against divine benevolence, by opening up alternative explanations for intelligibility."

See next post

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life II

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 18:50 (196 days ago) @ David Turell
edited by David Turell, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 19:09

Continued:

"In my book Purpose in the Universe (2015), I defend a new alternative to both atheism and (traditional) theism. Ananthropocentric purposivism (AP) holds that the Universe has a purpose and that humans are irrelevant to that purpose. If there is a God, then God cares about what matters, but we do not matter to God. Western theism has always combined both God-centred and human-centred elements. While we are created in God’s image, there is a vast distance between our feeble human concerns and God’s incomprehensible divine plan. AP pushes God-centred theism to extremes, abandoning divine benevolence altogether."

Comment: We do not know if God cares about us. The Bible, written by humans want him to love us, but we cannot know if that is true. We can only guess as to God's personality and His purposes, which is why I study the scientific evidence of creation and the need for a designer. I see clear evidence of purposeful endeavor on God's part in that we humans are so unique, and a surprising development, which strongly that it cannot be a natural result of chance activity. The synopsis of his book is exactly how I feel.

Further, I am not frightened about the possibility of remote life elsewhere is the universe. This is a universe that is fine-tuned for life. The issue for me is whether there is rational life elsewhere. God may well have created it, and I view all rational life as very special, nor do I find myself wondering why God might have made several colonies of rational beings. God does what God wants to do. On the other hand, I strongly suspect we are the only ones, but that issue cannot be settled at this time, and is a parochial guess. The author spends much of his essay worrying about Fermi's paradox, where are the alien contacts, if they exist? The answer for me is obvious. Everything informational travels at no faster than the speed of light, and our closest big galaxy is Andromeda, two million light years away! Our own galaxy has a diameter of 100 light years across. We have spent only 70+/= years listening. They may exist, but not enough time has passed to produce a result.

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life II

by dhw, Sunday, July 14, 2019, 13:03 (196 days ago) @ David Turell

My own view: if there is alien life, it will prove absolutely nothing, whether it’s highly sophisticated or only basic. Theists can say that their God in the course of eternity could create as many life forms as he liked, and they can argue among themselves about why he might want to create them. Atheists can say that the more life there is elsewhere, the clearer it is that life can emerge naturally in an infinity of energy and matter, once chance has assembled the ingredients. People with fixed beliefs can always interpret the facts to fit in with those beliefs.

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life II

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 14, 2019, 15:40 (195 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My own view: if there is alien life, it will prove absolutely nothing, whether it’s highly sophisticated or only basic. Theists can say that their God in the course of eternity could create as many life forms as he liked, and they can argue among themselves about why he might want to create them. Atheists can say that the more life there is elsewhere, the clearer it is that life can emerge naturally in an infinity of energy and matter, once chance has assembled the ingredients. People with fixed beliefs can always interpret the facts to fit in with those beliefs.

Written like a true agnostic. Many of us have fixed beliefs and find them reasonable, and reach those beliefs by studying a mass of actual evidence to reach them.

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life II

by dhw, Monday, July 15, 2019, 10:16 (195 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My own view: if there is alien life, it will prove absolutely nothing, whether it’s highly sophisticated or only basic. Theists can say that their God in the course of eternity could create as many life forms as he liked, and they can argue among themselves about why he might want to create them. Atheists can say that the more life there is elsewhere, the clearer it is that life can emerge naturally in an infinity of energy and matter, once chance has assembled the ingredients. People with fixed beliefs can always interpret the facts to fit in with those beliefs.

DAVID: Written like a true agnostic. Many of us have fixed beliefs and find them reasonable, and reach those beliefs by studying a mass of actual evidence to reach them.

Of course. Dawkins would say exactly the same. For the record, I find your fixed belief in God, as based on the design argument, perfectly reasonable. I find your fixed belief that he specially designed every life form, and did so in order that they could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design – H. sapiens – unreasonable. And as I keep pointing out, even you have "no idea" why he did it this way. (See "Unanswered questions".)

Unanswered questions: universe's purpose and alien life II

by David Turell @, Monday, July 15, 2019, 15:47 (194 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My own view: if there is alien life, it will prove absolutely nothing, whether it’s highly sophisticated or only basic. Theists can say that their God in the course of eternity could create as many life forms as he liked, and they can argue among themselves about why he might want to create them. Atheists can say that the more life there is elsewhere, the clearer it is that life can emerge naturally in an infinity of energy and matter, once chance has assembled the ingredients. People with fixed beliefs can always interpret the facts to fit in with those beliefs.

DAVID: Written like a true agnostic. Many of us have fixed beliefs and find them reasonable, and reach those beliefs by studying a mass of actual evidence to reach them.

dhw: Of course. Dawkins would say exactly the same. For the record, I find your fixed belief in God, as based on the design argument, perfectly reasonable. I find your fixed belief that he specially designed every life form, and did so in order that they could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design – H. sapiens – unreasonable. And as I keep pointing out, even you have "no idea" why he did it this way. (See "Unanswered questions".)

Your same complaint. I have chosen to assume God chose to evolve humans as His method of creation. Yes, I have 'no idea' why He made that choice against the method of direct creation, which is described in the Bible. Your assessment that you find it 'unreasonable' simply means we disagree as to God's methods. The history of evolution is exactly as you describe it in your comment above.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, July 14, 2019, 13:01 (196 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have never thought that God's actions were 'totally incomprehensible'. That has always been your problem, not mine.

dhw: It’s not your God’s actions that are incomprehensible – it is your INTERPRETATION of his actions that makes no sense. You wrote:
DAVID
Of course I have ‘no idea’ why he chose to create through evolution.”
Let us remember that for you evolution means your God’s special design of all life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What is incomprehensible is that in your version, your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, and you have no idea why he “chose” to do so by specially designing millions of other life forms etc.

DAVID: The bold is a total distortion of my view. I start with the Adler approach that humans are so special they had to be God's goal, and follow that by recognizing that humans arrived through an evolutionary process. Therefore, God chose to evolve humans. Very straight forward reasoning.

If humans had to be God’s goal, they were his purpose. Yes, humans arrived through evolution, and so did every other multicellular organism in the history of life. But you claim that “evolution” means your God specially designed ALL of them. And so you have no idea why your God chose to create humans (his only purpose) by specially designing millions of non-human life forms first. Where is the distortion?

DAVID: The 'no idea' issue is recognizing that God as a creator produced the universe in the beginning without evolving it's creation. Therefore, God might be seen as having direct creation ability, and might have the ability to directly create humans, but chose not to. If that is the case then I 'have no idea' why He chose evolution, but the evidence is that He likes to evolve: create the universe and evolve it, create the special Earth and evolve it, start life and evolve it. All entirely logical.

But what is not logical is that his one and only purpose was to “evolve” (which for you means specially design) humans, and yet he chose to “evolve” (= specially design) millions of NON-HUMAN life forms extant and extinct. You simply refuse to put your different fixed beliefs together, and it is the COMBINATION which you cannot explain: 1) single purpose; 2) your God always in control; 3) evolution means your God specially designs every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder; 4) therefore, for 3.5 billion years he specially designed anything but the one thing he wanted to design.

dhw: […] you have no idea why he would have designed all the other non-human life forms, or even all the other non-sapiens forms of homo. He just “had to” do it this way.

DAVID: I have never said God 'had to do it this way.'

Repeated over and over again, e.g. 28 June at 10,08: “You are trying to deny God knew what he had to do to get from bacteria to humans.” According to you, what he did was specially design millions of non-human life forms. Why did he “have to” specially design millions of non-human life forms in order to “get” to the only life form he wanted?

DAVID: And as usual your have reviewed an unpurposed God from your imagination.

dhw: My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to us, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

DAVID: The bolds above are exactly what I think. Your 'unfixed beliefs' lead you to imagine a very humanized God.

When I say he would know what he wants, I mean he has a purpose. He is not “unpurposed”. And yes, I offer purposes which we humans can understand. And I am delighted to see that you now agree at last that it is perfectly logical to assume that he and we may have common attributes. There is therefore no justification for dismissing logical alternative theories that entail human attributes in order to cling to the illogical four-part theory outlined above.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 14, 2019, 18:43 (195 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The bold is a total distortion of my view. I start with the Adler approach that humans are so special they had to be God's goal, and follow that by recognizing that humans arrived through an evolutionary process. Therefore, God chose to evolve humans. Very straight forward reasoning.
dhw: If humans had to be God’s goal, they were his purpose. Yes, humans arrived through evolution, and so did every other multicellular organism in the history of life. But you claim that “evolution” means your God specially designed ALL of them. And so you have no idea why your God chose to create humans (his only purpose) by specially designing millions of non-human life forms first. Where is the distortion?

You have distorted again by totally twisting my explanation: I have stated my belief is that God chose to evolve humans, starting with bacteria. Recognizing that God, as creator, created the universe , it appears He has complete powers of direct creation, but with humans, we see they appeared through evolution. Therefore, it is obvious God chose to evolve humans by directing evolution, designing all stages on the way. You are simply denying He is a designer through evolution. But as I have shown He created the universe and evolved it, created the Earth and evolved it to support life, created life and evolved it to humans. Direct creation and then evolution is his obvious methodology. You do not directly discuss this approach to understanding God's actions. You revert to distortion.


DAVID: The 'no idea' issue is recognizing that God as a creator produced the universe in the beginning without evolving it's creation. Therefore, God might be seen as having direct creation ability, and might have the ability to directly create humans, but chose not to. If that is the case then I 'have no idea' why He chose evolution, but the evidence is that He likes to evolve: create the universe and evolve it, create the special Earth and evolve it, start life and evolve it. All entirely logical.

dhw: But what is not logical is that his one and only purpose was to “evolve” (which for you means specially design) humans, and yet he chose to “evolve” (= specially design) millions of NON-HUMAN life forms extant and extinct. You simply refuse to put your different fixed beliefs together, and it is the COMBINATION which you cannot explain: 1) single purpose; 2) your God always in control; 3) evolution means your God specially designs every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder; 4) therefore, for 3.5 billion years he specially designed anything but the one thing he wanted to design.

This view of yours is that God is not really purposeful from the beginning and has no idea of how to conduct purposeful activity to achieve a goal. You imply a confused God who dithered around with all of the bush of life rather than directly creating humans. The bush of life was a necessary initial creation to provide the ecosystems that support all of life, including humans. God knows what He is doing even if you don't.


dhw: My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to us, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

DAVID: The bolds above are exactly what I think. Your 'unfixed beliefs' lead you to imagine a very humanized God.

dhw: When I say he would know what he wants, I mean he has a purpose. He is not “unpurposed”. And yes, I offer purposes which we humans can understand. And I am delighted to see that you now agree at last that it is perfectly logical to assume that he and we may have common attributes. There is therefore no justification for dismissing logical alternative theories that entail human attributes in order to cling to the illogical four-part theory outlined above.

Your logical alternatives ignore the series of logical steps I have presented above about God's motives and methods of action, while you continue to humanize your concept of God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, July 15, 2019, 10:25 (195 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You have distorted again by totally twisting my explanation: I have stated my belief is that God chose to evolve humans, starting with bacteria.

I know that is your belief. But you keep ignoring the fact that according to you, evolution means your God specially designs everything, which includes every other multicellular life form as well as humans! No distortion here, just an omission by you.

DAVID: Recognizing that God, as creator, created the universe, it appears He has complete powers of direct creation, but with humans, we see they appeared through evolution.

As did every other multicellular life form, each of which he specially designed! You keep telling us that your God either preprogrammed or dabbled not only every life form, but every stage of human evolution – e.g. the pelvis and the brain and the rest of the item you’ve listed under “human evolution”, and as you confirm in your next comment:

DAVID: Therefore, it is obvious God chose to evolve humans by directing evolution, designing all stages on the way.

But also designing all stages of every other multicellular organism that ever lived, although according to you he only wanted to design humans!

DAVID: You are simply denying He is a designer through evolution. But as I have shown He created the universe and evolved it, created the Earth and evolved it to support life, created life and evolved it to humans. Direct creation and then evolution is his obvious methodology. You do not directly discuss this approach to understanding God's actions. You revert to distortion.

If God exists, I accept that he is a designer through evolution, since I believe evolution happened! But please re-read my next comment:

dhw: But what is not logical is that his one and only purpose was to “evolve” (which for you means specially design) humans, and yet he chose to “evolve” (= specially design) millions of NON-HUMAN life forms extant and extinct. You simply refuse to put your different fixed beliefs together, and it is the COMBINATION which you cannot explain: 1) single purpose; 2) your God always in control; 3) evolution means your God specially designs every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder; 4) therefore, for 3.5 billion years he specially designed anything but the one thing he wanted to design. And I should add that you have “no idea why”.

DAVID: This view of yours is that God is not really purposeful from the beginning and has no idea of how to conduct purposeful activity to achieve a goal. You imply a confused God who dithered around with all of the bush of life rather than directly creating humans. The bush of life was a necessary initial creation to provide the ecosystems that support all of life, including humans. God knows what He is doing even if you don't.

Your reply totally ignores the comment you are replying to, which points out the logical flaws in your own theory, and you also ignore the following comment, with which you agreed!

dhw: My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

DAVID: The bolds above are exactly what I think. Your 'unfixed beliefs' lead you to imagine a very humanized God.

dhw: When I say he would know what he wants, I mean he has a purpose. He is not “unpurposed”. And yes, I offer purposes which we humans can understand. And I am delighted to see that you now agree at last that it is perfectly logical to assume that he and we may have common attributes. There is therefore no justification for dismissing logical alternative theories that entail human attributes in order to cling to the illogical four-part theory outlined above.

DAVID: Your logical alternatives ignore the series of logical steps I have presented above about God's motives and methods of action, while you continue to humanize your concept of God.

I have accepted the logic that if your God exists, he used evolution to produce all forms of life, including humans. I do not accept your fixed belief that evolution means special design of every single life form etc., or that every special design was geared to the one and only purpose of producing H.sapiens. By your own admission, it is perfectly possible that your God has human attributes. In some of my logical alternatives, however, these would explain why he might have specially designed millions of non-human life forms although his only purpose was to design humans – a theory which you have “no idea” how to explain.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, July 15, 2019, 16:14 (194 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Therefore, it is obvious God chose to evolve humans by directing evolution, designing all stages on the way.

dhw: But also designing all stages of every other multicellular organism that ever lived, although according to you he only wanted to design humans!

Having humans as a goal by evolving them does not mean God had tunnel vision. God knew He needed to supply ecosystems to support the need for food energy over the time evolved. He understood what the entire process required. Your imagined version of God in this comment diminishes my version of God's thoughts. Again, misrepresenting my thoughts and logic.


If God exists, I accept that he is a designer through evolution, since I believe evolution happened! But please re-read my next comment:

dhw: But what is not logical is that his one and only purpose was to “evolve” (which for you means specially design) humans, and yet he chose to “evolve” (= specially design) millions of NON-HUMAN life forms extant and extinct. You simply refuse to put your different fixed beliefs together, and it is the COMBINATION which you cannot explain: 1) single purpose; 2) your God always in control; 3) evolution means your God specially designs every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder; 4) therefore, for 3.5 billion years he specially designed anything but the one thing he wanted to design. And I should add that you have “no idea why”.

I have re-read it, and it is always the same. It assumes your version of a bumbling God did not know what He was doing. All you describe was necessary if God chose to evolve humans as I believe. God's goal of evolving humans involved everything you have described. Your reasoning is totally confused unless you come to understand what God's choice of method means. Humans were his desired endpoint.

dhw: Your reply totally ignores the comment you are replying to, which points out the logical flaws in your own theory, and you also ignore the following comment, with which you agreed!

dhw: My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

I've agreed only to the bolded segment as below:


DAVID: The bolds above are exactly what I think. Your 'unfixed beliefs' lead you to imagine a very humanized God.

DAVID: Your logical alternatives ignore the series of logical steps I have presented above about God's motives and methods of action, while you continue to humanize your concept of God.

dhw: I have accepted the logic that if your God exists, he used evolution to produce all forms of life, including humans. I do not accept your fixed belief that evolution means special design of every single life form etc., or that every special design was geared to the one and only purpose of producing H.sapiens. By your own admission, it is perfectly possible that your God has human attributes. In some of my logical alternatives, however, these would explain why he might have specially designed millions of non-human life forms although his only purpose was to design humans – a theory which you have “no idea” how to explain.

Your continuous unreasonable distorted complaint, especially to distorting the bolded sentence. My 'idea' is to accept that God chose to evolve humans by running the process of evolution. My 'no idea' is that I don't know why He made that choice over direct creation. Since you want me to re-read your comments, perhaps you should clear your mind by re-reading mine and clearly understanding them..

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 13:13 (194 days ago) @ David Turell

Taken over from the posts on “alien life”, as this sums up the whole argument, though it will continue so long as you insist on leaving out those of your fixed beliefs which clash with one another.

dhw: I find your fixed belief that he specially designed every life form, and did so in order that they could eat or not eat one another until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design – H. sapiens – unreasonable. And as I keep pointing out, even you have "no idea" why he did it this way.

DAVID: Your same complaint. I have chosen to assume God chose to evolve humans as His method of creation. Yes, I have 'no idea' why He made that choice against the method of direct creation, which is described in the Bible. Your assessment that you find it 'unreasonable' simply means we disagree as to God's methods. The history of evolution is exactly as you describe it in your comment above.

The history shows only that there have been millions of life forms, econiches etc. extant and extinct. Once again you leave out the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single life form etc. in history, and every single stage in human evolution, either by preprogramming or by dabbling. That IS direct creation! Your only concession to evolution is that the directly created changes take place in existing organisms, i.e. you accept common descent. He therefore devoted as much personal attention to the weaverbird’s nest as he did to fiddling with the pre-whale’s legs to turn them into flippers (add a few million other examples) as he did to fiddling with human brains and pelvises. That is what you mean by your God “running” (the word you use later) the process of evolution, and so you have no idea why your God chose to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble) ALL these non-human organs and organisms etc. (= running evolution) instead of just specially designing (directly preprogramming or dabbling) the only thing he wanted to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble).

DAVID: Therefore, it is obvious God chose to evolve humans by directing evolution, designing all stages on the way.

dhw: But also designing all stages of every other multicellular organism that ever lived, although according to you he only wanted to design humans!

DAVID: Having humans as a goal by evolving them does not mean God had tunnel vision. God knew He needed to supply ecosystems to support the need for food energy over the time evolved. He understood what the entire process required. Your imagined version of God in this comment diminishes my version of God's thoughts. Again, misrepresenting my thoughts and logic.

Here are the thoughts you impose on your God. Please correct any that are a misrepresentation. “I am in total control. The only thing I want to design (by preprogramming or dabbling) is H. sapiens. I will start doing the only thing I want to do in 3.5+ billion years’ time. Meanwhile, I will pass the 3.5 billion years by designing lots of different econiches containing lots of different specially designed life forms (to eat or not eat one another), lifestyles and natural wonders which will come and go and have nothing to do with humans. Specially designing humans requires my specially designing whale flippers, monarch butterflies’ migration, and the weaverbird’s nest.”

dhw: My starting point is that if God exists, he would know what he wants, and we have no reason to suppose that his logic will be incomprehensible to us, especially since there are several alternative hypotheses which are perfectly logical. It is also perfectly logical to assume that if he created our consciousness with all its attributes, there would be common ground between his attributes and ours. Of course ALL the hypotheses are guesswork (including the very existence of your God). But please note once more that unlike yours, none of my hypotheses represent a fixed belief – that is why I offer different hypotheses.

DAVID: The bolds above are exactly what I think.
DAVID (later): I've agreed only to the bolded segment as below:

What bolds below? A bit confusing?

dhw:[…] By your own admission, it is perfectly possible that your God has human attributes. In some of my logical alternatives, however, these would explain why he might have specially designed millions of non-human life forms although his only purpose was to design humans – a theory which you have “no idea” how to explain.

DAVID: Your continuous unreasonable distorted complaint, especially to distorting the bolded sentence. My 'idea' is to accept that God chose to evolve humans by running the process of evolution. My 'no idea' is that I don't know why He made that choice over direct creation.

See above for an analysis of what you appear to mean by “evolution”.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 18:28 (193 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your same complaint. I have chosen to assume God chose to evolve humans as His method of creation. Yes, I have 'no idea' why He made that choice against the method of direct creation, which is described in the Bible. Your assessment that you find it 'unreasonable' simply means we disagree as to God's methods. The history of evolution is exactly as you describe it in your comment above.

dhw: The history shows only that there have been millions of life forms, econiches etc. extant and extinct. Once again you leave out the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single life form etc. in history, and every single stage in human evolution, either by preprogramming or by dabbling.

Yes, your statement of my belief is exactly correct and if not stated directly is always implied.

dhw: That IS direct creation!

Of course it is, developing evolution by designed stages. What God did not do is 'direct evolution of humans' without the process of evolution. My constant view is God chose to evolve humans.

dhw:... and so you have no idea why your God chose to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble) ALL these non-human organs and organisms etc. (= running evolution) instead of just specially designing (directly preprogramming or dabbling) the only thing he wanted to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble).

The misused phrase on your part,'no idea' is taken from my point that I do not know why God chose this course of creation, but His choice is explained by the history of creation of the universe, the Earth, and life by inventing each and then evolving each. That you have not challenged this point indicates the weakness of your position, just as the constant repetition of 'no idea' indicates the emptiness of your responses.


dhw: Here are the thoughts you impose on your God. Please correct any that are a misrepresentation. “I am in total control. The only thing I want to design (by preprogramming or dabbling) is H. sapiens.

My God knows that if He has chosen to evolve humans in stages, He must design everything else first. Your version of my God is that He cannot think clearly, not really understanding what He is doing. That is not my view as you have distorted it. Distorting means a weak debate position.

dhw: I will start doing the only thing I want to do in 3.5+ billion years’ time. Meanwhile, I will pass the 3.5 billion years by designing lots of different econiches containing lots of different specially designed life forms (to eat or not eat one another), lifestyles and natural wonders which will come and go and have nothing to do with humans. Specially designing humans requires my specially designing whale flippers, monarch butterflies’ migration, and the weaverbird’s nest.”

You are exactly mirroring my concept of God's approach with your snide comments exemplified by describing my view of my God as a purposeless, dithering and bumbling creator. From my viewpoint God knows exactly what He wants to do and with a great sense of purpose pursues His goals, evolving humans by designing each stage of evolution.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 09:45 (193 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The history shows only that there have been millions of life forms, econiches etc. extant and extinct. Once again you leave out the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single life form etc. in history, and every single stage in human evolution, either by preprogramming or by dabbling.

DAVID: Yes, your statement of my belief is exactly correct and if not stated directly is always implied.

dhw: That IS direct creation!

DAVID: Of course it is, developing evolution by designed stages. What God did not do is 'direct evolution of humans' without the process of evolution. My constant view is God chose to evolve humans.

You keep using the word “evolution” to cover the incongruity of your theory. If your God specially designed all the stages of human evolution, of course he did direct evolution of humans! The process of evolution according to you entailed specially or directly designing every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder that ever existed. So your God chose to directly design every stage of everything. But what you have now left out is the fact that according to you the ONLY thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens. Therein lies the incongruity!

dhw:... and so you have no idea why your God chose to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble) ALL these non-human organs and organisms etc. (= running evolution) instead of just specially designing (directly preprogramming or dabbling) the only thing he wanted to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble).

DAVID: The misused phrase on your part,'no idea' is taken from my point that I do not know why God chose this course of creation, but His choice is explained by the history of creation of the universe, the Earth, and life by inventing each and then evolving each. That you have not challenged this point indicates the weakness of your position, just as the constant repetition of 'no idea' indicates the emptiness of your responses.

Sheer obfuscation. Yes, if your God exists, he chose evolution as his method, and your concept of evolution is that he directly designed every single development. But the argument that he chose to design every single stage does not explain why he chose to design the millions of non-human life forms etc. when the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens.

DAVID: My God knows that if He has chosen to evolve humans in stages, He must design everything else first.

Why “must” he design dinosaurs, whales’ flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests before he designs all the different stages of humans? One moment you deny using “had to”, and the next moment he “must”. What forces him to choose this way of fulfilling what you believe to be his one and only purpose?

DAVID: Your version of my God is that He cannot think clearly, not really understanding what He is doing. That is not my view as you have distorted it. Distorting means a weak debate position.

There is no distortion. If you have no idea why he “must” design every other life form extant and extinct before he designs the only thing he wants to design, it is you who are creating a weak God!

dhw: Here are the thoughts you impose on your God: […]: “I will start doing the only thing I want to do in 3.5+ billion years’ time. Meanwhile, I will pass the 3.5 billion years by designing lots of different econiches containing lots of different specially designed life forms (to eat or not eat one another), lifestyles and natural wonders which will come and go and have nothing to do with humans. Specially designing humans requires my specially designing whale flippers, monarch butterflies’ migration, and the weaverbird’s nest.

DAVID: You are exactly mirroring my concept of God's approach with your snide comments exemplified by describing my view of my God as a purposeless, dithering and bumbling creator. From my viewpoint God knows exactly what He wants to do and with a great sense of purpose pursues His goals, evolving humans by designing each stage of evolution.

Where on earth have I used such terms? I have exactly mirrored your fixed beliefs, and they are incongruous! I have stated explicitly that my view of God, if he exists, is that he knows exactly what he wants, and that he pursues his goals. I have offered you different explanations for the history of life that fit in with his goals, and you have accepted the logic of all of them. In none of them is he purposeless, dithering or bumbling. And I simply can’t believe that an always-in-control God who only wants to design humans “must” design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s migration and the weaverbird’s nest first. My proposal is that, if he exists, either he wanted them to do their own designing, or he designed them because he wanted to design them. I even go so far as to explain his possible purposes for doing so. How does this make him purposeless?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 18:37 (192 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course it is, developing evolution by designed stages. What God did not do is 'direct evolution of humans' without the process of evolution. My constant view is God chose to evolve humans.


dhw: You keep using the word “evolution” to cover the incongruity of your theory. If your God specially designed all the stages of human evolution, of course he did direct evolution of humans! The process of evolution according to you entailed specially or directly designing every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder that ever existed. So your God chose to directly design every stage of everything. But what you have now left out is the fact that according to you the ONLY thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens. Therein lies the incongruity!

I have clearly stated that I view Humans were God's goal in creating a stepwise process of evolution. God knew He had to create all the stages of development before He would arrive at humans. The bold above is your complete distortion of my position. Why do you persist in repeating it?


dhw:... and so you have no idea why your God chose to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble) ALL these non-human organs and organisms etc. (= running evolution) instead of just specially designing (directly preprogramming or dabbling) the only thing he wanted to specially design (directly preprogramme or dabble).

dhw: Sheer obfuscation. Yes, if your God exists, he chose evolution as his method, and your concept of evolution is that he directly designed every single development. But the argument that he chose to design every single stage does not explain why he chose to design the millions of non-human life forms etc. when the only thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens.

Same complete distortion of my view in the bold. Humans were His goal.


DAVID: My God knows that if He has chosen to evolve humans in stages, He must design everything else first.

dh w: Why “must” he design dinosaurs, whales’ flippers, cuttlefish camouflage and weaverbirds’ nests before he designs all the different stages of humans? One moment you deny using “had to”, and the next moment he “must”. What forces him to choose this way of fulfilling what you believe to be his one and only purpose?

Complete confusion of my view, as usual. Your one-track mind must realize that if God chose to evolve humans stage by stage from bacteria He 'had to' design all the preceding stages. God was never 'forced'. He chose this method according to His own reasons, to which we are not privy.


DAVID: Your version of my God is that He cannot think clearly, not really understanding what He is doing. That is not my view as you have distorted it. Distorting means a weak debate position.

dhw: There is no distortion. If you have no idea why he “must” design every other life form extant and extinct before he designs the only thing he wants to design, it is you who are creating a weak God!

Distortion again. See above comments. God chose to design every step of what we see as evolution. He knew exactly what had to be done. Your mantras of 'no idea' is a useless diversion.


DAVID: You are exactly mirroring my concept of God's approach with your snide comments exemplified by describing my view of my God as a purposeless, dithering and bumbling creator. From my viewpoint God knows exactly what He wants to do and with a great sense of purpose pursues His goals, evolving humans by designing each stage of evolution.

dhw: Where on earth have I used such terms? I have exactly mirrored your fixed beliefs, and they are incongruous! I have stated explicitly that my view of God, if he exists, is that he knows exactly what he wants, and that he pursues his goals. I have offered you different explanations for the history of life that fit in with his goals, and you have accepted the logic of all of them. In none of them is he purposeless, dithering or bumbling. And I simply can’t believe that an always-in-control God who only wants to design humans “must” design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s migration and the weaverbird’s nest first. My proposal is that, if he exists, either he wanted them to do their own designing, or he designed them because he wanted to design them. I even go so far as to explain his possible purposes for doing so. How does this make him purposeless?

My God is in full control, knows exactly what He wants, and chose to create humans by designing the known historical stages of evolution. Your supposed God is part human in thought, except in the bolded segment of your comment above. That I agree with!

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, July 18, 2019, 12:42 (192 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The history shows only that there have been millions of life forms, econiches etc. extant and extinct. Once again you leave out the fact that your concept of evolution is that your God specially designed every single life form etc. in history, and every single stage in human evolution, either by preprogramming or by dabbling.

DAVID: Yes, your statement of my belief is exactly correct and if not stated directly is always implied.

dhw: That IS direct creation!

DAVID: Of course it is, developing evolution by designed stages. What God did not do is 'direct evolution of humans' without the process of evolution. My constant view is God chose to evolve humans.

dhw: You keep using the word “evolution” to cover the incongruity of your theory. If your God specially designed all the stages of human evolution, of course he did direct evolution of humans! The process of evolution according to you entailed specially or directly designing every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder that ever existed. So your God chose to directly design every stage of everything. But what you have now left out is the fact that according to you the ONLY thing he wanted to design was H. sapiens. Therein lies the incongruity!

DAVID: I have clearly stated that I view Humans were God's goal in creating a stepwise process of evolution. God knew He had to create all the stages of development before He would arrive at humans. The bold above is your complete distortion of my position. Why do you persist in repeating it?

You clearly state that humans were his goal, but you deny that humans were the only thing he wanted! Sometimes you have talked of “goals”, but when asked what other goals he had, you come up with none. Where is the distortion? A goal is what you want. If there is no other goal, then there is nothing else you want! You have also denied saying that your God “had to” create millions of other life forms, econiches etc. in order to achieve his goal, but then you repeat what you denied: “he had to create all the stages of development" - which includes every new life form etc. -“to arrive at humans”! Why? You even repeat this:

DAVID: Complete confusion of my view, as usual. Your one-track mind must realize that if God chose to evolve humans stage by stage from bacteria He 'had to' design all the preceding stages. God was never 'forced'. He chose this method according to His own reasons, to which we are not privy.

Firstly, why are you limiting evolution to humans here? The problem with your theory is that he “chose to” evolve (for you = specially design) millions of non-human life forms, although humans were his goal, as you keep repeating! Secondly, if we are not privy to the reasons why he chose to evolve humans in stages or why he chose to evolve all the non-human life forms that preceded humans, it means we (or rather you) have no idea why he chose to do so! There is no distortion or “complete confusion” of your view! You simply repeat what I have said, try to put it into different words, and leave out the fact that “all the preceding stages of evolution” include millions of non-human life forms etc!

dhw: My proposal is that, if he exists, either he wanted them to do their own designing, or he designed them because he wanted to design them. I even go so far as to explain his possible purposes for doing so. How does this make him purposeless?

DAVID: My God is in full control, knows exactly what He wants, and chose to create humans by designing the known historical stages of evolution. Your supposed God is part human in thought, except in the bolded segment of your comment above. That I agree with!

The known historical stages of evolution include every new life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of evolution, and you don’t know why he “had to” design them all in order to get to his goal of designing humans. No distortion. If you agree that he wanted to design them, and you keep insisting that your God is purposeful and mine is not, please explain why you think he wanted to design, for example, the weaverbird’s nest.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 18, 2019, 15:48 (191 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have clearly stated that I view Humans were God's goal in creating a stepwise process of evolution. God knew He had to create all the stages of development before He would arrive at humans. The bold above is your complete distortion of my position. Why do you persist in repeating it?

dhw: You clearly state that humans were his goal, but you deny that humans were the only thing he wanted! Sometimes you have talked of “goals”, but when asked what other goals he had, you come up with none. Where is the distortion? A goal is what you want. If there is no other goal, then there is nothing else you want! You have also denied saying that your God “had to” create millions of other life forms, econiches etc. in order to achieve his goal, but then you repeat what you denied: “he had to create all the stages of development" - which includes every new life form etc. -“to arrive at humans”! Why? You even repeat this:

DAVID: Complete confusion of my view, as usual. Your one-track mind must realize that if God chose to evolve humans stage by stage from bacteria He 'had to' design all the preceding stages. God was never 'forced'. He chose this method according to His own reasons, to which we are not privy.

dhw: Firstly, why are you limiting evolution to humans here? The problem with your theory is that he “chose to” evolve (for you = specially design) millions of non-human life forms, although humans were his goal, as you keep repeating! Secondly, if we are not privy to the reasons why he chose to evolve humans in stages or why he chose to evolve all the non-human life forms that preceded humans, it means we (or rather you) have no idea why he chose to do so! There is no distortion or “complete confusion” of your view! You simply repeat what I have said, try to put it into different words, and leave out the fact that “all the preceding stages of evolution” include millions of non-human life forms etc!

Your response makes no sense since you continue to ignore my first step: God chose to evolve humans from start of life with bacteria. All 'non-human life' had to come first!


dhw: My proposal is that, if he exists, either he wanted them to do their own designing, or he designed them because he wanted to design them. I even go so far as to explain his possible purposes for doing so. How does this make him purposeless?

DAVID: My God is in full control, knows exactly what He wants, and chose to create humans by designing the known historical stages of evolution. Your supposed God is part human in thought, except in the bolded segment of your comment above. That I agree with!

dhw: The known historical stages of evolution include every new life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of evolution, and you don’t know why he “had to” design them all in order to get to his goal of designing humans. No distortion. If you agree that he wanted to design them, and you keep insisting that your God is purposeful and mine is not, please explain why you think he wanted to design, for example, the weaverbird’s nest.

The weaverbird nest and many other wonders of evolution were required to form ecosystems to supply food over the 3.5+ billion years evolution took to reach humans. He knew he 'had to' create the systems, vital to food supply. My 'had to' is well explained. Confusion about my theory is yours, not mine.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 07:05 (180 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Complete confusion of my view, as usual. Your one-track mind must realize that if God chose to evolve humans stage by stage from bacteria He 'had to' design all the preceding stages. God was never 'forced'. He chose this method according to His own reasons, to which we are not privy. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Firstly, why are you limiting evolution to humans here? The problem with your theory is that he “chose to” evolve (for you = specially design) millions of non-human life forms, although humans were his goal, as you keep repeating! Secondly, if we are not privy to the reasons why he chose to evolve humans in stages or why he chose to evolve all the non-human life forms that preceded humans, it means we (or rather you) have no idea why he chose to do so! There is no distortion or “complete confusion” of your view! You simply repeat what I have said, try to put it into different words, and leave out the fact that “all the preceding stages of evolution” include millions of non-human life forms etc!

DAVID: Your response makes no sense since you continue to ignore my first step: God chose to evolve humans from start of life with bacteria. All 'non-human life' had to come first!
And
DAVID: The weaverbird nest and many other wonders of evolution were required to form ecosystems to supply food over the 3.5+ billion years evolution took to reach humans. He knew he 'had to' create the systems, vital to food supply. My 'had to' is well explained. Confusion about my theory is yours, not mine.

I don’t “continue to ignore” your first step; I continue to challenge it! Your God, who is always in control and whose only purpose from the start of life was to create H. sapiens out of bacteria, apparently “had to” wait 3.5 billion years before designing various other forms of human, and therefore “had to” design millions of non-humans to keep life going, but he didn’t “have to” because that was what he chose to do, although you have no idea why (we are not “privy” to his reasons). Sorry, but I continue to find this utterly confusing.


DAVID (Under "Side effects of defense mechanisms"): Part of evolutionary relationships may simply be unintended consequences, which brings us back to God as an impersonal being, not actually caring about humans welfare.

Now you have your always-in-control God specially designing things that have consequences he didn’t intend, and his one and only purpose may have been to create something he doesn’t care about. Here are some different ideas: maybe he deliberately designed a mechanism whereby “evolutionary relationships” and indeed evolution itself had free rein, and maybe he enjoyed watching the fruits of his inventiveness, which would be no more “humanizing” than the all too human attribute of not caring about what happens to other beings. Or maybe he experimented (no more humanizing or out of control than “unintended consequences”) or maybe humans were a late addition to his thinking.

DAVID (under “human evolution”): There is genetic evidence of at least six human strains in the past:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190715094918.htm

DAVID: This discussion certainly includes the recently discovered 'hobbits'. What this means to me is there was a genetic drive to produce hominins on the way to a goal of modern humans.

I thought it all meant to you that your always-in-control God, whose one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, specially designed all the different strains because he “had to” do it that way – the proof being that he did it that way, although you have no idea why (we are not "privy" to his reasons).

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 17:53 (179 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your response makes no sense since you continue to ignore my first step: God chose to evolve humans from start of life with bacteria. All 'non-human life' had to come first!
And
DAVID: The weaverbird nest and many other wonders of evolution were required to form ecosystems to supply food over the 3.5+ billion years evolution took to reach humans. He knew he 'had to' create the systems, vital to food supply. My 'had to' is well explained. Confusion about my theory is yours, not mine.

dhw: I don’t “continue to ignore” your first step; I continue to challenge it! Your God, who is always in control and whose only purpose from the start of life was to create H. sapiens out of bacteria, apparently “had to” wait 3.5 billion years before designing various other forms of human, and therefore “had to” design millions of non-humans to keep life going, but he didn’t “have to” because that was what he chose to do, although you have no idea why (we are not “privy” to his reasons). Sorry, but I continue to find this utterly confusing.

Your confused response continues to ignore the importance of my first assumption that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Start with that assumption and the rest must follow. You obviously don't accept my first step. The rest of your objections are the result in which you deny that God should have been willing to spend the time involved. As for God's reasons as to His choice of method by evolving God, I'd remind you, God is concealed and all of his reasons and purposes are educated guesses.

DAVID (Under "Side effects of defense mechanisms"): Part of evolutionary relationships may simply be unintended consequences, which brings us back to God as an impersonal being, not actually caring about humans welfare.

dhw: Now you have your always-in-control God specially designing things that have consequences he didn’t intend, and his one and only purpose may have been to create something he doesn’t care about. Here are some different ideas: maybe he deliberately designed a mechanism whereby “evolutionary relationships” and indeed evolution itself had free rein, and maybe he enjoyed watching the fruits of his inventiveness, which would be no more “humanizing” than the all too human attribute of not caring about what happens to other beings. Or maybe he experimented (no more humanizing or out of control than “unintended consequences”) or maybe humans were a late addition to his thinking.

Once again you have attacked my cardinal point that we cannot know if God cares about us. Invent God any way you wish, but the only basis in fact is that you imagined these possibilities.


DAVID (under “human evolution”): There is genetic evidence of at least six human strains in the past:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190715094918.htm

DAVID: This discussion certainly includes the recently discovered 'hobbits'. What this means to me is there was a genetic drive to produce hominins on the way to a goal of modern humans.

dhw: I thought it all meant to you that your always-in-control God, whose one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, specially designed all the different strains because he “had to” do it that way – the proof being that he did it that way, although you have no idea why (we are not "privy" to his reasons).

Again simple: assume God chose to evolve sapiens, and the history of evolution tells us exactly what He did. Above, you guess at all the possible evolutionary mechanisms God might have employed. All sheer guesswork, with no factual basis. Just fruits of your very fertile brain. My rule is keep it simple and follow the known history.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 12:16 (179 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your confused response continues to ignore the importance of my first assumption that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Start with that assumption and the rest must follow. You obviously don't accept my first step. The rest of your objections are the result in which you deny that God should have been willing to spend the time involved. As for God's reasons as to His choice of method by evolving God, I'd remind you, God is concealed and all of his reasons and purposes are educated guesses.

YOUR VERSION OF YOUR GOD: “I am always in control, and my one and only purpose is to create H. sapiens, and therefore it follows that I have to start with bacteria, spend 3.5 billion years specially designing millions of non-human life forms, so they can eat or be eaten by one another, then start specially designing all kinds of hominins followed by all kinds of homos until I finally specially design H. sapiens. I have to do it this way because I choose to do it this way.”
I have proposed several alternatives to this illogical guess of yours (see below), all of which you agree make perfect sense. Your only objection is that all of them involve human attributes, although you cannot deny the possibility that your God might have such attributes! You do not need to keep reminding me that we are not “privy to his reasons” and that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen the utterly confusing combination of purpose and method you keep imposing on him.

DAVID (Under "Side effects of defense mechanisms"): Part of evolutionary relationships may simply be unintended consequences, which brings us back to God as an impersonal being, not actually caring about humans welfare.

dhw: Now you have your always-in-control God specially designing things that have consequences he didn’t intend, and his one and only purpose may have been to create something he doesn’t care about. Here are some different ideas: maybe he deliberately designed a mechanism whereby “evolutionary relationships” and indeed evolution itself had free rein, and maybe he enjoyed watching the fruits of his inventiveness, which would be no more “humanizing” than the all too human attribute of not caring about what happens to other beings. Or maybe he experimented (no more humanizing or out of control than “unintended consequences”) or maybe humans were a late addition to his thinking.

DAVID: Once again you have attacked my cardinal point that we cannot know if God cares about us. Invent God any way you wish, but the only basis in fact is that you imagined these possibilities.
And:
DAVID: Again simple: assume God chose to evolve sapiens, and the history of evolution tells us exactly what He did. Above, you guess at all the possible evolutionary mechanisms God might have employed. All sheer guesswork, with no factual basis. Just fruits of your very fertile brain. My rule is keep it simple and follow the known history.

We cannot know if he exists, let alone if he cares about us, and we cannot know his reasons for doing what he did. According to you, he “had to” do it your way, but he didn’t “have to” do it your way because he chose to do it your way and we don’t know why. Simple? At least my imaginings are logical and fit in with the known history, and of course I agree that they are all logical guesses or hypotheses, but unlike your own illogical guess/hypothesis, they are not a fixed belief.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 18:15 (178 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your confused response continues to ignore the importance of my first assumption that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Start with that assumption and the rest must follow. You obviously don't accept my first step. The rest of your objections are the result in which you deny that God should have been willing to spend the time involved. As for God's reasons as to His choice of method by evolving God, I'd remind you, God is concealed and all of his reasons and purposes are educated guesses.

dhw: YOUR VERSION OF YOUR GOD: “I am always in control, and my one and only purpose is to create H. sapiens, and therefore it follows that I have to start with bacteria,

Total distortion. In my view, God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. He 'didn't have to' which implies He was forced to.. God has total freedom of choice.

DAVID (Under "Side effects of defense mechanisms"): Part of evolutionary relationships may simply be unintended consequences, which brings us back to God as an impersonal being, not actually caring about humans welfare.

dhw: Now you have your always-in-control God specially designing things that have consequences he didn’t intend, and his one and only purpose may have been to create something he doesn’t care about. Here are some different ideas: maybe he deliberately designed a mechanism whereby “evolutionary relationships” and indeed evolution itself had free rein, and maybe he enjoyed watching the fruits of his inventiveness, which would be no more “humanizing” than the all too human attribute of not caring about what happens to other beings. Or maybe he experimented (no more humanizing or out of control than “unintended consequences”) or maybe humans were a late addition to his thinking.

DAVID: Once again you have attacked my cardinal point that we cannot know if God cares about us. Invent God any way you wish, but the only basis in fact is that you imagined these possibilities.
And:
DAVID: Again simple: assume God chose to evolve sapiens, and the history of evolution tells us exactly what He did. Above, you guess at all the possible evolutionary mechanisms God might have employed. All sheer guesswork, with no factual basis. Just fruits of your very fertile brain. My rule is keep it simple and follow the known history.

dhw: We cannot know if he exists, let alone if he cares about us, and we cannot know his reasons for doing what he did. According to you, he “had to” do it your way, but he didn’t “have to” do it your way because he chose to do it your way and we don’t know why. Simple? At least my imaginings are logical and fit in with the known history, and of course I agree that they are all logical guesses or hypotheses, but unlike your own illogical guess/hypothesis, they are not a fixed belief.

I am allowed to have fixed beliefs. My theory that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical, since the history of evolution gives us that option in interpreting God's actions as a way of creating humans.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, August 01, 2019, 11:14 (178 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: YOUR VERSION OF YOUR GOD: “I am always in control, and my one and only purpose is to create H. sapiens, and therefore it follows that I have to start with bacteria […]

DAVID: Total distortion. In my view, God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. He 'didn't have to' which implies He was forced to.. God has total freedom of choice.

OK, he chose to start evolution (not just humans) with bacteria. But that does not explain why he "had to" create every non-human organism that preceded H. sapiens, which is the point at issue here. QUOTES FROM YOUR PREVIOUS POSTS: “All ‘non-human life’ had to come first.” “God knew he had to create all the stages of development before he would arrive at humans.” “My God knows that if He has chosen to evolve humans in stages, He must design everything else first.” (I asked why he “must” design dinosaurs, whales’ flippers etc.) “You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans” (i.e. design 3.5 billion years’ worth of non-humans). “He knew ‘He had to create’ everything else before he got to humans.” Over and over again. And when I ask why he had to create dinosaurs and whales’ flippers and the weaverbird’s nest, I am told that they had to eat or be eaten by one another to keep life going, and when I ask why that was necessary for an always-in-control God with just one single purpose, I am told we are not privy to his reasons.

dhw: At least my imaginings are logical and fit in with the known history, and of course I agree that they are all logical guesses or hypotheses, but unlike your own illogical guess/hypothesis, they are not a fixed belief.

DAVID: I am allowed to have fixed beliefs. My theory that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical, since the history of evolution gives us that option in interpreting God's actions as a way of creating humans.

Of course you can have your fixed beliefs, but the whole purpose of this forum is to discuss and analyse all the options. Yes, your theory that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria is logical, since if he exists he clearly chose to evolve every single organism that has lived and died since life began (which incidentally doesn’t mean he chose to specially design each of them individually, as you maintain). What is not logical, if he chose to evolve (= specially design) millions of life forms, is that his one and only purpose from the very beginning was to specially design H. sapiens. Yes, we are unique in our level of consciousness and our resultant intelligence, but that does not mean that the whole history of life has been solely geared to the creation of us! Maybe H. sapiens is just part of a much broader purpose. (Tony will perhaps provide a religious one, but I am thinking more in your own terms of the painter and his paintings.) However, there is no point in my yet again repeating my list of logical alternatives.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, August 02, 2019, 18:06 (176 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: YOUR VERSION OF YOUR GOD: “I am always in control, and my one and only purpose is to create H. sapiens, and therefore it follows that I have to start with bacteria […]

DAVID: Total distortion. In my view, God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. He 'didn't have to' which implies He was forced to.. God has total freedom of choice.

dhw: OK, he chose to start evolution (not just humans) with bacteria. But that does not explain why he "had to" create every non-human organism that preceded H. sapiens, which is the point at issue here.

What you totally miss here is the history of evolution. Starting with the agreement that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria, it is patently obvious that the known history of evolution tells us what He did. The history tells us He decided what He had to do!!! I don't know why you cannot recognize this logical line of reasoning.

dhw: QUOTES FROM YOUR PREVIOUS POSTS: “All ‘non-human life’ had to come first.” “God knew he had to create all the stages of development before he would arrive at humans.” “My God knows that if He has chosen to evolve humans in stages, He must design everything else first.” (I asked why he “must” design dinosaurs, whales’ flippers etc.) “You are trying to deny God knew what He had to do to get from bacteria to humans” (i.e. design 3.5 billion years’ worth of non-humans). “He knew ‘He had to create’ everything else before he got to humans.” Over and over again. And when I ask why he had to create dinosaurs and whales’ flippers and the weaverbird’s nest, I am told that they had to eat or be eaten by one another to keep life going, and when I ask why that was necessary for an always-in-control God with just one single purpose, I am told we are not privy to his reasons.

All this just illustrates your total confusion about my line of reasoning. If God chose to evolve, history tells us what He decided to do,


dhw: At least my imaginings are logical and fit in with the known history, and of course I agree that they are all logical guesses or hypotheses, but unlike your own illogical guess/hypothesis, they are not a fixed belief.

DAVID: I am allowed to have fixed beliefs. My theory that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria is totally logical, since the history of evolution gives us that option in interpreting God's actions as a way of creating humans.

dhw: Of course you can have your fixed beliefs, but the whole purpose of this forum is to discuss and analyse all the options. Yes, your theory that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria is logical, since if he exists he clearly chose to evolve every single organism that has lived and died since life began (which incidentally doesn’t mean he chose to specially design each of them individually, as you maintain). What is not logical, if he chose to evolve (= specially design) millions of life forms, is that his one and only purpose from the very beginning was to specially design H. sapiens. Yes, we are unique in our level of consciousness and our resultant intelligence, but that does not mean that the whole history of life has been solely geared to the creation of us! Maybe H. sapiens is just part of a much broader purpose. (Tony will perhaps provide a religious one, but I am thinking more in your own terms of the painter and his paintings.) However, there is no point in my yet again repeating my list of logical alternatives.

What this tells us is that you love to enter God's mind and question the evolutionary history He created. To what purpose? Just part of your doubting the presence of a designing mind (God). Adler's reasoning tells us we are God's primary purpose. You are not required to accept it.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, August 03, 2019, 10:11 (176 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: OK, he chose to start evolution (not just humans) with bacteria. But that does not explain why he "had to" create every non-human organism that preceded H. sapiens, which is the point at issue here.

David: What you totally miss here is the history of evolution. Starting with the agreement that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria, it is patently obvious that the known history of evolution tells us what He did. The history tells us He decided what He had to do!!! I don't know why you cannot recognize this logical line of reasoning.

What you “totally miss here” is that the "known" history of evolution tells us that ALL forms of life evolved from bacteria. There is no consensus even among theists that God’s one and only reason for creating life was to evolve (which to you means “specially design”) H. sapiens by starting with bacteria! The theistic version of history can only tell us what he did, not what he intended: that is your personal interpretation of the history and of his mind.

dhw: [following a list of “had to" quotes]: “He knew ‘He had to create’ everything else before he got to humans.” Over and over again. And when I ask why he had to create dinosaurs and whales’ flippers and the weaverbird’s nest, I am told that they had to eat or be eaten by one another to keep life going, and when I ask why that was necessary for an always-in-control God with just one single purpose, I am told we are not privy to his reasons.

DAVID: All this just illustrates your total confusion about my line of reasoning. If God chose to evolve, history tells us what He decided to do.

And he decided to produce a vast bush of life, the latest form of which is H. sapiens. But according to you, despite his total control, he “had to” specially design dinosaurs and whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests before he could design the only thing he wanted to design. This is so illogical that you have “no idea” why he chose such a method – we are not “privy” to his reasons.

Dhw: Yes, we are unique in our level of consciousness and our resultant intelligence, but that does not mean that the whole history of life has been solely geared to the creation of us! Maybe H. sapiens is just part of a much broader purpose. (Tony will perhaps provide a religious one, but I am thinking more in your own terms of the painter and his paintings.) However, there is no point in my yet again repeating my list of logical alternatives.

DAVID: What this tells us is that you love to enter God's mind and question the evolutionary history He created. To what purpose? Just part of your doubting the presence of a designing mind (God). Adler's reasoning tells us we are God's primary purpose. You are not required to accept it.

I do not question the history, I question your interpretation of it. I have deliberately offered you alternative THEISTIC interpretations which are absolutely not part of my doubting God’s existence. You cannot even find any theists who support your claim that God “had to” create whale’s flippers and the weaverbird’s nest in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of designing us! I note, however, that once more you fall back on “primary purpose”. Then please tell us his other purposes, as this might open the door to a more logical view of the history. I don’t know why you keep falling back on Adler – it is your reasoning I do not accept, and you yourself admit that you have no idea why your God would have chosen such a method (specially designing millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten) to fulfil such a purpose (specially designing H. sapiens).

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, August 05, 2019, 17:20 (173 days ago) @ dhw

David: What you totally miss here is the history of evolution. Starting with the agreement that God chose to evolve humans from bacteria, it is patently obvious that the known history of evolution tells us what He did. The history tells us He decided what He had to do!!! I don't know why you cannot recognize this logical line of reasoning.

dhw: What you “totally miss here” is that the "known" history of evolution tells us that ALL forms of life evolved from bacteria. There is no consensus even among theists that God’s one and only reason for creating life was to evolve (which to you means “specially design”) H. sapiens by starting with bacteria! The theistic version of history can only tell us what he did, not what he intended: that is your personal interpretation of the history and of his mind.

I'm simply following Adler's point. Our specialness as a result of evolution can be taken as a proof God exists. This is what you do not accept.

dhw: And he decided to produce a vast bush of life, the latest form of which is H. sapiens. But according to you, despite his total control, he “had to” specially design dinosaurs and whale flippers and weaverbirds’ nests before he could design the only thing he wanted to design. This is so illogical that you have “no idea” why he chose such a method – we are not “privy” to his reasons.

Evolution required what God produced in order to reach complex humans from bacteria. Simply evolving from simple to very complex.


Dhw: Yes, we are unique in our level of consciousness and our resultant intelligence, but that does not mean that the whole history of life has been solely geared to the creation of us! Maybe H. sapiens is just part of a much broader purpose. (Tony will perhaps provide a religious one, but I am thinking more in your own terms of the painter and his paintings.) However, there is no point in my yet again repeating my list of logical alternatives.

DAVID: What this tells us is that you love to enter God's mind and question the evolutionary history He created. To what purpose? Just part of your doubting the presence of a designing mind (God). Adler's reasoning tells us we are God's primary purpose. You are not required to accept it.

dhw: I do not question the history, I question your interpretation of it. I have deliberately offered you alternative THEISTIC interpretations which are absolutely not part of my doubting God’s existence. You cannot even find any theists who support your claim that God “had to” create whale’s flippers and the weaverbird’s nest in order to keep life going until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of designing us!

I follow ID thought. All of those evolutionary steps required a designing mind. My take is an offshoot of theirs.

dhw: I note, however, that once more you fall back on “primary purpose”. Then please tell us his other purposes, as this might open the door to a more logical view of the history. I don’t know why you keep falling back on Adler – it is your reasoning I do not accept, and you yourself admit that you have no idea why your God would have chosen such a method (specially designing millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten) to fulfil such a purpose (specially designing H. sapiens).

You really don't know Adler and his reasoning. I have 'no idea' about why God chose evolution because I can't know his reasons. My concept is an amalgam of Adler and ID.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, August 06, 2019, 13:21 (173 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: What you “totally miss here” is that the "known" history of evolution tells us that ALL forms of life evolved from bacteria. There is no consensus even among theists that God’s one and only reason for creating life was to evolve (which to you means “specially design”) H. sapiens by starting with bacteria! The theistic version of history can only tell us what he did, not what he intended: that is your personal interpretation of the history and of his mind.

DAVID: I'm simply following Adler's point. Our specialness as a result of evolution can be taken as a proof God exists. This is what you do not accept.

I accept our specialness, and I accept the design argument as a powerful one for the existence of God. Yet again: I do not accept that your God specially designed every life form in evolution’s history, or that he did so for the one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: Evolution required what God produced in order to reach complex humans from bacteria. Simply evolving from simple to very complex.

According to you, evolution means that your God designed every life form, and so you are merely repeating that your God “had to” design every life form extant and extinct in order to design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. And you have “no idea” why.

DAVID: I follow ID thought. All of those evolutionary steps required a designing mind. My take is an offshoot of theirs.

Yet again, I accept the logic of the design argument. Your “take” is the issue which you yourself find inexplicable.

dhw: I note, however, that once more you fall back on “primary purpose”. Then please tell us his other purposes, as this might open the door to a more logical view of the history. I don’t know why you keep falling back on Adler – it is your reasoning I do not accept.

DAVID: You really don't know Adler and his reasoning. I have 'no idea' about why God chose evolution because I can't know his reasons. My concept is an amalgam of Adler and ID.

You refuse to answer my question about other purposes, you can’t find any reasonable explanation for the “amalgam”, you accept the logic of the theistic alternatives I keep offering you, and your only argument now seems to be that you’ve read Adler and I haven’t. But it seems that neither Adler nor ID offers one iota of support for your fixed and inexplicable belief that your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens and therefore he “had to” design the whale’s flipper and the weaverbird’s nest.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 06, 2019, 18:22 (172 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm simply following Adler's point. Our specialness as a result of evolution can be taken as a proof God exists. This is what you do not accept.

dhw: I accept our specialness, and I accept the design argument as a powerful one for the existence of God. Yet again: I do not accept that your God specially designed every life form in evolution’s history, or that he did so for the one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens.

You are simply refusing to accept my view that God chose to use the mechanism of evolution to finally produce humans. Fine. I have the right to believe that. Your views of what He might have thought have humanizing aspects all over your approach. We/I/you cannot know why God chose that method of creation.


DAVID: Evolution required what God produced in order to reach complex humans from bacteria. Simply evolving from simple to very complex.

dhw: According to you, evolution means that your God designed every life form, and so you are merely repeating that your God “had to” design every life form extant and extinct in order to design the only thing he wanted to design, which was H. sapiens. And you have “no idea” why.

Covered above. I view evolution as God's choice of creation.


DAVID: I follow ID thought. All of those evolutionary steps required a designing mind. My take is an offshoot of theirs.

dhw: Yet again, I accept the logic of the design argument. Your “take” is the issue which you yourself find inexplicable.

I can explain my choice o f theories to me. You won't accept them.


dhw: I note, however, that once more you fall back on “primary purpose”. Then please tell us his other purposes, as this might open the door to a more logical view of the history. I don’t know why you keep falling back on Adler – it is your reasoning I do not accept.

DAVID: You really don't know Adler and his reasoning. I have 'no idea' about why God chose evolution because I can't know his reasons. My concept is an amalgam of Adler and ID.

dhw: You refuse to answer my question about other purposes, you can’t find any reasonable explanation for the “amalgam”, you accept the logic of the theistic alternatives I keep offering you, and your only argument now seems to be that you’ve read Adler and I haven’t. But it seems that neither Adler nor ID offers one iota of support for your fixed and inexplicable belief that your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens and therefore he “had to” design the whale’s flipper and the weaverbird’s nest.

Your questions about God's 'other purposes' is your fertile mind attempting to humanize God. Note the discussion in: Reading God's divine nature Part II

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, August 07, 2019, 09:50 (172 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'm simply following Adler's point. Our specialness as a result of evolution can be taken as a proof God exists. This is what you do not accept.

dhw: I accept our specialness, and I accept the design argument as a powerful one for the existence of God. Yet again: I do not accept that your God specially designed every life form in evolution’s history, or that he did so for the one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: You are simply refusing to accept my view that God chose to use the mechanism of evolution to finally produce humans. Fine. I have the right to believe that.

You continue to twist the argument. If God exists, then of course he chose the mechanism of evolution to produce EVERY life form, and humans are the last life form (the “final product”) so far in the history of life. I have told you above what I do not accept – now bolded.

DAVID: Your views of what He might have thought have humanizing aspects all over your approach. We/I/you cannot know why God chose that method of creation.

The above objection to your theory does not contain a single humanization. It is an attack on your “amalgam” of two premises which do not make sense when joined together. And you yourself have “no idea” why he would have chosen to specially design billions of life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) to eat or not eat one another if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens.

dhw: I note, however, that once more you fall back on “primary purpose”. Then please tell us his other purposes, as this might open the door to a more logical view of the history. I don’t know why you keep falling back on Adler – it is your reasoning I do not accept.

DAVID: You really don't know Adler and his reasoning. I have 'no idea' about why God chose evolution because I can't know his reasons. My concept is an amalgam of Adler and ID.

dhw: You refuse to answer my question about other purposes, you can’t find any reasonable explanation for the “amalgam”, you accept the logic of the theistic alternatives I keep offering you, and your only argument now seems to be that you’ve read Adler and I haven’t. But it seems that neither Adler nor ID offers one iota of support for your fixed and inexplicable belief that your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens and therefore he “had to” design the whale’s flipper and the weaverbird’s nest.

DAVID: Your questions about God's 'other purposes' is your fertile mind attempting to humanize God. Note the discussion in: Reading God's divine nature Part II

If you use the term “primary purpose”, it automatically means there are other secondary purposes. Elsewhere you have said that designing H. sapiens was his only purpose. Which is it? I have given a detailed response to the article on God’s divine nature. Your insistence on purposefulness is already a humanization, and your insistence that you actually know what that purpose was, and that all other life forms were specially designed to eat or be eaten by one another until he achieved his only purpose, is the result of your fertile mind attempting to impose your anthropocentrism on your God.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 07, 2019, 18:10 (171 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I accept our specialness, and I accept the design argument as a powerful one for the existence of God. Yet again: I do not accept that your God specially designed every life form in evolution’s history, or that he did so for the one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: You are simply refusing to accept my view that God chose to use the mechanism of evolution to finally produce humans. Fine. I have the right to believe that.

dhw: You continue to twist the argument. If God exists, then of course he chose the mechanism of evolution to produce EVERY life form, and humans are the last life form (the “final product”) so far in the history of life. I have told you above what I do not accept – now bolded.

That reply makes no sense. If God chose to evolve then he history of evolution tells us what He did.

DAVID: Your views of what He might have thought have humanizing aspects all over your approach. We/I/you cannot know why God chose that method of creation.

dhw: The above objection to your theory does not contain a single humanization. It is an attack on your “amalgam” of two premises which do not make sense when joined together. And you yourself have “no idea” why he would have chosen to specially design billions of life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) to eat or not eat one another if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens.

Again distorting 'my no idea' which always means I don't know why He chose evolution as His method.


DAVID: Your questions about God's 'other purposes' is your fertile mind attempting to humanize God. Note the discussion in: Reading God's divine nature Part II

dhw: If you use the term “primary purpose”, it automatically means there are other secondary purposes. Elsewhere you have said that designing H. sapiens was his only purpose.

A prime purpose of course means there are secondary ones , but all support creating humans: creating a universe which will support life, creating life which is self sustaining with the right resources on a designed Earth.

dhw: Which is it? I have given a detailed response to the article on God’s divine nature. Your insistence on purposefulness is already a humanization, and your insistence that you actually know what that purpose was, and that all other life forms were specially designed to eat or be eaten by one another until he achieved his only purpose, is the result of your fertile mind attempting to impose your anthropocentrism on your God.

God can have purpose without humanizing him as you constantly attempt.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, August 08, 2019, 12:38 (171 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I accept our specialness, and I accept the design argument as a powerful one for the existence of God. Yet again: I do not accept that your God specially designed every life form in evolution’s history, or that he did so for the one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens.

DAVID: You are simply refusing to accept my view that God chose to use the mechanism of evolution to finally produce humans. Fine. I have the right to believe that.

dhw: You continue to twist the argument. If God exists, then of course he chose the mechanism of evolution to produce EVERY life form, and humans are the last life form (the “final product”) so far in the history of life. I have told you above what I do not accept – now bolded.

DAVID: That reply makes no sense. If God chose to evolve then the history of evolution tells us what He did.

Of course it does: if he exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: Your views of what He might have thought have humanizing aspects all over your approach. We/I/you cannot know why God chose that method of creation.

dhw: The above objection to your theory does not contain a single humanization. It is an attack on your “amalgam” of two premises which do not make sense when joined together. And you yourself have “no idea” why he would have chosen to specially design billions of life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) to eat or not eat one another if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens.

DAVID: Again distorting 'my no idea' which always means I don't know why He chose evolution as His method.

As his method for what? Evolution for you means special design of every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder. So you don’t know why he chose to specially design every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder if his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. Please stop trying to hide your theory behind the word “evolution”!

DAVID: Your questions about God's 'other purposes' is your fertile mind attempting to humanize God. Note the discussion in: Reading God's divine nature Part II

dhw: If you use the term “primary purpose”, it automatically means there are other secondary purposes. Elsewhere you have said that designing H. sapiens was his only purpose.

DAVID: A prime purpose of course means there are secondary ones , but all support creating humans: creating a universe which will support life, creating life which is self sustaining with the right resources on a designed Earth.

But humans are not the only life form that the universe supports! You have said that humans were his main or prime or primary purpose for creating life. What were his secondary purposes for creating life?

dhw: Which is it? I have given a detailed response to the article on God’s divine nature. Your insistence on purposefulness is already a humanization, and your insistence that you actually know what that purpose was, and that all other life forms were specially designed to eat or be eaten by one another until he achieved his only purpose, is the result of your fertile mind attempting to impose your anthropocentrism on your God.

DAVID: God can have purpose without humanizing him as you constantly attempt.

Fine. That does not explain why, if his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, he spent 3.5+ billion years specially designing billions of other life forms (plus lifestyles plus natural wonders) to eat one another.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 08, 2019, 15:10 (170 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: That reply makes no sense. If God chose to evolve then the history of evolution tells us what He did.

dhw: Of course it does: if he exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

Makes perfect sense to me because I assume He designed all of it. His end purpose was humans.

DAVID: Again distorting 'my no idea' which always means I don't know why He chose evolution as His method.

dhw: As his method for what? Evolution for you means special design of every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder. So you don’t know why he chose to specially design every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder if his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. Please stop trying to hide your theory behind the word “evolution”!

I'm not hiding behind 'evolution'. God chose to evolve the universe, the Earth, asnd all of life!


DAVID: Your questions about God's 'other purposes' is your fertile mind attempting to humanize God. Note the discussion in: Reading God's divine nature Part II

dhw: If you use the term “primary purpose”, it automatically means there are other secondary purposes. Elsewhere you have said that designing H. sapiens was his only purpose.

DAVID: A prime purpose of course means there are secondary ones , but all support creating humans: creating a universe which will support life, creating life which is self sustaining with the right resources on a designed Earth.

dhw: But humans are not the only life form that the universe supports! You have said that humans were his main or prime or primary purpose for creating life. What were his secondary purposes for creating life?

I'm not sure there were any. I'm still with Adler.


dhw: Which is it? I have given a detailed response to the article on God’s divine nature. Your insistence on purposefulness is already a humanization, and your insistence that you actually know what that purpose was, and that all other life forms were specially designed to eat or be eaten by one another until he achieved his only purpose, is the result of your fertile mind attempting to impose your anthropocentrism on your God.

DAVID: God can have purpose without humanizing him as you constantly attempt.

dhw: Fine. That does not explain why, if his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, he spent 3.5+ billion years specially designing billions of other life forms (plus lifestyles plus natural wonders) to eat one another.

Same chorus: you accept above that He created the bush, which led to humans. I view teh bush as a requirement for food supply.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, August 09, 2019, 12:33 (170 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ...if he [God] exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: Makes perfect sense to me because I assume He designed all of it. His end purpose was humans.

That is the combination that does NOT make sense. Yet again: why specially design the whale’s flipper and the weaverbird’s nest, times a few billion other examples, if his end purpose was humans? The answer is: you have no idea.

DAVID: Again distorting 'my no idea' which always means I don't know why He chose evolution as His method.

dhw: As his method for what? […] Please stop trying to hide your theory behind the word “evolution”!

DAVID: I'm not hiding behind 'evolution'. God chose to evolve the universe, the Earth, and all of life!

If God exists, then of course he did precisely that. But yet again ad nauseam: for you evolution means your God specially designed every life form, and the purpose of his designing every non-human life form was to design one life form – H. sapiens. THAT is the illogical combination that you try to gloss over by focusing solely on our shared belief that the universe, the Earth and life evolved.

Dhw: You have said that humans were his main or prime or primary purpose for creating life. What were his secondary purposes for creating life?

DAVID: I'm not sure there were any. I'm still with Adler.

So why do you keep talking of goals, primary/prime/main purpose if you can’t even name secondary purposes? You are stuck with the incongruity of a single purpose (H. sapiens) achieved by an always-in-control God whose method of achieving his single purpose is to avoid achieving his purpose by designing the huge bush of non-human life forms. Your explanation:

David: […] you accept above that He created the bush, which led to humans. I view teh bush as a requirement for food supply.

And so in order to achieve his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens, he specially designs millions and millions of non-human life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) so that they can eat or be eaten by one another until he specially designs the only thing he wants to design. You have “no idea” why he chose this totally illogical method of achieving his purpose, and you accept the logic of my alternative explanations but reject them because they do not fit in with your dehumanized preconceptions about God’s nature. Perhaps we should leave it at that.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, August 09, 2019, 15:41 (169 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: ...if he [God] exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: Makes perfect sense to me because I assume He designed all of it. His end purpose was humans.

dhw: That is the combination that does NOT make sense. Yet again: why specially design the whale’s flipper and the weaverbird’s nest, times a few billion other examples, if his end purpose was humans? The answer is: you have no idea.

DAVID: Again distorting 'my no idea' which always means I don't know why He chose evolution as His method.

dhw: As his method for what? […] Please stop trying to hide your theory behind the word “evolution”!

DAVID: I'm not hiding behind 'evolution'. God chose to evolve the universe, the Earth, and all of life!

dhw: If God exists, then of course he did precisely that. But yet again ad nauseam: for you evolution means your God specially designed every life form, and the purpose of his designing every non-human life form was to design one life form – H. sapiens. THAT is the illogical combination that you try to gloss over by focusing solely on our shared belief that the universe, the Earth and life evolved.

Dhw: You have said that humans were his main or prime or primary purpose for creating life. What were his secondary purposes for creating life?

DAVID: I'm not sure there were any. I'm still with Adler.

dhw: So why do you keep talking of goals, primary/prime/main purpose if you can’t even name secondary purposes? You are stuck with the incongruity of a single purpose (H. sapiens) achieved by an always-in-control God whose method of achieving his single purpose is to avoid achieving his purpose by designing the huge bush of non-human life forms. Your explanation:

David: […] you accept above that He created the bush, which led to humans. I view teh bush as a requirement for food supply.

dhw: And so in order to achieve his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens, he specially designs millions and millions of non-human life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) so that they can eat or be eaten by one another until he specially designs the only thing he wants to design. You have “no idea” why he chose this totally illogical method of achieving his purpose, and you accept the logic of my alternative explanations but reject them because they do not fit in with your dehumanized preconceptions about God’s nature. Perhaps we should leave it at that.

I have bolded the inconsistencies in your statements. You agree that God 'possibly'ran the process of evolution, but then deny the possibility that God designed every step in evolution, which is what I believe. We can end of that.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 12:22 (169 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ..if he [God] exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: I'm not hiding behind 'evolution'. God chose to evolve the universe, the Earth, and all of life!

dhw: If God exists, then of course he did precisely that. But yet again ad nauseam: for you evolution means your God specially designed every life form, and the purpose of his designing every non-human life form was to design one life form – H. sapiens. THAT is the illogical combination that you try to gloss over by focusing solely on our shared belief that the universe, the Earth and life evolved.

DAVID: […] you accept above that He created the bush, which led to humans. I view teh bush as a requirement for food supply.

dhw: And so in order to achieve his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens, he specially designs millions and millions of non-human life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) so that they can eat or be eaten by one another until he specially designs the only thing he wants to design. You have “no idea” why he chose this totally illogical method of achieving his purpose, and you accept the logic of my alternative explanations but reject them because they do not fit in with your dehumanized preconceptions about God’s nature. Perhaps we should leave it at that.

DAVID: I have bolded the inconsistencies in your statements. You agree that God 'possibly'ran the process of evolution, but then deny the possibility that God designed every step in evolution, which is what I believe. We can end of that.

I did not say he “ran it”. You know very well that my own proposal is that, if he exists, he created the higgledy-piggledy bush by inventing a mechanism through which evolution ran itself by means of autonomous cellular intelligence. What I deny is exactly what I have written above: the possibility that he specially designed every single life form (plus every single lifestyle and natural wonder) to eat or be eaten by one another, and he did so with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. This is your concept of evolution, and you keep admitting that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. Once more, it is the COMBINATION of these two hypotheses that makes no sense, but this combination is your fixed belief and you won't budge. That, then, is the point at which I think we can end this discussion

xxxxxxxxx

Thank you for the two posts on genome/cellular complexity, which you conclude could not be the result of chance. In your post on the “Reality” thread, you wrote: “We agree lots of the time.” You are right. These important articles highlighting the astonishing complexities even of micro-organisms are the best possible evidence for the existence of a designer and, together with certain kinds of psychic experience, they are the factors that lead me to reject atheism, although as you know there are other factors that also lead me to reject theism. (More fool me, as one –ism has to be the right answer to all our unanswered questions.) I am painfully aware that there is an imbalance in our discussions, since most of my posts are critiques of your own, so I am taking this opportunity to redress the balance and also to thank you again for this wonderful, on-going education.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 15:35 (168 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: ..if he [God] exists, the history tells us that he created a huge and ever changing bush of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. What makes no sense is the claim that all of them were specially designed, and yet his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens.

DAVID: I'm not hiding behind 'evolution'. God chose to evolve the universe, the Earth, and all of life!

dhw: If God exists, then of course he did precisely that. But yet again ad nauseam: for you evolution means your God specially designed every life form, and the purpose of his designing every non-human life form was to design one life form – H. sapiens. THAT is the illogical combination that you try to gloss over by focusing solely on our shared belief that the universe, the Earth and life evolved.

DAVID: […] you accept above that He created the bush, which led to humans. I view teh bush as a requirement for food supply.

dhw: And so in order to achieve his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens, he specially designs millions and millions of non-human life forms (plus lifestyles and natural wonders) so that they can eat or be eaten by one another until he specially designs the only thing he wants to design. You have “no idea” why he chose this totally illogical method of achieving his purpose, and you accept the logic of my alternative explanations but reject them because they do not fit in with your dehumanized preconceptions about God’s nature. Perhaps we should leave it at that.

DAVID: I have bolded the inconsistencies in your statements. You agree that God 'possibly'ran the process of evolution, but then deny the possibility that God designed every step in evolution, which is what I believe. We can end of that.

dhw: I did not say he “ran it”. You know very well that my own proposal is that, if he exists, he created the higgledy-piggledy bush by inventing a mechanism through which evolution ran itself by means of autonomous cellular intelligence. What I deny is exactly what I have written above: the possibility that he specially designed every single life form (plus every single lifestyle and natural wonder) to eat or be eaten by one another, and he did so with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens. This is your concept of evolution, and you keep admitting that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. Once more, it is the COMBINATION of these two hypotheses that makes no sense, but this combination is your fixed belief and you won't budge. That, then, is the point at which I think we can end this discussion.

Fixed beliefs do make sense to those of us who believe, but not to those who cannot believe. The end.


xxxxxxxxx

dhw: Thank you for the two posts on genome/cellular complexity, which you conclude could not be the result of chance. In your post on the “Reality” thread, you wrote: “We agree lots of the time.” You are right. These important articles highlighting the astonishing complexities even of micro-organisms are the best possible evidence for the existence of a designer and, together with certain kinds of psychic experience, they are the factors that lead me to reject atheism, although as you know there are other factors that also lead me to reject theism. (More fool me, as one –ism has to be the right answer to all our unanswered questions.) I am painfully aware that there is an imbalance in our discussions, since most of my posts are critiques of your own, so I am taking this opportunity to redress the balance and also to thank you again for this wonderful, on-going education.

It's my education also . Never stop learning!

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 11:20 (168 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Once more, it is the COMBINATION of these two hypotheses that makes no sense, but this combination is your fixed belief and you won't budge. That, then, is the point at which I think we can end this discussion.

DAVID: Fixed beliefs do make sense to those of us who believe, but not to those who cannot believe. The end.

Not quite the end, since in this case you have admitted over and over again that you have no idea why your God would choose the method you impose on him for implementing the purpose you impose on him. How, then, can you claim it makes sense to you? For clarity, a summary of the combined fixed beliefs that leave you with no conceivable explanation: your God is always in full control, and his sole purpose in creating life was to specially design H. sapiens. 3.8 thousand million years ago, in order to fulfil this one and only purpose, he provided the very first cells with specific programmes (you said you could dispense with your dabble theory) for every single life form extant and extinct – so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until the pre-human-hominin-different homos-Homo sapiens programmes clicked into action – plus every lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, all to be passed on through the rest of time. Of course you are entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, and to criticize those who cannot share your belief, but since you cannot find any logical explanation for this specific method of fulfilling this specific purpose, perhaps you could simply say that your fixed belief is based on blind faith. That would be the end.


Xxxx

Under “biological complexity”, but we may as well include it on this thread, since it deals with such an important unanswered question – namely, the existence of God!

DAVID: What is interesting and obvious from the comments made by dhw is that except for the very strong evidence of design, he would be an atheist. I think his early exposure to religion has caused some confusion in his thinking. The designer does not have to be religion's God as the ID folks constantly point out, but logic indicates there must be a designer. dhw can still be agnostic about who or what the designer represents while accepting a designer's existence and leave it at that. The next step is to recognize it requires a thinking, planning mind. No further step is necessary.

Yes, it is the design argument plus certain types of psychic experience that keep me from being an atheist. But you quite rightly point out that you cannot have a designer without a thinking, planning mind. There is no confusion here: belief in a God requires belief in a sourceless, infinite, eternal, immaterial form of consciousness that even you admit is “hidden” and unknowable. This requires just as much faith as belief that mindless, infinite and eternally changing energy and materials might one day produce a combination that will give rise to all the evolving complexities of life and consciousness. Nothing to do with religion, I’m afraid, though that does not stop me from discussing the logic or otherwise of people’s religious beliefs – e.g. that their God specially designed the whole of life with the single purpose of creating H. sapiens, who should admire his works and with whom he wants a relationship.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 15:25 (167 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] Once more, it is the COMBINATION of these two hypotheses that makes no sense, but this combination is your fixed belief and you won't budge. That, then, is the point at which I think we can end this discussion.

DAVID: Fixed beliefs do make sense to those of us who believe, but not to those who cannot believe. The end.

dhw: Not quite the end, since in this case you have admitted over and over again that you have no idea why your God would choose the method you impose on him for implementing the purpose you impose on him. How, then, can you claim it makes sense to you? For clarity, a summary of the combined fixed beliefs that leave you with no conceivable explanation: your God is always in full control, and his sole purpose in creating life was to specially design H. sapiens. 3.8 thousand million years ago, in order to fulfil this one and only purpose, he provided the very first cells with specific programmes (you said you could dispense with your dabble theory) for every single life form extant and extinct – so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until the pre-human-hominin-different homos-Homo sapiens programmes clicked into action – plus every lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct, all to be passed on through the rest of time. Of course you are entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, and to criticize those who cannot share your belief, but since you cannot find any logical explanation for this specific method of fulfilling this specific purpose, perhaps you could simply say that your fixed belief is based on blind faith. That would be the end.

My steps are simple: God exists. So do humans who are amazingly complex, and an unlikely result of the evolution which proceeded them. We differ in kind. Therefore we are God's main purpose in His creation. The rest of your discussion are criticisms of my attempts at possible explanations of the methods God used. And yes, they can be criticized becasue they are all unproven propositions.

Xxxx

Under “biological complexity”, but we may as well include it on this thread, since it deals with such an important unanswered question – namely, the existence of God!

DAVID: What is interesting and obvious from the comments made by dhw is that except for the very strong evidence of design, he would be an atheist. I think his early exposure to religion has caused some confusion in his thinking. The designer does not have to be religion's God as the ID folks constantly point out, but logic indicates there must be a designer. dhw can still be agnostic about who or what the designer represents while accepting a designer's existence and leave it at that. The next step is to recognize it requires a thinking, planning mind. No further step is necessary.

dhw: Yes, it is the design argument plus certain types of psychic experience that keep me from being an atheist. But you quite rightly point out that you cannot have a designer without a thinking, planning mind. There is no confusion here: belief in a God requires belief in a sourceless, infinite, eternal, immaterial form of consciousness that even you admit is “hidden” and unknowable. This requires just as much faith as belief that mindless, infinite and eternally changing energy and materials might one day produce a combination that will give rise to all the evolving complexities of life and consciousness. Nothing to do with religion, I’m afraid, though that does not stop me from discussing the logic or otherwise of people’s religious beliefs – e.g. that their God specially designed the whole of life with the single purpose of creating H. sapiens, who should admire his works and with whom he wants a relationship.

What you have described is simply that there must be a designer or chance events did it. Which is more logical is a bridge you cannot cross, but the chasm can be leaped.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, August 12, 2019, 12:30 (167 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course you are entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, and to criticize those who cannot share your belief, but since you cannot find any logical explanation for this specific method of fulfilling this specific purpose, perhaps you could simply say that your fixed belief is based on blind faith. That would be the end.

DAVID: My steps are simple: God exists. So do humans who are amazingly complex, and an unlikely result of the evolution which proceeded them. We differ in kind. Therefore we are God's main purpose in His creation. The rest of your discussion are criticisms of my attempts at possible explanations of the methods God used. And yes, they can be criticized becasue they are all unproven propositions.

Once again you resort to “main” purpose, which means there are other purposes, but when challenged, you can’t think of any. For argument’s sake, I am accepting that “God exists”, and I do not doubt that we amazingly complex beings exist, but so do/did billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, all species differ in kind, and you have no idea why your God would have specially designed every single one of them to eat or be eaten by one another, even though according to you his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. Please stop editing your own fixed beliefs, leaving out the bits that don’t fit together. All propositions are unproven, but the reason for my criticism is that your combined propositions do not make sense, even to you (we are not “privy” to your God’s reasons for using your version of his method to fulfil your version of his one and only purpose). Your fixed belief in this combination of fixed beliefs requires blind faith. The end?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:26 (166 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course you are entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, and to criticize those who cannot share your belief, but since you cannot find any logical explanation for this specific method of fulfilling this specific purpose, perhaps you could simply say that your fixed belief is based on blind faith. That would be the end.

DAVID: My steps are simple: God exists. So do humans who are amazingly complex, and an unlikely result of the evolution which proceeded them. We differ in kind. Therefore we are God's main purpose in His creation. The rest of your discussion are criticisms of my attempts at possible explanations of the methods God used. And yes, they can be criticized becasue they are all unproven propositions.

dhw: Once again you resort to “main” purpose, which means there are other purposes, but when challenged, you can’t think of any. For argument’s sake, I am accepting that “God exists”, and I do not doubt that we amazingly complex beings exist, but so do/did billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, all species differ in kind, and you have no idea why your God would have specially designed every single one of them to eat or be eaten by one another, even though according to you his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. Please stop editing your own fixed beliefs, leaving out the bits that don’t fit together. All propositions are unproven, but the reason for my criticism is that your combined propositions do not make sense, even to you (we are not “privy” to your God’s reasons for using your version of his method to fulfil your version of his one and only purpose). Your fixed belief in this combination of fixed beliefs requires blind faith. The end?

I'll stick to my position nad you to yours. the end.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:48 (166 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'll stick to my position and you to yours. The end.

It should have been the end, but under “Reality”, we have the following exchange:
DAVID: What is anathema is trying to attribute human mental traits to God. Some or all may exist, but all we can do is guess.

dhw: Of course we can only guess at his nature and his purposes (not to mention his existence), but it is anathema to you if someone guesses at either of these unless it is your guess, which is that he is always in control and is purposeful, and his one and only purpose in creating life was to produce H. sapiens, and he specially designed billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (like the remarkable jumping larva of the golden rod gall midge) only so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens. You even guessed yourself once that his purpose in specially designing all these wonders (if he did design them) could have been to enjoy his own work, like a painter enjoying his paintings. But for some reason you have a fixed belief in the "eat or be eaten" guess.

DAVID: My fixed belief is supported by the history we have uncovered. Humans are the current and possibly the last endpoint, and everyone has eaten or been eaten since the beginning. My fixed reason is entirely based on fact and logic.

Every organism eats, breathes, reproduces, lives and dies, and that is supposed to explain why your God specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest and 3.5 billion years’ worth of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens! You repeatedly tell us that you have “no idea” why God chose your version of his method of fulfilling your version of his purpose (we are not “privy” to his reasons), so please don’t tell us now that it is based on fact and logic. Just stick to your blind faith in God’s logic being different from human logic, and we can leave it at that.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 15:06 (165 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'll stick to my position and you to yours. The end.

It should have been the end, but under “Reality”, we have the following exchange:
DAVID: What is anathema is trying to attribute human mental traits to God. Some or all may exist, but all we can do is guess.

dhw: Of course we can only guess at his nature and his purposes (not to mention his existence), but it is anathema to you if someone guesses at either of these unless it is your guess, which is that he is always in control and is purposeful, and his one and only purpose in creating life was to produce H. sapiens, and he specially designed billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (like the remarkable jumping larva of the golden rod gall midge) only so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens. You even guessed yourself once that his purpose in specially designing all these wonders (if he did design them) could have been to enjoy his own work, like a painter enjoying his paintings. But for some reason you have a fixed belief in the "eat or be eaten" guess.

DAVID: My fixed belief is supported by the history we have uncovered. Humans are the current and possibly the last endpoint, and everyone has eaten or been eaten since the beginning. My fixed reason is entirely based on fact and logic.

dhw: Every organism eats, breathes, reproduces, lives and dies, and that is supposed to explain why your God specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest and 3.5 billion years’ worth of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens! You repeatedly tell us that you have “no idea” why God chose your version of his method of fulfilling your version of his purpose (we are not “privy” to his reasons), so please don’t tell us now that it is based on fact and logic. Just stick to your blind faith in God’s logic being different from human logic, and we can leave it at that.

If you accept my proposition that it is conceivable God chose to evolve all of life, and you have in the past, then my point in logical.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 13:23 (165 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My fixed belief is supported by the history we have uncovered. Humans are the current and possibly the last endpoint, and everyone has eaten or been eaten since the beginning. My fixed reason is entirely based on fact and logic.

dhw: Every organism eats, breathes, reproduces, lives and dies, and that is supposed to explain why your God specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest and 3.5 billion years’ worth of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens! You repeatedly tell us that you have “no idea” why God chose your version of his method of fulfilling your version of his purpose (we are not “privy” to his reasons), so please don’t tell us now that it is based on fact and logic. Just stick to your blind faith in God’s logic being different from human logic, and we can leave it at that.

DAVID: If you accept my proposition that it is conceivable God chose to evolve all of life, and you have in the past, then my point in logical.

If God exists, then of course he chose to evolve the whole of life. But firstly by “evolve” you mean specially design, whereas I propose (theistic version) that he chose to create an autonomous inventive mechanism which enabled organisms themselves to run evolution and produce the whole of life as we know it. Secondly, even with your definition, your above statement does not tell us that he chose to specially design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest for the one and only purpose of getting them all to eat or be eaten by one another until he evolved (= specially designed) Homo sapiens, which was the only thing he wanted to evolve = (specially design)! THIS is your complete theory, and you keep admitting that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose, so please stop pretending that it is logical. Should be the end.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 16:51 (164 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My fixed belief is supported by the history we have uncovered. Humans are the current and possibly the last endpoint, and everyone has eaten or been eaten since the beginning. My fixed reason is entirely based on fact and logic.

dhw: Every organism eats, breathes, reproduces, lives and dies, and that is supposed to explain why your God specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest and 3.5 billion years’ worth of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens! You repeatedly tell us that you have “no idea” why God chose your version of his method of fulfilling your version of his purpose (we are not “privy” to his reasons), so please don’t tell us now that it is based on fact and logic. Just stick to your blind faith in God’s logic being different from human logic, and we can leave it at that.

DAVID: If you accept my proposition that it is conceivable God chose to evolve all of life, and you have in the past, then my point in logical.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he chose to evolve the whole of life. But firstly by “evolve” you mean specially design, whereas I propose (theistic version) that he chose to create an autonomous inventive mechanism which enabled organisms themselves to run evolution and produce the whole of life as we know it. Secondly, even with your definition, your above statement does not tell us that he chose to specially design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest for the one and only purpose of getting them all to eat or be eaten by one another until he evolved (= specially designed) Homo sapiens, which was the only thing he wanted to evolve = (specially design)! THIS is your complete theory, and you keep admitting that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose, so please stop pretending that it is logical. Should be the end.

The two bolds in your statement are totally in conflict with each other. God 'Evolving the whole of life' must be considered as God designing each stage like whale flippers. And you keep distorting my 'no idea' which refers only to my point that I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation. Your continual distortion of my position will keep this thread going. I will not be misrepresented.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:04 (164 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If you accept my proposition that it is conceivable God chose to evolve all of life, and you have in the past, then my point in logical.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he chose to evolve the whole of life. But firstly by “evolve” you mean specially design, whereas I propose (theistic version) that he chose to create an autonomous inventive mechanism which enabled organisms themselves to run evolution and produce the whole of life as we know it. Secondly, even with your definition, your above statement does not tell us that he chose to specially design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest for the one and only purpose of getting them all to eat or be eaten by one another until he evolved (= specially designed) Homo sapiens, which was the only thing he wanted to evolve = (specially design)! THIS is your complete theory, and you keep admitting that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose, so please stop pretending that it is logical. Should be the end.

DAVID: The two bolds in your statement are totally in conflict with each other. God 'Evolving the whole of life' must be considered as God designing each stage like whale flippers.

You seem to have forgotten my (theistic) proposal that he chose to evolve the whole of life by designing an autonomous inventive mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. Why "must" your "evolution = special design" be the only acceptable interpretation?

DAVID: And you keep distorting my 'no idea' which refers only to my point that I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation. Your continual distortion of my position will keep this thread going. I will not be misrepresented.

Evolution of what? You keep leaving out the fact that (a) your God “evolved” billions of non-human life forms etc. although his only purpose was to “evolve” H. sapiens, and you ignore the fact that preprogramming and dabbling are both forms of direct creation! If you feel I have misrepresented you, then please explain once and for all why your God fulfilled his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens by first specially designing every other non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct so that all the life forms could eat or be eaten by one another.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 15, 2019, 19:37 (163 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Thursday, August 15, 2019, 20:12

DAVID: If you accept my proposition that it is conceivable God chose to evolve all of life, and you have in the past, then my point in logical.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he chose to evolve the whole of life. But firstly by “evolve” you mean specially design, whereas I propose (theistic version) that he chose to create an autonomous inventive mechanism which enabled organisms themselves to run evolution and produce the whole of life as we know it. Secondly, even with your definition, your above statement does not tell us that he chose to specially design the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest for the one and only purpose of getting them all to eat or be eaten by one another until he evolved (= specially designed) Homo sapiens, which was the only thing he wanted to evolve = (specially design)! THIS is your complete theory, and you keep admitting that you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to fulfil such a purpose, so please stop pretending that it is logical. Should be the end.

DAVID: The two bolds in your statement are totally in conflict with each other. God 'Evolving the whole of life' must be considered as God designing each stage like whale flippers.

dhw: You seem to have forgotten my (theistic) proposal that he chose to evolve the whole of life by designing an autonomous inventive mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. Why "must" your "evolution = special design" be the only acceptable interpretation?

You can interpret God any way you want. I view Him as purposeful and controlling and His evolved organisms, as presented, are not capable to do their own design, in my fixed view.


DAVID: And you keep distorting my 'no idea' which refers only to my point that I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation. Your continual distortion of my position will keep this thread going. I will not be misrepresented.

dhw: Evolution of what? You keep leaving out the fact that (a) your God “evolved” billions of non-human life forms etc. although his only purpose was to “evolve” H. sapiens, and you ignore the fact that preprogramming and dabbling are both forms of direct creation!

My definition of direct creation is the Biblical story of one complete stage at a time, not a long-term evolution of forms.

dhw ; If you feel I have misrepresented you, then please explain once and for all why your God fulfilled his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens by first specially designing every other non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct so that all the life forms could eat or be eaten by one another.

I'll repeat the proposition you refuse to recognize. God chose to evolve all forms starting with bacteria, and currently ending with humans. Why is that concept so hard to accept? I fully believe that He made choice, and that is more probable than your insistence on a God-given IM. Your complaint suggests you believe God would not want to do it patiently over time. How do you know that? Controlling creations by evolutionary methods implies just exactly what I propose, designing all stages as they changed from simple to more complex. This statement should be quite clear to anyone who reads it . Doesn't God have the right to choose His methodology?

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, August 16, 2019, 08:35 (163 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The two bolds in your statement are totally in conflict with each other. God 'Evolving the whole of life' must be considered as God designing each stage like whale flippers.

dhw: You seem to have forgotten my (theistic) proposal that he chose to evolve the whole of life by designing an autonomous inventive mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. Why "must" your "evolution = special design" be the only acceptable interpretation?

DAVID: You can interpret God any way you want. I view Him as purposeful and controlling and His evolved organisms, as presented, are not capable to do their own design, in my fixed view.

I have no doubt that if he exists he is purposeful. But I do not understand why he should be limited to your interpretation of his purpose, namely to designing H. sapiens, when the history of life shows a colossal bush of other life forms. This suggests that if he had your single purpose, he was not “controlling” (i.e. he could have chosen to relinquish control - as you believe he did with human free will). And your fixed view does not mean that another view is impossible.

DAVID: And you keep distorting my 'no idea' which refers only to my point that I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation. Your continual distortion of my position will keep this thread going. I will not be misrepresented.

dhw: Evolution of what? You keep leaving out the fact that (a) your God “evolved” billions of non-human life forms etc. although his only purpose was to “evolve” H. sapiens, and you ignore the fact that preprogramming and dabbling are both forms of direct creation!
DAVID: My definition of direct creation is the Biblical story of one complete stage at a time, not a long-term evolution of forms
.

Your theory is not biblical Creationism, but how can precise programming and dabbling be regarded as anything but forms of direct creation? I doubt if you will ever find a definition of Evolution as God’s long-term preprogramming and/or dabbling of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders.

dhw: If you feel I have misrepresented you, then please explain once and for all why your God fulfilled his sole purpose of specially designing H. sapiens by first specially designing every other non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct so that all the life forms could eat or be eaten by one another.

DAVID: I'll repeat the proposition you refuse to recognize.

I wish you would simply give me a straight explanation of the above, as requested. Instead, we have to go over the same process of you splitting up your different beliefs, whereas it is the COMBINATION that makes no sense. So here we go again:

DAVID: God chose to evolve all forms starting with bacteria, and currently ending with humans. Why is that concept so hard to accept?

It is not hard to accept. What is hard to accept is that humans were his one and only purpose, and that is why he specially designed all the other non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another.

DAVID: I fully believe that He made choice, and that is more probable than your insistence on a God-given IM.

I know you that is your belief. You still have not explained what I asked you to explain.

DAVID: Your complaint suggests you believe God would not want to do it patiently over time. How do you know that? Controlling creations by evolutionary methods implies just exactly what I propose, designing all stages as they changed from simple to more complex. This statement should be quite clear to anyone who reads it.

My complaint is not that evolution takes time, or that it involves simple changing to more complex, but that if your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, why did he design countless non-human life forms (plus non-human lifestyles and natural wonders) to eat or be eaten by one another?

DAVID: Doesn't God have the right to choose His methodology?

Of course he does. But that does not mean that your version of his method of achieving your version of his purpose is correct. So please let us have the explanation I asked for. If it helps you, perhaps you could say: He specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest etc. so that all the different life forms would eat or be eaten by one another, and if he hadn’t done so, he would not have been able to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens because…..

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, August 16, 2019, 18:41 (162 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You can interpret God any way you want. I view Him as purposeful and controlling and His evolved organisms, as presented, are not capable to do their own design, in my fixed view.

dhw: I have no doubt that if he exists he is purposeful. But I do not understand why he should be limited to your interpretation of his purpose, namely to designing H. sapiens, when the history of life shows a colossal bush of other life forms. This suggests that if he had your single purpose, he was not “controlling” (i.e. he could have chosen to relinquish control - as you believe he did with human free will). And your fixed view does not mean that another view is impossible.

If God's choice of creation method is evolution, as I propose, then his purpose is obvious: a full bush of life supplying the food energy to cover the time to reach the human species. A well planned course of action.


DAVID: And you keep distorting my 'no idea' which refers only to my point that I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation. Your continual distortion of my position will keep this thread going. I will not be misrepresented.

dhw: Evolution of what? You keep leaving out the fact that (a) your God “evolved” billions of non-human life forms etc. although his only purpose was to “evolve” H. sapiens, and you ignore the fact that preprogramming and dabbling are both forms of direct creation!

DAVID: My definition of direct creation is the Biblical story of one complete stage at a time, not a long-term evolution of forms[/i].

dhw: Your theory is not biblical Creationism, but how can precise programming and dabbling be regarded as anything but forms of direct creation?

Of course each tiny stage is a direct creation, but not the giant step creation as the Bible states. That is all I am saying.


DAVID: God chose to evolve all forms starting with bacteria, and currently ending with humans. Why is that concept so hard to accept?

dhw: It is not hard to accept. What is hard to accept is that humans were his one and only purpose, and that is why he specially designed all the other non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another.

You are hung up on the word' purpose'. I view humans as God's goal starting with bacteria and then evolving what He wants to create on the way to humans, knowing He needs life's energy supply must be sufficient on the way. Econiches are purposefully created. The whole process has purposes all the way. God is not a poor planner and He is patient in managing the job.

DAVID: Doesn't God have the right to choose His methodology?

dhw: Of course he does. But that does not mean that your version of his method of achieving your version of his purpose is correct. So please let us have the explanation I asked for. If it helps you, perhaps you could say: He specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest etc. so that all the different life forms would eat or be eaten by one another, and if he hadn’t done so, he would not have been able to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens because…..

Because the food supply was absolutely necessary over the time involved. Note the econiches are exquisitely designed to maintain the balance of nature as evidence of God's planning. My view is God knew in advance how to do it over time. Your view suggests God was shortsighted, fumbling his way long.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, August 17, 2019, 11:04 (162 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My definition of direct creation is the Biblical story of one complete stage at a time, not a long-term evolution of forms.

dhw: Your theory is not biblical Creationism, but how can precise programming and dabbling be regarded as anything but forms of direct creation?

DAVID: Of course each tiny stage is a direct creation, but not the giant step creation as the Bible states. That is all I am saying.

You wrote: “I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation”, and I pointed out that your interpretation of evolution (divine preprogramming and/or dabbling) is a form of direct creation. I'm now confused over whether you think evolution means tiny stages (Darwinism) or giant steps (Creationism, exemplified by the Cambrian), but the question remains as to why your God directly created every non-human life form if the only thing he wanted to directly create was H. sapiens. Here comes your answer:

dhw: He specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest etc. so that all the different life forms would eat or be eaten by one another, and if he hadn’t done so, he would not have been able to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens because...

DAVID: Because the food supply was absolutely necessary over the time involved. Note the econiches are exquisitely designed to maintain the balance of nature as evidence of God's planning. My view is God knew in advance how to do it over time. Your view suggests God was shortsighted, fumbling his way long.

Absolutely necessary for what? Answer: He had to design the whale’s fin, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest to fill in the time before he could do the only thing he wanted to do because he knew he couldn’t do it until 3.X billion years had gone by, although he was the one who created the whole system in the first place. Why can’t you imagine your God directly designing all these life forms because he wanted to design them for their own sake and not just as a means of passing time? Or designing them because he was experimenting? Or designing a mechanism that would come up with its own variations which he could “watch with interest” (you used that expression some time ago in one of your more open-minded moments)?

I do not have “a” view of your God. I offer alternatives. However, it does seem to me that a God whose only purpose is to design one particular species and who spends 3.X billion years designing anything but that one species might be viewed as shortsighted and fumbling his way along. If I believed in him, I would tend to believe that he wanted to specially design whatever he specially designed. (And that might include an inventive mechanism to produce the great bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens.)

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 17, 2019, 19:00 (161 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Saturday, August 17, 2019, 19:23

DAVID: My definition of direct creation is the Biblical story of one complete stage at a time, not a long-term evolution of forms.

dhw: Your theory is not biblical Creationism, but how can precise programming and dabbling be regarded as anything but forms of direct creation?

DAVID: Of course each tiny stage is a direct creation, but not the giant step creation as the Bible states. That is all I am saying.

dhw: You wrote: “I do not know why God chose evolution in the first place over direct creation”, and I pointed out that your interpretation of evolution (divine preprogramming and/or dabbling) is a form of direct creation. I'm now confused over whether you think evolution means tiny stages (Darwinism) or giant steps (Creationism, exemplified by the Cambrian), but the question remains as to why your God directly created every non-human life form if the only thing he wanted to directly create was H. sapiens. Here comes your answer:

dhw: He specially designed the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest etc. so that all the different life forms would eat or be eaten by one another, and if he hadn’t done so, he would not have been able to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens because...

DAVID: Because the food supply was absolutely necessary over the time involved. Note the econiches are exquisitely designed to maintain the balance of nature as evidence of God's planning. My view is God knew in advance how to do it over time. Your view suggests God was shortsighted, fumbling his way long.

dhw: Absolutely necessary for what? Answer: He had to design the whale’s fin, the monarch’s lifestyle and the weaverbird’s nest to fill in the time before he could do the only thing he wanted to do because he knew he couldn’t do it until 3.X billion years had gone by, although he was the one who created the whole system in the first place.

To answer your question about creation, I view God's system of evolution as small stepwise advances, except the Cambrian, as history shows. I think the evolution of the Earth as the perfect planet to support life, which God also controlled, reached a point of an environmental status where the Cambrian Explosion was appropriate to happen. All shown by the known history.

dhw: Why can’t you imagine your God directly designing all these life forms because he wanted to design them for their own sake and not just as a means of passing time? Or designing them because he was experimenting? Or designing a mechanism that would come up with its own variations which he could “watch with interest” (you used that expression some time ago in one of your more open-minded moments)?

That is your imagination about God, not mine. My God is very purposeful. He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew He had decided to take.


dhw: I do not have “a” view of your God. I offer alternatives. However, it does seem to me that a God whose only purpose is to design one particular species and who spends 3.X billion years designing anything but that one species might be viewed as shortsighted and fumbling his way along. If I believed in him, I would tend to believe that he wanted to specially design whatever he specially designed. (And that might include an inventive mechanism to produce the great bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens.)

Of course He 'wanted to design' what He knew He had to design to evolve humans. You are still humanizing Him, as your imagination runs wild. I look at history and try not to extrapolate any unnecessary theories. Simply, my God did what He had to do based on His decision of how to create by steps. All of those designed organisms were a part of his plan. My God was not the bumbling God you portray by referring to Him as designing "just as a means of passing time? " My in-charge God doesn't lollygag. Your complaint about Him taken all that time is simply your lack of viewing God as I do. And that is the obvious difference between us. As I studied and left agnosticism behind I developed an image of God in which I believe.

The reason I have persisted in continuing this debate is your complaint that I am illogical in this concept of God using evolution. What is illogical to me is your approach to imagining God and making Him quite human, which then you translate into I am illogical. Not at all. It is your own problem.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, August 18, 2019, 12:08 (161 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: To answer your question about creation, I view God's system of evolution as small stepwise advances, except the Cambrian, as history shows. I think the evolution of the Earth as the perfect planet to support life, which God also controlled, reached a point of an environmental status where the Cambrian Explosion was appropriate to happen. All shown by the known history.

This is a non-explanation! You are simply saying that whatever happened - the known history – shows that God specially designed it all because that is what happened!

dhw: Why can’t you imagine your God directly designing all these life forms because he wanted to design them for their own sake and not just as a means of passing time? Or designing them because he was experimenting? Or designing a mechanism that would come up with its own variations which he could “watch with interest” (you used that expression some time ago in one of your more open-minded moments)?

DAVID: That is your imagination about God, not mine. My God is very purposeful. He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew He had decided to take.

I know it’s not your view of God. You imagine him saying to himself: “My one and only purpose is to design H. sapiens. I am in full control, and I have decided not to fulfil my one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and so I will design billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders first, so that all the life forms can eat or be eaten by one other until 3.X billion years have passed, and then I will design lots of hominins and homos before I design the only thing I want to design.” And PS: “Only David Turell shall understand the logic behind my divine thinking.”

dhw: […] If I believed in him, I would tend to believe that he wanted to specially design whatever he specially designed. (And that might include an inventive mechanism to produce the great bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens.)

DAVID: Of course He 'wanted to design' what He knew He had to design to evolve humans.

And there you go again: why did he “have to” design the whale’s flipper etc. in order to preprogramme or dabble the only thing he wanted to preprogramme or dabble. Oh, because he’d decided to wait 3.X billion years and “had to” fill in the time by getting them all to eat or be eaten by one another.

DAVID: You are still humanizing Him, as your imagination runs wild. I look at history and try not to extrapolate any unnecessary theories.

Why is it “necessary” to extrapolate the theory that your God “had to” create billions of non-human life forms etc. in order to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens?

DAVID: Simply, my God did what He had to do based on His decision of how to create by steps.

Except, according to you, when he created by giant leaps (the Cambrian). So his decision to specially design H. sapiens by small steps forced him into specially designing 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life forms etc. before he specially designed H. sapiens in small steps. And this is logical. (Apologies for the repetition, but if you keep repeating the illogicality, I can only answer by repeating my objections.)

DAVID: All of those designed organisms were a part of his plan. My God was not the bumbling God you portray by referring to Him as designing "just as a means of passing time?"

No, he is the bumbling God who has only one goal but “has to” spend 3.X billion years not fulfilling it because he has specially designed a system which prevents him from doing what he wants to do until that time has passed.

DAVID: My in-charge God doesn't lollygag. Your complaint about Him taken all that time is simply your lack of viewing God as I do.

Of course. I don’t see him as a bumbler who creates a system that forces him not to do the only thing he wants to do. If I believed in him, I would see him as purposeful in all that he does, and I would believe that the ever changing bush of life was what he wanted, not merely a means of filling in time until he could fulfil his one and only purpose.

DAVID: The reason I have persisted in continuing this debate is your complaint that I am illogical in this concept of God using evolution.

Yes, my complaint is precisely the illogicality of an always-in-control God deliberately creating a system that forces him to design billions of life forms etc. before he can design the only life form he wants to design.

DAVID: What is illogical to me is your approach to imagining God and making Him quite human, which then you translate into I am illogical. Not at all. It is your own problem.

My attack on your logic has nothing whatsoever to do with the alternatives I offer. Your theory would be illogical even if I offered no alternatives.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 18, 2019, 19:02 (160 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: To answer your question about creation, I view God's system of evolution as small stepwise advances, except the Cambrian, as history shows. I think the evolution of the Earth as the perfect planet to support life, which God also controlled, reached a point of an environmental status where the Cambrian Explosion was appropriate to happen. All shown by the known history.

dhw: This is a non-explanation! You are simply saying that whatever happened - the known history – shows that God specially designed it all because that is what happened!

It is an explanation. If God is in charge (as I believe) and chose to evolve all organisms, history does tell us what happened.


DAVID: That is your imagination about God, not mine. My God is very purposeful. He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew He had decided to take.

dhw: I know it’s not your view of God. You imagine him saying to himself: “My one and only purpose is to design H. sapiens. I am in full control, and I have decided not to fulfil my one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and so I will design billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders first, so that all the life forms can eat or be eaten by one other until 3.X billion years have passed, and then I will design lots of hominins and homos before I design the only thing I want to design.”

A total distortion of my thinking. God chose to evolve humans by choosing to evolve from bacteria to humans. Not a complex theory.

dhw: […] If I believed in him, I would tend to believe that he wanted to specially design whatever he specially designed. (And that might include an inventive mechanism to produce the great bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens.)

DAVID: Of course He 'wanted to design' what He knew He had to design to evolve humans.

Except, according to you, when he created by giant leaps (the Cambrian). So his decision to specially design H. sapiens by small steps forced him into specially designing 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life forms etc. before he specially designed H. sapiens in small steps. And this is logical. (Apologies for the repetition, but if you keep repeating the illogicality, I can only answer by repeating my objections.)

Never 'forced'. All according to a plan to evolve humans from bacteria.


DAVID: All of those designed organisms were a part of his plan. My God was not the bumbling God you portray by referring to Him as designing "just as a means of passing time?"

dhw: No, he is the bumbling God who has only one goal but “has to” spend 3.X billion years not fulfilling it because he has specially designed a system which prevents him from doing what he wants to do until that time has passed.

Not 'has to', chose to.


DAVID: My in-charge God doesn't lollygag. Your complaint about Him taken all that time is simply your lack of viewing God as I do.

dhw: Of course. I don’t see him as a bumbler who creates a system that forces him not to do the only thing he wants to do. If I believed in him, I would see him as purposeful in all that he does, and I would believe that the ever changing bush of life was what he wanted, not merely a means of filling in time until he could fulfil his one and only purpose.

Again using your imagined humanized God to argue with my theory. Our Gods are widely different.


DAVID: The reason I have persisted in continuing this debate is your complaint that I am illogical in this concept of God using evolution.

Yes, my complaint is precisely the illogicality of an always-in-control God deliberately creating a system that forces him to design billions of life forms etc. before he can design the only life form he wants to design.

Never forced. Planned. Humans are a goal, not the only thing He wants to design on the way.


DAVID: What is illogical to me is your approach to imagining God and making Him quite human, which then you translate into I am illogical. Not at all. It is your own problem.

dhw: My attack on your logic has nothing whatsoever to do with the alternatives I offer. Your theory would be illogical even if I offered no alternatives.

Illogical only to you as you humanize God..

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, August 19, 2019, 10:10 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I think the evolution of the Earth as the perfect planet to support life, which God also controlled, reached a point of an environmental status where the Cambrian Explosion was appropriate to happen. All shown by the known history.

dhw: This is a non-explanation! You are simply saying that whatever happened - the known history – shows that God specially designed it all because that is what happened!

DAVID: It is an explanation. If God is in charge (as I believe) and chose to evolve all organisms, history does tell us what happened.

Of course history tells us what happened! And for anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it means that God chose evolution to evolve all organisms. But that does not mean he preprogrammed or dabbled them all (see Shapiro’s “natural genetic engineering” and my "cellular intelligence" for alternatives), and above all it does not explain your next comment, as repeated in my summary of your theory that follows:

DAVID: […] My God is very purposeful. He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew He had decided to take.

dhw: […] You imagine him saying to himself: “My one and only purpose is to design H. sapiens. I am in full control, and I have decided not to fulfil my one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and so I will design billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders first, so that all the life forms can eat or be eaten by one other until 3.X billion years have passed, and then I will design lots of hominins and homos before I design the only thing I want to design.”

DAVID: A total distortion of my thinking. God chose to evolve humans by choosing to evolve from bacteria to humans. Not a complex theory.

He also chose to evolve (for you = specially design) every non-human life form from bacteria. There is no distortion. You have confirmed every detail listed above! But do tell us which detail you now wish to withdraw.

dhw: […] If I believed in him, I would tend to believe that he wanted to specially design whatever he specially designed. […]

DAVID: Of course He 'wanted to design' what He knew He had to design to evolve humans. (dhw’s bold)

Dhw: […] So his decision to specially design H. sapiens by small steps forced him into specially designing 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life forms etc. before he specially designed H. sapiens in small steps. And this is logical. […]

DAVID: Never 'forced'. All according to a plan to evolve humans from bacteria.

According to you, he HAD TO (bolded) design the whole bush of life forms in order to fulfil his plan. What sort of plan means you “have to do” anything but what you want to do? […]

DAVID: Not 'has to', chose to.

See above, plus: “Simply my God did what He had to do based on His decision of how to create by steps”. His decision to fulfil his one and only purpose of creating H. sapiens by steps meant that he “had to” create the bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens. My counter proposal is that he wanted to create a bush of life, not had to.

DAVID: My in-charge God doesn't lollygag. Your complaint about Him taken all that time is simply your lack of viewing God as I do.

dhw: Of course. I don’t see him as a bumbler who creates a system that forces him not to do the only thing he wants to do. If I believed in him, I would see him as purposeful in all that he does, and I would believe that the ever changing bush of life was what he wanted, not merely a means of filling in time until he could fulfil his one and only purpose.

DAVID: Again using your imagined humanized God to argue with my theory. Our Gods are widely different.

How on earth can you argue that a God who wants to create the bush of non-human life forms he created is more “humanized” than a God who has to create a bush of life forms in order to create the one and only life form he wants to create?

DAVID: What is illogical to me is your approach to imagining God and making Him quite human, which then you translate into I am illogical. Not at all. It is your own problem.

dhw: My attack on your logic has nothing whatsoever to do with the alternatives I offer. Your theory would be illogical even if I offered no alternatives.

DAVID: Illogical only to you as you humanize God.

As above, wanting to create a bush is no more “humanizing” than wanting to create H. sapiens but having to create a bush first. But at least it is more logical than your God devising a plan which means that for 3.X billion years he “has to” do anything but what he wants to do.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, August 19, 2019, 18:10 (159 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course history tells us what happened! And for anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it means that God chose evolution to evolve all organisms. But that does not mean he preprogrammed or dabbled them all

My interpretation is that God is the designer for all complex advances as the ID folks present. How else could those complex deigns appear with each speciation that involve many morphological rearrangements? My source for the obvious design is God.

DAVID: Never 'forced'. All according to a plan to evolve humans from bacteria.

dhw: According to you, he HAD TO (bolded) design the whole bush of life forms in order to fulfil his plan. What sort of plan means you “have to do” anything but what you want to do? […]

A plan that builds from single cells to very complex multicellular forms (evolve) working toward an eventual goal of humans. Again your statement wonders why my conceptualized God isn't impatient straining to get to the human level of evolution as soon as possible. History tells us He took the time it took. My God makes decisions and patiently plans.


dhw: See above, plus: “Simply my God did what He had to do based on His decision of how to create by steps”. His decision to fulfil his one and only purpose of creating H. sapiens by steps meant that he “had to” create the bush of non-human life forms that preceded H. sapiens. My counter proposal is that he wanted to create a bush of life, not had to.

Fine. Your God thinks differently than my God. But your God must know that econiches are very necessary to provide food energy for 3.8 billion years of evolution. The bush is necessary, not just a wish to design a bush .


DAVID: My in-charge God doesn't lollygag. Your complaint about Him taken all that time is simply your lack of viewing God as I do.

dhw: Of course. I don’t see him as a bumbler who creates a system that forces him not to do the only thing he wants to do. If I believed in him, I would see him as purposeful in all that he does, and I would believe that the ever changing bush of life was what he wanted, not merely a means of filling in time until he could fulfil his one and only purpose.

My God is purposeful and does not invent tasks just to fill time.


DAVID: What is illogical to me is your approach to imagining God and making Him quite human, which then you translate into I am illogical. Not at all. It is your own problem.

dhw: My attack on your logic has nothing whatsoever to do with the alternatives I offer. Your theory would be illogical even if I offered no alternatives.

DAVID: Illogical only to you as you humanize God.

dhw: As above, wanting to create a bush is no more “humanizing” than wanting to create H. sapiens but having to create a bush first. But at least it is more logical than your God devising a plan which means that for 3.X billion years he “has to” do anything but what he wants to do.

Same old problem. Your humanization of God demands that He should impatiently jump to His goal. Your view of God is not my view. That gulf won't change.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 08:58 (159 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course history tells us what happened! And for anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it means that God chose evolution to evolve all organisms. But that does not mean he preprogrammed or dabbled them all.

DAVID: My interpretation is that God is the designer for all complex advances as the ID folks present. How else could those complex deigns appear with each speciation that involve many morphological rearrangements? My source for the obvious design is God.

I have always accepted the logic of your design argument. But “God chose evolution” does not have to mean that he designed every life form individually, and the whole problem arises when you insist that he did so for 3.X billion years in order to make them all eat or be eaten by one another until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens. You continue to split your theory up into acceptable snippets, whereas is it the COMBINATION of your fixed beliefs that makes no sense.

DAVID: A plan that builds from single cells to very complex multicellular forms (evolve) working toward an eventual goal of humans. Again your statement wonders why my conceptualized God isn't impatient straining to get to the human level of evolution as soon as possible. History tells us He took the time it took. My God makes decisions and patiently plans.

But he does not necessarily make the decisions you impose on him. History tells us it took time to get to humans. It doesn’t tell us that your God designed every non-human individual life form because he “had to” in order to fill in time until he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: My God is purposeful and does not invent tasks just to fill time.

You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.” If that isn’t “filling in time”, I don’t know what is. My God would also be purposeful, and if he did invent something, it would not be for the purpose of filling in time until he could design the only thing he wanted to design.

dhw: As above, wanting to create a bush is no more “humanizing” than wanting to create H. sapiens but having to create a bush first. But at least it is more logical than your God devising a plan which means that for 3.X billion years he “has to” do anything but what he wants to do.

DAVID: Same old problem. Your humanization of God demands that He should impatiently jump to His goal. Your view of God.

Your humanization of God demands that instead of fulfilling his one and only goal, he decides to take 3.X billion years to even start the process, and so he “has to” give himself the task of inventing all the other organisms. He is a veritable Hamlet of the Heavens: doing anything except - according to the goal you impose on him – the one thing he ought to be doing!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 19:17 (158 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 19:56

dhw: Of course history tells us what happened! And for anyone who believes in God and evolution, of course it means that God chose evolution to evolve all organisms. But that does not mean he preprogrammed or dabbled them all.

DAVID: My interpretation is that God is the designer for all complex advances as the ID folks present. How else could those complex deigns appear with each speciation that involve many morphological rearrangements? My source for the obvious design is God.

dhw: I have always accepted the logic of your design argument. But “God chose evolution” does not have to mean that he designed every life form individually, and the whole problem arises when you insist that he did so for 3.X billion years in order to make them all eat or be eaten by one another until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens. You continue to split your theory up into acceptable snippets, whereas is it the COMBINATION of your fixed beliefs that makes no sense.

Your denial that God designed all the organisms in evolution is simply non-acceptance of my theory about God and what He does. As for the bolded sentence, it is quite clear to me, if not to you, a food supply most be provided for all those years of evolution. And you continue to ignore Adler's point of how special we are, as the prime clue to God's thinking. Please my entry of an Adler review today.


DAVID: A plan that builds from single cells to very complex multicellular forms (evolve) working toward an eventual goal of humans. Again your statement wonders why my conceptualized God isn't impatient straining to get to the human level of evolution as soon as possible. History tells us He took the time it took. My God makes decisions and patiently plans.

dhw: But he does not necessarily make the decisions you impose on him. History tells us it took time to get to humans. It doesn’t tell us that your God designed every non-human individual life form because he “had to” in order to fill in time until he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

My God does the designs as I interpret the history. You chose not to believe that point..


DAVID: My God is purposeful and does not invent tasks just to fill time.

dhw: You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.” If that isn’t “filling in time”, I don’t know what is. My God would also be purposeful, and if he did invent something, it would not be for the purpose of filling in time until he could design the only thing he wanted to design.

It is not filling time if the food supply is definitely required.


dhw: As above, wanting to create a bush is no more “humanizing” than wanting to create H. sapiens but having to create a bush first. But at least it is more logical than your God devising a plan which means that for 3.X billion years he “has to” do anything but what he wants to do.

DAVID: Same old problem. Your humanization of God demands that He should impatiently jump to His goal. Your view of God.

dhw: Your humanization of God demands that instead of fulfilling his one and only goal, he decides to take 3.X billion years to even start the process, and so he “has to” give himself the task of inventing all the other organisms. He is a veritable Hamlet of the Heavens: doing anything except - according to the goal you impose on him – the one thing he ought to be doing!

Once again you describe a bumbling Hamlet-like God who is simply drifting along, when He should think like a purpose-filled human and get the job done. I take care not to humanize Him. I try to explain Him by His works and nothing else, as espoused by Karen Johnson in her book, The History of God.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 20:04 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

The Difference in Man and the Difference it Makes:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3EDU8UH4NBPRF/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF...

"The answer to this question of the difference in man and animals is neither purely scientific, nor purely philosophical; rather a combined approach is needed. The relevant question to be answered is "Does man differ from the rest of the animal kingdom by degree or by kind, and if by kind is this difference radical or superficial?" Adler, using a traditional Aristotelian and Thomistic analysis of the modern research while combining it with the more recent positions of other philosophers and scientists, concludes that it is a difference in kind and that this difference is indeed radical. Man is a different "kind" of thing than the other creatures that inhabit our planet.

***

"The argument for difference in kind turns on man's ability to articulate "designators", that is verbalized concepts in both their connotative and denotative form. There is no evidence that animal communication is expressive in this way. The data that has resulted from inquiring into animal intelligence suggests no more than an ability of perceptual abstraction, whether memorized or immediate. Mankind articulates designators and these articulations cannot be explained by mere sense perception or any perceptual generalization for the very fact that such designators are inherently non - perceptible. Not only does man attribute and recognize particulars as members of abstract classes or the classes themselves, he has the additional ability to express concepts that are not empirically observable at all; i.e. "God", logical relations such as "inference", pi, etc. Thus, the negative edge of Ockham's razor prevents us from attributing conceptual awareness on the part of animals yet the positive edge of this principle of parsimony demands such additional attribution to mankind.

"Next, Adler, using a traditional argument from Aquinas and Aristotle, argues that this ability must be immaterial due to the immaterial nature of the concept - a "class" or "universal" that cannot by definition be material and hence not merely an act of the physical brain.

"Adler is fair throughout his contention. As an example he admits that his immateriality position would be falsified by a "Turing machine" a computer robot that would be able to communicate with humans via propositional words and sentence formation. This is the third prong of the "Cartesian Challenge" as asserted by Rene Descartes centuries ago. If a purely physical machine can achieve conceptual thought and propositional language, then Adler admits his immateriality theory on which conceptual thought is based would be falsified."

Comment: Can an uncontrolled process of evolution produce the immaterial consciousness of humans. Along with Adler, I think not.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by dhw, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:43 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: Man is a different "kind" of thing than the other creatures that inhabit our planet.

If we are different from other creatures, other creatures are also different from us and from each other! Or do you think an ant, a shark, an elephant and an eagle are not different “kinds” of thing? But I agree that our level of consciousness makes us special.

Now suddenly you switch from the subject of man’s difference to the subject of materialism versus dualism!

QUOTE: Next, Adler, using a traditional argument from Aquinas and Aristotle, argues that this ability must be immaterial due to the immaterial nature of the concept - a "class" or "universal" that cannot by definition be material and hence not merely an act of the physical brain.

Yes, yes, we’ve been through all the pros and cons of the argument umpteen times. Why are you raising it here?

DAVID: Can an uncontrolled process of evolution produce the immaterial consciousness of humans. Along with Adler, I think not.

All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 15:41 (157 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: Man is a different "kind" of thing than the other creatures that inhabit our planet.

dhw: If we are different from other creatures, other creatures are also different from us and from each other! Or do you think an ant, a shark, an elephant and an eagle are not different “kinds” of thing? But I agree that our level of consciousness makes us special.

Now suddenly you switch from the subject of man’s difference to the subject of materialism versus dualism!

QUOTE: Next, Adler, using a traditional argument from Aquinas and Aristotle, argues that this ability must be immaterial due to the immaterial nature of the concept - a "class" or "universal" that cannot by definition be material and hence not merely an act of the physical brain.

Yes, yes, we’ve been through all the pros and cons of the argument umpteen times. Why are you raising it here?

DAVID: Can an uncontrolled process of evolution produce the immaterial consciousness of humans. Along with Adler, I think not.

dhw: All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by dhw, Thursday, August 22, 2019, 09:49 (157 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 22, 2019, 15:21 (156 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

dhw: My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

Since God designed the mechanism for the cells to perform, I still look at Him as in charge.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by dhw, Friday, August 23, 2019, 07:46 (156 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

dhw: My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

DAVID: Since God designed the mechanism for the cells to perform, I still look at Him as in charge.

Excellent. If God exists, then I agree that he is in charge, but instead of preprogramming and/or dabbling every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, as you would have it, he chose to design autonomous, intelligent cells to do their own designing without any further input from him (other than perhaps an occasional dabble). Of course it’s still an unproven theory, like your own, but I’m delighted that we have reached this agreement.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by David Turell @, Friday, August 23, 2019, 14:23 (156 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: All levels of consciousness are immaterial, as is thought itself, and the leading question is whether the source is material or not. For those of us who believe in evolution, there is a natural progression from lower to higher levels of thought, and even you argue that your God must have tinkered with existing brains to have produced our level (although you are a dualist). I would suggest the possibility that if God exists, he didn’t have to tinker – he enabled intelligent cells to do their own tinkering, which resulted in ever greater degrees of consciousness, culminating in ours.

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

dhw: My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

DAVID: Since God designed the mechanism for the cells to perform, I still look at Him as in charge.

dhw: Excellent. If God exists, then I agree that he is in charge, but instead of preprogramming and/or dabbling every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, as you would have it, he chose to design autonomous, intelligent cells to do their own designing without any further input from him (other than perhaps an occasional dabble). Of course it’s still an unproven theory, like your own, but I’m delighted that we have reached this agreement.

You seem to have forgotten in my view of God's inventive mechanism He provides guidelines for developmental changes.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by dhw, Saturday, August 24, 2019, 09:57 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

dhw: My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

DAVID: Since God designed the mechanism for the cells to perform, I still look at Him as in charge. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Excellent. If God exists, then I agree that he is in charge, but instead of preprogramming and/or dabbling every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, as you would have it, he chose to design autonomous, intelligent cells to do their own designing without any further input from him (other than perhaps an occasional dabble). Of course it’s still an unproven theory, like your own, but I’m delighted that we have reached this agreement.

DAVID: You seem to have forgotten in my view of God's inventive mechanism He provides guidelines for developmental changes.

Your now bolded comment referred to my theory, not yours. We have already established over and over again that your theory of the inventive mechanism is the exact opposite of mine, since “guidelines” can only involve either preprogramming or dabbling, whereas mine involves total autonomy.

Unanswered questions: a review of Adler's thoughts

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 24, 2019, 18:03 (154 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your intelligent cell theory still has God totally in charge and using cells as his agents. Just an intellectual sidestep.

dhw: My theory allows for the possibility that your God created the cells. “Totally in charge” is highly misleading, because my theory is that he would have deliberately created the mechanism to do its own designing, in contrast to your insistence that he either preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation (not to mention lifestyle and natural wonder). Intellectual sidestep from what?

DAVID: Since God designed the mechanism for the cells to perform, I still look at Him as in charge. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Excellent. If God exists, then I agree that he is in charge, but instead of preprogramming and/or dabbling every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, as you would have it, he chose to design autonomous, intelligent cells to do their own designing without any further input from him (other than perhaps an occasional dabble). Of course it’s still an unproven theory, like your own, but I’m delighted that we have reached this agreement.

DAVID: You seem to have forgotten in my view of God's inventive mechanism He provides guidelines for developmental changes.

dhw: Your now bolded comment referred to my theory, not yours. We have already established over and over again that your theory of the inventive mechanism is the exact opposite of mine, since “guidelines” can only involve either preprogramming or dabbling, whereas mine involves total autonomy.

I know that and I don't believe they have the brain-planning to do it. That is the ID point.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:37 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have always accepted the logic of your design argument. But “God chose evolution” does not have to mean that he designed every life form individually, and the whole problem arises when you insist that he did so for 3.X billion years in order to make them all eat or be eaten by one another until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens. You continue to split your theory up into acceptable snippets, whereas is it the COMBINATION of your fixed beliefs that makes no sense.

DAVID: Your denial that God designed all the organisms in evolution is simply non-acceptance of my theory about God and what He does.

The above means non-acceptance of your combined theories about your God’s intentions and methods!

DAVID: As for the bolded sentence, it is quite clear to me, if not to you, a food supply most be provided for all those years of evolution.

For all those years in which for some unknown reason he said to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens, but I’ve decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing him, so I have to design lots of other organisms for a food supply to cover the time.”

DAVID: And you continue to ignore Adler's point of how special we are, as the prime clue to God's thinking. Please my entry of an Adler review today.

Your usual digression. I have never ignored it. I keep acknowledging that with our advanced degree of consciousness, we are special. But that does not mean your God’s one and only purpose was to produce us, and so he “had to” design every other life form for food until he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: My God is purposeful and does not invent tasks just to fill time.

dhw: You wrote:He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.” If that isn’t “filling in time”, I don’t know what is. My God would also be purposeful, and if he did invent something, it would not be for the purpose of filling in time until he could design the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: It is not filling time if the food supply is definitely required.

Required by whom for what? He had decided to take 3.X billion years to design the only thing he wanted to design, and so he had to design every other life form to cover the time he had decided to take, but cover the time does not mean filling in the time?!

DAVID: Same old problem. Your humanization of God demands that He should impatiently jump to His goal. Your view of God.

dhw: Your humanization of God demands that instead of fulfilling his one and only goal, he decides to take 3.X billion years to even start the process, and so he “has to” give himself the task of inventing all the other organisms. He is a veritable Hamlet of the Heavens: doing anything except - according to the goal you impose on him – the one thing he ought to be doing!

DAVID: Once again you describe a bumbling Hamlet-like God who is simply drifting along, when He should think like a purpose-filled human and get the job done.

It is you who have him bumbling along! He only wants one thing, but decides to delay doing it for 3.X billion years and so has to do something else to cover the time! Why do you think a purposeful, always-in-control God would delay fulfilling his one and only purpose? Your new answer: because if he did, he would be thinking like a human!

DAVID: I take care not to humanize Him. I try to explain Him by His works and nothing else, as espoused by Karen Johnson in her book, The History of God.

If you come up with an explanation that makes him fully in control, purposeful, and with one purpose only, but not fulfilling his purpose until he has performed countless actions irrelevant to his purpose, you are suggesting that his logic is incomprehensible to humans, which includes you, and that is justified because any logic that you can understand would mean humanizing him! Why are you so certain that your God thinks of fulfilling his purpose in a way that defies all human logic?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 17:42 (157 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The above means non-acceptance of your combined theories about your God’s intentions and methods!

DAVID: As for the bolded sentence, it is quite clear to me, if not to you, a food supply most be provided for all those years of evolution.

dhw: For all those years in which for some unknown reason he said to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens, but I’ve decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing him, so I have to design lots of other organisms for a food supply to cover the time.”

Why can't God chose his methodology for producing humans? It is a reasonable suggestion and the choice fits the history.


DAVID: And you continue to ignore Adler's point of how special we are, as the prime clue to God's thinking. Please my entry of an Adler review today.

dhw: Your usual digression. I have never ignored it. I keep acknowledging that with our advanced degree of consciousness, we are special. But that does not mean your God’s one and only purpose was to produce us, and so he “had to” design every other life form for food until he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

For me not a digression. You simply refuse to accept the philosophic importance of the development of our brain/consciousness


DAVID: Once again you describe a bumbling Hamlet-like God who is simply drifting along, when He should think like a purpose-filled human and get the job done.

dhw: It is you who have him bumbling along! He only wants one thing, but decides to delay doing it for 3.X billion years and so has to do something else to cover the time! Why do you think a purposeful, always-in-control God would delay fulfilling his one and only purpose? Your new answer: because if he did, he would be thinking like a human!

He is not a human, and has the right to choose his method of producing humans. You are still humanizing Him.


DAVID: I take care not to humanize Him. I try to explain Him by His works and nothing else, as espoused by Karen Johnson in her book, The History of God.

dhw: If you come up with an explanation that makes him fully in control, purposeful, and with one purpose only, but not fulfilling his purpose until he has performed countless actions irrelevant to his purpose, you are suggesting that his logic is incomprehensible to humans, which includes you, and that is justified because any logic that you can understand would mean humanizing him! Why are you so certain that your God thinks of fulfilling his purpose in a way that defies all human logic?

You make my point in the bolded phrases. God does not think like a human as Adler shows. God chose to evolve humans and did what had to be done/relevant to follow that course. You cannot accept my non-human God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, August 22, 2019, 09:57 (157 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The above means non-acceptance of your combined theories about your God’s intentions and methods!

DAVID: [...] it is quite clear to me, if not to you, a food supply most be provided for all those years of evolution.

dhw: For all those years in which for some unknown reason he said to himself: “I only want to design H. sapiens, but I’ve decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing him, so I have to design lots of other organisms for a food supply to cover the time.”

DAVID: Why can't God chose his methodology for producing humans? It is a reasonable suggestion and the choice fits the history.

Of course God chose his methodology, and the result is the evolution of billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, with humans the last so far. You yourself cannot see any logic behind the above monologue, and so you fall back on the absurd assumption that anything logical would be human (see below), and you know your God is not human and therefore we shouldn’t look for logic.

DAVID: And you continue to ignore Adler's point of how special we are, as the prime clue to God's thinking. Please my entry of an Adler review today.

dhw: Your usual digression. […]

DAVID: For me not a digression. You simply refuse to accept the philosophic importance of the development of our brain/consciousness.

I keep on acknowledging that our consciousness is special, but that does not mean your God designed 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms etc. for the sole purpose of designing us!

DAVID: I take care not to humanize Him. I try to explain Him by His works and nothing else, as espoused by Karen Johnson in her book, The History of God.

dhw: If you come up with an explanation that makes him fully in control, purposeful, and with one purpose only, but not fulfilling his purpose until he has performed countless actions irrelevant to his purpose, you are suggesting that his logic is incomprehensible to humans, which includes you, and that is justified because any logic that you can understand would mean humanizing him! Why are you so certain that your God thinks of fulfilling his purpose in a way that defies all human logic?

DAVID: You make my point in the bolded phrases. God does not think like a human as Adler shows. God chose to evolve humans and did what had to be done/relevant to follow that course. You cannot accept my non-human God.

Of course God is not human, but that does not automatically mean that he thinks in a way that is totally illogical by human standards of logic! According to you he “chose to evolve” (which you think means specially design by preprogramming or dabbling) humans and billions of other organisms as well. Why do you assume that he “had to” evolve (= preprogramme or dabble) the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the duckbilled platypus if all he wanted to do was evolve/preprogramme/dabble H. sapiens? Ah, he had to do it because he doesn’t think like us! Well maybe he didn’t “have to” design them, but he wanted to design them for their own sake, or he gave them the means to design themselves because he chose to create the higgledy-piggledy bush of life. I fear you won’t make many converts to your theory if your only justification for its illogicality is that your God isn’t human.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 22, 2019, 16:55 (156 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why can't God chose his methodology for producing humans? It is a reasonable suggestion and the choice fits the history.

dhw: Of course God chose his methodology, and the result is the evolution of billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, with humans the last so far. You yourself cannot see any logic behind the above monologue, and so you fall back on the absurd assumption that anything logical would be human (see below), and you know your God is not human and therefore we shouldn’t look for logic.

Exactly Adler's point. You describe a humanized God who shouldn't be impatient and jump right into providing humans on Earth, as below:

dhw: I keep on acknowledging that our consciousness is special, but that does not mean your God designed 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms etc. for the sole purpose of designing us!

Why not if God doesn't care about the time involved? God is timeless and doesn't care how long He takes to achieve a goal.


DAVID: I take care not to humanize Him. I try to explain Him by His works and nothing else, as espoused by Karen Johnson in her book, The History of God.

dhw: If you come up with an explanation that makes him fully in control, purposeful, and with one purpose only, but not fulfilling his purpose until he has performed countless actions irrelevant to his purpose, you are suggesting that his logic is incomprehensible to humans, which includes you, and that is justified because any logic that you can understand would mean humanizing him! Why are you so certain that your God thinks of fulfilling his purpose in a way that defies all human logic?

DAVID: You make my point in the bolded phrases. God does not think like a human as Adler shows. God chose to evolve humans and did what had to be done/relevant to follow that course. You cannot accept my non-human God.

dhw: Of course God is not human, but that does not automatically mean that he thinks in a way that is totally illogical by human standards of logic! According to you he “chose to evolve” (which you think means specially design by preprogramming or dabbling) humans and billions of other organisms as well. Why do you assume that he “had to” evolve (= preprogramme or dabble) the whale’s flipper, the monarch’s lifestyle and the duckbilled platypus if all he wanted to do was evolve/preprogramme/dabble H. sapiens? Ah, he had to do it because he doesn’t think like us! Well maybe he didn’t “have to” design them, but he wanted to design them for their own sake, or he gave them the means to design themselves because he chose to create the higgledy-piggledy bush of life. I fear you won’t make many converts to your theory if your only justification for its illogicality is that your God isn’t human.

I don't need converts. Lots of ID folks think as I do. Design requires a planning mind, God's.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, August 23, 2019, 07:39 (156 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Why can't God chose his methodology for producing humans? It is a reasonable suggestion and the choice fits the history.

dhw: Of course God chose his methodology, and the result is the evolution of billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, with humans the last so far. You yourself cannot see any logic behind the above monologue, and so you fall back on the absurd assumption that anything logical would be human (see below), and you know your God is not human and therefore we shouldn’t look for logic.

DAVID: Exactly Adler's point. You describe a humanized God who shouldn't be impatient and jump right into providing humans on Earth, as below:

dhw: I keep on acknowledging that our consciousness is special, but that does not mean your God designed 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms etc. for the sole purpose of designing us!

DAVID: Why not if God doesn't care about the time involved? God is timeless and doesn't care how long He takes to achieve a goal.

So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”

[…]

dhw: I fear you won’t make many converts to your theory if your only justification for its illogicality is that your God isn’t human.

DAVID: I don't need converts. Lots of ID folks think as I do. Design requires a planning mind, God's.

Yes, they believe in divine design as you do. But how many of them believe in your theory, which I have summarized above. And please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory – apart from the last sentence! And please tell us how you know that your God – even though of course he is not human – does not think in logical terms that are comprehensible to humans (as in all the alternative theistic explanations of evolution that I have offered you).

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, August 23, 2019, 14:33 (155 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Exactly Adler's point. You describe a humanized God who shouldn't be impatient and jump right into providing humans on Earth, as below:

dhw: I keep on acknowledging that our consciousness is special, but that does not mean your God designed 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms etc. for the sole purpose of designing us!

DAVID: Why not if God doesn't care about the time involved? God is timeless and doesn't care how long He takes to achieve a goal.

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”

Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. He defies your human logic which you apply to Him. My God wishes to evolve humans over time. Why can't He have that choice? Because you want to view Him as impatient and therefore illogical as a humanized God. As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human.


[…]

dhw: I fear you won’t make many converts to your theory if your only justification for its illogicality is that your God isn’t human.

DAVID: I don't need converts. Lots of ID folks think as I do. Design requires a planning mind, God's.

dhw: Yes, they believe in divine design as you do. But how many of them believe in your theory, which I have summarized above. And please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory – apart from the last sentence! And please tell us how you know that your God – even though of course he is not human – does not think in logical terms that are comprehensible to humans (as in all the alternative theistic explanations of evolution that I have offered you).

My ID folks accept evolution as designed by God. They never discuss whether God is humanized or not.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:00 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God is timeless and doesn't care how long He takes to achieve a goal.

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. He defies your human logic which you apply to Him. My God wishes to evolve humans over time. Why can't He have that choice? Because you want to view Him as impatient and therefore illogical as a humanized God. As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human.

So now you are saying that H. sapiens was not his only goal, he is not timeless, he did not decide to take 3.5 billion years to start the process of evolving H. sapiens, he did not have to design other life forms so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he had “covered” the time he had decided to take to fulfil his one and only goal. Fine. That means goodbye to a theory that is totally illogical by your human standards and mine.

No, I do not view him as impatient or illogical. I am proposing that H. sapiens was NOT his one and only goal, and he did NOT have to design other life forms to eat or be eaten in order to cover the time he had decided to take etc.. And I am proposing that since, by your own admission, this combined purpose and method which you have imposed on him defies logic, maybe your personal reading of his mind (which I have summarized above) is wrong.

DAVID: My ID folks accept evolution as designed by God. They never discuss whether God is humanized or not.

We are not talking about humanizing God. We are talking about your theory that your God’s only purpose was to design H. sapiens, and he decided to wait for 3.X billion years and therefore had to individually design every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time before he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 24, 2019, 18:17 (154 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God is timeless and doesn't care how long He takes to achieve a goal.

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. He defies your human logic which you apply to Him. My God wishes to evolve humans over time. Why can't He have that choice? Because you want to view Him as impatient and therefore illogical as a humanized God. As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human.

dhw: So now you are saying that H. sapiens was not his only goal, he is not timeless, he did not decide to take 3.5 billion years to start the process of evolving H. sapiens, he did not have to design other life forms so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he had “covered” the time he had decided to take to fulfil his one and only goal. Fine. That means goodbye to a theory that is totally illogical by your human standards and mine.

I've said none of what your interpretation of my statement states! Of course He wants to evolve humans and the length of time the evolutionary process takes makes no problem for Him, as He is timeless. How did you get so confused? I was dismissing your version of God.


dhw: No, I do not view him as impatient or illogical. I am proposing that H. sapiens was NOT his one and only goal, and he did NOT have to design other life forms to eat or be eaten in order to cover the time he had decided to take etc.. And I am proposing that since, by your own admission, this combined purpose and method which you have imposed on him defies logic, maybe your personal reading of his mind (which I have summarized above) is wrong.

My interpretation is perfectly logical and I have said otherwise, except as you garble my comments.


DAVID: My ID folks accept evolution as designed by God. They never discuss whether God is humanized or not.

dhw: We are not talking about humanizing God. We are talking about your theory that your God’s only purpose was to design H. sapiens, and he decided to wait for 3.X billion years and therefore had to individually design every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time before he designed the only thing he wanted to design.

We are discussing your humanized version of God who can't decide to evolve humans by the results history demonstrates to us, because it is illogical to you as you picture God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, August 25, 2019, 09:42 (154 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. […] As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human.

dhw: So now you are saying that H. sapiens was not his only goal, he is not timeless, he did not decide to take 3.5 billion years to start the process of evolving H. sapiens, he did not have to design other life forms so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he had “covered” the time he had decided to take to fulfil his one and only goal. Fine. That means goodbye to a theory that is totally illogical by your human standards and mine.

DAVID: I've said none of what your interpretation of my statement states!

You have said that the only accurate statement is that God is not human. That means all the other statements are inaccurate! Please tell us exactly which ones.

DAVID: Of course He wants to evolve humans and the length of time the evolutionary process takes makes no problem for Him, as He is timeless. How did you get so confused? I was dismissing your version of God.

You were dismissing my summary of your fixed beliefs concerning your God’s one and only purpose and method of achieving it. The above is not “my” version of God, but my version of your version of God, which you say is inaccurate, and so again I ask you to tell us which of the individual details are incorrect.

dhw: No, I do not view him as impatient or illogical. I am proposing that H. sapiens was NOT his one and only goal, and he did NOT have to design other life forms to eat or be eaten in order to cover the time he had decided to take etc.. And I am proposing that since, by your own admission, this combined purpose and method which you have imposed on him defies logic, maybe your personal reading of his mind (which I have summarized above) is wrong.

DAVID: My interpretation is perfectly logical and I have [not?] said otherwise, except as you garble my comments.

And yet you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic (aren’t you human?) and that you yourself have no idea why he chose evolution - which for you = specially designed the whole evolutionary bush, including every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder - in order to “cover” the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 25, 2019, 14:58 (153 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.”
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. […] As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human.

dhw: So now you are saying that H. sapiens was not his only goal, he is not timeless, he did not decide to take 3.5 billion years to start the process of evolving H. sapiens, he did not have to design other life forms so that they could eat or be eaten by one another until he had “covered” the time he had decided to take to fulfil his one and only goal. Fine. That means goodbye to a theory that is totally illogical by your human standards and mine.

DAVID: I've said none of what your interpretation of my statement states!

dhw: You have said that the only accurate statement is that God is not human. That means all the other statements are inaccurate! Please tell us exactly which ones.

Your statement is a characterature of my meaning.


DAVID: Of course He wants to evolve humans and the length of time the evolutionary process takes makes no problem for Him, as He is timeless. How did you get so confused? I was dismissing your version of God.

dhw: You were dismissing my summary of your fixed beliefs concerning your God’s one and only purpose and method of achieving it. The above is not “my” version of God, but my version of your version of God, which you say is inaccurate, and so again I ask you to tell us which of the individual details are incorrect.


See above.


dhw: No, I do not view him as impatient or illogical. I am proposing that H. sapiens was NOT his one and only goal, and he did NOT have to design other life forms to eat or be eaten in order to cover the time he had decided to take etc.. And I am proposing that since, by your own admission, this combined purpose and method which you have imposed on him defies logic, maybe your personal reading of his mind (which I have summarized above) is wrong.

DAVID: My interpretation is perfectly logical and I have [not?] said otherwise, except as you garble my comments.

dhw: And yet you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic (aren’t you human?) and that you yourself have no idea why he chose evolution - which for you = specially designed the whole evolutionary bush, including every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder - in order to “cover” the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

Not to 'cover time'. It had to take time.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, August 26, 2019, 09:50 (153 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. […] As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human. […]

dhw: You have said that the only accurate statement is that God is not human. That means all the other statements are inaccurate! Please tell us exactly which ones.

DAVID: Your statement is a characterature of my meaning.

I have put all your fixed beliefs together to show why they are illogical. You know perfectly well that each one is accurate, and so it is the illogicality of their combination that makes you see your own version of events as a caricature. And yes indeed, it makes a mockery of all logic.

DAVID: My interpretation is perfectly logical and I have [not?] said otherwise, except as you garble my comments.

dhw: And yet you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic (aren’t you human?) and that you yourself have no idea why he chose evolution - which for you = specially designed the whole evolutionary bush, including every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder - in order to “cover” the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: Not to 'cover time'. It had to take time.

You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.”

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, August 26, 2019, 17:35 (152 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So God says to himself: “I have only one goal, which is to design H. sapiens, but I am timeless and so instead of pursuing my one goal, I shall postpone it and therefore I have to design lots of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders so that all these life forms can eat or be eaten by one another until I decide to do the only thing I actually want to do. And David Turell alone shall realize that although even he has no idea why I should think this way, which defies all human logic, that is because I am not human.
[…] please don’t say it’s a distortion unless you are prepared to say which parts of it do not correspond to your theory.

DAVID: Your characterization of God is totally not my vision of God. […] As you quote God, the one accurate statement is that He is not human. […]

dhw: You have said that the only accurate statement is that God is not human. That means all the other statements are inaccurate! Please tell us exactly which ones.

DAVID: Your statement is a characterature of my meaning.

dhW: I have put all your fixed beliefs together to show why they are illogical. You know perfectly well that each one is accurate, and so it is the illogicality of their combination that makes you see your own version of events as a caricature. And yes indeed, it makes a mockery of all logic.

And I think it is totally logical that God chose to evolve all life, ending with humans. I have never understood why you think it is illogical.


DAVID: My interpretation is perfectly logical and I have [not?] said otherwise, except as you garble my comments.

dhw: And yet you keep telling us that God’s logic is different from human logic (aren’t you human?) and that you yourself have no idea why he chose evolution - which for you = specially designed the whole evolutionary bush, including every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder - in order to “cover” the time until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: Not to 'cover time'. It had to take time.

dhw: You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.”

Misinterpreted. I mean God knew a great length of time was to be involved and took that time to do all the evolving required. By 'covering time' I mean using it, not inventing creations just to pass time.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 09:47 (152 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from “Balance of Nature; bees need meat”:

DAVID: For the umpteenth time, ID folks support the theory that God has designed all the irreducibly complex machines in living biochemistry. This means God ran evolution and created those designs. For me that translates to my theory about God and evolution. 'Covering time' is a nonsense notion since that is the time evolution took to reach the level of humans. And another nonsense idea is 'eating each other' as if it was not an absolute requirement in the process. A perfectly reasonable theory is God chose to evolve all of the bush of life ending with humans, whom I think are the endpoint.

For the umpteenth time, it is indeed a perfectly reasonable theory that if God exists, he chose to evolve the bush of life (either by direct design or by means of an autonomous inventive mechanism), and since humans are the latest new species, it is not unreasonable to believe that we are the endpoint. This is your usual selection of logical points, omitting those parts of your theory that combine to create its illogicality. The fact that H. sapiens is the latest species does not mean that your always-in-control God started out with the one and only purpose of creating us, or that he decided not to design the only thing he wanted to design until 3.X billion years had passed and therefore he had to cover the time in between by designing every other life form extant and extinct so that they could eat or be eaten by one another. I am delighted that you now agree that these are nonsense ideas. You have been promoting them for months and months, and they are encapsulated in the following statement:

DAVID: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.

DAVID: Misinterpreted. I mean God knew a great length of time was to be involved and took that time to do all the evolving required. By 'covering time' I mean using it, not inventing creations just to pass time.

1) According to you he had DECIDED to take that great length of time (not he knew it would take that long), and for 3.X billion years he designed nothing but non-human life forms (so he never even started “evolving” us). Why, if his one and only goal was to design us? Then, according to you, after this inexplicable decision:

2) All the other life forms were “interim goals” to provide food (eat or be eaten)to cover the time. Why “interim goals” if they were not designed with the purpose of keeping life going (“covering the time”) until he decided to design the only thing he wanted to design?

Thank you for at last agreeing that all this is nonsense.

dhw (referring to my summary of God’s thoughts according to your theory): I have put all your fixed beliefs together to show why they are illogical. You know perfectly well that each one is accurate, and so it is the illogicality of their combination that makes you see your own version of events as a caricature. And yes indeed, it makes a mockery of all logic.

DAVID: And I think it is totally logical that God chose to evolve all life, ending with humans. I have never understood why you think it is illogical.

I don’t. It’s the rest of your theory that is illogical, as you keep admitting when you say you have no idea why your God chose the evolutionary method you impose on him – see 1) and 2) above - and you therefore have to fall back on the claim that God’s logic is not ours! Why does God’s logic have to be different from ours if your theory is so logical?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 16:26 (151 days ago) @ dhw

Transferred from “Balance of Nature; bees need meat”:

DAVID: For the umpteenth time, ID folks support the theory that God has designed all the irreducibly complex machines in living biochemistry. This means God ran evolution and created those designs. For me that translates to my theory about God and evolution. 'Covering time' is a nonsense notion since that is the time evolution took to reach the level of humans. And another nonsense idea is 'eating each other' as if it was not an absolute requirement in the process. A perfectly reasonable theory is God chose to evolve all of the bush of life ending with humans, whom I think are the endpoint.

dhw: For the umpteenth time, it is indeed a perfectly reasonable theory that if God exists, he chose to evolve the bush of life (either by direct design or by means of an autonomous inventive mechanism), and since humans are the latest new species, it is not unreasonable to believe that we are the endpoint. This is your usual selection of logical points, omitting those parts of your theory that combine to create its illogicality. The fact that H. sapiens is the latest species does not mean that your always-in-control God started out with the one and only purpose of creating us, or that he decided not to design the only thing he wanted to design until 3.X billion years had passed and therefore he had to cover the time in between by designing every other life form extant and extinct so that they could eat or be eaten by one another. I am delighted that you now agree that these are nonsense ideas. You have been promoting them for months and months, and they are encapsulated in the following statement:

DAVID: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.

DAVID: Misinterpreted. I mean God knew a great length of time was to be involved and took that time to do all the evolving required. By 'covering time' I mean using it, not inventing creations just to pass time.

dhw: 1) According to you he had DECIDED to take that great length of time (not he knew it would take that long), and for 3.X billion years he designed nothing but non-human life forms (so he never even started “evolving” us). Why, if his one and only goal was to design us?

Remember, Evolution requires starting with simple forms and finally reaching the most complex. It is a continuous process, and your comment implies He should have jumped to his goal. My answer above covers this.

dhw: Then, according to you, after this inexplicable decision:

2) All the other life forms were “interim goals” to provide food (eat or be eaten)to cover the time. Why “interim goals” if they were not designed with the purpose of keeping life going (“covering the time”) until he decided to design the only thing he wanted to design?

Again answered above. Econiches for food supply are an essential part of the process and you always dismiss them as "coming and going', which is true but totally and irrationally beside the point.


dhw: Thank you for at last agreeing that all this is nonsense.

Your nonsense, not mine.


dhw (referring to my summary of God’s thoughts according to your theory): I have put all your fixed beliefs together to show why they are illogical. You know perfectly well that each one is accurate, and so it is the illogicality of their combination that makes you see your own version of events as a caricature. And yes indeed, it makes a mockery of all logic.

DAVID: And I think it is totally logical that God chose to evolve all life, ending with humans. I have never understood why you think it is illogical.

dhw: I don’t. It’s the rest of your theory that is illogical, as you keep admitting when you say you have no idea why your God chose the evolutionary method you impose on him – see 1) and 2) above - and you therefore have to fall back on the claim that God’s logic is not ours! Why does God’s logic have to be different from ours if your theory is so logical?

How can I know why God makes the choices He does make? Adler warns His logic may not be like ours. You constantly humanize God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 08:19 (151 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The fact that H. sapiens is the latest species does not mean that your always-in-control God started out with the one and only purpose of creating us, or that he decided not to design the only thing he wanted to design until 3.X billion years had passed and therefore he had to cover the time in between by designing every other life form extant and extinct so that they could eat or be eaten by one another. I am delighted that you now agree that these are nonsense ideas. You have been promoting them for months and months, and they are encapsulated in the following statement:
DAVID: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.”

DAVID: Misinterpreted. I mean God knew a great length of time was to be involved and took that time to do all the evolving required. By 'covering time' I mean using it, not inventing creations just to pass time.

dhw: 1) According to you he had DECIDED to take that great length of time (not he knew it would take that long), and for 3.X billion years he designed nothing but non-human life forms (so he never even started “evolving” us). Why, if his one and only goal was to design us?

DAVID: Remember, Evolution requires starting with simple forms and finally reaching the most complex. It is a continuous process, and your comment implies He should have jumped to his goal. My answer above covers this.

As usual you start with an obvious truth and leave out all the bits of your theory that defy even your own logic. My answer is quite explicit: if his one and only goal was to “evolve” H. sapiens, it makes no sense at all to have him decide NOT to begin “evolving” H. sapiens, but instead to evolve billions of non-human life forms extant and extinct to keep life going until he “evolved” the only thing he wanted to “evolve”. (NB for you “evolve” = individually design).

DAVID: Econiches for food supply are an essential part of the process and you always dismiss them as "coming and going', which is true but totally and irrationally beside the point.

Yes, econiches are essential for EVERY form of life. That does not mean your God had to specially design econiches for billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders because he had decided to wait 3.X billion years before evolving the only species he wanted to evolve.

dhw: Thank you for at last agreeing that all this is nonsense.

DAVID: Your nonsense, not mine.

You wrote: "'Covering time' is a nonsense notion since that is the time evolution took to reach the level of humans. And another nonsense idea is 'eating each other' as if it was not an absolute requirement in the process." Your own thought processes are not quite clear here, but it was you who wrote that all these other designs were “required” to provide food “to cover” the time he had “decided to take”. That is your nonsense, not mine.

DAVID: And I think it is totally logical that God chose to evolve all life, ending with humans. I have never understood why you think it is illogical.

dhw: I don’t. It’s the rest of your theory that is illogical, as you keep admitting when you say you have no idea why your God chose the evolutionary method you impose on him […] and you therefore have to fall back on the claim that God’s logic is not ours! Why does God’s logic have to be different from ours if your theory is so logical?

DAVID: How can I know why God makes the choices He does make?

Wrong question. How can you know God’s choices? It is you who insist that he CHOSE or “decided” to take 3.X billion years before starting the process of designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: Adler warns His logic may not be like ours. You constantly humanize God.

Do please stop quoting Adler, as if somehow that gave some sort of logic to your “nonsense”. It is no defence of that “nonsense” to claim that my alternatives humanize God. Either your theory is nonsense or it isn’t. If you can’t explain it, I don't think you can expect me or anyone else to lend it credence on the grounds that maybe God’s logic is different from yours and ours!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 29, 2019, 00:43 (150 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Remember, Evolution requires starting with simple forms and finally reaching the most complex. It is a continuous process, and your comment implies He should have jumped to his goal. My answer above covers this.

dhw: As usual you start with an obvious truth and leave out all the bits of your theory that defy even your own logic. My answer is quite explicit: if his one and only goal was to “evolve” H. sapiens, it makes no sense at all to have him decide NOT to begin “evolving” H. sapiens, but instead to evolve billions of non-human life forms extant and extinct to keep life going until he “evolved” the only thing he wanted to “evolve”. (NB for you “evolve” = individually design).

Yes, for me God designed all of evolution. Your version of God wants to jump right to humans. But that is not the history of the appearance of humans.

DAVID: And I think it is totally logical that God chose to evolve all life, ending with humans. I have never understood why you think it is illogical.

dhw: I don’t. It’s the rest of your theory that is illogical, as you keep admitting when you say you have no idea why your God chose the evolutionary method you impose on him […] and you therefore have to fall back on the claim that God’s logic is not ours! Why does God’s logic have to be different from ours if your theory is so logical?

DAVID: How can I know why God makes the choices He does make?

dhw: Wrong question. How can you know God’s choices? It is you who insist that he CHOSE or “decided” to take 3.X billion years before starting the process of designing the only thing he wanted to design.

My version of God chose to evolve humans over time as the history shows. Your impatient God wants to jump right to making humans. The problem between us is my version of God is not your version of God, and we will never meet in the middle.


DAVID: Adler warns His logic may not be like ours. You constantly humanize God.

dhw: Do please stop quoting Adler, as if somehow that gave some sort of logic to your “nonsense”. It is no defence of that “nonsense” to claim that my alternatives humanize God. Either your theory is nonsense or it isn’t. If you can’t explain it, I don't think you can expect me or anyone else to lend it credence on the grounds that maybe God’s logic is different from yours and ours!

I'll stick with Adler and his point that we cannot know God's logic. My theory is nonsense only for the God you invent. Let's finally stop.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, August 29, 2019, 10:31 (150 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] if his one and only goal was to “evolve” H. sapiens, it makes no sense at all to have him decide NOT to begin “evolving” H. sapiens, but instead to evolve billions of non-human life forms extant and extinct to keep life going until he “evolved” the only thing he wanted to “evolve”. (NB for you “evolve” = individually design).

DAVID: Yes, for me God designed all of evolution. Your version of God wants to jump right to humans. But that is not the history of the appearance of humans.

It certainly isn’t. And so if your God really did specially design every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, doesn’t that suggest to you that he did not start out with the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens?

DAVID: How can I know why God makes the choices He does make?

dhw: Wrong question. How can you know God’s choices? It is you who insist that he CHOSE or “decided” to take 3.X billion years before starting the process of designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: My version of God chose to evolve humans over time as the history shows. Your impatient God wants to jump right to making humans. The problem between us is my version of God is not your version of God, and we will never meet in the middle.

Your version of God chose to specially design every single life form etc. although he only wanted to design one. And your only response to this incongruity, as below, is that God’s logic is different from ours.

DAVID: I'll stick with Adler and his point that we cannot know God's logic. My theory is nonsense only for the God you invent. Let's finally stop.

I wish we could, but in post after post you attempt to impose the same illogical theory on the history of life, which obliges me to respond in order to restore the balance. Two of the latest examples:

Under “balance of nature”:
dhw: I feel obliged to point out that the vastness of this unseen world and the variety of econiches that come and go are irrelevant to David’s theory that his God designed them all to cover the time he had decided to take before designing the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: Total distortion as usual in the bolded section. God knew, full well, that all of evolution had to be designed before He got to designing humans and He WANTED to design it all.

No distortion. You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.”

According to you, then, it was his decision to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose, which was to design H. sapiens (though even then he designed lots of hominins and homos before designing the only one he wanted to design – see below). He therefore had to design the rest of the bush to cover the time he had decided to take.

Under “human evolution”:
QUOTES: "In the popular imagination, human evolution proceeds through a series of species, each one being a more evolved version of the last.

“'Most of the time, that’s not really the case,” says Spoor.
"Species often represent separate branches on a tree, with the direct ancestors – the branchpoints – leaving no trace. “You hardly ever find the real ancestor of something else,” says Spoor.

DAVID: It looks like we came from a bush of pre-hominins and hominins. To me it looks as if God was willing to take lots of time to finally evolve humans, just as these findings show.

If your always-in-control God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, why in heaven’s name would he specially design a whole bush of homos and hominins before he specially designed the only species he wanted to design? To me it looks as if either your God was experimenting, didn’t quite know what he wanted, knew what he wanted but couldn’t quite work out how to get it, or all these different species were the result of different cell communities doing their own designing, which resulted in a higgledy-piggledy bush of species analogous to the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution as a whole. You have repeatedly acknowledged that these are logical alternative explanations of the history, but you happen to know that your God is always in total control, has no human attributes, and above all doesn’t think or work in ways that conform to human logic. How do you know this?

Perhaps we could end this discussion if you would stop imagining that every new discovery somehow confirms your illogical theory, but it is your amazing capacity for keeping abreast of all the discoveries that keeps this website going, and of course you must be free to comment on them. But I must also be free to comment on your comments!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 29, 2019, 19:31 (149 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Yes, for me God designed all of evolution. Your version of God wants to jump right to humans. But that is not the history of the appearance of humans.

dhw: It certainly isn’t. And so if your God really did specially design every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, doesn’t that suggest to you that he did not start out with the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens?

Again you deny my concept of a purposeful God who knew his goal and the steps needed along the way,.


DAVID: How can I know why God makes the choices He does make?

dhw: Wrong question. How can you know God’s choices? It is you who insist that he CHOSE or “decided” to take 3.X billion years before starting the process of designing the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: My version of God chose to evolve humans over time as the history shows. Your impatient God wants to jump right to making humans. The problem between us is my version of God is not your version of God, and we will never meet in the middle.

dhw: Your version of God chose to specially design every single life form etc. although he only wanted to design one. And your only response to this incongruity, as below, is that God’s logic is different from ours.

It is incongruous only to you, not me. I view God as the Creator. Your bolded phrase is a distortion of my view. See above.

DAVID: God knew, full well, that all of evolution had to be designed before He got to designing humans and He WANTED to design it all.

dhw: No distortion. You wrote: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time He knew he had decided to take.”

According to you, then, it was his decision to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose, which was to design H. sapiens (though even then he designed lots of hominins and homos before designing the only one he wanted to design – see below). He therefore had to design the rest of the bush to cover the time he had decided to take. '

Once again I accept God as the purposeful creator of reality and knew in advance of the all the evolutionary projects He had to do to finally reach His desired endpoint of evolution, humans.


Under “human evolution”:
QUOTES: "In the popular imagination, human evolution proceeds through a series of species, each one being a more evolved version of the last.

“'Most of the time, that’s not really the case,” says Spoor.
"Species often represent separate branches on a tree, with the direct ancestors – the branchpoints – leaving no trace. “You hardly ever find the real ancestor of something else,” says Spoor.

DAVID: It looks like we came from a bush of pre-hominins and hominins. To me it looks as if God was willing to take lots of time to finally evolve humans, just as these findings show.

dhw: If your always-in-control God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, why in heaven’s name would he specially design a whole bush of homos and hominins before he specially designed the only species he wanted to design? To me it looks as if either your God was experimenting, didn’t quite know what he wanted, knew what he wanted but couldn’t quite work out how to get it, or all these different species were the result of different cell communities doing their own designing, which resulted in a higgledy-piggledy bush of species analogous to the higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution as a whole. You have repeatedly acknowledged that these are logical alternative explanations of the history, but you happen to know that your God is always in total control, has no human attributes, and above all doesn’t think or work in ways that conform to human logic. How do you know this?

I know it from faith developed from study of the facts we know. The bolded phrase is a representation of your constant distortion of my theory. See above re' a purposeful God who fully understood what He had to do.


dhw: Perhaps we could end this discussion if you would stop imagining that every new discovery somehow confirms your illogical theory, but it is your amazing capacity for keeping abreast of all the discoveries that keeps this website going, and of course you must be free to comment on them. But I must also be free to comment on your comments!

I plan to keep commenting, presenting complex designs as proof of an obvious need for a designing mind. Keep commenting to present your point of view as this website requires.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, August 30, 2019, 09:50 (149 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Yes, for me God designed all of evolution. Your version of God wants to jump right to humans. But that is not the history of the appearance of humans.

dhw: It certainly isn’t. And so if your God really did specially design every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, doesn’t that suggest to you that he did not start out with the one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens?

DAVID: Again you deny my concept of a purposeful God who knew his goal and the steps needed along the way.

I do not deny your view of a purposeful God! I deny your view that your God only had one purpose (to create H. sapiens) and that he decided to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his one purpose and therefore had to design billions of other life forms etc. to eat or be eaten by one another until the time he had decided to wait had been “covered”.

dhw: Your version of God chose to specially design every single life form etc. although he only wanted to design one. And your only response to this incongruity, as below, is that God’s logic is different from ours.

DAVID: It is incongruous only to you, not me. I view God as the Creator.

No problem. For the sake of our discussion, I am accepting that view.

DAVID: Your bolded phrase is a distortion of my view. See above.

You have continually told us that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal right from the start. That lies at the heart of this whole discussion! If you now wish to withdraw that statement, please tell us what other goals he had that you consider were not related to the creation of H. sapiens.

dhw: […] you happen to know that your God is always in total control, has no human attributes, and above all doesn’t think or work in ways that conform to human logic. How do you know this?

DAVID: I know it from faith developed from study of the facts we know.

What possible known facts can lead to the faith that your unknowable God is in total control, has no human attributes, and does not think or work in ways that conform to human logic?

dhw: Perhaps we could end this discussion if you would stop imagining that every new discovery somehow confirms your illogical theory, but it is your amazing capacity for keeping abreast of all the discoveries that keeps this website going, and of course you must be free to comment on them. But I must also be free to comment on your comments!

DAVID: I plan to keep commenting, presenting complex designs as proof of an obvious need for a designing mind. Keep commenting to present your point of view as this website requires.

I am deeply grateful to you for presenting these designs, and I have no objection whatsoever to your using them as evidence that there must be a designing mind. This is a major factor in my refusal to espouse atheism, although there are equally compelling factors that stop me from espousing theism. My objections are to the sheer illogicality of your attempts to read your God’s mind in relation to his purpose and method, and to your baseless assumption that he has nothing in common with humans and your illogical reading is correct just because you know his logic is different from ours.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, August 30, 2019, 17:05 (148 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you deny my concept of a purposeful God who knew his goal and the steps needed along the way.

dhw: I do not deny your view of a purposeful God! I deny your view that your God only had one purpose (to create H. sapiens) and that he decided to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his one purpose and therefore had to design billions of other life forms etc. to eat or be eaten by one another until the time he had decided to wait had been “covered”.

The bold is your constant distortion. A goal requires achieving that goal. God chose to evolve humans as history shows, which is why your implication that He should have immediately performed a direct creation of humans is so strange.


dhw: You have continually told us that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal right from the start. That lies at the heart of this whole discussion! If you now wish to withdraw that statement, please tell us what other goals he had that you consider were not related to the creation of H. sapiens.

Humans were His goal, but He used evolution to achieve that goal, per historical evidence.


dhw: […] you happen to know that your God is always in total control, has no human attributes, and above all doesn’t think or work in ways that conform to human logic. How do you know this?

DAVID: I know it from faith developed from study of the facts we know.

dhw: What possible known facts can lead to the faith that your unknowable God is in total control, has no human attributes, and does not think or work in ways that conform to human logic?

The fact is simple. We do not know a concealed God. What we presume about him is taken on faith, based on His observable works.


dhw: Perhaps we could end this discussion if you would stop imagining that every new discovery somehow confirms your illogical theory, but it is your amazing capacity for keeping abreast of all the discoveries that keeps this website going, and of course you must be free to comment on them. But I must also be free to comment on your comments!

DAVID: I plan to keep commenting, presenting complex designs as proof of an obvious need for a designing mind. Keep commenting to present your point of view as this website requires.
dhw: I am deeply grateful to you for presenting these designs, and I have no objection whatsoever to your using them as evidence that there must be a designing mind. This is a major factor in my refusal to espouse atheism, although there are equally compelling factors that stop me from espousing theism. My objections are to the sheer illogicality of your attempts to read your God’s mind in relation to his purpose and method, and to your baseless assumption that he has nothing in common with humans and your illogical reading is correct just because you know his logic is different from ours.

See above. God is concealed. Any assessment of His logic is guesswork. The God you attempt to present is totally humanized

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, August 31, 2019, 08:51 (148 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you deny my concept of a purposeful God who knew his goal and the steps needed along the way.

dhw: I do not deny your view of a purposeful God! I deny your view that your God only had one purpose (to create H. sapiens) and that he decided to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his one purpose and therefore had to design billions of other life forms etc. to eat or be eaten by one another until the time he had decided to wait had been “covered”. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion. A goal requires achieving that goal. God chose to evolve humans as history shows, which is why your implication that He should have immediately performed a direct creation of humans is so strange.

No distortion (see "Evolution and humans"), and you have omitted your version of evolution! According to you, despite your bolding above, God’s only goal WAS H. sapiens and evolution means specially designing every life form etc. that ever existed. So he decided not to design his only goal for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design all the rest to eat or be eaten by one another until he started designing all the different hominins and homos which eventually merged into H. sapiens. Now THAT is what I call strange. Logic suggests that an always-in-control designer with a single goal would indeed focus all his powers on designing the one thing he wanted to design. You explain this by telling us that your God has no human attributes and his logic is not the same as human logic. How do you know?

DAVID: I know it from faith developed from study of the facts we know.

dhw: What possible known facts can lead to the faith that your unknowable God is in total control, has no human attributes, and does not think or work in ways that conform to human logic?

DAVID: The fact is simple. We do not know a concealed God. What we presume about him is taken on faith, based on His observable works.
Followed by:
God is concealed. Any assessment of His logic is guesswork. The God you attempt to present is totally humanized

So your faith that he has no human attributes, and thinks and works in ways that do not conform to human logic, is guesswork. Any attempt to find a different and logical explanation of his goal and method based on his observable works (the history of life) is also guesswork but has to be dismissed, because your own guesswork is that he does not think or work in any way that can be explained by human logic. This is like a dog chasing its tail. I’m afraid I don’t see why any human would want to have faith in a guess which they themselves find illogical (you have no idea why he chose the evolutionary method you attribute to him) on the grounds that they have faith in the guess that God’s logic is incomprehensible to humans.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 31, 2019, 14:56 (147 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you deny my concept of a purposeful God who knew his goal and the steps needed along the way.

dhw: I do not deny your view of a purposeful God! I deny your view that your God only had one purpose (to create H. sapiens) and that he decided to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his one purpose and therefore had to design billions of other life forms etc. to eat or be eaten by one another until the time he had decided to wait had been “covered”. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The bold is your constant distortion. A goal requires achieving that goal. God chose to evolve humans as history shows, which is why your implication that He should have immediately performed a direct creation of humans is so strange.

dhw: No distortion (see "Evolution and humans"), and you have omitted your version of evolution! According to you, despite your bolding above, God’s only goal WAS H. sapiens and evolution means specially designing every life form etc. that ever existed. So he decided not to design his only goal for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design all the rest to eat or be eaten by one another until he started designing all the different hominins and homos which eventually merged into H. sapiens. Now THAT is what I call strange. Logic suggests that an always-in-control designer with a single goal would indeed focus all his powers on designing the one thing he wanted to design. You explain this by telling us that your God has no human attributes and his logic is not the same as human logic. How do you know?

I do not know or pretend to understand God's logic. God does what God does. I understand the evidence of history to know him through His works. Again you want the God described in Genesis. He does not exist. Theological thinking is much more mature than that.


DAVID: I know it from faith developed from study of the facts we know.

dhw: What possible known facts can lead to the faith that your unknowable God is in total control, has no human attributes, and does not think or work in ways that conform to human logic?

DAVID: The fact is simple. We do not know a concealed God. What we presume about him is taken on faith, based on His observable works.
Followed by:
God is concealed. Any assessment of His logic is guesswork. The God you attempt to present is totally humanized

dhw: So your faith that he has no human attributes, and thinks and works in ways that do not conform to human logic, is guesswork.

No, I have said any statement concerning God's logic must be guesswork as He has never directly told us how or Why he thinks what He thinks or does what He does, so al we can do is study his works: all of reality.

dhw: Any attempt to find a different and logical explanation of his goal and method based on his observable works (the history of life) is also guesswork but has to be dismissed, because your own guesswork is that he does not think or work in any way that can be explained by human logic.

I don't dismiss it. I study the facts of our reality understanding God created it. I know as a fact that God uses an evolutionary process to form the universe is its current form, to form the Earth in its current form, and to evolve life reaching the pinnacle of a human race. All actual history.

dhw: This is like a dog chasing its tail. I’m afraid I don’t see why any human would want to have faith in a guess which they themselves find illogical (you have no idea why he chose the evolutionary method you attribute to him) on the grounds that they have faith in the guess that God’s logic is incomprehensible to humans.

You have, as usual, distorted the meaning of my statement about 'no idea' concerning God's choice to evolve. What God does is never illogical, but His choice, for which we never can know His reasoning. I find your reasoning in this area totally illogical, as you try to invent a humanized God.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, September 01, 2019, 12:22 (147 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Logic suggests that an always-in-control designer with a single goal would indeed focus all his powers on designing the one thing he wanted to design. You explain this by telling us that your God has no human attributes and his logic is not the same as human logic. How do you know?

DAVID: I do not know or pretend to understand God's logic. God does what God does. I understand the evidence of history to know him through His works. Again you want the God described in Genesis. He does not exist. Theological thinking is much more mature than that. (dhw’s bold)

Firstly, how do you know he does not exist, but secondly I do not want anything except to know why a God who has a single purpose (to design H. sapiens), and according to you directly designs every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, decides to put off fulfilling his single purpose for 3.X billion years, therefore has to specially design all the other life forms etc., and then starts specially designing bits and pieces of H. sapiens to be passed on by various hominins and homos until he specially designs the special features that make H. sapiens different from all the rest! You even admit that you do not understand his logic!

DAVID: God is concealed. Any assessment of His logic is guesswork. The God you attempt to present is totally humanized

dhw: So your faith that he has no human attributes, and thinks and works in ways that do not conform to human logic, is guesswork.

DAVID: No, I have said any statement concerning God's logic must be guesswork as He has never directly told us how or Why he thinks what He thinks or does what He does, so al we can do is study his works: all of reality.

Why “no”? You keep stating that God’s logic is different from ours and you don’t understand it. That is a statement concerning God’s logic and is supposed to justify your fixed belief or faith in your guess that he lacks human attributes and works in ways that defy human logic. And so you think your guess entitles you dismiss any other guess.

DAVID: I don't dismiss it. I study the facts of our reality understanding God created it. I know as a fact that God uses an evolutionary process to form the universe is its current form, to form the Earth in its current form, and to evolve life reaching the pinnacle of a human race. All actual history.

Yes, if God exists, that is the history. What is not history is your guess that your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens, plus all the wild guesses listed above concerning his extraordinarily roundabout way of achieving that purpose.

dhw: This is like a dog chasing its tail. I’m afraid I don’t see why any human would want to have faith in a guess which they themselves find illogical (you have no idea why he chose the evolutionary method you attribute to him) on the grounds that they have faith in the guess that God’s logic is incomprehensible to humans.

DAVID: You have, as usual, distorted the meaning of my statement about 'no idea' concerning God's choice to evolve.

Evolution according to you is the history of your God’s special design of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. I quote you: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Exactly the same as today’s “I do not pretend to…understand God’s logic.”

DAVID: What God does is never illogical, but His choice, for which we never can know His reasoning. I find your reasoning in this area totally illogical, as you try to invent a humanized God.

Never illogical by whose standards, if you keep telling us that his logic is different from ours and you yourself do not understand it? You keep trying to invent a choice which you agree is illogical by human standards, and your only justification for rejecting other interpretations of his choice is that they are logical but you know your God doesn’t think logically by human standards. How about the possibility that he does, and your interpretation of his choice is wrong?

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 01, 2019, 16:07 (146 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I do not know or pretend to understand God's logic. God does what God does. I understand the evidence of history to know him through His works. Again you want the God described in Genesis. He does not exist. Theological thinking is much more mature than that. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Firstly, how do you know he does not exist, but secondly I do not want anything except to know why a God who has a single purpose (to design H. sapiens), and according to you directly designs every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, decides to put off fulfilling his single purpose for 3.X billion years, therefore has to specially design all the other life forms etc., and then starts specially designing bits and pieces of H. sapiens to be passed on by various hominins and homos until he specially designs the special features that make H. sapiens different from all the rest! You even admit that you do not understand his logic!

No one can know His logic. And my response to your view is in the other thread: "Goals and purposes are the same but the way you approach the argument is to strongly imply that my God was dominated by his desire for humans and foolishly took too much time to reach the evolution of humans. A complete distortion of my view of God, but a neat debating trick on your part."

DAVID: No, I have said any statement concerning God's logic must be guesswork as He has never directly told us how or Why he thinks what He thinks or does what He does, so al we can do is study his works: all of reality.

dhw: Why “no”? You keep stating that God’s logic is different from ours and you don’t understand it. That is a statement concerning God’s logic and is supposed to justify your fixed belief or faith in your guess that he lacks human attributes and works in ways that defy human logic. And so you think your guess entitles you dismiss any other guess.

You can guess all you want. The result is the same. It is a guess.


dhw: Evolution according to you is the history of your God’s special design of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. I quote you: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Exactly the same as today’s “I do not pretend to…understand God’s logic.”

DAVID: What God does is never illogical, but His choice, for which we never can know His reasoning. I find your reasoning in this area totally illogical, as you try to invent a humanized God.

dhw: Never illogical by whose standards, if you keep telling us that his logic is different from ours and you yourself do not understand it? You keep trying to invent a choice which you agree is illogical by human standards, and your only justification for rejecting other interpretations of his choice is that they are logical but you know your God doesn’t think logically by human standards. How about the possibility that he does, and your interpretation of his choice is wrong?

His choice is not wrong! As the creator of all that is, He chose to evolve humans. and I have not agreed His thoughts are "illogical by human standards". All I have ever said is I don't know why He made the choice to evolve humans, but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, September 02, 2019, 09:39 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So your faith that he has no human attributes, and thinks and works in ways that do not conform to human logic, is guesswork.

DAVID: No, I have said any statement concerning God's logic must be guesswork as He has never directly told us how or Why he thinks what He thinks or does what He does, so al we can do is study his works: all of reality.

dhw: Why “no”? You keep stating that God’s logic is different from ours and you don’t understand it. That is a statement concerning God’s logic and is supposed to justify your fixed belief or faith in your guess that he lacks human attributes and works in ways that defy human logic. And so you think your guess entitles you dismiss any other guess.

DAVID: You can guess all you want. The result is the same. It is a guess.

You keep agreeing that my alternative guesses are all logical and fit in with the history of life as we know it. This is in direct contrast to your own response to your own guesses:
dhw: Evolution according to you is the history of your God’s special design of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. I quote you: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Exactly the same as today’s “I do not pretend to…understand God’s logic.”

DAVID: What God does is never illogical, but His choice, for which we never can know His reasoning.

dhw: […] You keep trying to invent a choice which you agree is illogical by human standards, and your only justification for rejecting other interpretations of his choice is that they are logical but you know your God doesn’t think logically by human standards. How about the possibility that he does, and your interpretation of his choice is wrong?

DAVID: His choice is not wrong!

I did not say his choice was wrong! It is your interpretation of his choice which may be wrong.

DAVID: As the creator of all that is, He chose to evolve humans. and I have not agreed His thoughts are "illogical by human standards". All I have ever said is I don't know why He made the choice to evolve humans...

You have also said that God’s logic is not the same as human logic – and that is supposed to justify your fixed belief in something you don’t understand.

DAVID: ...but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

As usual, you hide behind the word “evolve” and gloss over the rest of your theory. “Evolve” for you means specially design! That is the nub of the whole argument. According to you, he chose to specially design every stage of evolution, every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and you have no idea why he did so when the only form you say he wanted to design was H. sapiens.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, September 02, 2019, 17:55 (145 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Why “no”? You keep stating that God’s logic is different from ours and you don’t understand it. That is a statement concerning God’s logic and is supposed to justify your fixed belief or faith in your guess that he lacks human attributes and works in ways that defy human logic. And so you think your guess entitles you dismiss any other guess.

DAVID: You can guess all you want. The result is the same. It is a guess.

dhw: You keep agreeing that my alternative guesses are all logical and fit in with the history of life as we know it. This is in direct contrast to your own response to your own guesses:
dhw: Evolution according to you is the history of your God’s special design of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. I quote you: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Exactly the same as today’s “I do not pretend to…understand God’s logic.”

We do not agree about the interpretations of God's reasoning. See next:


DAVID: What God does is never illogical, but His choice, for which we never can know His reasoning.

dhw: […] You keep trying to invent a choice which you agree is illogical by human standards, and your only justification for rejecting other interpretations of his choice is that they are logical but you know your God doesn’t think logically by human standards. How about the possibility that he does, and your interpretation of his choice is wrong?

DAVID: His choice is not wrong!

dhw: I did not say his choice was wrong! It is your interpretation of his choice which may be wrong.

Your reasoning constantly humanizes Him, because you are using human reasoning for Him.


DAVID: As the creator of all that is, He chose to evolve humans. and I have not agreed His thoughts are "illogical by human standards". All I have ever said is I don't know why He made the choice to evolve humans...

dhw: You have also said that God’s logic is not the same as human logic – and that is supposed to justify your fixed belief in something you don’t understand.

I try to understand why history happened as it did, assuming God is the Creator.


DAVID: ...but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

dhw: As usual, you hide behind the word “evolve” and gloss over the rest of your theory. “Evolve” for you means specially design! That is the nub of the whole argument. According to you, he chose to specially design every stage of evolution, every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder, and you have no idea why he did so when the only form you say he wanted to design was H. sapiens.

Again a total distortion. As God is the Creator, I have chosen to believe He chose to evolve everything, because that is what history tells us. 'Evolve' does not hide anything, as both of us believe in the process of evolution.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Tuesday, September 03, 2019, 09:49 (145 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You can guess all you want. The result is the same. It is a guess.

dhw: You keep agreeing that my alternative guesses are all logical and fit in with the history of life as we know it. This is in direct contrast to your own response to your own guesses:
dhw: Evolution according to you is the history of your God’s special design of all life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. I quote you: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Exactly the same as today’s “I do not pretend to…understand God’s logic.”

DAVID: We do not agree about the interpretations of God's reasoning. See next:

DAVID: His choice is not wrong!

dhw: I did not say his choice was wrong! It is your interpretation of his choice which may be wrong.

DAVID: Your reasoning constantly humanizes Him, because you are using human reasoning for Him.

And what sort of reasoning are you using when you tell us his choice was not to design the only thing he wanted to design? Does this illogicality mean you now reason like God?

DAVID: I try to understand why history happened as it did, assuming God is the Creator.

So do I. The difference between us is that you cannot understand your own explanation, whereas even you agree that you can understand my alternatives, but you happen to know that your God’s logic is different from ours.

DAVID: ...but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

dhw: As usual, you hide behind the word “evolve” and gloss over the rest of your theory.

DAVID: Again a total distortion. As God is the Creator, I have chosen to believe He chose to evolve everything, because that is what history tells us. 'Evolve' does not hide anything, as both of us believe in the process of evolution.

We both believe in common descent, but your “evolve” hides the fact that you believe your God specially designed every single innovation, life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting organisms to eat or be eaten by one another until he could specially design various bits and pieces in various species of hominin and homo before he specially designed the bits and pieces that finally produced the only thing he wanted to design (his one and only purpose), which was H. sapiens. But according to you, this is not a roundabout way of achieving his one and only purpose, and although you have no idea why he chose this method of achieving his purpose, you do know that your own non-logic is God’s logic.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 03, 2019, 17:54 (144 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: His choice is not wrong!

dhw: I did not say his choice was wrong! It is your interpretation of his choice which may be wrong.

DAVID: Your reasoning constantly humanizes Him, because you are using human reasoning for Him.

dhw: And what sort of reasoning are you using when you tell us his choice was not to design the only thing he wanted to design? Does this illogicality mean you now reason like God?

See my quote about God and the need for humans to eat in both other threads. We need the threads combined by you.


DAVID: I try to understand why history happened as it did, assuming God is the Creator.

dhw: So do I. The difference between us is that you cannot understand your own explanation, whereas even you agree that you can understand my alternatives, but you happen to know that your God’s logic is different from ours.

I fully understand my explanations. It is possible God's logic is like ours, but what you refuse to recognize is we cannot know that for sure, so we must look at His works and interpret what He might have thought.


DAVID: ...but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

dhw: As usual, you hide behind the word “evolve” and gloss over the rest of your theory.

DAVID: Again a total distortion. As God is the Creator, I have chosen to believe He chose to evolve everything, because that is what history tells us. 'Evolve' does not hide anything, as both of us believe in the process of evolution.

dhw: We both believe in common descent, but your “evolve” hides the fact that you believe your God specially designed every single innovation, life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting organisms to eat or be eaten by one another until he could specially design various bits and pieces in various species of hominin and homo before he specially designed the bits and pieces that finally produced the only thing he wanted to design (his one and only purpose), which was H. sapiens. But according to you, this is not a roundabout way of achieving his one and only purpose, and although you have no idea why he chose this method of achieving his purpose, you do know that your own non-logic is God’s logic.

Evolve hides nothing since you know I believe God designs everything! The entire bush of life is required, as God certainly knew, as humans without the bush couldn't survive.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Wednesday, September 04, 2019, 10:10 (144 days ago) @ David Turell

I’m combining threads again:

DAVID: I don't try to understand God's mind because we cannot, but we can have theories about why He created what He created, about which you and I disagree.

dhw: And your theory is that you DO understand his mind: he had one purpose, and although he is always in control, he decided not to fulfil it directly but to focus on designing anything but the one thing he wanted to design. You don’t know why, but you do know that God’s logic is different from yours and mine.

DAVID: God needed to create the entire bush of life to provide food for the years He took to create humans…

It is you who keep telling us that your God DECIDED to spend 3.X billion years not pursuing his goal! And that, according to you, is why he “had to” design non-human life forms to keep life going until he designed the only thing he wanted to design!

DAVID: If He just created humans, how would they be able to live all by themselves? God understood the requirements. Your God doesn't because of His human thinking you have given Him. Entirely logical as an interpretation of God's thinking.

Of course he had to provide food for humans, but the millions of extinct life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders did NOT provide food for humans! According to you, they provided food to “cover the time” he had decided to spend before he started his roundabout method of fulfilling his one and only goal. THAT is the theory which you admit you cannot explain and which drives you into claiming that your God’s logic is different from ours.

DAVID: I fully understand my explanations. It is possible God's logic is like ours, but what you refuse to recognize is we cannot know that for sure, so we must look at His works and interpret what He might have thought.

I fully recognize that we cannot know for sure, which is why I keep pointing out the illogicality of your own theory, and in turn look at his works and offer different logical interpretations as alternatives to the one which you now claim to fully understand – though at other times you admit you have no idea why your God would choose such a method of fulfilling such a purpose.

DAVID: ...but I have noted He uses evolution at all times with the universe, the Earth and with life, as evidence He prefers to evolve His creations.

dhw: As usual, you hide behind the word “evolve” and gloss over the rest of your theory.

DAVID: Again a total distortion. As God is the Creator, I have chosen to believe He chose to evolve everything, because that is what history tells us. 'Evolve' does not hide anything, as both of us believe in the process of evolution.

dhw: We both believe in common descent, but your “evolve” hides the fact that you believe your God specially designed every single innovation, life form etc., and did so for the sole purpose of getting organisms to eat or be eaten by one another until he could specially design various bits and pieces in various species of hominin and homo before he specially designed the bits and pieces that finally produced the only thing he wanted to design (his one and only purpose), which was H. sapiens. But according to you, this is not a roundabout way of achieving his one and only purpose, and although you have no idea why he chose this method of achieving his purpose, you do know that your own non-logic is God’s logic.

DAVID: Evolve hides nothing since you know I believe God designs everything! The entire bush of life is required, as God certainly knew, as humans without the bush couldn't survive.

Humans did not even exist, let alone survive for 3.X billion years! That is the problem with your theory that H. sapiens was his one and only goal but he “had to” create the bush because he had decided not to fulfil his one and only goal for 3.X billion years! You don't know why he chose this method of fulfilling his purpose, and so God's logic must be different from ours!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 04, 2019, 18:34 (143 days ago) @ dhw

I’m combining threads again:

DAVID: God needed to create the entire bush of life to provide food for the years He took to create humans…

dhw: It is you who keep telling us that your God DECIDED to spend 3.X billion years not pursuing his goal! And that, according to you, is why he “had to” design non-human life forms to keep life going until he designed the only thing he wanted to design!

History tells us He decided to evolve!


DAVID: If He just created humans, how would they be able to live all by themselves? God understood the requirements. Your God doesn't because of His human thinking you have given Him. Entirely logical as an interpretation of God's thinking.

dhw: Of course he had to provide food for humans, but the millions of extinct life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders did NOT provide food for humans! According to you, they provided food to “cover the time” he had decided to spend before he started his roundabout method of fulfilling his one and only goal. THAT is the theory which you admit you cannot explain and which drives you into claiming that your God’s logic is different from ours.

Same old incorrect points. Of course He had to cover the time involved or life would have been starved out of existence. It is not that: "you admit you cannot explain", I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices, while I treat Him as non-human and you constantly humanize His logic.


DAVID: I fully understand my explanations. It is possible God's logic is like ours, but what you refuse to recognize is we cannot know that for sure, so we must look at His works and interpret what He might have thought.

dhw: I fully recognize that we cannot know for sure, which is why I keep pointing out the illogicality of your own theory, and in turn look at his works and offer different logical interpretations as alternatives to the one which you now claim to fully understand – though at other times you admit you have no idea why your God would choose such a method of fulfilling such a purpose.

Again your humanized God seems illogical. Not to me


DAVID: Evolve hides nothing since you know I believe God designs everything! The entire bush of life is required, as God certainly knew, as humans without the bush couldn't survive.

dhw: Humans did not even exist, let alone survive for 3.X billion years! That is the problem with your theory that H. sapiens was his one and only goal but he “had to” create the bush because he had decided not to fulfil his one and only goal for 3.X billion years! You don't know why he chose this method of fulfilling his purpose, and so God's logic must be different from ours!

Same old chorus. My view of God is He chose to evolve. You view my God as illogical. I don't.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Thursday, September 05, 2019, 10:34 (143 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God needed to create the entire bush of life to provide food for the years He took to create humans…

dhw: It is you who keep telling us that your God DECIDED to spend 3.X billion years not pursuing his goal! And that, according to you, is why he “had to” design non-human life forms to keep life going until he designed the only thing he wanted to design!

DAVID: History tells us He decided to evolve!

For those of us who believe in evolution, history tells us that evolution took place. If you believe in God, then of course God decided to use evolution to produce the bush of life. It does not tell us that he decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing the only thing he wanted to design, and therefore he had to cover the time by designing millions of non-human life forms. Why do you keep ignoring the part of your theory that makes no sense?

DAVID: Same old incorrect points. Of course He had to cover the time involved or life would have been starved out of existence.

But if he was always in control and had only one purpose, why did he decide not to fulfil his purpose and therefore had to design millions of other life forms etc.? Here is your answer:
DAVID: It is not that: "you admit you cannot explain", I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices […]

You can’t explain his choices because you don’t understand them!

DAVID: I fully understand my explanations. It is possible God's logic is like ours, but what you refuse to recognize is we cannot know that for sure, so we must look at His works and interpret what He might have thought.

dhw: I fully recognize that we cannot know for sure, which is why I keep pointing out the illogicality of your own theory, and in turn look at his works and offer different logical interpretations as alternatives to the one which you now claim to fully understand – though at other times you admit you have no idea why your God would choose such a method of fulfilling such a purpose.

DAVID: Again your humanized God seems illogical. Not to me

You can’t understand his choices but they don’t seem illogical to you.

DAVID: Evolve hides nothing since you know I believe God designs everything! The entire bush of life is required, as God certainly knew, as humans without the bush couldn't survive.

dhw: Humans did not even exist, let alone survive for 3.X billion years! That is the problem with your theory that H. sapiens was his one and only goal but he “had to” create the bush because he had decided not to fulfil his one and only goal for 3.X billion years! You don't know why he chose this method of fulfilling his purpose, and so God's logic must be different from ours!

DAVID: Same old chorus. My view of God is He chose to evolve. You view my God as illogical. I don't.

Yes, he chose evolution of all life forms including humans. That does not mean he had only one purpose and chose not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years but instead had to design all the other life forms etc. And I do not view your God as illogical. It is your view of your God that I consider to be illogical – and so do you, because you can’t understand his choices.

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 05, 2019, 18:36 (142 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: History tells us He decided to evolve!

dhw: For those of us who believe in evolution, history tells us that evolution took place. If you believe in God, then of course God decided to use evolution to produce the bush of life. It does not tell us that he decided to spend 3.X billion years not designing the only thing he wanted to design, and therefore he had to cover the time by designing millions of non-human life forms. Why do you keep ignoring the part of your theory that makes no sense?

DAVID: Same old incorrect points. Of course He had to cover the time involved or life would have been starved out of existence.

dhw: But if he was always in control and had only one purpose, why did he decide not to fulfil his purpose and therefore had to design millions of other life forms etc.? Here is your answer:
DAVID: It is not that: "you admit you cannot explain", I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices […]

dhw: You can’t explain his choices because you don’t understand them!

I don't try to understand. I simply accept that God does what He wants to do, and He chose to evolve, as you agree to above. You then turn around and with your humanized God you wonder why HE wanted to wait.


DAVID: I fully understand my explanations. It is possible God's logic is like ours, but what you refuse to recognize is we cannot know that for sure, so we must look at His works and interpret what He might have thought.

dhw: I fully recognize that we cannot know for sure, which is why I keep pointing out the illogicality of your own theory, and in turn look at his works and offer different logical interpretations as alternatives to the one which you now claim to fully understand – though at other times you admit you have no idea why your God would choose such a method of fulfilling such a purpose.

DAVID: Again your humanized God seems illogical. Not to me

dhw: You can’t understand his choices but they don’t seem illogical to you.

No, I accept what He decides to do. My God is not humanized, very unlike yours.


DAVID: Evolve hides nothing since you know I believe God designs everything! The entire bush of life is required, as God certainly knew, as humans without the bush couldn't survive.

dhw: Humans did not even exist, let alone survive for 3.X billion years! That is the problem with your theory that H. sapiens was his one and only goal but he “had to” create the bush because he had decided not to fulfil his one and only goal for 3.X billion years! You don't know why he chose this method of fulfilling his purpose, and so God's logic must be different from ours!

DAVID: Same old chorus. My view of God is He chose to evolve. You view my God as illogical. I don't.

dhw: Yes, he chose evolution of all life forms including humans. That does not mean he had only one purpose and chose not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years but instead had to design all the other life forms etc. And I do not view your God as illogical. It is your view of your God that I consider to be illogical – and so do you, because you can’t understand his choices.

I accept His choice to evolve. Perfectly logical in view of the known history of evolution.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Friday, September 06, 2019, 10:45 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] if he was always in control and had only one purpose, why did he decide not to fulfil his purpose and therefore had to design millions of other life forms etc.? Here is your answer:
DAVID: […] I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices […]

dhw: You can’t explain his choices because you don’t understand them!

DAVID: I don't try to understand. I simply accept that God does what He wants to do, and He chose to evolve, as you agree to above.

You “simply accept” your fixed belief that he had only one purpose (H. sapiens), chose to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his purpose, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing (your interpretation of the evolutionary process) millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another. You “cannot understand His choices” means you cannot understand the choice you impose on him with this theory. Now you don’t even try to understand it, because you know as well as I do that it makes no sense...

DAVID:You then turn around and with your humanized God you wonder why HE wanted to wait.

…and then you try to distract attention from its senselessness by saying that any other explanation which DOES make sense “humanizes” God, as if you know that God can’t possibly think in any way that a human might consider to be logical!

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Friday, September 06, 2019, 22:42 (141 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] if he was always in control and had only one purpose, why did he decide not to fulfil his purpose and therefore had to design millions of other life forms etc.? Here is your answer:
DAVID: […] I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices […]

dhw: You can’t explain his choices because you don’t understand them!

DAVID: I don't try to understand. I simply accept that God does what He wants to do, and He chose to evolve, as you agree to above.

dhw: You “simply accept” your fixed belief that he had only one purpose (H. sapiens), chose to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his purpose, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing (your interpretation of the evolutionary process) millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another. You “cannot understand His choices” means you cannot understand the choice you impose on him with this theory. Now you don’t even try to understand it, because you know as well as I do that it makes no sense...

DAVID:You then turn around and with your humanized God you wonder why HE wanted to wait.

dhw: …and then you try to distract attention from its senselessness by saying that any other explanation which DOES make sense “humanizes” God, as if you know that God can’t possibly think in any way that a human might consider to be logical!

Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything.

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 09:02 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I cannot read God's mind or understand His choices […]

dhw: You can’t explain his choices because you don’t understand them!

DAVID: I don't try to understand. I simply accept that God does what He wants to do, and He chose to evolve, as you agree to above.

dhw: You “simply accept” your fixed belief that he had only one purpose (H. sapiens), chose to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his purpose, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing (your interpretation of the evolutionary process) millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another. You “cannot understand His choices” means you cannot understand the choice you impose on him with this theory. Now you don’t even try to understand it, because you know as well as I do that it makes no sense...

DAVID:You then turn around and with your humanized God you wonder why HE wanted to wait.

dhw: …and then you try to distract attention from its senselessness by saying that any other explanation which DOES make sense “humanizes” God, as if you know that God can’t possibly think in any way that a human might consider to be logical!

DAVID: Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything.

Once again, you don’t question your INTERPRETATION of God’s choices. He didn’t worry (how very human of him) about the time taken…Well of course not, because according to you he actually decided not to start fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, though you have no idea why.

Under “doubting Darwin” we have the same problem:

DAVID: My fixed belief is that God made all major design changes for new species.

But you keep insisting that your God also specially designed every natural wonder and every lifestyle and every econiche! And as with cellular intelligence, so too with your fixed belief that your God had only one goal (though see “Natural Wonders & Evolution” for a possible dramatic change in this fixed belief), decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design the rest of life’s bush to cover the time he had decided to take. Your mind would seem to be closed, even though you admit that cells “can” be automatic (and therefore “can” be autonomous), and you have no idea why your God chose the above method of fulfilling his one and only goal.:-(

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 19:27 (140 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't try to understand. I simply accept that God does what He wants to do, and He chose to evolve, as you agree to above.

dhw: You “simply accept” your fixed belief that he had only one purpose (H. sapiens), chose to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his purpose, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing (your interpretation of the evolutionary process) millions of non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another. You “cannot understand His choices” means you cannot understand the choice you impose on him with this theory. Now you don’t even try to understand it, because you know as well as I do that it makes no sense...

DAVID:You then turn around and with your humanized God you wonder why HE wanted to wait.

dhw: …and then you try to distract attention from its senselessness by saying that any other explanation which DOES make sense “humanizes” God, as if you know that God can’t possibly think in any way that a human might consider to be logical!

DAVID: Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything.

dhw: Once again, you don’t question your INTERPRETATION of God’s choices. He didn’t worry (how very human of him) about the time taken…Well of course not, because according to you he actually decided not to start fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, though you have no idea why.

I have to use human words in describing God's thoughts. We don't have words just for God, and you know that .


Under “doubting Darwin” we have the same problem:

DAVID: My fixed belief is that God made all major design changes for new species.

But you keep insisting that your God also specially designed every natural wonder and every lifestyle and every econiche! And as with cellular intelligence, so too with your fixed belief that your God had only one goal (though see “Natural Wonders & Evolution” for a possible dramatic change in this fixed belief), decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design the rest of life’s bush to cover the time he had decided to take. Your mind would seem to be closed, even though you admit that cells “can” be automatic (and therefore “can” be autonomous), and you have no idea why your God chose the above method of fulfilling his one and only goal.:-(

From above: "Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything." As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability, and we know nothing beyond that as a cause of speciation, which always requires major design changes, something you seem not to appreciate. God is my designer. ;-)

Unanswered questions: addendum

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 20:30 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

Final thought: For weeks you have repeated the same complaint using a humanized concept of God, while I follow the well-accepted advice of Adler who is a philosopher of theology.

Do you have any new thoughts?

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Sunday, September 08, 2019, 10:11 (140 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything.

dhw: Once again, you don’t question your INTERPRETATION of God’s choices. He didn’t worry (how very human of him) about the time taken…Well of course not, because according to you he actually decided not to start fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, though you have no idea why.

DAVID: I have to use human words in describing God's thoughts. We don't have words just for God, and you know that.

I don’t know why you assume that your God’s thoughts cannot be described in human terms. You have no reason to suppose that his reasons for doing what he did are incomprehensible to humans. However, under “Natural Wonders and Evolution” we have at last established that H. sapiens was not his one and only purpose, so we can forget this whole business of him deciding to wait 3.X billion years. He wanted or desired a bush. And no, no, no, I don’t have him fretting. I have him wanting a bush and getting a bush. You had him wanting a human but having to make a bush because he’d decided to wait a few billion years, though you didn’t know why. A sort of bumbling, can’t-make-up-his-mind God – or a God that knew what he wanted but couldn’t work out how to do it.

DAVID: As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability, and we know nothing beyond that as a cause of speciation, which always requires major design changes, something you seem not to appreciate.

Dealt with under “Natural Wonders & Evolution”.

DAVID: God is my designer.;-)

Perfectly understandable: he may have designed an autonomous mechanism instead of directly designing every life form, lifestyle, natural wonder, and let’s not forget bacterial responses to every situation they may encounter throughout life’s history.

DAVID: Final thought: For weeks you have repeated the same complaint using a humanized concept of God, while I follow the well-accepted advice of Adler who is a philosopher of theology. Do you have any new thoughts?

No, but I’m delighted to see that you do, as is clear from your post under “Natural Wonders & Evolution”. We are making progress. :-)

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 08, 2019, 15:25 (139 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once again, I don't question God's choices. I assume reality as God's works and the results are his choices. My God didn't worry about the time taken as He is timeless. You humanized God seems to fret about everything.

dhw: Once again, you don’t question your INTERPRETATION of God’s choices. He didn’t worry (how very human of him) about the time taken…Well of course not, because according to you he actually decided not to start fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, though you have no idea why.

DAVID: I have to use human words in describing God's thoughts. We don't have words just for God, and you know that.

dhw: I don’t know why you assume that your God’s thoughts cannot be described in human terms. You have no reason to suppose that his reasons for doing what he did are incomprehensible to humans.

Not incomprehensible, but our analysis of God's thoughts are all guesses as to his actual thoughts.

dhw: However, under “Natural Wonders and Evolution” we have at last established that H. sapiens was not his one and only purpose, so we can forget this whole business of him deciding to wait 3.X billion years. He wanted or desired a bush. And no, no, no, I don’t have him fretting. I have him wanting a bush and getting a bush. You had him wanting a human but having to make a bush because he’d decided to wait a few billion years, though you didn’t know why. A sort of bumbling, can’t-make-up-his-mind God – or a God that knew what he wanted but couldn’t work out how to do it.

Your version of my God is bumbling, but that is because your view of my God is so garbled. My God knows exactly what he is doing and is full of purposeful creative activity, and chose to evolve humans. God's works tell us that.


DAVID: God is my designer.;-)

dhw: Perfectly understandable: he may have designed an autonomous mechanism instead of directly designing every life form, lifestyle, natural wonder, and let’s not forget bacterial responses to every situation they may encounter throughout life’s history.

Forgetting my God is in charge and would have given such a mechanism guidelines.


DAVID: Final thought: For weeks you have repeated the same complaint using a humanized concept of God, while I follow the well-accepted advice of Adler who is a philosopher of theology. Do you have any new thoughts?

dhw: No, but I’m delighted to see that you do, as is clear from your post under “Natural Wonders & Evolution”. We are making progress. :-)

Not so clear.;-)

Unanswered questions

by dhw, Monday, September 09, 2019, 08:35 (139 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have to use human words in describing God's thoughts. We don't have words just for God, and you know that.

dhw: I don’t know why you assume that your God’s thoughts cannot be described in human terms. You have no reason to suppose that his reasons for doing what he did are incomprehensible to humans.

DAVID: Not incomprehensible, but our analysis of God's thoughts are all guesses as to his actual thoughts.

Yes indeed, but your guess until now has been the fixed belief that he only had one purpose, decided to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil it, and covered the time by specially designing anything but the one form he wanted/desired to design. And you cannot find any logical explanation for such a procedure, which makes it incomprehensible both to you and to me.

dhw: […] I don’t have him fretting. I have him wanting a bush and getting a bush. You had him wanting a human but having to make a bush because he’d decided to wait a few billion years, though you didn’t know why. A sort of bumbling, can’t-make-up-his-mind God – or a God that knew what he wanted but couldn’t work out how to do it.

DAVID: Your version of my God is bumbling, but that is because your view of my God is so garbled. My God knows exactly what he is doing and is full of purposeful creative activity, and chose to evolve humans. God's works tell us that.

If I believed in God, he would certainly know what he is doing and be full of purposeful activity, and since I believe evolution happened, I would agree that he “chose” to evolve humans, just as he chose to evolve every other multicellular organism that has ever lived on this planet. He only becomes bumbling when you insist that he specially designed every other multicellular organism although the only one he wanted to specially design was H. sapiens.

DAVID: God is my designer. ;-)

dhw: Perfectly understandable: he may have designed an autonomous mechanism instead of directly designing every life form, lifestyle, natural wonder, and let’s not forget bacterial responses to every situation they may encounter throughout life’s history.

DAVID: Forgetting my God is in charge and would have given such a mechanism guidelines.

Your “guidelines” have always meant nothing but preprogramming or direct dabbling – the direct opposite of autonomy. “Being in charge” is one of your weasel expressions. Your God would still have been “in charge” if he had decided to invent a mechanism that could make its own decisions (as you acknowledge with your firm belief in human free will). He could always intervene if he wanted to.

DAVID: Final thought: For weeks you have repeated the same complaint using a humanized concept of God, while I follow the well-accepted advice of Adler who is a philosopher of theology. Do you have any new thoughts?

dhw: No, but I’m delighted to see that you do, as is clear from your post under “Natural Wonders & Evolution”. We are making progress. :-)

DAVID: Not so clear. ;-)

Well, you’re doing your best to muddy the waters again after you’d you cleared them in your post under “Natural Wonders & Evolution”. :-(

Unanswered questions

by David Turell @, Monday, September 09, 2019, 18:18 (138 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have to use human words in describing God's thoughts. We don't have words just for God, and you know that.

dhw: I don’t know why you assume that your God’s thoughts cannot be described in human terms. You have no reason to suppose that his reasons for doing what he did are incomprehensible to humans.

DAVID: Not incomprehensible, but our analysis of God's thoughts are all guesses as to his actual thoughts.

dhw: Yes indeed, but your guess until now has been the fixed belief that he only had one purpose, decided to wait 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil it, and covered the time by specially designing anything but the one form he wanted/desired to design. And you cannot find any logical explanation for such a procedure, which makes it incomprehensible both to you and to me.

Your usual distortion. My God is not incomprehensible to me, only to your humanized concept of God. My logical explanation of what happened is God chose to evolve humans, and didn't care about the time it took. Further I have shown you that God has evolved everything He created, universe, Earth, life, and you have never commented on that point of evidence as to God's methods.


dhw: […] I don’t have him fretting. I have him wanting a bush and getting a bush. You had him wanting a human but having to make a bush because he’d decided to wait a few billion years, though you didn’t know why. A sort of bumbling, can’t-make-up-his-mind God – or a God that knew what he wanted but couldn’t work out how to do it.

DAVID: Your version of my God is bumbling, but that is because your view of my God is so garbled. My God knows exactly what he is doing and is full of purposeful creative activity, and chose to evolve humans. God's works tell us that.

dhw: If I believed in God, he would certainly know what he is doing and be full of purposeful activity, and since I believe evolution happened, I would agree that he “chose” to evolve humans, just as he chose to evolve every other multicellular organism that has ever lived on this planet. He only becomes bumbling when you insist t