Back to theodicy and David's theories (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Thursday, January 28, 2021, 11:09 (105 days ago)

The “miscellany” has unfortunately taken us back to your theory of evolution

DAVID: We still see that mistakes can happen when molecules are acting and BIR is not a perfect solution. Perhaps perfection is impossible even with God in charge of possible designs.

dhw: Perhaps your God did not seek perfection.

DAVID: I think He couldn't. >

dhw: Interesting that your God is incapable of designing what he wants, tries hard to make up for it (but often fails), and yet you always moan that my hypothesis of a God who designs exactly what he wants (namely the free-for-all which has produced the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution) makes him seem “weak”.

DAVID: Now we are returning to God's personality discussion. I think if Him as highly purposeful with the process of evolution absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness. The broad bush is for econiches to provide food for all and is practical and not higgledy-piggledy. Your failure to see God's purpose muddles your approach.

There is no way round discussing God’s personality if you want to discuss the problem of theodicy. And so once again you have returned to the theory we agreed to leave unmentioned: that your God’s sole purpose was to directly design H. sapiens, but you have no idea why he would have directly designed millions of earlier non-human life forms and econiches, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Your inability to explain why he would use such a method to fulfil such a purpose should alert you to the possibility that your theory is wrong, and you add to the illogicality of your interpretation of evolution with your insistence that a God who designs what he wants to design is weaker than a God who is unable to design what he wants to design, and tries but often fails to correct the errors.

DAVID: You still don't understand the biochemistry of life with high-speed reactions. The molecules are free to make mistakes to have the system work at the speed it does. This design we have works, as evolutionary history shows. That is a positive not your persistent negative dark view.

You are clinging to what works, and deliberately ignoring the consequences of what doesn’t work. Why do you think your God would have tried but failed to prevent those consequences, and left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do? As a doctor, you have faced up to the reality of what doesn’t work, so why do you ignore it when you discuss the nature of your God? The question here is not what is negative or positive, but what is the most likely explanation for the facts we have? Why is your version of a God who can’t control his creation stronger than my hypothetical God who has created precisely what he wanted to create – namely, a free-for-all, in which all life forms do or do not find different ways to survive and to evolve?

dhw: You drew our attention to catastrophes and to humans upsetting the balance of Nature. This raises the interesting question of whether your God deliberately designed catastrophes and indeed all the environmental changes, global and local, that have accompanied (and I suggest also triggered) both extinctions and the arrival of new species. I’m not sure what you mean by “overall weather patterns”, so perhaps you could be more precise. Do you think he controls/controlled all the environmental changes, global and local, that accompanied (triggered) evolutionary changes, or do you think he set up a system through which environmental changes were/are left to chance?'

DAVID: I don't much of anything chance-caused. I see God in tight control. La Nina and El Nino are recognized Pacific patterns that control all weather over the globe. Monsoon rain patterns are another.

So purely out of interest, do you think your God fiddled with the growth of the north and northeastern portion of Tibet, as follows?

Asian weather patterns

QUOTE: “…. the growth of the north and northeastern portion of Tibet was the most important factor because it increased rainfall, especially winter rainfall, over eastern Asia where dry winter conditions existed before.
"This allowed the development of a stable, wet and warm climate, conducive to the evolution of vast and varied plants and animal species which formed the biodiversity hotspot known today for supplying more than a billion people with fresh water and providing ingredients used for lifesaving pharmaceutical drugs. Rare species of monkey, tiger, leopard, bear, fox, mongoose, hedgehog, seal, dolphin, and sea lion all live in this abundant ecosystem.

And there you have a perfectly clear indication of how environmental conditions trigger speciation. Of course the question for you once more is why, in the course of all the similar environmental changes in the past, your God would have created a vast variety of econiches and species, 99% of which no longer exist and had no connection with humans, if the process of evolution was “absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness”. Off we go again...

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 28, 2021, 15:24 (105 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Now we are returning to God's personality discussion. I think if Him as highly purposeful with the process of evolution absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness. The broad bush is for econiches to provide food for all and is practical and not higgledy-piggledy. Your failure to see God's purpose muddles your approach.

dhw: There is no way round discussing God’s personality if you want to discuss the problem of theodicy. And so once again you have returned to the theory we agreed to leave unmentioned: that your God’s sole purpose was to directly design H. sapiens, but you have no idea why he would have directly designed millions of earlier non-human life forms and econiches, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Your inability to explain why he would use such a method to fulfil such a purpose should alert you to the possibility that your theory is wrong,

Simple: God's choice to evolve is perfect logic.

dhw: you add to the illogicality of your interpretation of evolution with your insistence that a God who designs what he wants to design is weaker than a God who is unable to design what he wants to design, and tries but often fails to correct the errors.

Your inverted view of molecular errors fails to recognize the processes are at required very high speed and 3.8 by of evolution refutes your complaint. From single cells extraordinary human are here! Simply, the errors are survivable with Gods' current error correction processes.


dhw: You are clinging to what works, and deliberately ignoring the consequences of what doesn’t work. Why do you think your God would have tried but failed to prevent those consequences, and left it to us humans to do what he couldn’t do? As a doctor, you have faced up to the reality of what doesn’t work, so why do you ignore it when you discuss the nature of your God?

Only humans see the errors with the brain God gave us. Do you think He wanted us to see His secrets? I think so.

dhw: The question here is not what is negative or positive, but what is the most likely explanation for the facts we have? Why is your version of a God who can’t control his creation stronger than my hypothetical God who has created precisely what he wanted to create – namely, a free-for-all, in which all life forms do or do not find different ways to survive and to evolve?

Back to views of God's personality: yours is not purposeful and so organisms have to work out their own future designs somehow.

DAVID: I don't much of anything chance-caused. I see God in tight control. La Nina and El Nino are recognized Pacific patterns that control all weather over the globe. Monsoon rain patterns are another.

dhw: So purely out of interest, do you think your God fiddled with the growth of the north and northeastern portion of Tibet, as follows?

Continents floating, subducting to cause mountain ranges are God's design for the Earth


Asian weather patterns

QUOTE: “…. the growth of the north and northeastern portion of Tibet was the most important factor because it increased rainfall, especially winter rainfall, over eastern Asia where dry winter conditions existed before.
"This allowed the development of a stable, wet and warm climate, conducive to the evolution of vast and varied plants and animal species which formed the biodiversity hotspot known today for supplying more than a billion people with fresh water and providing ingredients used for lifesaving pharmaceutical drugs. Rare species of monkey, tiger, leopard, bear, fox, mongoose, hedgehog, seal, dolphin, and sea lion all live in this abundant ecosystem.

dhw: And there you have a perfectly clear indication of how environmental conditions trigger speciation. Of course the question for you once more is why, in the course of all the similar environmental changes in the past, your God would have created a vast variety of econiches and species, 99% of which no longer exist and had no connection with humans, if the process of evolution was “absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness”. Off we go again...

Environmental conditions allow speciation to happen not cause it!!! Why do you dwell on the past when we are discussing why the present exists? The past led to the present. WE are here against all probability.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 28, 2021, 19:33 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: you add to the illogicality of your interpretation of evolution with your insistence that a God who designs what he wants to design is weaker than a God who is unable to design what he wants to design, and tries but often fails to correct the errors.

Your inverted view of molecular errors fails to recognize the processes are at required very high speed and 3.8 by of evolution refutes your complaint. From single cells extraordinary human are here! Simply, the errors are survivable with Gods' current error correction processes.

The latest research is trying to figure out how processes in the cellular soup are separated without membranes:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/sloppy-science-or-groundbreaking-idea-theory-ho...

"Phase separation advocates hold that proteins and other molecules self-organize into denser structures inside cells, like oil drops forming in water. That spontaneous sorting, proponents assert, serves as a previously unrecognized mechanism for arranging the cell’s contents and mustering the molecules necessary to trigger key cellular events. McSwiggen had found hints that phase separation helps herpesviruses replicate inside infected cells, adding to claims that the process plays a role in functions as diverse as switching on genes, anchoring the cytoskeleton, and repairing damaged DNA. “It’s pretty clear this process is at play throughout the cell,” says biophysicist Clifford Brangwynne of Princeton University.


"PHASE SEPARATION COULD ANSWER a fundamental question that has nagged biologists for more than 100 years: How do cells arrange their contents so that the molecules necessary to carry out a particular job are in the right place at the right time? One obvious way is with internal membranes, such as those fencing off the Golgi bodies and mitochondria. Yet many other well-known cellular structures, including the nucleolus—an organelle within the nucleus—and the RNA-processing Cajal bodies, lack membranes.

"Phase separation is an appealing answer. Many proteins sport sticky patches that attract other proteins of the same or a different type. Test tube studies have shown that under certain conditions, such as when protein concentration climbs above a certain level, the molecules may begin to huddle, forming dropletlike condensates. Researchers understand the mechanics best for proteins, but nucleic acids such as RNA could also aggregate with proteins. If the process happens in the cell, it could generate and maintain organelles and permit unique functions. “It’s a principle that could explain how many things in the cell and nucleus are organized,” says biophysicist Mustafa Mir of the University of Pennsylvania.

***

"One, from Brangwynne’s lab, showed a particular protein had to reach a threshold concentration in cells to allow formation of stress granules—organelles that pop up during hard times and have been attributed to phase separation. The other two studies also identified threshold conditions for phase separation. Because a threshold is an attribute of the process, the studies provide “good but not perfect data that these structures are going through phase separation,” Rosen says.

"Many researchers are now convinced that phase separation explains many aspects of cell organization and function. Several research groups have reported that the mechanism helps convene the hundreds of proteins that carry out transcription, the process of reading DNA to produce the RNA instructions for making proteins. Similar molecular corralling may underlie functions including memory in fruit flies, immune cells’ responses to pathogens, DNA silencing, transmission of nerve impulses across synapses, and reproduction of SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus.

***

"Mir, who has been skeptical of much of the evidence for phase separation, agrees that the field seems to be moving away from the “everything is phase separation” stage to a more nuanced discussion of the formation and functions of condensates. “It’s like any supertrendy thing in science. The noise subsides, and you are left with the truth.”

"To get to that truth, however, researchers “desperately need” new tools and a better understanding of the basic rules for how condensates form in cells, Gladfelter says. Scientists also need patience, she says, noting the field “tried to grow up and answer everything really fast.” But she’s confident researchers will eventually sort out the real importance of phase separation in cells. “Give us time. We’ll get there.'”

Comment: Something works in intracellular soup to keep every process separated and working with very few errors. After all, from the time life appeared, I presume invented by God, over 3.8 billion years lager we are here despite a tiny group of molecular errors along the way. God's cleverness in the working design still alludes us. dhw will continue to point out the molecular errors as a way to denigrate God's power.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, January 29, 2021, 10:47 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Now we are returning to God's personality discussion. I think if Him as highly purposeful with the process of evolution absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness. The broad bush is for econiches to provide food for all and is practical and not higgledy-piggledy. Your failure to see God's purpose muddles your approach.

dhw: There is no way round discussing God’s personality if you want to discuss the problem of theodicy. And so once again you have returned to the theory we agreed to leave unmentioned: that your God’s sole purpose was to directly design H. sapiens, but you have no idea why he would have directly designed millions of earlier non-human life forms and econiches, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Your inability to explain why he would use such a method to fulfil such a purpose should alert you to the possibility that your theory is wrong.

DAVID: Simple: God's choice to evolve is perfect logic.

Must we play this silly dodging game again? It is perfectly logical that if God exists, he chose evolution as his method to create the millions and millions of life forms that have come and gone. But you have no idea why he would have…see the bold above.

dhw: ...you add to the illogicality of your interpretation of evolution with your insistence that a God who designs what he wants to design is weaker than a God who is unable to design what he wants to design, and tries but often fails to correct the errors.

DAVID: Your inverted view of molecular errors fails to recognize the processes are at required very high speed and 3.8 by of evolution refutes your complaint. From single cells extraordinary human are here! Simply, the errors are survivable with Gods' current error correction processes.

Another dodge. The problem is not what works but what does not work. You raised the subject of errors in the first place, and claimed that in some cases your God had tried but failed to correct the errors which he could not prevent. We expanded this to the question of why he would have deliberately created “bad” bacteria (part of the theodicy problem). You have no idea. But you insist that my free-for-all hypothesis makes God weaker than a God who can’t prevent errors, can’t correct some of them, and creates “bad” things for no apparent reason.

DAVID: Back to views of God's personality: yours is not purposeful and so organisms have to work out their own future designs somehow.

You keep flogging the same dead horse. I am the one who proposes a theistic purpose for all the non-human life forms and for all the “good” and “bad” consequences of the system your God designed. You admit that you have no idea what his purpose might have been. All you can think of is how clever humans are.

DAVID: (re "phase separation"): Something works in intracellular soup to keep every process separated and working with very few errors. After all, from the time life appeared, I presume invented by God, over 3.8 billion years lager we are here despite a tiny group of molecular errors along the way. God's cleverness in the working design still alludes us. dhw will continue to point out the molecular errors as a way to denigrate God's power.

This is a disgraceful distortion. Firstly, the fact that we are here is no more relevant to the theodicy problem than the fact that your horses are here. Secondly, I do not denigrate your God’s power. I propose that the “something” in intracellular “soup” which has led to speciation is CELLULAR intelligence (perhaps designed by your God) – as opposed to your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme, or through your God’s direct dabbles. And you are the one who denigrates your God’s power, by arguing that he could not control the errors that have led to the diseases he tried in vain to prevent. My theistic proposal is that he designed what he WANTED to design (the free-for-all ). How can this be a “denigration” of God’s power?

Asian weather patterns

dhw: And there you have a perfectly clear indication of how environmental conditions trigger speciation. Of course the question for you once more is why, in the course of all the similar environmental changes in the past, your God would have created a vast variety of econiches and species, 99% of which no longer exist and had no connection with humans, if the process of evolution was “absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness”. Off we go again...

DAVID: Environmental conditions allow speciation to happen not cause it!!! Why do you dwell on the past when we are discussing why the present exists? The past led to the present. WE are here against all probability.

Why have you changed my terminology? I did not say environmental conditions CAUSED speciation, but they triggered it. Organisms RESPOND to new conditions. I dwell on the past, because you keep insisting on - and then trying to divert attention away from – the illogical theory bolded above. We are here against all probability, and so were and are all the other life forms. Or do you think your horses were probable from the moment the first cells appeared on Earth?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, January 29, 2021, 23:23 (104 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, January 29, 2021, 23:32

DAVID: Simple: God's choice to evolve is perfect logic.

dhw: Must we play this silly dodging game again? It is perfectly logical that if God exists, he chose evolution as his method to create the millions and millions of life forms that have come and gone. But you have no idea why he would have…see the bold above.

It is still your gaming ongoing. I've told you I have not idea why He makes his choices of methods of creation. And it is of no matter to me. Why does it bother you?


dhw: ...you add to the illogicality of your interpretation of evolution with your insistence that a God who designs what he wants to design is weaker than a God who is unable to design what he wants to design, and tries but often fails to correct the errors.

DAVID: Your inverted view of molecular errors fails to recognize the processes are at required very high speed and 3.8 by of evolution refutes your complaint. From single cells extraordinary human are here! Simply, the errors are survivable with Gods' current error correction processes.

dhw: Another dodge. The problem is not what works but what does not work. You raised the subject of errors in the first place, and claimed that in some cases your God had tried but failed to correct the errors which he could not prevent. We expanded this to the question of why he would have deliberately created “bad” bacteria (part of the theodicy problem). You have no idea. But you insist that my free-for-all hypothesis makes God weaker than a God who can’t prevent errors, can’t correct some of them, and creates “bad” things for no apparent reason.

God had precise objective as I view Him. You are back to a laisse faire Deity. I repeat evolution works despite the tiny percentage of errors.


DAVID: Back to views of God's personality: yours is not purposeful and so organisms have to work out their own future designs somehow.

d hw: You keep flogging the same dead horse. I am the one who proposes a theistic purpose for all the non-human life forms and for all the “good” and “bad” consequences of the system your God designed. You admit that you have no idea what his purpose might have been. All you can think of is how clever humans are.

DAVID: (re "phase separation"): Something works in intracellular soup to keep every process separated and working with very few errors. After all, from the time life appeared, I presume invented by God, over 3.8 billion years lager we are here despite a tiny group of molecular errors along the way. God's cleverness in the working design still alludes us. dhw will continue to point out the molecular errors as a way to denigrate God's power.

dhw: This is a disgraceful distortion. Firstly, the fact that we are here is no more relevant to the theodicy problem than the fact that your horses are here. Secondly, I do not denigrate your God’s power. I propose that the “something” in intracellular “soup” which has led to speciation is CELLULAR intelligence (perhaps designed by your God) – as opposed to your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme, or through your God’s direct dabbles. And you are the one who denigrates your God’s power, by arguing that he could not control the errors that have led to the diseases he tried in vain to prevent. My theistic proposal is that he designed what he WANTED to design (the free-for-all ). How can this be a “denigration” of God’s power?

God is too purposeful to want free-for-alls another way of misunderstanding ecosystems and the cbuash of life.


Asian weather patterns

dhw: And there you have a perfectly clear indication of how environmental conditions trigger speciation. Of course the question for you once more is why, in the course of all the similar environmental changes in the past, your God would have created a vast variety of econiches and species, 99% of which no longer exist and had no connection with humans, if the process of evolution was “absolutely directed toward the production of humans with big brain consciousness”. Off we go again...

DAVID: Environmental conditions allow speciation to happen not cause it!!! Why do you dwell on the past when we are discussing why the present exists? The past led to the present. WE are here against all probability.

dhw: Why have you changed my terminology? I did not say environmental conditions CAUSED speciation, but they triggered it. Organisms RESPOND to new conditions. I dwell on the past, because you keep insisting on - and then trying to divert attention away from – the illogical theory bolded above. We are here against all probability, and so were and are all the other life forms. Or do you think your horses were probable from the moment the first cells appeared on Earth?

So you interpret triggering as causing a response. Is a response a guaranteed result? Not necessarily. And once life began all the organisms that have appeared by evolution are an expected result of the bush expanding, except what you obviously always have to ignore, our most unexpected, unusual brain. That is the difference in how to think about humans, per Adler.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, January 30, 2021, 13:27 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] once again you have returned to the theory we agreed to leave unmentioned: that your God’s sole purpose was to directly design H. sapiens, but you have no idea why he would have directly designed millions of earlier non-human life forms and econiches, 99% of which had no connection with humans Your inability to explain why he would use such a method to fulfil such a purpose should alert you to the possibility that your theory is wrong.

DAVID: Simple: God's choice to evolve is perfect logic.

dhw: Must we play this silly dodging game again? It is perfectly logical that if God exists, he chose evolution as his method to create the millions and millions of life forms that have come and gone. But you have no idea why he would have…see the bold above.

DAVID: It is still your gaming ongoing. I've told you I have not idea why He makes his choices of methods of creation. And it is of no matter to me. Why does it bother you?

Inaccurate: you have no idea why He would make the choices of methods of creation you impose on him! There is no point in any of our discussions if you simply keep repeating that your interpretation of evolution is logical, even though you have no idea what that logic might be, and so you reject any alternative explanation, even if you agree that it is logical. We agreed to leave it at that, but back we go again!

dhw: […] you insist that my free-for-all hypothesis makes God weaker than a God who can’t prevent errors, can’t correct some of them, and creates “bad” things for no apparent reason.

DAVID: God had precise objective as I view Him. You are back to a laisse faire Deity. I repeat evolution works despite the tiny percentage of errors.

The only precise objective you have offered us is that all the errors he tried and failed to correct, and all the “bad” things he directly designed, were part of his goal to evolve humans. But evolution has worked to produce a vast bush of life, 99% of which has died out and had no connection with humans! And you admit that you have no idea why he designed the bad things, but maybe one day it will be explained. Not much precision there. A laissez-faire deity would offer a precise and totally logical theistic explanation of this history, as well as solving the mystery of theodicy. Now please tell us why it DOESN’T explain the history and why it DOESN’T solve the problem of theodicy.
[..]
DAVID: God is too purposeful to want free-for-alls another way of misunderstanding ecosystems and the cbuash of life.

Back we go: you have said yourself that your God is interested in his creations. A free-for-all would be far more interesting than what you called a dull Garden of Eden. Why is it not “purposeful” for God to create something interesting? In your occasional moments of giving your God a purpose for humans, you even have him wanting us to admire his creations. I don’t know what a “cbuash” is, but I do know that ecosystems are necessary for ALL forms of life, and there have been millions of them that had no connection with humans. What is the “misunderstanding”?

Asian weather patterns

DAVID: Environmental conditions allow speciation to happen not cause it!!! Why do you dwell on the past when we are discussing why the present exists? The past led to the present. WE are here against all probability.

dhw: Why have you changed my terminology? I did not say environmental conditions CAUSED speciation, but they triggered it. Organisms RESPOND to new conditions. I dwell on the past, because you keep insisting on - and then trying to divert attention away from – the illogical theory bolded above. We are here against all probability, and so were and are all the other life forms. Or do you think your horses were probable from the moment the first cells appeared on Earth?

DAVID: So you interpret triggering as causing a response. Is a response a guaranteed result? Not necessarily.

Of course not. But we are talking about what did happen – namely adaptation and speciation by existing life forms. And I maintain that these happened as a response to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them.

DAVID: And once life began all the organisms that have appeared by evolution are an expected result of the bush expanding, except what you obviously always have to ignore, our most unexpected, unusual brain. That is the difference in how to think about humans, per Adler.

Who “expected” the trilobites, the dinosaurs, the duckbilled platypus etc. etc.? Were you around at the beginning of life, writing in your diary: “I expect trilobites, dinosaurs and platypuses, but I don’t expect H. sapiens”? Yes, we have an unusual brain, but ALL forms of life are unexplained, and nobody knows how cells arrived, or how they combined to form ALL the multicellular species that have come and gone in the last 3.8 billion years!

What does this have to do with your theory that your God designed all changes in ANTICIPATION of new conditions, as opposed to in response? You keep dodging from one muddle to another. :-(

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 30, 2021, 14:14 (103 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] you insist that my free-for-all hypothesis makes God weaker than a God who can’t prevent errors, can’t correct some of them, and creates “bad” things for no apparent reason.

DAVID: God had precise objective as I view Him. You are back to a laisse faire Deity. I repeat evolution works despite the tiny percentage of errors.

dhw: The only precise objective you have offered us is that all the errors he tried and failed to correct, and all the “bad” things he directly designed, were part of his goal to evolve humans. But evolution has worked to produce a vast bush of life, 99% of which has died out and had no connection with humans! And you admit that you have no idea why he designed the bad things, but maybe one day it will be explained. Not much precision there. A laissez-faire deity would offer a precise and totally logical theistic explanation of this history, as well as solving the mystery of theodicy. Now please tell us why it DOESN’T explain the history and why it DOESN’T solve the problem of theodicy.

I admit I have not solved the problem of theodicy, but it is your approach to maximize the minimal error rate to denigrate God.

[..]
DAVID: God is too purposeful to want free-for-alls another way of misunderstanding ecosystems and the bush of life.

dhw: Back we go: you have said yourself that your God is interested in his creations. A free-for-all would be far more interesting than what you called a dull Garden of Eden. Why is it not “purposeful” for God to create something interesting? In your occasional moments of giving your God a purpose for humans, you even have him wanting us to admire his creations. I do know that ecosystems are necessary for ALL forms of life, and there have been millions of them that had no connection with humans. What is the “misunderstanding”?


Back we go to your weird God who has to create interesting things for Him to watch. God is obviously interested in all He creates


Asian weather patterns

DAVID: Environmental conditions allow speciation to happen not cause it!!! Why do you dwell on the past when we are discussing why the present exists? The past led to the present. WE are here against all probability.

dhw: Why have you changed my terminology? I did not say environmental conditions CAUSED speciation, but they triggered it. Organisms RESPOND to new conditions. I dwell on the past, because you keep insisting on - and then trying to divert attention away from – the illogical theory bolded above. We are here against all probability, and so were and are all the other life forms. Or do you think your horses were probable from the moment the first cells appeared on Earth?

DAVID: So you interpret triggering as causing a response. Is a response a guaranteed result? Not necessarily.

dhw: Of course not. But we are talking about what did happen – namely adaptation and speciation by existing life forms. And I maintain that these happened as a response to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them.

DAVID: And once life began all the organisms that have appeared by evolution are an expected result of the bush expanding, except what you obviously always have to ignore, our most unexpected, unusual brain. That is the difference in how to think about humans, per Adler.

dhw: Who “expected” the trilobites, the dinosaurs, the duckbilled platypus etc. etc.? Were you around at the beginning of life, writing in your diary: “I expect trilobites, dinosaurs and platypuses, but I don’t expect H. sapiens”? Yes, we have an unusual brain, but ALL forms of life are unexplained, and nobody knows how cells arrived, or how they combined to form ALL the multicellular species that have come and gone in the last 3.8 billion years!

dhw: What does this have to do with your theory that your God designed all changes in ANTICIPATION of new conditions, as opposed to in response? You keep dodging from one muddle to another. :-(

It is our study of the history of evolution that leads thoughtful folks to recognize how unexplained we are, and therefore unexpected. :-)

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, January 31, 2021, 08:37 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: A laissez-faire deity would offer a precise and totally logical theistic explanation of this history, as well as solving the mystery of theodicy. Now please tell us why it DOESN’T explain the history and why it DOESN’T solve the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I admit I have not solved the problem of theodicy, but it is your approach to maximize the minimal error rate to denigrate God.

There is no denigration of God in my proposal of a free-for-all, just as there is no denigration of God in the concept of free will for humans. If humans do bad things, we do not blame God. If bacteria do bad things, you are lost: you can’t understand why he designed them, but you hope that one day someone will come up with a nice explanation. I’ve given you one, and you can find no fault in its logic.

Protein folding creates life

QUOTE: There are many diseases which are caused by improperly folded proteins, for example, type two diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and also ALS, that’s the disease that Stephen Hawking had. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The point I'm raising is that without this folding process life cannot exist, based on the biochemistry we know. God had to create this roulette game of chance knowing that molecules must be allowed to fold on their own to achieve the speed needed. He was able to create a great many good editing systems, but those systems rely on the same protein folding process, so errors are at times maintained but somehow the errors are insignificant enough that we humans were successfully evolved from bacteria. dhw ignores all of this. Perhaps it is from the lack of understanding the biochemistry of life.

For the umpteenth time, it was you who raised the subject of errors, and now all you want to do is forget about them and focus on what went right. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease may be “insignificant” to you, but even you had your God trying and failing to find a cure! In any case, the bad things of life are not confined to errors in the system you believe your God designed. You have again omitted to mention all the other “bad” things you think he designed – like bacteria and viruses, and apparently environmental disasters too. The problem of theodicy is not confined to errors in protein folding.

[..]

DAVID: God is too purposeful to want free-for-alls another way of misunderstanding ecosystems and the bush of life.

dhw: Back we go: you have said yourself that your God is interested in his creations. A free-for-all would be far more interesting than what you called a dull Garden of Eden. […] I do know that ecosystems are necessary for ALL forms of life, and there have been millions of them that had no connection with humans. What is the “misunderstanding”?

DAVID: Back we go to your weird God who has to create interesting things for Him to watch. God is obviously interested in all He creates.

So if he is interested and he created what he is interested in, why is it “weird” to suggest that he created them because he wanted to create something he could be interested in?

Asian weather patterns

DAVID: ...And once life began all the organisms that have appeared by evolution are an expected result of the bush expanding, except what you obviously always have to ignore, our most unexpected, unusual brain. That is the difference in how to think about humans, per Adler.

dhw: Who “expected” the trilobites, the dinosaurs, the duckbilled platypus etc. etc.? Were you around at the beginning of life, writing in your diary: “I expect trilobites, dinosaurs and platypuses, but I don’t expect H. sapiens”? Yes, we have an unusual brain, but ALL forms of life are unexplained, and nobody knows how cells arrived, or how they combined to form ALL the multicellular species that have come and gone in the last 3.8 billion years!

DAVID: It is our study of the history of evolution that leads thoughtful folks to recognize how unexplained we are, and therefore unexpected.

Unexplained yes. You have not told us who didn’t expect us, and you have not told us why whoever it was expected trilobites, dinosaurs and duckbilled platypuses. Yes, we are uniquely gifted. No, we are not the only unexplained creatures on Earth.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 31, 2021, 18:32 (102 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I admit I have not solved the problem of theodicy, but it is your approach to maximize the minimal error rate to denigrate God.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my proposal of a free-for-all, just as there is no denigration of God in the concept of free will for humans. If humans do bad things, we do not blame God. If bacteria do bad things, you are lost: you can’t understand why he designed them, but you hope that one day someone will come up with a nice explanation. I’ve given you one, and you can find no fault in its logic.

I see you logic as weakening God as purposeful. Only we critical humans find faults in God's works. That criticism may well be wrong, against God's knowledge.


Protein folding creates life

DAVID: The point I'm raising is that without this folding process life cannot exist, based on the biochemistry we know. God had to create this roulette game of chance knowing that molecules must be allowed to fold on their own to achieve the speed needed. He was able to create a great many good editing systems, but those systems rely on the same protein folding process, so errors are at times maintained but somehow the errors are insignificant enough that we humans were successfully evolved from bacteria. dhw ignores all of this. Perhaps it is from the lack of understanding the biochemistry of life.

dhw: For the umpteenth time, it was you who raised the subject of errors, and now all you want to do is forget about them and focus on what went right. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease may be “insignificant” to you, but even you had your God trying and failing to find a cure! In any case, the bad things of life are not confined to errors in the system you believe your God designed. You have again omitted to mention all the other “bad” things you think he designed – like bacteria and viruses, and apparently environmental disasters too. The problem of theodicy is not confined to errors in protein folding.

I had to honestly raise the issue. it exists. Most bacteria and viruses are helpful. But you prefer to not remember!


[..]

DAVID: Back we go to your weird God who has to create interesting things for Him to watch. God is obviously interested in all He creates.

dhw: So if he is interested and he created what he is interested in, why is it “weird” to suggest that he created them because he wanted to create something he could be interested in?

A God who needs 'interests' is a humanized God. You never see that .


Asian weather patterns

DAVID: It is our study of the history of evolution that leads thoughtful folks to recognize how unexplained we are, and therefore unexpected.

dhw: Unexplained yes. You have not told us who didn’t expect us, and you have not told us why whoever it was expected trilobites, dinosaurs and duckbilled platypuses. Yes, we are uniquely gifted. No, we are not the only unexplained creatures on Earth.

Unexplained is not unexpected as you twist meanings. You know Adler's point and mine is simply there is no reason we appeared. We cannot identify a need based on any evolutionary theory dependent upon simple survivability.

Back to theodicy and David's theories PART ONE

by dhw, Monday, February 01, 2021, 08:46 (101 days ago) @ David Turell

PART ONE

All three of today’s posts revolve around David’s theory of evolution and his non-explanation of theodicy, so we may as well combine them on the same thread.

dhw: […] you continue to play the silly game of leaving out the bits of your theory that make it illogical.

DAVID: I've left out nothing. I've explained to you the whole bush is very necessary food supply. You are the one who looks disconnectedly at all the interlocking parts of my approach. I've put it all together for you and somehow you only manage to see disconnected parts.

The whole bush is necessary food supply for WHAT? Once and for all: every life form needs food. You tell us that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving humans”. Therefore according to you, every life form which ate, or was eaten, was part of the goal of evolving humans. Now listen to yourself: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” (The block capitals are yours.) “Extinct life has no role in current time.” And you agree that 99% of life forms had no direct connection with humans. So how can extinct life, which has no role in current time, and life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans, have been part of the goal of evolving humans? Your answer: “I have no idea.” If you have suddenly come up with an explanation, do please tell us. Otherwise I suggest that we renew our earlier agreement that since you believe in this illogical explanation of evolution and nothing will alter your opinion, we should leave it at that.

Xxxxxx

DAVID: I admit I have not solved the problem of theodicy, but it is your approach to maximize the minimal error rate to denigrate God.

dhw: There is no denigration of God in my proposal of a free-for-all, just as there is no denigration of God in the concept of free will for humans.[…].

DAVID: I see you logic as weakening God as purposeful. Only we critical humans find faults in God's works. That criticism may well be wrong, against God's knowledge.

It is you who have found faults in God’s works. I have proposed that just as we cannot blame God if humans use their free will to do bad things, we cannot blame God if free organisms do bad things. You reject my hypothetical but purposeful God’s purpose for creating life (to provide something interesting for himself to watch), so do please tell us at last what you think was your purposeful God’s purpose for creating life (which includes humans and millions of life forms not connected with humans).

Protein folding creates life

dhw: For the umpteenth time, it was you who raised the subject of errors, and now all you want to do is forget about them and focus on what went right.

DAVID: I had to honestly raise the issue. it exists. Most bacteria and viruses are helpful. But you prefer to not remember!

Yes, you honestly raised the issue. In effect, by raising it, you were asking why your God designed a system which led to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease, and to bad bacteria and viruses. Your answer: it was inevitable that the system he designed would produce those diseases, so it’s not his fault, but he tried to provide cures and couldn’t, and we don’t know why he designed bad bacteria and viruses, but there must be a good reason, and dhw should forget about diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MND and about bad bacteria and viruses, and only think about the good things God designed. And finally, dhw has offered an explanation for all of this, but….

DAVID: Back we go to your weird God who has to create interesting things for Him to watch. God is obviously interested in all He creates.

dhw: So if he is interested and he created what he is interested in, why is it “weird” to suggest that he created them because he wanted to create something he could be interested in?

DAVID: A God who needs 'interests' is a humanized God. You never see that.

A God who is obviously interested in all He creates obviously shares with us humans the capacity to be interested in something. Why, then, should he not also share our capacity to create things that will interest him – especially since according to you he DID create things that interest him? Your “humanization” dodge lost all credibility anyway when you agreed that he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

Back to theodicy and David's theories PART TWO

by dhw, Monday, February 01, 2021, 08:57 (101 days ago) @ dhw

PART TWO

DAVID: It is our study of the history of evolution that leads thoughtful folks to recognize how unexplained we are, and therefore unexpected.

dhw: Unexplained yes. You have not told us who didn’t expect us, and you have not told us why whoever it was expected trilobites, dinosaurs and duckbilled platypuses. Yes, we are uniquely gifted. No, we are not the only unexplained creatures on Earth.

DAVID: Unexplained is not unexpected as you twist meanings. You know Adler's point and mine is simply there is no reason we appeared. We cannot identify a need based on any evolutionary theory dependent upon simple survivability.

It is you who used the word “unexpected”, so please tell us who expected the dinosaurs but did not expect humans. And since bacteria have survived since the year dot, and you believe that all life forms are descended from bacteria, please tell us the reason for the appearance of the brontosaurus and the millions and millions of other life forms which you agree had no connection with humans.

Xxxxx

DAVID: God designs advances. God could not pack into cells His knowledge of design. It is always easier to just design it yourself as I have done in architectural designs in the past. You seem to love your second-hand God character, a weak confused fellow.

dhw: I really don’t know how it can be “easier” to perform millions of operations on millions of organisms, and to offer millions of courses in subjects like camouflage and nest-building, than to provide organisms with the means of doing their own designing.

DAVID: You again diminish God's purpose and powers.

Then once more: please tell us his purpose in creating the brontosaurus etc. And how does it diminish his powers if he created the mechanism that has led to the whole of life as we know it, and the whole of life as we know it is what he wanted to create?

DAVID: He created a universe that permitted our appearance based on quantum mechanics we still don't understand. Note that point. His creativeness remains beyond our understanding, no matter how hard we try. He must have very complex mental ability well beyond what He granted us. But I still wish to try and understand as I think you do.

If your God exists, then I agree with all of this. But how does it come to mean that your illogical theory of what he did and why he did it must be right, and any other explanation – even if it is perfectly logical – must be wrong?

dhw: And finally, there is nothing second-hand, weak or confused about a God who knows what he wants, designs it, and gets it.

DAVID: Finally we agree on something, although I'm sure our interpretations of that statement really differ.

dhw: They certainly do. According to you, your God designed all sorts of nasty things, but he didn’t want to...

DAVID: Don't misinterpret me. Everything here is part of his desired creations.

You had him trying but failing to provide cures for diabetes, Alzheimer’s etc. And you have no idea why he created bad bacteria, but you still insist that he wanted them. This apparently makes him stronger and more clear-headed than a God who deliberately designed a mechanism that would enable all life forms to design their own means of survival.

DAVID: Just your very humanized version of a God, to which you remain blinded by your inadequate concepts of God.

How do you know that my logical alternative concepts of your God’s purposes and methods are inadequate, whereas your single illogical concept is adequate?

Back to theodicy and David's theories PART TWO

by David Turell @, Monday, February 01, 2021, 18:48 (101 days ago) @ dhw

PART TWO

DAVID: It is our study of the history of evolution that leads thoughtful folks to recognize how unexplained we are, and therefore unexpected.

dhw: Unexplained yes. You have not told us who didn’t expect us, and you have not told us why whoever it was expected trilobites, dinosaurs and duckbilled platypuses. Yes, we are uniquely gifted. No, we are not the only unexplained creatures on Earth.

Let's stick with unexplained, as the primary argument.


Xxxxx

DAVID: You again diminish God's purpose and powers.

dhw: Then once more: please tell us his purpose in creating the brontosaurus etc. And how does it diminish his powers if he created the mechanism that has led to the whole of life as we know it, and the whole of life as we know it is what he wanted to create?

Ad nauseum evolution goes through complexifing stages to reach the most complex, us.


DAVID: He created a universe that permitted our appearance based on quantum mechanics we still don't understand. Note that point. His creativeness remains beyond our understanding, no matter how hard we try. He must have very complex mental ability well beyond what He granted us. But I still wish to try and understand as I think you do.

dhw: If your God exists, then I agree with all of this. But how does it come to mean that your illogical theory of what he did and why he did it must be right, and any other explanation – even if it is perfectly logical – must be wrong?

We all know what God created. You and I have very different versions of the fellow God must be as we describe a possible personality, and so God's motives for you and I are totally different .


dhw: And finally, there is nothing second-hand, weak or confused about a God who knows what he wants, designs it, and gets it.

DAVID: Finally we agree on something, although I'm sure our interpretations of that statement really differ.

dhw: They certainly do. According to you, your God designed all sorts of nasty things, but he didn’t want to...

DAVID: Don't misinterpret me. Everything here is part of his desired creations.

dhw: You had him trying but failing to provide cures for diabetes, Alzheimer’s etc. And you have no idea why he created bad bacteria, but you still insist that he wanted them. This apparently makes him stronger and more clear-headed than a God who deliberately designed a mechanism that would enable all life forms to design their own means of survival.

Again, your God is nothing like the God I think about. Interesting since we both look at the same 'works'. Each of us is biased in totally different directions.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, February 02, 2021, 11:18 (100 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've left out nothing. I've explained to you the whole bush is very necessary food supply. You are the one who looks disconnectedly at all the interlocking parts of my approach. I've put it all together for you and somehow you only manage to see disconnected parts.

dhw: So how can extinct life, which has no role in current time, and life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans, have been part of the goal of evolving humans? Your answer: “I have no idea.”

DAVID: Total use of comments out of context. I accept what God does/did as history and the only thing I have 'no idea about' is why He chose to evolve. Humans were evolved, pure fact.

Why he chose to evolve what? Of course it’s a fact that humans evolved. So did every other life form. But (a) by evolve, you mean directly design, and (b) why did he directly design millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, if his one and only goal was to “evolve” (= directly design) humans? If you have suddenly come up with an explanation, do please tell us.

DAVID: The practical connection is food supply for all of us. Evolution is an interconnected bush.

Who are “all of us”? in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” Life’s history is composed of millions of life forms with food supplies, and you agree that 99% of them had no connection with humans. In your own words: “Extinct life has no role in current time.” The interconnection lies in the fact that all forms branched out from the same root (bacteria), but how does that come to mean that the 99% of forms which had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

Protein folding creates life

dhw: For the umpteenth time, it was you who raised the subject of errors, and now all you want to do is forget about them and focus on what went right.

DAVID: I had to honestly raise the issue. it exists. Most bacteria and viruses are helpful. But you prefer to not remember!

dhw: Yes, you honestly raised the issue. In effect, by raising it, you were asking why your God designed a system which led to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease, and to bad bacteria and viruses. Your answer: it was inevitable that the system he designed would produce those diseases, so it’s not his fault, but he tried to provide cures and couldn’t, and we don’t know why he designed bad bacteria and viruses, but there must be a good reason, and dhw […] should only think about the good things God designed. And finally, dhw has offered an explanation for all of this, but….

DAVID: Your free-for-all does not fit my view of a purposeful God. You never comment on the biological necessity for the living system we have which has to allow molecules to make mistakes for the sake of speed. All you do is snipe and complain.

But you won’t tell us your purposeful God’s purpose. I offer you a theory that explains why your God brought all the bad diseases and bad bacteria and bad viruses into the world, and you snipe and complain because it “humanizes” your God, although you say he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. I accept that the high speed system your God designed inevitably leads to what you call “mistakes”, and I agree that life is miraculously wonderful. My problem is that you raised the question of the “errors” that cause diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s and MND, and this led to a discussion on why he directly designed bad bacteria and bad viruses, and to the problem of theodicy. And with my theist hat on, I try to answer the questions you raised, but you want me to forget them.

dhw: A God who is obviously interested in all He creates obviously shares with us humans the capacity to be interested in something. Why, then, should he not also share our capacity to create things that will interest him – especially since according to you he DID create things that interest him? Your “humanization” dodge lost all credibility anyway when you agreed that he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Of course He would be interested in the results of His creations, but they were not primarily created just to be interesting, a very humanizing interpretation.

Then please tell us at long last what you think was his primary goal in creating life, including humans.

DAVID: Ad nauseum evolution goes through complexifing stages to reach the most complex, us.

Ours is one of the multiple threads which produced the vast variety of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with us. So please tell us what you think was his primary goal (a) in designing us, and (b) in directly designing the brontosaurus plus the other umpteen million life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders which had no connection with us. If, as before, you tell me you have no idea, we can once more agree to leave it at that, and we can move on.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 02, 2021, 18:05 (100 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Total use of comments out of context. I accept what God does/did as history and the only thing I have 'no idea about' is why He chose to evolve. Humans were evolved, pure fact.

dhw: But (a) by evolve, you mean directly design, and (b) why did he directly design millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, if his one and only goal was to “evolve” (= directly design) humans? If you have suddenly come up with an explanation, do please tell us.

The obvious connection is food supply provided by the bush of life. Why must I repeat?

dhw: Who are “all of us”? in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.

Your usual twisted quote out of context.

dhw: The interconnection lies in the fact that all forms branched out from the same root (bacteria), but how does that come to mean that the 99% of forms which had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

Again, food supply for now, supplied by the whole bush of ecosystems.


Protein folding creates life

DAVID: Your free-for-all does not fit my view of a purposeful God. You never comment on the biological necessity for the living system we have which has to allow molecules to make mistakes for the sake of speed. All you do is snipe and complain.

dhw: But you won’t tell us your purposeful God’s purpose. I offer you a theory that explains why your God brought all the bad diseases and bad bacteria and bad viruses into the world, and you snipe and complain because it “humanizes” your God, although you say he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. I accept that the high speed system your God designed inevitably leads to what you call “mistakes”, and I agree that life is miraculously wonderful. My problem is that you raised the question of the “errors” that cause diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s and MND, and this led to a discussion on why he directly designed bad bacteria and bad viruses, and to the problem of theodicy. And with my theist hat on, I try to answer the questions you raised, but you want me to forget them.

I never asked you to forget, but reasonably study the problem instead of sniping at God's efforts.


dhw: A God who is obviously interested in all He creates obviously shares with us humans the capacity to be interested in something. Why, then, should he not also share our capacity to create things that will interest him – especially since according to you he DID create things that interest him? Your “humanization” dodge lost all credibility anyway when you agreed that he probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Of course He would be interested in the results of His creations, but they were not primarily created just to be interesting, a very humanizing interpretation.

dhw: Then please tell us at long last what you think was his primary goal in creating life, including humans.

I know His goal was the eventual production of humans. We all can guess at why. I don't believe He's directly told us.


DAVID: Ad nauseum evolution goes through complexifing stages to reach the most complex, us.

dhw: Ours is one of the multiple threads which produced the vast variety of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with us. So please tell us what you think was his primary goal (a) in designing us, and (b) in directly designing the brontosaurus plus the other umpteen million life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders which had no connection with us. If, as before, you tell me you have no idea, we can once more agree to leave it at that, and we can move on.

I have no idea why He chose evolution to produce us. It is not important to me, as it seems to you. You don't accept we were a goal.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 10:45 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Total use of comments out of context. I accept what God does/did as history and the only thing I have 'no idea about' is why He chose to evolve. Humans were evolved, pure fact.

dhw: But (a) by evolve, you mean directly design, and (b) why did he directly design millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, if his one and only goal was to “evolve” (= directly design) humans? If you have suddenly come up with an explanation, do please tell us.

DAVID: The obvious connection is food supply provided by the bush of life. Why must I repeat?

dhw: […] in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms

DAVID: Your usual twisted quote out of context.

It is not a twisted quote, and there is no other possible context, and it is as obvious a truth as you can get. The current bush of food is not the bush of food for organisms that existed and disappeared millions of years ago!

dhw: The interconnection lies in the fact that all forms branched out from the same root (bacteria), but how does that come to mean that the 99% of forms which had no connection with humans were “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

DAVID: Again, food supply for now, supplied by the whole bush of ecosystems.

3.X billion years’ worth of past ecosystems did not supply the food supply for now! Hence your other quote: “Extinct life has no role in current time”. Your two quotes together make perfect sense, so I really don’t know why you are trying to dissociate yourself from them.

Protein folding creates life

DAVID: Your free-for-all does not fit my view of a purposeful God. You never comment on the biological necessity for the living system we have which has to allow molecules to make mistakes for the sake of speed. All you do is snipe and complain.

dhw: […] I accept that the high speed system your God designed inevitably leads to what you call “mistakes”, and I agree that life is miraculously wonderful. My problem is that you raised the question of the “errors” that cause diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s and MND, and this led to a discussion on why he directly designed bad bacteria and bad viruses, and to the problem of theodicy. And with my theist hat on, I try to answer the questions you raised, but you want me to forget them.

DAVID: I never asked you to forget, but reasonably study the problem instead of sniping at God's efforts.

I am reasonably studying the problems which you raised of why your God was incapable of finding cures for the diseases which his system had created (to which you can now add the harmful retrogenes from another thread), and why he directly designed bad bacteria and viruses, and your response is that it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t cure the diseases, and one day someone will tell us why the bad bacteria and viruses are in fact good. I am not sniping. On the contrary, I have offered an explanation which removes all the responsibility implied and then abandoned by your approach. And your only objection is that it gives your God a feature in common with humans, even though you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Of course He would be interested in the results of His creations, but they were not primarily created just to be interesting, a very humanizing interpretation.

dhw: Then please tell us at long last what you think was his primary goal in creating life, including humans.

DAVID: I know His goal was the eventual production of humans. We all can guess at why. I don't believe He's directly told us.

He has not directly told us anything (assuming he exists), so how do you “know” we were his goal right from the start, and how do you know he directly designed every life form, and why, if his goal was us, did he directly design all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us?

DAVID: I have no idea why He chose evolution to produce us. It is not important to me, as it seems to you. You don't accept we were a goal.

“A” goal again! What were the other goals? If your only problem is to explain why he didn’t directly create humans instead of evolving them, you must have a good explanation for his direct design of millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, but all you’ve come up with is that these extinct life forms, which had no connection with humans and died out millions of years before humans arrived on the scene, were part of our food supply. You yourself have recognized that this is nonsense – see the two quotes above. You have a fixed belief, you can’t find a logical explanation to justify it, but nothing will shake you out of it. That was the conclusion reached weeks ago, and we agreed to leave it at that. So please leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 17:22 (99 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms

DAVID: Your usual twisted quote out of context.

dhw: It is not a twisted quote, and there is no other possible context, and it is as obvious a truth as you can get. The current bush of food is not the bush of food for organisms that existed and disappeared millions of years ago!

Of course the quote is true, as you try to diced up and slice up the continuity of evolution.
Humans are fully part of that continuity from bacteria.


Protein folding creates life

DAVID: I never asked you to forget, but reasonably study the problem instead of sniping at God's efforts.

I am reasonably studying the problems which you raised of why your God was incapable of finding cures for the diseases which his system had created (to which you can now add the harmful retrogenes from another thread), and why he directly designed bad bacteria and viruses, and your response is that it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t cure the diseases, and one day someone will tell us why the bad bacteria and viruses are in fact good. I am not sniping. On the contrary, I have offered an explanation which removes all the responsibility implied and then abandoned by your approach. And your only objection is that it gives your God a feature in common with humans, even though you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

Again a misquote. God uses logic as we do. We can know no more about his thoughts.


DAVID: Of course He would be interested in the results of His creations, but they were not primarily created just to be interesting, a very humanizing interpretation.

dhw: Then please tell us at long last what you think was his primary goal in creating life, including humans.

DAVID: I know His goal was the eventual production of humans. We all can guess at why. I don't believe He's directly told us.

dhw: He has not directly told us anything (assuming he exists), so how do you “know” we were his goal right from the start, and how do you know he directly designed every life form, and why, if his goal was us, did he directly design all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us?

My faith based on overwhelming evidence, and as always, He chose to evolve us, as history shows.


DAVID: I have no idea why He chose evolution to produce us. It is not important to me, as it seems to you. You don't accept we were a goal.

dhw: “A” goal again! What were the other goals? If your only problem is to explain why he didn’t directly create humans instead of evolving them, you must have a good explanation for his direct design of millions of life forms that had no connection with humans, but all you’ve come up with is that these extinct life forms, which had no connection with humans and died out millions of years before humans arrived on the scene, were part of our food supply. You yourself have recognized that this is nonsense – see the two quotes above. You have a fixed belief, you can’t find a logical explanation to justify it, but nothing will shake you out of it. That was the conclusion reached weeks ago, and we agreed to leave it at that. So please leave it at that.

My position is entirely logical. The current massive human population needs food which teh massive bush supplies. You illogical view of evolution splits it into segments, whereas, it is entirely connected.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, February 04, 2021, 08:48 (98 days ago) @ David Turell

Protein folding creates life

David’s comment on the latest entry: Once again note high speed requirements, while the free floating molecules can make mistakes.

This has never been questioned. The problem of “mistakes” links up with all the other harmful products of your God’s creativity, encompassed by the general subject of “theodicy”.

Junk DNA:

DAVID: This system God designed for adaptation has both good and bad, as we interpret the results. Is God required to produce perfection?

Again, if God exists and designed a system that creates both good and bad, it is not a question of what is “required” of God, but of why he might have created good and bad. That is the subject of our discussion on theodicy.

dhw: I have offered an explanation which removes all the responsibility implied and then abandoned by your approach. And your only objection is that it gives your God a feature in common with humans, even though you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Again a misquote. God uses logic as we do. We can know no more about his thoughts.

Here is the quote: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought” (David’s theory of evolution Part Two). It has just celebrated its first anniversary.

In the next part of our discussion, I have juxtaposed certain sections to avoid just a little of the repetition and to create continuity.

DAVID: Of course He would be interested in the results of His creations, but they were not primarily created just to be interesting, a very humanizing interpretation.

dhw: Then please tell us at long last what you think was his primary goal in creating life, including humans.

DAVID: I know His goal was the eventual production of humans.

dhw: ...why, if his goal was us, did he directly design all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us?

DAVID: My faith based on overwhelming evidence, and as always, He chose to evolve us, as history shows.

His choice to “evolve” us (= directly design in stages) does not explain why, if his goal was us, he directly designed all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us!

DAVID: My position is entirely logical. The current massive human population needs food which teh massive bush supplies. You illogical view of evolution splits it into segments, whereas, it is entirely connected.

Of course we need food. But we do not need the food supplies that no longer exist. In your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms

DAVID: Your usual twisted quote out of context.

dhw: It is not a twisted quote, and there is no other possible context, and it is as obvious a truth as you can get. The current bush of food is not the bush of food for organisms that existed and disappeared millions of years ago!

DAVID: Of course the quote is true, as you try to diced up and slice up the continuity of evolution.Humans are fully part of that continuity from bacteria.

But there is no continuity between 99% of past life forms etc. and humans! Hence the absurdity of claiming that 99% of extinct life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans” when they had no connection with humans! Again in your own words: “extinct life has no role in current time". I accepted that nothing would shake you from your faith in this illogical theory of evolution, and proposed that we should leave it at that. You agreed. I repeat the proposal.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 04, 2021, 15:28 (98 days ago) @ dhw

Junk DNA:

dhw: I have offered an explanation which removes all the responsibility implied and then abandoned by your approach. And your only objection is that it gives your God a feature in common with humans, even though you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Again a misquote. God uses logic as we do. We can know no more about his thoughts.

dhw: Here is the quote: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought” (David’s theory of evolution Part Two). It has just celebrated its first anniversary.

Once I write something and reconsider, the old quote should be allowed to disappear. But I suppose you never alter your thoughts over time


DAVID: My faith based on overwhelming evidence, and as always, He chose to evolve us, as history shows.

dhw: His choice to “evolve” us (= directly design in stages) does not explain why, if his goal was us, he directly designed all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us!

What is evolution but just that? Your objection is total confusion of historical fact. You have agreed, somewhere in the past, that God could have chosen to use evolution as his creation mechanism. Teh rest of my approach follows naturally.


DAVID: My position is entirely logical. The current massive human population needs food which teh massive bush supplies. You illogical view of evolution splits it into segments, whereas, it is entirely connected.

dhw: Of course we need food. But we do not need the food supplies that no longer exist. In your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms

You weird reasoning that past evolution cannot be connected to recent evolution


DAVID: Your usual twisted quote out of context.

dhw: It is not a twisted quote, and there is no other possible context, and it is as obvious a truth as you can get. The current bush of food is not the bush of food for organisms that existed and disappeared millions of years ago!

DAVID: Of course the quote is true, as you try to diced up and slice up the continuity of evolution. Humans are fully part of that continuity from bacteria.

dhw: But there is no continuity between 99% of past life forms etc. and humans! Hence the absurdity of claiming that 99% of extinct life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans” when they had no connection with humans! Again in your own words: “extinct life has no role in current time". I accepted that nothing would shake you from your faith in this illogical theory of evolution, and proposed that we should leave it at that. You agreed. I repeat the proposal.

The bold is absolutely correct. It is your segmental view of evolution that is totally illogical. We can end on that .

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, February 05, 2021, 08:47 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

Biological Complexity

QUOTE: Thousands of publications over the past decade have revealed that the trillions of bacteria in the gut could have profound effects on the brain, and might be tied to a whole host of disorders.

DAVID: Bacteria have been allowed to survive while 99% of all species disappeared because they were meant to continue to have these roles as God designed.

These bacteria are harmful. The problem you raised originally but have since tried to avoid is why your God meant them to continue being harmful.

dhw: I have offered an explanation which removes all the responsibility implied and then abandoned by your approach. And your only objection is that it gives your God a feature in common with humans, even though you agree that your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Again a misquote. God uses logic as we do. We can know no more about his thoughts.

dhw: Here is the quote: “He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logical thought” (David’s theory of evolution Part Two). It has just celebrated its first anniversary.

DAVID: Once I write something and reconsider, the old quote should be allowed to disappear. But I suppose you never alter your thoughts over time.

It is not a misquote, and I have no idea why you should wish to withdraw it, since it makes perfectly good sense that there should be common ground between the creator (if he exists) and the creation. So why shouldn’t we accept that your God may have thought patterns similar to ours? But this has become a regular feature of our discussions. You also try to disown your agreement that past food supplies have nothing to do with the present, and that extinct life plays no role in current life, although these make perfectly good sense. It makes no difference, however, to the arguments themselves. I use your words to put my side of the argument. The fact that you agreed with me in the past and have now decided to disagree does not change the logic of my case or render your case any more logical.

DAVID: My faith based on overwhelming evidence, and as always, He chose to evolve us, as history shows.

dhw: His choice to “evolve” us (= directly design in stages) does not explain why, if his goal was us, he directly designed all the dead species and food supplies that had no connection with us!

DAVID: What is evolution but just that? Your objection is total confusion of historical fact. You have agreed, somewhere in the past, that God could have chosen to use evolution as his creation mechanism. Teh rest of my approach follows naturally.

Yet again: If God exists, of course he chose evolution as his creation mechanism. What does not follow naturally is the argument that if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens, he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders as “part of the goal of evolving humans”, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: My position is entirely logical. The current massive human population needs food which teh massive bush supplies. You illogical view of evolution splits it into segments, whereas, it is entirely connected.

dhw: Of course we need food. But we do not need the food supplies that no longer exist. In your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW.There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms

DAVID: You weird reasoning that past evolution cannot be connected to recent evolution.

That is not my reasoning. See below.

dhw: But there is no continuity between 99% of past life forms etc. and humans! Hence the absurdity of claiming that 99% of extinct life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans” when they had no connection with humans! Again in your own words: “extinct life has no role in current time". I accepted that nothing would shake you from your faith in this illogical theory of evolution, and proposed that we should leave it at that. You agreed. I repeat the proposal.

DAVID: The bold is absolutely correct. It is your segmental view of evolution that is totally illogical. We can end on that.

We agree that all life forms are descended from bacteria, and so in that sense evolution can be called continuous. But if there is no connection between 99% of life forms and humans, then it is clearly illogical to say that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. In that sense, evolution is segmental. And that should be that.

NEW SPECIES

DAVID: We know species come and go. One obvious attribute of the evolution process is increasing complexity from the beginning, as I've previously noted, but a drive to extreme diversification is obvious. Why? My thought is that God's new various designs guarantee life will survive all sorts of adverse events.

If your God is there designing whatever he wants to design, then of course life will survive if he wants it to! The drive to diversification makes no sense at all, however, if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design H. sapiens and his food supply.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, February 05, 2021, 15:17 (97 days ago) @ dhw

Biological Complexity

QUOTE: Thousands of publications over the past decade have revealed that the trillions of bacteria in the gut could have profound effects on the brain, and might be tied to a whole host of disorders.

DAVID: Bacteria have been allowed to survive while 99% of all species disappeared because they were meant to continue to have these roles as God designed.

dhw: These bacteria are harmful. The problem you raised originally but have since tried to avoid is why your God meant them to continue being harmful.

My answer is still He may a good reason we do not yet understand.


DAVID: Once I write something and reconsider, the old quote should be allowed to disappear. But I suppose you never alter your thoughts over time.

dhw: It is not a misquote, and I have no idea why you should wish to withdraw it, since it makes perfectly good sense that there should be common ground between the creator (if he exists) and the creation... I use your words to put my side of the argument. The fact that you agreed with me in the past and have now decided to disagree does not change the logic of my case or render your case any more logical.

All you have posed is that I have no option to change my mind as a result of our discussions.


DAVID: What is evolution but just that? Your objection is total confusion of historical fact. You have agreed, somewhere in the past, that God could have chosen to use evolution as his creation mechanism. Teh rest of my approach follows naturally.

dhw: Yet again: If God exists, of course he chose evolution as his creation mechanism. What does not follow naturally is the argument that if his only purpose was to design H. sapiens, he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders as “part of the goal of evolving humans”, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

I still find this objection as totally illogical, as previously explained.

dhw: But there is no continuity between 99% of past life forms etc. and humans! Hence the absurdity of claiming that 99% of extinct life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans” when they had no connection with humans! Again in your own words: “extinct life has no role in current time". I accepted that nothing would shake you from your faith in this illogical theory of evolution, and proposed that we should leave it at that. You agreed. I repeat the proposal.

DAVID: The bold is absolutely correct. It is your segmental view of evolution that is totally illogical. We can end on that.

dhw: We agree that all life forms are descended from bacteria, and so in that sense evolution can be called continuous. But if there is no connection between 99% of life forms and humans, then it is clearly illogical to say that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. In that sense, evolution is segmental. And that should be that.

You still insist upon illogical but accept the large bush for food. I only see logic.


NEW SPECIES

DAVID: We know species come and go. One obvious attribute of the evolution process is increasing complexity from the beginning, as I've previously noted, but a drive to extreme diversification is obvious. Why? My thought is that God's new various designs guarantee life will survive all sorts of adverse events.

dhw: If your God is there designing whatever he wants to design, then of course life will survive if he wants it to! The drive to diversification makes no sense at all, however, if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design H. sapiens and his food supply.

Once again, it is a huge bush of food supply for all.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, February 05, 2021, 15:31 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

Gut bacteria help fight our battles:

https://theconversation.com/fecal-microbe-transplants-help-cancer-patients-respond-to-i...

"The effect of a drug, or impact of a treatment like chemotherapy, doesn’t just depend on your body. The success of a particular medicine also depends on the trillions of bacteria in your gut.

"The 100 trillion bacteria that live within the human digestive tract – known as the human gut microbiome – help us extract nutrients from food, boost the immune response and modulate the effects of drugs. Recent research, including my own, has implicated the gut microbiome in seemingly unconnected states, ranging from the response to cancer treatments to obesity and a host of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and autism.

"What underlies these apparently discrete observations is the unifying idea that the gut microbiota send signals beyond the gut and that these signals have broad effects on a large swathe of target tissues.

***

"Gut microbiota have been linked to to the success and failure of multiple cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and cancer immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab. In the more recent studies, the species and relative populations of gut bacteria determined the probability that a cancer patient would respond to drugs known as “immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

"This research showed that differences in the gut microbiome between individual patients were associated with various outcomes to these drugs. But the precise mechanisms underlying microbiome-immune interactions remain unclear.

***

"To investigate whether certain types of microbes could boost the efficacy of PD-1 immunotherapies, my colleagues and I developed a study in which we collected fecal microbes from patients who had responded well to this therapy and administered these to cancer patients who didn’t benefit from the checkpoint drugs.

***

"Following this fecal microbe transplant treatment, tumors of six out of 15 patients in the study had tumors that shrank or remained the same. The treatment was well tolerated, though some of the patients experienced minor side effects including fatigue.

"When we analyzed the gut microbiota of treated patients, we observed that the six patients whose cancers had stabilized or improved showed increased numbers of bacteria that had previously been associated with responses to immunotherapy.

***

"These results suggest that introducing certain intestinal microorganisms into a patient’s colon may help the patient respond to drugs that enhance the immune system’s ability to recognize and kill tumor cells.

"Ultimately we hope to move beyond fecal microbe transplants to specific collections of microbes in cancers besides melanoma, paving the way for standardized microbe-based drug therapy to treat immunotherapy-resistant tumors."

Comment: This may be the beginning of seeing God's reasons for gut bacteria. Good, not bad

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, February 06, 2021, 11:29 (96 days ago) @ David Turell

Biological Complexity

QUOTE: Thousands of publications over the past decade have revealed that the trillions of bacteria in the gut could have profound effects on the brain, and might be tied to a whole host of disorders.

DAVID: Bacteria have been allowed to survive while 99% of all species disappeared because they were meant to continue to have these roles as God designed.

dhw: These bacteria are harmful. The problem you raised originally but have since tried to avoid is why your God meant them to continue being harmful.

DAVID: My answer is still He may a good reason we do not yet understand.

That’s faith for you. Just like Dawkins, who hopes to find a natural reason for what is now "imperfectly understood".

DAVID: Gut bacteria help fight our battles:
https://theconversation.com/fecal-microbe-transplants-help-cancer-patients-respond-to-i...

DAVID: This may be the beginning of seeing God's reasons for gut bacteria. Good, not bad.

We now have bacteria that cause dreadful diseases and bacteria that help fight dreadful diseases: a microcosmic example of the world as we know it, including human nature – a great big mix of what we regard as good and bad, beautiful and ugly, happy and sad, light and dark. Fascinating. If your God exists, I can well imagine that this is precisely what he wanted, but you simply can’t believe your God would have wanted what he created, and would have created what he wanted, even though you are sure he is interested in watching it.

DAVID: Once I write something and reconsider, the old quote should be allowed to disappear. But I suppose you never alter your thoughts over time.

dhw: It is not a misquote, and I have no idea why you should wish to withdraw it, since it makes perfectly good sense that there should be common ground between the creator (if he exists) and the creation [...] The fact that you agreed with me in the past and have now decided to disagree does not change the logic of my case or render your case any more logical.

DAVID: All you have posed is that I have no option to change my mind as a result of our discussions.

Apart from the fact that this quotation (“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”), robs you of your “humanizing” argument against my logical alternatives to your illogical theory, please explain why you have changed your mind and now think it impossible for the creator to have created a being with thought patterns and emotions similar to his own.

DAVID: […] You have agreed, somewhere in the past, that God could have chosen to use evolution as his creation mechanism. Teh rest of my approach follows naturally.

dhw: Yet again: If God exists, of course he chose evolution as his creation mechanism. What does not follow naturally is the argument that [..] his only purpose was to design H. sapiens, [and yet] he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders as “part of the goal of evolving humans”, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: I still find this objection as totally illogical, as previously explained.

You have never explained it. Indeed, you have agreed that you have no idea why he would have fulfilled his one and only purpose by designing life forms and econiches that had no connection to his purpose.

dhw: Again in your own words: “extinct life has no role in current time"..

DAVID: The bold is absolutely correct. It is your segmental view of evolution that is totally illogical. We can end on that.

dhw: We agree that all life forms are descended from bacteria, and so in that sense evolution can be called continuous. But if there is no connection between 99% of life forms and humans, then it is clearly illogical to say that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. In that sense, evolution is segmental. And that should be that.

DAVID: You still insist upon illogical but accept the large bush for food. I only see logic.

The large bush of food for humans has no connection with the large bushes of food for life forms that preceded and had no connection with humans. In your own words (how many more times?) “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.”

NEW SPECIES
DAVID: […] a drive to extreme diversification is obvious. Why? My thought is that God's new various designs guarantee life will survive all sorts of adverse events.

dhw: If your God is there designing whatever he wants to design, then of course life will survive if he wants it to! The drive to diversification makes no sense at all, however, if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design H. sapiens and his food supply.

DAVID: Once again, it is a huge bush of food supply for all.

As above, the food supply for the millions of dead life forms was not the food supply for humans, and so it makes no sense to argue that all the dead forms and their food supply were “part of the goal of evolving humans”. I don’t know why you have reneged on our earlier agreement that you have no idea why he would have used such a method to achieve such a purpose, but that is what you believe, nothing will shift you, and so we should leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 06, 2021, 15:13 (96 days ago) @ dhw

Biological Complexity

dhw: These bacteria are harmful. The problem you raised originally but have since tried to avoid is why your God meant them to continue being harmful.

DAVID: My answer is still He may a good reason we do not yet understand.

dhw: That’s faith for you. Just like Dawkins, who hopes to find a natural reason for what is now "imperfectly understood".

In retrospect we have always explained reasons why. It will continue to happen.


DAVID: Gut bacteria help fight our battles:
https://theconversation.com/fecal-microbe-transplants-help-cancer-patients-respond-to-i...

DAVID: This may be the beginning of seeing God's reasons for gut bacteria. Good, not bad.

dhw: If your God exists, I can well imagine that this is precisely what he wanted, but you simply can’t believe your God would have wanted what he created, and would have created what he wanted, even though you are sure he is interested in watching it.

I do believe God created exactly what He wanted. Our interpretations of the results are often wrong.


DAVID: All you have posed is that I have no option to change my mind as a result of our discussions.

dhw: Apart from the fact that this quotation (“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”), robs you of your “humanizing” argument against my logical alternatives to your illogical theory, please explain why you have changed your mind and now think it impossible for the creator to have created a being with thought patterns and emotions similar to his own.

I haven't. All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.

DAVID: I still find this objection as totally illogical, as previously explained.

dhw: You have never explained it. Indeed, you have agreed that you have no idea why he would have fulfilled his one and only purpose by designing life forms and econiches that had no connection to his purpose.

The explanation is that it is His choice of method, and you've agreed He could have chosen that method. Then why continuous objections?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, February 07, 2021, 10:50 (95 days ago) @ David Turell

Biological Complexity

dhw: These bacteria are harmful. The problem you raised originally but have since tried to avoid is why your God meant them to continue being harmful.

DAVID: My answer is still He may a good reason we do not yet understand.

dhw: That’s faith for you. Just like Dawkins, who hopes to find a natural reason for what is now "imperfectly understood".

DAVID: In retrospect we have always explained reasons why. It will continue to happen.

That is hardly a logical basis for your blinkered faith or for his.

DAVID: Gut bacteria help fight our battles:
https://theconversation.com/fecal-microbe-transplants-help-cancer-patients-respond-to-i...

DAVID: This may be the beginning of seeing God's reasons for gut bacteria. Good, not bad.

dhw: If your God exists, I can well imagine that this [the mixture of good and bad, light and dark etc.] is precisely what he wanted, but you simply can’t believe your God would have wanted what he created, and would have created what he wanted, even though you are sure he is interested in watching it.

DAVID: I do believe God created exactly what He wanted. Our interpretations of the results are often wrong.

Back we go. Please tell us, as an illustration of the problem of theodicy, why you think he might actually have wanted to create bad bacteria and viruses.

DAVID: All you have posed is that I have no option to change my mind as a result of our discussions.

dhw: Apart from the fact that this quotation (“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”), robs you of your “humanizing” argument against my logical alternatives to your illogical theory, please explain why you have changed your mind and now think it impossible for the creator to have created a being with thought patterns and emotions similar to his own.

DAVID: I haven't. All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.

We can’t even be sure he exists, let alone what is his nature. All we have to go on is the world which he might have created. I don’t know where you draw the line between thought patterns/emotions and desires. But why shouldn’t he have the “human” desire to create something which will interest him?

DAVID: I still find this objection [to David's theory of evolution] as totally illogical, as previously explained.

dhw: You have never explained it. Indeed, you have agreed that you have no idea why he would have fulfilled his one and only purpose by designing life forms and econiches that had no connection to his purpose.

DAVID: The explanation is that it is His choice of method, and you've agreed He could have chosen that method. Then why continuous objections?

For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 07, 2021, 14:05 (95 days ago) @ dhw

Biological Complexity

DAVID: In retrospect we have always explained reasons why. It will continue to happen.

dhw: That is hardly a logical basis for your blinkered faith or for his.

But we make progress and continuously find explanations. Faith in the future.


DAVID: Gut bacteria help fight our battles:
https://theconversation.com/fecal-microbe-transplants-help-cancer-patients-respond-to-i...

DAVID: I do believe God created exactly what He wanted. Our interpretations of the results are often wrong.

dhw: Back we go. Please tell us, as an illustration of the problem of theodicy, why you think he might actually have wanted to create bad bacteria and viruses.

It is our interpretation which have been proven wrong in the past.


DAVID: All you have posed is that I have no option to change my mind as a result of our discussions.

dhw: Apart from the fact that this quotation (“He and we probably have similar thought patterns and emotions beyond just simple logic”), robs you of your “humanizing” argument against my logical alternatives to your illogical theory, please explain why you have changed your mind and now think it impossible for the creator to have created a being with thought patterns and emotions similar to his own.

DAVID: I haven't. All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.

dhw: We can’t even be sure he exists, let alone what is his nature. All we have to go on is the world which he might have created. I don’t know where you draw the line between thought patterns/emotions and desires. But why shouldn’t he have the “human” desire to create something which will interest him?

He might but we cannot know that. He creates selflessly, a point you do not see.


DAVID: I still find this objection [to David's theory of evolution] as totally illogical, as previously explained.

dhw: You have never explained it. Indeed, you have agreed that you have no idea why he would have fulfilled his one and only purpose by designing life forms and econiches that had no connection to his purpose.

DAVID: The explanation is that it is His choice of method, and you've agreed He could have chosen that method. Then why continuous objections?

dhw: For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

His choosing a method is a logical thought.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, February 08, 2021, 09:28 (94 days ago) @ David Turell

Biological Complexity

DAVID: In retrospect we have always explained reasons why. It will continue to happen.

dhw: That is hardly a logical basis for your blinkered faith or for his.

DAVID: But we make progress and continuously find explanations. Faith in the future.

What does “faith in the future” mean? You both hope that the future will justify your present blinkered and totally opposite forms of faith.

dhw: Please tell us, as an illustration of the problem of theodicy, why you think he might actually have wanted to create bad bacteria and viruses.

DAVID: It is our interpretation which have been proven wrong in the past.

I admit that judgements and values are subjective, but do you think 1) we humans will find out that diseases caused by bad bacteria and viruses are good? Or do you think 2) it will be proven that your God didn’t mean to create bad bacteria and viruses but somehow made a blunder he couldn’t correct? Or 3) he didn’t design them but created a mechanism which enabled all life forms to design their own methods of survival? (I know viruses are not considered to be life forms, but I assume that you consider them to be part of your God’s grand design). What other “interpretation” do you expect/hope for that will solve the problem of theodicy?

DAVID: His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.

dhw: […] I don’t know where you draw the line between thought patterns/emotions and desires. But why shouldn’t he have the “human” desire to create something which will interest him?

DAVID: He might but we cannot know that. He creates selflessly, a point you do not see.

We cannot “know” that he even exists. How the heck do you “know” that he creates selflessly? He “might” have this desire is good enough for me, although it’s a dilution of your original “probably”. Once and for all you can drop your objection that my hypothesis “humanizes” him, and so we are left with an explanation which you agree is logical and fits in with the history of life as we know it. Not “proven”, of course, but possible.

dhw: For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: His choosing a method is a logical thought.

As is his having a purpose. It is your particular interpretation of his purpose and method of achieving his purpose which defies all logic, leaving you with no idea why he would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose. So let’s leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, February 08, 2021, 15:26 (94 days ago) @ dhw

Biological Complexity

dhw: Please tell us, as an illustration of the problem of theodicy, why you think he might actually have wanted to create bad bacteria and viruses.

DAVID: It is our interpretation which have been proven wrong in the past.

dhw: I admit that judgements and values are subjective, but do you think 1) we humans will find out that diseases caused by bad bacteria and viruses are good? Or do you think 2) it will be proven that your God didn’t mean to create bad bacteria and viruses but somehow made a blunder he couldn’t correct? Or 3) he didn’t design them but created a mechanism which enabled all life forms to design their own methods of survival? (I know viruses are not considered to be life forms, but I assume that you consider them to be part of your God’s grand design). What other “interpretation” do you expect/hope for that will solve the problem of theodicy?

You have to admit we have found our backwards, upside down retina is the best, the appendix and the thymus are not vestigial. So our judgements are lousy if based on just judgement, not factual research. We've discussed molecular errors and I've used necessary speed of reactions with free-floating molecules as the reason they happen, and it is the best arrange for life to exist and continue to thrive. As for 1-3 I view God as hands-on, and you invent a humanized God who is hands-off and goes free-for-all to give Him interesting spectacles. Hardly God-like at all.


DAVID: His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.

dhw: […] I don’t know where you draw the line between thought patterns/emotions and desires. But why shouldn’t he have the “human” desire to create something which will interest him?

DAVID: He might but we cannot know that. He creates selflessly, a point you do not see.

dhw: We cannot “know” that he even exists. How the heck do you “know” that he creates selflessly? He “might” have this desire is good enough for me, although it’s a dilution of your original “probably”. Once and for all you can drop your objection that my hypothesis “humanizes” him, and so we are left with an explanation which you agree is logical and fits in with the history of life as we know it. Not “proven”, of course, but possible.

dhw: For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: His choosing a method is a logical thought.

dhw: As is his having a purpose. It is your particular interpretation of his purpose and method of achieving his purpose which defies all logic, leaving you with no idea why he would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose. So let’s leave it at that.

It only defies your twisted illogic.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, February 09, 2021, 12:27 (93 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell us, as an illustration of the problem of theodicy, why you think he might actually have wanted to create bad bacteria and viruses.

DAVID: It is our interpretation which have been proven wrong in the past.

dhw: I admit that judgements and values are subjective, but do you think 1) we humans will find out that diseases caused by bad bacteria and viruses are good? Or do you think 2) it will be proven that your God didn’t mean to create bad bacteria and viruses but somehow made a blunder he couldn’t correct? Or 3) he didn’t design them but created a mechanism which enabled all life forms to design their own methods of survival? (I know viruses are not considered to be life forms, but I assume that you consider them to be part of your God’s grand design). What other “interpretation” do you expect/hope for that will solve the problem of theodicy?

DAVID: You have to admit we have found our backwards, upside down retina is the best, the appendix and the thymus are not vestigial. So our judgements are lousy if based on just judgement, not factual research. We've discussed molecular errors and I've used necessary speed of reactions with free-floating molecules as the reason they happen, and it is the best arrange for life to exist and continue to thrive.

My question was not about things we know are not “vestigial”, but about things we all regard as “bad”! Discoveries about the retina, appendix and thymus do not mean we will one day discover that Covid-19, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Alzheimer’s, MND etc. etc. (i.e. diseases caused by bad bacteria, viruses, “errors” in the system) are what we would call “good”.

DAVID: As for 1-3 I view God as hands-on, and you invent a humanized God who is hands-off and goes free-for-all to give Him interesting spectacles. Hardly God-like at all.

1 and 2 have nothing whatsoever to do with the free-for-all theory. You have agreed yet again that it is possible for God to have human characteristics so please stop trying to use that as your get-out, and in any case you are sure that he is interested in the “spectacles” you say he has directly created. And how do you know what God is like?

dhw: For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: His choosing a method is a logical thought.

dhw: As is his having a purpose. It is your particular interpretation of his purpose and method of achieving his purpose which defies all logic, leaving you with no idea why he would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose. So let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: It only defies your twisted illogic.

Then once and for all, tell us the logic that would lead your God - whose one and only purpose according to you was to design H. sapiens - to directly design millions of life forms, econiches etc. etc, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 09, 2021, 18:37 (93 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You have to admit we have found our backwards, upside down retina is the best, the appendix and the thymus are not vestigial. So our judgements are lousy if based on just judgement, not factual research. We've discussed molecular errors and I've used necessary speed of reactions with free-floating molecules as the reason they happen, and it is the best arrange for life to exist and continue to thrive.

dhw: My question was not about things we know are not “vestigial”, but about things we all regard as “bad”! Discoveries about the retina, appendix and thymus do not mean we will one day discover that Covid-19, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Alzheimer’s, MND etc. etc. (i.e. diseases caused by bad bacteria, viruses, “errors” in the system) are what we would call “good”.

Our discoveries about what we thought were 'bad' does mean we may find some good reasons. And remember God made us with the brains to fight these problems which could be purposeful on His part to challenge us. The Garden of Eden is boring, and I know you accept that.


DAVID: As for 1-3 I view God as hands-on, and you invent a humanized God who is hands-off and goes free-for-all to give Him interesting spectacles. Hardly God-like at all.

dhw: 1 and 2 have nothing whatsoever to do with the free-for-all theory. You have agreed yet again that it is possible for God to have human characteristics so please stop trying to use that as your get-out, and in any case you are sure that he is interested in the “spectacles” you say he has directly created. And how do you know what God is like?

Again you know God's self-interest in being entertained by spectacle. I view God as being interested in His creations as any inventor would be, but never as a reqjired entertaining spectacle for His enjoyment as you infer.


dhw: For years now I have been telling you that I do NOT believe that a God whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would first design millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans! You have said yourself that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a purpose. If you are now claiming that this theory is logical, please explain the logic. If you still have no idea, let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: His choosing a method is a logical thought.

dhw: As is his having a purpose. It is your particular interpretation of his purpose and method of achieving his purpose which defies all logic, leaving you with no idea why he would choose such a method to achieve such a purpose. So let’s leave it at that.

DAVID: It only defies your twisted illogic.

dhw: Then once and for all, tell us the logic that would lead your God - whose one and only purpose according to you was to design H. sapiens - to directly design millions of life forms, econiches etc. etc, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

The obvious connection is evolution from simple to complex. As pure logical guess: He wished us to be the only being on Earth that recognized He exists. He certainly doesn't need or want recognition but perhaps He wanted to see how we would think about creation and how it happened. Per Adler, our most unusual arrival begs for explanation, and he and I have given it to you. Do you ever really question why we are here? It is a key philosophic thought question.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:43 (92 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My question was not about things we know are not “vestigial”, but about things we all regard as “bad”! Discoveries about the retina, appendix and thymus do not mean we will one day discover that Covid-19, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Alzheimer’s, MND etc. etc. (i.e. diseases caused by bad bacteria, viruses, “errors” in the system) are what we would call “good”.

DAVID: Our discoveries about what we thought were 'bad' does mean we may find some good reasons. And remember God made us with the brains to fight these problems which could be purposeful on His part to challenge us. The Garden of Eden is boring, and I know you accept that.

I’m glad you think there may be some “good” reasons for all the diseases that cause so much suffering. It’s a shame, though, that you can’t think of any, as it somewhat weakens your opposition to the free-for-all hypothesis I have proposed. Well done for accepting that your God might not want to watch a boring creation like the Garden of Eden.

dhw: You have agreed yet again that it is possible for God to have human characteristics so please stop trying to use that as your get-out, and in any case you are sure that he is interested in the “spectacles” you say he has directly created. And how do you know what God is like?

DAVID: Again you know God's self-interest in being entertained by spectacle. I view God as being interested in His creations as any inventor would be, but never as a reqjired entertaining spectacle for His enjoyment as you infer.

I don’t “know” anything – even if God exists. I don’t like and have never used the word “entertain”. I wouldn’t call Beethoven’s 9th, or Shakespeare’s King Lear, or Michelangelo’s David, or the telephone, or computers, or rockets entertaining. Why do you try to cheapen creativity and inventiveness by using such vocabulary? If your God is interested in his own inventions – just like us humans – it is patently illogical to dismiss the hypothesis that he might have created his inventions because he wanted something interesting to do and to watch.

dhw: Then once and for all, tell us the logic that would lead your God - whose one and only purpose according to you was to design H. sapiens - to directly design millions of life forms, econiches etc. etc, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID:The obvious connection is evolution from simple to complex. As pure logical guess: He wished us to be the only being on Earth that recognized He exists. He certainly doesn't need or want recognition but perhaps He wanted to see how we would think about creation and how it happened. Per Adler, our most unusual arrival begs for explanation, and he and I have given it to you. Do you ever really question why we are here? It is a key philosophic thought question.

I’m pleased to see you speculating on God’s possible human characteristics and on why we are here, but I am not pleased that once again you have completely ignored my request for a logical answer to the question why, if we were his one and only purpose, he directly designed millions and millions of life forms, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. THAT is your illogical theory of evolution, and I wish you would stop dodging the issue, accept that the theory is illogical but your faith in it is unshakable, and leave it at that.

Coelacanth

QUOTE: "Horizontal gene transfer fuzzies up the picture of where the transposons came from but we know from other species that it can occur via parasitism," says Yellan.

DAVID: Is gene horizontal transfer an organismal ability, or does God step in and make the changes? Since I think God speciates, I feel He steps in.

So do you think the coelacanth was “part of the goal of evolving humans”? Sounds more like part of a free-for-all to me, with parasites finding their own means of survival.

Transposons

QUOTE: "Lest we give the impression that the transposon hazard is something we should be better off without, consider that transposons are solely responsible for most, or at least many, of the higher evolutionary refinements we enjoy today." [David's bold]

DAVID: Is this God's supreme method for advancing evolution?

I’m not sure what you are implying. Do you think God pops in to transfer the genes from one life form to another, or preprogrammed their jumps 3.8 billion years ago? Or is it possible that the whole process is part of a great free-for-all for which he devised the mechanism? (And let’s not forget that the “hazard” can have bad repercussions as well as good.)

Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:

DAVID: The authors are trying to sell a method of speciation, but what I see is strong evidence of insect brain plasticity, mimicking ours, a strong indication brain plasticity is a property throughout species.

If the brain changes in order to meet the new requirements of changing conditions, the same process would apply to all species that have brains. This fits in perfectly with the theory that speciation comes about through responses to new conditions – the exact opposite of your theory that your God pops in to perform operations in preparation for new conditions.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 14:44 (92 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our discoveries about what we thought were 'bad' does mean we may find some good reasons. And remember God made us with the brains to fight these problems which could be purposeful on His part to challenge us. The Garden of Eden is boring, and I know you accept that.

dhw: I’m glad you think there may be some “good” reasons for all the diseases that cause so much suffering. It’s a shame, though, that you can’t think of any, as it somewhat weakens your opposition to the free-for-all hypothesis I have proposed. Well done for accepting that your God might not want to watch a boring creation like the Garden of Eden.

Back to a God who doesn't care about what happens or is OK about directionless events.

DAVID: Again you know God's self-interest in being entertained by spectacle. I view God as being interested in His creations as any inventor would be, but never as a reqjired entertaining spectacle for His enjoyment as you infer.

dhw: I don’t “know” anything – even if God exists. I don’t like and have never used the word “entertain”. I wouldn’t call Beethoven’s 9th, or Shakespeare’s King Lear, or Michelangelo’s David, or the telephone, or computers, or rockets entertaining. Why do you try to cheapen creativity and inventiveness by using such vocabulary? If your God is interested in his own inventions – just like us humans – it is patently illogical to dismiss the hypothesis that he might have created his inventions because he wanted something interesting to do and to watch.

Again a weak humanized God who requires self-entertainment


dhw: I’m pleased to see you speculating on God’s possible human characteristics and on why we are here, but I am not pleased that once again you have completely ignored my request for a logical answer to the question why, if we were his one and only purpose, he directly designed millions and millions of life forms, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. THAT is your illogical theory of evolution, and I wish you would stop dodging the issue, accept that the theory is illogical but your faith in it is unshakable, and leave it at that.

I must keep repeating I don't understand your illogical complaint about my logical conclusion God chose to evolve us. You simply describe evolution and complain about it.


Coelacanth

QUOTE: "Horizontal gene transfer fuzzies up the picture of where the transposons came from but we know from other species that it can occur via parasitism," says Yellan.

DAVID: Is gene horizontal transfer an organismal ability, or does God step in and make the changes? Since I think God speciates, I feel He steps in.

dhw: So do you think the coelacanth was “part of the goal of evolving humans”? Sounds more like part of a free-for-all to me, with parasites finding their own means of survival.

For you God is not allowed to control evolution. Our brain just popped up by chance.


Transposons

QUOTE: "Lest we give the impression that the transposon hazard is something we should be better off without, consider that transposons are solely responsible for most, or at least many, of the higher evolutionary refinements we enjoy today." [David's bold]

DAVID: Is this God's supreme method for advancing evolution?

dhw: Do you think God pops in to transfer the genes from one life form to another, or preprogrammed their jumps 3.8 billion years ago? Or is it possible that the whole process is part of a great free-for-all for which he devised the mechanism? (And let’s not forget that the “hazard” can have bad repercussions as well as good.)

Free-floating evolution drifted from bacteria to our brain all by chance!!!! No purposeful drive allowed. Adler and I are aghast at the thought. Reality drifts along and God sits idly by.


Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:

DAVID: The authors are trying to sell a method of speciation, but what I see is strong evidence of insect brain plasticity, mimicking ours, a strong indication brain plasticity is a property throughout species.

dhw:If the brain changes in order to meet the new requirements of changing conditions, the same process would apply to all species that have brains. This fits in perfectly with the theory that speciation comes about through responses to new conditions – the exact opposite of your theory that your God pops in to perform operations in preparation for new conditions.

I'll stick to brain plasticity is widespread.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 09:14 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I’m glad you think there may be some “good” reasons for all the diseases that cause so much suffering. It’s a shame, though, that you can’t think of any, as it somewhat weakens your opposition to the free-for-all hypothesis I have proposed. Well done for accepting that your God might not want to watch a boring creation like the Garden of Eden.

DAVID: Back to a God who doesn't care about what happens or is OK about directionless events.

Once again avoiding the subject of your God’s possible reasons for directly designing the bacteria and viruses that cause Covid-19, Alzheimer’s, diabetes etc. You’re sure he is interested in all this, but what are you suggesting with your “doesn’t care”? Could you be proposing that he shares such human characteristics as caring about those who are suffering?

dhw: I don’t like and have never used the word “entertain”. […] Why do you try to cheapen creativity and inventiveness by using such vocabulary? If your God is interested in his own inventions – just like us humans – it is patently illogical to dismiss the hypothesis that he might have created his inventions because he wanted something interesting to do and to watch.

DAVID: Again a weak humanized God who requires self-entertainment.

Why do you insist on ignoring what I write? You are sure your God is interested in his creations. Do you regard Messrs Beethoven, Shakespeare and Michelangelo as “weak” because they wanted to create something that interested them and gave them satisfaction? Entertainment is your word, not mine. Your “humanized” argument has long since been discredited, since you agree that your God possibly (and earlier, probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: I must keep repeating I don't understand your illogical complaint about my logical conclusion God chose to evolve us. You simply describe evolution and complain about it.

I do not complain about your belief that God chose to evolve us. I complain about your combined beliefs that we were his one and only purpose, and yet he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches etc. which, according to you, were “part of the goal of evolving humans” although 99% of them had no connection with humans! You admit that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method, and yet you still twist and turn in order to avoid the illogicality of your theory.

Coelacanth

DAVID: Is gene horizontal transfer an organismal ability, or does God step in and make the changes? Since I think God speciates, I feel He steps in.

dhw: So do you think the coelacanth was “part of the goal of evolving humans”? Sounds more like part of a free-for-all to me, with parasites finding their own means of survival.

DAVID: For you God is not allowed to control evolution. Our brain just popped up by chance.

I have never said God is not allowed to do anything! I have proposed that he chose to give evolution free rein. I have never said that our brain popped up by chance. Must I repeat the theory of cellular intelligence? Now would you please explain how the coelacanth constitutes “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

Transposons

dhw: Do you think God pops in to transfer the genes from one life form to another, or preprogrammed their jumps 3.8 billion years ago? Or is it possible that the whole process is part of a great free-for-all for which he devised the mechanism? […]

DAVID: Free-floating evolution drifted from bacteria to our brain all by chance!!!! No purposeful drive allowed. Adler and I are aghast at the thought. Reality drifts along and God sits idly by.

Not by chance, as explained above. The purposeful drive is for survival. You yourself now have your God sitting idly by, watching us with interest. And you have told us that Adler does not cover your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or your direct dabbling theory of evolution. In any case, why do you keep bringing him into the discussion? Can’t you defend your own beliefs?

Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:

DAVID: I'll stick to brain plasticity is widespread.

Of course it is. And the plasticity allows life forms to make changes to themselves as they “enter new environments” – as opposed to your God having to preprogramme or dabble all the changes before they “enter new environments”. And this process has gone on for thousands of millions of years, involving millions of life forms that no longer exist and had no connection with humans, and yet you stick to your mantra that all of them “were part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.”

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 11, 2021, 16:41 (91 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Back to a God who doesn't care about what happens or is OK about directionless events.

dhw: Once again avoiding the subject of your God’s possible reasons for directly designing the bacteria and viruses that cause Covid-19, Alzheimer’s, diabetes etc. You’re sure he is interested in all this, but what are you suggesting with your “doesn’t care”? Could you be proposing that he shares such human characteristics as caring about those who are suffering?

With God I am trapped into using humanizing words to describe His non-human state.


DAVID: I must keep repeating I don't understand your illogical complaint about my logical conclusion God chose to evolve us. You simply describe evolution and complain about it.

dhw: I do not complain about your belief that God chose to evolve us. I complain about your combined beliefs that we were his one and only purpose, and yet he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches etc. which, according to you, were “part of the goal of evolving humans” although 99% of them had no connection with humans! You admit that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method, and yet you still twist and turn in order to avoid the illogicality of your theory.

You twist. I don't. The connection with humans is that humans evolved like everything here.


Coelacanth

DAVID: For you God is not allowed to control evolution. Our brain just popped up by chance.

dhw: I have never said God is not allowed to do anything! I have proposed that he chose to give evolution free rein. I have never said that our brain popped up by chance. Must I repeat the theory of cellular intelligence? Now would you please explain how the coelacanth constitutes “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

Part of the ecosystem method of food supply


Transposons

dhw: Do you think God pops in to transfer the genes from one life form to another, or preprogrammed their jumps 3.8 billion years ago? Or is it possible that the whole process is part of a great free-for-all for which he devised the mechanism? […]

DAVID: Free-floating evolution drifted from bacteria to our brain all by chance!!!! No purposeful drive allowed. Adler and I are aghast at the thought. Reality drifts along and God sits idly by.

dhw: Not by chance, as explained above. The purposeful drive is for survival. You yourself now have your God sitting idly by, watching us with interest. And you have told us that Adler does not cover your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or your direct dabbling theory of evolution. In any case, why do you keep bringing him into the discussion? Can’t you defend your own beliefs?

Survival is not a proven theory but Darwin-speak guess work. The apes prove our brain was not needed for survival. My beliefs come from recognized experts as well as my mental analysis.


Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:

DAVID: I'll stick to brain plasticity is widespread.

dhw: Of course it is. And the plasticity allows life forms to make changes to themselves as they “enter new environments” – as opposed to your God having to preprogramme or dabble all the changes before they “enter new environments”. And this process has gone on for thousands of millions of years, involving millions of life forms that no longer exist and had no connection with humans, and yet you stick to your mantra that all of them “were part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.”

See my new entry on DNA pre-planning. You always seem to forget that bacteria are here successfully since the beginning. Their example offers no reason for evolution going any further, does it? Therefore evolution had an advancing guiding force, which is not the Darwinist survival daydream of a theory. Darwin wisely avoided the issue of origin of life and he doesn't ever explain how the earliest organisms had the intelligence to know how to manage an advance. Now we see DNA was setup for prompt advances. Clever designer at work.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:13 (90 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Back to a God who doesn't care about what happens or is OK about directionless events.

dhw: Once again avoiding the subject of your God’s possible reasons for directly designing the bacteria and viruses that cause Covid-19, Alzheimer’s, diabetes etc. You’re sure he is interested in all this, but what are you suggesting with your “doesn’t care”? Could you be proposing that he shares such human characteristics as caring about those who are suffering?

DAVID: With God I am trapped into using humanizing words to describe His non-human state.

Nobody says he is human. But you can’t avoid human characteristics if you want to talk about his purpose! And what’s wrong with doing so? You agree that he “possibly” (previously “probably”) has human characteristics, and you even insist that you know which ones he doesn’t have! (Besides, you had him caring so much that he tried and failed to correct some of the errors resulting from his high-speed system.) But your answer does enable you once more to avoid the problem of his directly designing Covid-19 et al and your certainty that he is interested in all that’s going on but can’t have wanted to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: I must keep repeating I don't understand your illogical complaint about my logical conclusion God chose to evolve us. You simply describe evolution and complain about it.

dhw: I do not complain about your belief that God chose to evolve us. I complain about your combined beliefs that we were his one and only purpose, and yet he directly designed millions of life forms, econiches etc. which, according to you, were “part of the goal of evolving humans” although 99% of them had no connection with humans! You admit that you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method, and yet you still twist and turn in order to avoid the illogicality of your theory.

DAVID: You twist. I don't. The connection with humans is that humans evolved like everything here.

This is getting sillier and sillier. According to you he designed every life form. If his only aim was to design humans, why did he design all the extinct life forms that had no connection with humans? You have told us again and again that you have no idea, so why don’t you just leave it at that?

Coelacanth

dhw: […] would you please explain how the coelacanth constitutes “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

DAVID: Part of the ecosystem method of food supply.

All life forms are/were part of their ecosystem. That does not mean that all life forms and their food supplies were directly designed for the purpose of designing H. sapiens and his food supply.

Transposons

DAVID: Survival is not a proven theory but Darwin-speak guess work. The apes prove our brain was not needed for survival.

No they don’t. We have no idea why certain groups of apes descended from the trees, but it is perfectly feasible that local environments made it necessary or more advantageous for them to do so, while elsewhere apes were perfectly fine as they were. What do you think would have been the main preoccupation of the earliest hominins?

Insect plasticity

DAVID: As butterflies enter new environments their brains change:
DAVID: I'll stick to brain plasticity is widespread.

dhw: Of course it is. And the plasticity allows life forms to make changes to themselves as they “enter new environments” – as opposed to your God having to preprogramme or dabble all the changes before they “enter new environments”. And this process has gone on for thousands of millions of years, involving millions of life forms that no longer exist and had no connection with humans, and yet you stick to your mantra that all of them “were part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans.”

DAVID: See my new entry on DNA pre-planning. You always seem to forget that bacteria are here successfully since the beginning. Their example offers no reason for evolution going any further, does it?

I never stop reminding you, because they are the living proof that NONE of the later life forms were "needed", and so it is absurd to argue that humans are special because their brain was not "needed". They are special because they have unique qualities.

DAVID: Therefore evolution had an advancing guiding force, which is not the Darwinist survival daydream of a theory.

What “daydream”? What do you think is/was the prime driving force behind all life forms if not survival? Multicellularity – i.e. the cooperation of cell communities – clearly provided new means of survival. Or do you think every new organ and strategy and natural wonder came into existence just for the fun of it?

DAVID: Darwin wisely avoided the issue of origin of life and he doesn't ever explain how the earliest organisms had the intelligence to know how to manage an advance. Now we see DNA was setup for prompt advances. Clever designer at work.

Nobody can explain how advances take place, but those of us who believe in common descent will of course agree that the first cells must have contained a mechanism that would lead to all the advances! Cellular intelligence (perhaps provided by God) is one theory, Darwin opted for random mutations refined by natural selection, and you opt for a divine 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled change.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, February 12, 2021, 16:04 (90 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: With God I am trapped into using humanizing words to describe His non-human state.

dhw: Nobody says he is human. But you can’t avoid human characteristics if you want to talk about his purpose! And what’s wrong with doing so? You agree that he “possibly” (previously “probably”) has human characteristics, and you even insist that you know which ones he doesn’t have! (Besides, you had him caring so much that he tried and failed to correct some of the errors resulting from his high-speed system.) But your answer does enable you once more to avoid the problem of his directly designing Covid-19 et al and your certainty that he is interested in all that’s going on but can’t have wanted to create something that would interest him.

Aside from the possibility that the Chinese designed the virus, it probably arose from mutations of any earlier existing corona virus, God not involved. Wanting to create an interesting item is pure humanizing. God has purpose in creation, not to provide interest to avoid boredom. Is He interested in the result? Of course He would be as a secondary effect, not as a primary as you pose it..


DAVID: You twist. I don't. The connection with humans is that humans evolved like everything here.

dhw: This is getting sillier and sillier. According to you he designed every life form. If his only aim was to design humans, why did he design all the extinct life forms that had no connection with humans? You have told us again and again that you have no idea, so why don’t you just leave it at that?

As usual you ignore food supply.

Transposons

DAVID: Survival is not a proven theory but Darwin-speak guess work. The apes prove our brain was not needed for survival.

dhw: No they don’t. We have no idea why certain groups of apes descended from the trees, but it is perfectly feasible that local environments made it necessary or more advantageous for them to do so, while elsewhere apes were perfectly fine as they were. What do you think would have been the main preoccupation of the earliest hominins?

Food supply and protection from dangers, same as apes.


Insect plasticity

DAVID: See my new entry on DNA pre-planning. You always seem to forget that bacteria are here successfully since the beginning. Their example offers no reason for evolution going any further, does it?

dhw: I never stop reminding you, because they are the living proof that NONE of the later life forms were "needed", and so it is absurd to argue that humans are special because their brain was not "needed". They are special because they have unique qualities.

You forgotten to tell me all advances are the result of the need for survival.


DAVID: Therefore evolution had an advancing guiding force, which is not the Darwinist survival daydream of a theory.

dhw: What “daydream”? What do you think is/was the prime driving force behind all life forms if not survival? Multicellularity – i.e. the cooperation of cell communities – clearly provided new means of survival. Or do you think every new organ and strategy and natural wonder came into existence just for the fun of it?

For God's purpose. Ah, I knew survival would appear. Still no explanation for the human brain, except Adler's, on the basis of pure survival. Your Darwin steak is showing. I've never accepted the idea.


DAVID: Darwin wisely avoided the issue of origin of life and he doesn't ever explain how the earliest organisms had the intelligence to know how to manage an advance. Now we see DNA was setup for prompt advances. Clever designer at work.

dhw: Nobody can explain how advances take place, but those of us who believe in common descent will of course agree that the first cells must have contained a mechanism that would lead to all the advances! Cellular intelligence (perhaps provided by God) is one theory, Darwin opted for random mutations refined by natural selection, and you opt for a divine 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled change.

I simply posit God speciates.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, February 13, 2021, 12:11 (89 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: [...] once more [you] avoid the problem of his directly designing Covid-19 et al and your certainty that he is interested in all that’s going on but can’t have wanted to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Aside from the possibility that the Chinese designed the virus, it probably arose from mutations of any earlier existing corona virus, God not involved. Wanting to create an interesting item is pure humanizing. God has purpose in creation, not to provide interest to avoid boredom. Is He interested in the result? Of course He would be as a secondary effect, not as a primary as you pose it

You have said your God designed all bad bacteria and viruses. Presumably his design allows them to mutate. The question is why he designed them. Why tell us God has a purpose in creating life (including humans) if you refuse to discuss what that purpose might be? And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

dhw: If his only aim was to design humans, why did he design all the extinct life forms that had no connection with humans? You have told us again and again that you have no idea, so why don’t you just leave it at that?

DAVID: As usual you ignore food supply.

ALL forms of life have to have food. How does that mean that the 99% of them that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of evolving humans? Please stop playing this silly dodging game!

Transposons

DAVID: Survival is not a proven theory but Darwin-speak guess work. The apes prove our brain was not needed for survival.

dhw: No they don’t. We have no idea why certain groups of apes descended from the trees, but it is perfectly feasible that local environments made it necessary or more advantageous for them to do so, while elsewhere apes were perfectly fine as they were. What do you think would have been the main preoccupation of the earliest hominins?

DAVID: Food supply and protection from dangers, same as apes.

Thank you. Food supply and protection from dangers = survival.

Insect plasticity

DAVID: You always seem to forget that bacteria are here successfully since the beginning. Their example offers no reason for evolution going any further, does it?

dhw: I never stop reminding you, because they are the living proof that NONE of the later life forms were "needed", and so it is absurd to argue that humans are special because their brain was not "needed". They are special because they have unique qualities.

DAVID: You forgotten to tell me all advances are the result of the need for survival.

I have objected to your insistence that humans are unique because bacteria have survived and so we were not needed. NO multicellular life form was “needed”. Our advances in improving our chances of survival put us streets ahead of other life forms, and our branching out into other activities not directly connected with survival certainly make us unique. But, to re-enter the context of this particular discussion, that does not mean every other life form extant and extinct was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” – the illogical part of your theory which you are so desperate to avoid even mentioning.

DAVID: Therefore evolution had an advancing guiding force, which is not the Darwinist survival daydream of a theory.

dhw:[…] Multicellularity – i.e. the cooperation of cell communities – clearly provided new means of survival. Or do you think every new organ and strategy and natural wonder came into existence just for the fun of it?

DAVID: For God's purpose. Ah, I knew survival would appear. Still no explanation for the human brain, except Adler's, on the basis of pure survival. Your Darwin steak is showing. I've never accepted the idea.

Why don’t you answer my now bolded question? You yourself have even pointed out that the first sapiens did nothing much except survive until there was an explosion of activity in more recent times. By then we had our brains.

DAVID: […] Now we see DNA was setup for prompt advances. Clever designer at work.

dhw: […] those of us who believe in common descent will of course agree that the first cells must have contained a mechanism that would lead to all the advances! Cellular intelligence (perhaps provided by God) is one theory, Darwin opted for random mutations refined by natural selection, and you opt for a divine 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled change.

DAVID: I simply posit God speciates.

No you don’t! You posit that your God directly designed every life form, econiche, natural wonder etc., and all of them were designed as “part of the goal of evolving humans” although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Please, please, stop this silly dodging game.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 13, 2021, 18:27 (89 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Aside from the possibility that the Chinese designed the virus, it probably arose from mutations of any earlier existing corona virus, God not involved. Wanting to create an interesting item is pure humanizing. God has purpose in creation, not to provide interest to avoid boredom. Is He interested in the result? Of course He would be as a secondary effect, not as a primary as you pose it

dhw: You have said your God designed all bad bacteria and viruses. Presumably his design allows them to mutate. The question is why he designed them. Why tell us God has a purpose in creating life (including humans) if you refuse to discuss what that purpose might be?

Ad nauseum, His final point of purpose was for humans with big-brained consciousness to appear. No refusal, as you claim. We have discussed viruses as aiding in the process of evolution as one possible 'good' role. Viruses enter DNA as contributing residents.

dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

God is above having to create something for self-entertainment. My view of His personality fully differs from your humanizing thoughts.


dhw: If his only aim was to design humans, why did he design all the extinct life forms that had no connection with humans? You have told us again and again that you have no idea, so why don’t you just leave it at that?

DAVID: As usual you ignore food supply.

dhw: ALL forms of life have to have food. How does that mean that the 99% of them that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of evolving humans? Please stop playing this silly dodging game!

No dodge. All steps of evolution to humans to all preceding forms.


Transposons

DAVID: Food supply and protection from dangers, same as apes.

dhw: Thank you. Food supply and protection from dangers = survival.

Our brains were far beyond that need, as you well know


Insect plasticity

DAVID: You forgotten to tell me all advances are the result of the need for survival.

dhw: I have objected to your insistence that humans are unique because bacteria have survived and so we were not needed. NO multicellular life form was “needed”... to re-enter the context of this particular discussion, that does not mean every other life form extant and extinct was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” – the illogical part of your theory which you are so desperate to avoid even mentioning.

No dodge. We came through evolution from all those extinct 99% forms and necessary food supply.


DAVID: Therefore evolution had an advancing guiding force, which is not the Darwinist survival daydream of a theory.

dhw:[…] Multicellularity – i.e. the cooperation of cell communities – clearly provided new means of survival. Or do you think every new organ and strategy and natural wonder came into existence just for the fun of it?

DAVID: For God's purpose. Ah, I knew survival would appear. Still no explanation for the human brain, except Adler's, on the basis of pure survival. Your Darwin steak is showing. I've never accepted the idea.

dhw: Why don’t you answer my now bolded question? You yourself have even pointed out that the first sapiens did nothing much except survive until there was an explosion of activity in more recent times. By then we had our brains.

The new organs were part of the necessary advance in complexity to create us.


DAVID: I simply posit God speciates.

dhw: No you don’t! You posit that your God directly designed every life form, econiche, natural wonder etc., and all of them were designed as “part of the goal of evolving humans” although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Please, please, stop this silly dodging game.

Of course God is the designer of life and the steps to humans make humans are all related to human creation. Your weirdly illogically chopped up evolution into unrelated segments makes no sense. Evolution is a single process.

Back to theodicy: good gut bugs can turn bad

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 13, 2021, 20:07 (89 days ago) @ David Turell

E. coli is usually a good resident, but can pick up genes and turn bad:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210212111914.htm

"An international team of scientists has determined how harmless E. coli gut bacteria in chickens can easily pick up the genes required to evolve to cause a life-threatening infection.

***

"Avian pathogenic E.coli (APEC) is most common infection in chickens reared for meat or eggs. It can lead to death in up to 20 per cent of cases and causes multi-million pound losses in the poultry industry. The problem is made worse by increasing antibiotic resistance and infections also pose a risk of causing disease in humans.

***

"The team of scientists, led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, sequenced and analysed the whole genomes of E. coli bacteria found in healthy and infected chickens bred at commercial poultry farms to better understand why and how these normally innocuous bugs can turn deadly.

"They found there was no single gene responsible for switching a harmless bacterium into a pathogenic one, but rather that it could be caused by several combinations of a diverse group of genes.

"Their results indicate that all bacteria in chicken intestines have the potential to pick up the genes they need to turn into a dangerous infection, through a process called horizontal gene transfer.

***

"'But our study compared the genomes of disease-causing and harmless E. coli in chickens and found that they can 'turn bad' simply by picking up genes from their environment.

"'Bacteria do this all the time inside the guts of chicken, but most of the time the scavenged genes are detrimental to the bacteria so it becomes an evolutionary dead end. (my bold)

***

"Professor Sheppard said: "We identified around 20 genes that are common in pathogenic bugs and if we can look out for these key genes in a flock of birds, that would help farmers target those carriers before they cause a problem.'"

Comment: We are back to the same issue of why are there bad bugs? E' coli perform good services in the intestine generally, but are a common cause of urine infection in women due to female anatomy. They accidently end up in the wrong place. Not God's fault. Note my bold that most of the gene transfers are fatal. Gene transfer is an accepted mechanism for adaptation and evolutionary change or advance. I assume it was designed by God. And perhaps, note my bold, He set this circumstance up to control bad gene transfers, or I admit, like the urine infections an accident, or an uncontrolled mistake.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, February 14, 2021, 15:52 (88 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why tell us God has a purpose in creating life (including humans) if you refuse to discuss what that purpose might be?

DAVID: Ad nauseum, His final point of purpose was for humans with big-brained consciousness to appear.

That cannot be a “final point of purpose”! I’m asking what was his purpose in creating life, including humans?

DAVID: No refusal, as you claim. We have discussed viruses as aiding in the process of evolution as one possible 'good' role. Viruses enter DNA as contributing residents.

Your problem is why he created the bad viruses, not the good ones.

DAVID (on E-coli): […] Note my bold that most of the gene transfers are fatal. Gene transfer is an accepted mechanism for adaptation and evolutionary change or advance. I assume it was designed by God. And perhaps, note my bold, He set this circumstance up to control bad gene transfers, or I admit, like the urine infections an accident, or an uncontrolled mistake.

If God designed the system, the bad bacteria and the bad viruses that lead to appalling suffering and death (not to mention urine infections), then there is a problem for those who think of their God as “caring”. I don’t know why you refuse even to consider the possibility that your God did NOT design them all, and did NOT make mistakes, but deliberately created a free-for-all, and your next response simply repeats your own self-contradictions.

dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

DAVID: God is above having to create something for self-entertainment, My view of His personality fully differs from your humanizing thoughts.

I have rejected your loaded term “entertainment” and have used your own vocabulary – you are sure your God is “interested” in his creations. You also regard it as possible (previously probable) that your God has patterns of thought and emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

dhw: If his only aim was to design humans, why did he design all the extinct life forms that had no connection with humans? You have told us again and again that you have no idea, so why don’t you just leave it at that?

DAVID: As usual you ignore food supply.

dhw: ALL forms of life have to have food. How does that mean that the 99% of them that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of evolving humans? Please stop playing this silly dodging game!

We now have a series of responses to the same set of questions arising from different posts.

1 DAVID:No dodge. All steps of evolution to humans to all preceding forms.
2 DAVID: We came through evolution from all those extinct 99% forms and necessary food supply.
3 DAVID: The new organs were part of the necessary advance in complexity to create us.
4 DAVID: Of course God is the designer of life and the steps to humans make humans are all related to human creation.
5 DAVID: Your weirdly illogically chopped up evolution into unrelated segments makes no sense. Evolution is a single process.

1 Meaning not clear. Perhaps you meant from all preceding forms, in which case please explain the connection between sapiens and the brontosaurus (plus a few million others). 2 Same as 1. 3. How were the wings of archaeopteryx necessary for our evolution? 4 Of course the steps to humans made humans. How did the steps to the brontosaurus and the archaeopteryx etc. make humans? 5 Evolution is a single process whereby vast numbers of different life forms descended from bacteria (= common descent). But 99% of those life forms are extinct and had no connection with humans or with their food supply. In your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”, and the brontosaurus had no connection with humans, and 99% of past life forms and econiches likewise had no connection with humans. You have agreed that you have no idea why your God would have chosen to design all these other unconnected life forms etc. if his only purpose had been to design humans, and I wish you would leave it at that.

Transposons

dhw: What do you think would have been the main preoccupation of the earliest hominins?

DAVID: Food supply and protection from dangers, same as apes.

dhw: Thank you. Food supply and protection from dangers = survival.

DAVID: Our brains were far beyond that need, as you well know.

You pooh-poohed the theory that our brain was needed for survival. I suggested that the earliest forms of human from which we have evolved were just as preoccupied with survival as the apes, and so were the earliest sapiens. Hence the long period of stasis before we embarked on the course that has led to our current civilisation – which is still linked primarily to survival but has now extended into a vast range of other activities.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 14, 2021, 18:31 (88 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Ad nauseum, His final point of purpose was for humans with big-brained consciousness to appear.

dhw: That cannot be a “final point of purpose”! I’m asking what was his purpose in creating life, including humans?

He created early life to evolve humans. We don't know why He created this universe if not for that.


dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

DAVID: God is above having to create something for self-entertainment, My view of His personality fully differs from your humanizing thoughts.

dhw: I have rejected your loaded term “entertainment” and have used your own vocabulary – you are sure your God is “interested” in his creations. You also regard it as possible (previously probable) that your God has patterns of thought and emotions and other attributes similar to ours.

Simply, God has no need to entertain Himself.

dhw: We now have a series of responses to the same set of questions arising from different posts.

1 DAVID:No dodge. All steps of evolution to humans to all preceding forms.
2 DAVID: We came through evolution from all those extinct 99% forms and necessary food supply.
3 DAVID: The new organs were part of the necessary advance in complexity to create us.
4 DAVID: Of course God is the designer of life and the steps to humans make humans are all related to human creation.
5 DAVID: Your weirdly illogically chopped up evolution into unrelated segments makes no sense. Evolution is a single process.

f

dhw: 1 Meaning not clear. Perhaps you meant from all preceding forms, in which case please explain the connection between sapiens and the brontosaurus (plus a few million others). 2 Same as 1. 3. How were the wings of archaeopteryx necessary for our evolution? 4 Of course the steps to humans made humans. How did the steps to the brontosaurus and the archaeopteryx etc. make humans? 5 Evolution is a single process whereby vast numbers of different life forms descended from bacteria (= common descent). But 99% of those life forms are extinct and had no connection with humans or with their food supply. In your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”, and the brontosaurus had no connection with humans, and 99% of past life forms and econiches likewise had no connection with humans. You have agreed that you have no idea why your God would have chosen to design all these other unconnected life forms etc. if his only purpose had been to design humans, and I wish you would leave it at that.

I'll leave it at God chose to evolve us from bacteria. Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all


Transposons

dhw: What do you think would have been the main preoccupation of the earliest hominins?

DAVID: Food supply and protection from dangers, same as apes.

dhw: Thank you. Food supply and protection from dangers = survival.

DAVID: Our brains were far beyond that need, as you well know.

dhw: You pooh-poohed the theory that our brain was needed for survival. I suggested that the earliest forms of human from which we have evolved were just as preoccupied with survival as the apes, and so were the earliest sapiens. Hence the long period of stasis before we embarked on the course that has led to our current civilisation – which is still linked primarily to survival but has now extended into a vast range of other activities.

Agreed. Yes, just as worried about survival as apes with a giant brain not being used to its full capabilities until we discovered how to really use it. That is the stasis period explained in alternate way.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, February 15, 2021, 12:24 (87 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We have discussed viruses as aiding in the process of evolution as one possible 'good' role. Viruses enter DNA as contributing residents.

Your problem is why he created the bad viruses, not the good ones.

DAVID (on E-coli): […] Note my bold that most of the gene transfers are fatal. Gene transfer is an accepted mechanism for adaptation and evolutionary change or advance. I assume it was designed by God. And perhaps […], He set this circumstance up to control bad gene transfers, or I admit, like the urine infections an accident, or an uncontrolled mistake.

If God designed the system, the bad bacteria and the bad viruses that lead to appalling suffering and death (not to mention urine infections), then there is a problem for those who think of their God as kind and caring (hence “theodicy”). I don’t know why you refuse even to consider the possibility that your God did NOT design them all, and did NOT make mistakes, but deliberately created a free-for-all […]

Viral DNA in us

QUOTE: Those extensive viral regions are much more than evolutionary relics: They may be deeply involved with a wide range of diseases including multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), along with certain types of dementia and cancer.

DAVID: I assume God designed viruses like all of life (recognizing viruses are half-alive). Viruses play a role in evolution which makes that design reasonable. TDP-43 offers good control of events, until it is damaged or changed. This is a mistake by a molecule. I don't think we should blame God. Normal TDP-43 is God's designed protection, but molecules can make their own mistakes outside of His controls.

Same again: God designed the bacteria and the viruses and the molecules in such a way that their behaviour could lead to MS, ALS, dementia, cancer etc., but apparently the design is not the fault of the designer, and we should only focus on all the nice things that bacteria, viruses and molecules get up to. That’s the way to solve the problem of theodicy!

DAVID: His final point of purpose was for humans with big-brained consciousness to appear.

dhw: That cannot be a “final point of purpose”! I’m asking what was his purpose in creating life, including humans?

DAVID: He created early life to evolve humans. We don't know why He created this universe if not for that.

We don’t “know” if there is a God who created early life, let alone why he did it, but one of your problems on this thread is to tell us why, if humans were his only purpose, he created “early life”, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Simply, God has no need to entertain Himself.

You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: I'll leave it at God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

If he exists, he chose to evolve [by which you mean directly design] all life forms from bacteria, including 99% of extinct forms which had no connection with “us”.

DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:
The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. You have agreed that you have no idea why your God would have chosen to design all these other unconnected life forms etc. if his only purpose was to design humans, and I wish you would leave it at that.

Transposons

dhw: You pooh-poohed the theory that our brain was needed for survival. I suggested that the earliest forms of human from which we have evolved were just as preoccupied with survival as the apes, and so were the earliest sapiens. Hence the long period of stasis before we embarked on the course that has led to our current civilisation – which is still linked primarily to survival but has now extended into a vast range of other activities.

DAVID: Agreed. Yes, just as worried about survival as apes with a giant brain not being used to its full capabilities until we discovered how to really use it. That is the stasis period explained in alternate way.

Thank you for agreeing that the need for survival was the driving force even for early sapiens with their giant brain. The fact that the drive for survival has led us to explore other fields of activity does not invalidate its continued importance to many of our products. Stasis is explained by the fact that throughout life’s history and human history, there have been long periods when life forms continued to exist without the need or the new ideas that can lead to further developments.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, February 15, 2021, 22:44 (87 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If God designed the system, the bad bacteria and the bad viruses that lead to appalling suffering and death (not to mention urine infections), then there is a problem for those who think of their God as kind and caring (hence “theodicy”). I don’t know why you refuse even to consider the possibility that your God did NOT design them all, and did NOT make mistakes, but deliberately created a free-for-all […]

I believed in God and have a vision of His personality. It doesn't ever cover your thoughts about Him and his purposes or intents. My God would not have loosey-goosey uncontrolled evolution


Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I assume God designed viruses like all of life (recognizing viruses are half-alive). Viruses play a role in evolution which makes that design reasonable. TDP-43 offers good control of events, until it is damaged or changed. This is a mistake by a molecule. I don't think we should blame God. Normal TDP-43 is God's designed protection, but molecules can make their own mistakes outside of His controls.

dhw: Same again: God designed the bacteria and the viruses and the molecules in such a way that their behaviour could lead to MS, ALS, dementia, cancer etc., but apparently the design is not the fault of the designer, and we should only focus on all the nice things that bacteria, viruses and molecules get up to. That’s the way to solve the problem of theodicy!

I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

dhw: And from where do you get your inside information that he’s interested but didn’t create life in order to have something interesting to watch?

DAVID: Simply, God has no need to entertain Himself.

dhw: You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

Again , pure humanizing


DAVID: I'll leave it at God chose to evolve us from bacteria.

dhw: If he exists, he chose to evolve [by which you mean directly design] all life forms from bacteria, including 99% of extinct forms which had no connection with “us”.

DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:
The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. You have agreed that you have no idea why your God would have chosen to design all these other unconnected life forms etc. if his only purpose was to design humans, and I wish you would leave it at that.

You/we can leave it at food supply is vital.


Transposons

dhw: You pooh-poohed the theory that our brain was needed for survival. I suggested that the earliest forms of human from which we have evolved were just as preoccupied with survival as the apes, and so were the earliest sapiens. Hence the long period of stasis before we embarked on the course that has led to our current civilisation – which is still linked primarily to survival but has now extended into a vast range of other activities.

DAVID: Agreed. Yes, just as worried about survival as apes with a giant brain not being used to its full capabilities until we discovered how to really use it. That is the stasis period explained in alternate way.

dhw: Thank you for agreeing that the need for survival was the driving force even for early sapiens with their giant brain. The fact that the drive for survival has led us to explore other fields of activity does not invalidate its continued importance to many of our products. Stasis is explained by the fact that throughout life’s history and human history, there have been long periods when life forms continued to exist without the need or the new ideas that can lead to further developments.

'Worried about survival' does not mean that worry itself caused their big brain. As a young adult my worry about survival led me to pursue medicine as a career. Stop distorting.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 12:15 (86 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God designed the system, the bad bacteria and the bad viruses that lead to appalling suffering and death (not to mention urine infections), then there is a problem for those who think of their God as kind and caring (hence “theodicy”). I don’t know why you refuse even to consider the possibility that your God did NOT design them all, and did NOT make mistakes, but deliberately created a free-for-all […]

DAVID: I believed in God and have a vision of His personality. It doesn't ever cover your thoughts about Him and his purposes or intents. My God would not have loosey-goosey uncontrolled evolution.

Do tell us your vision of his personality. So far you have only told us your vision of what is NOT his personality, but you have been absolutely specific about his purpose: all he wanted was to design H. sapiens, and since you deny him the freedom to want a free-for-all, he is also a control freak. This blinkered vision leads you to the illogical theory that although he only had one purpose in mind (to design humans and their food supply), he proceeded to design millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and you have no idea why he would have done so.

Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I assume God designed viruses like all of life (recognizing viruses are half-alive). Viruses play a role in evolution which makes that design reasonable. TDP-43 offers good control of events, until it is damaged or changed. This is a mistake by a molecule. I don't think we should blame God. Normal TDP-43 is God's designed protection, but molecules can make their own mistakes outside of His controls.

dhw: Same again: God designed the bacteria and the viruses and the molecules in such a way that their behaviour could lead to MS, ALS, dementia, cancer etc., but apparently the design is not the fault of the designer, and we should only focus on all the nice things that bacteria, viruses and molecules get up to. That’s the way to solve the problem of theodicy!

DAVID: I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

Why don’t you return to the fact that since you have no idea how your beliefs can fit in with the facts of life’s history, your beliefs might be wrong?

dhw: You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: Again , pure humanizing.
Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

dhw: Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:
The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. […] I wish you would leave it at that.

DAVID: You/we can leave it at food supply is vital.

Food supply is and was vital to ALL forms of life, not just humans. If only you would stop repeating these obfuscations and self-contradictions, we could move on.

Transposons

dhw: Thank you for agreeing that the need for survival was the driving force even for early sapiens with their giant brain. The fact that the drive for survival has led us to explore other fields of activity does not invalidate its continued importance to many of our products. Stasis is explained by the fact that throughout life’s history and human history, there have been long periods when life forms continued to exist without the need or the new ideas that can lead to further developments.

DAVID: 'Worried about survival' does not mean that worry itself caused their big brain. As a young adult my worry about survival led me to pursue medicine as a career. Stop distorting.

It is you who have distorted the argument by introducing the word “worried”. You have agreed that the drive for survival is and was the prime purpose of all life forms, including humans. Of course it’s not “worry” that changes brains! My proposal is that it’s the need to cope with new conditions or to implement new ideas that causes brain change.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 17:56 (86 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I believed in God and have a vision of His personality. It doesn't ever cover your thoughts about Him and his purposes or intents. My God would not have loosey-goosey uncontrolled evolution.

dhw: Do tell us your vision of his personality. So far you have only told us your vision of what is NOT his personality, but you have been absolutely specific about his purpose: all he wanted was to design H. sapiens, and since you deny him the freedom to want a free-for-all, he is also a control freak. This blinkered vision leads you to the illogical theory that although he only had one purpose in mind (to design humans and their food supply), he proceeded to design millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans, and you have no idea why he would have done so.

My God designs purposely to reach His desired goals. If you think He is a control freak, that is ca human concept in our society, not at the God level of proper analysis. You might as well stop repeating your 99% mantra, as I will always totally reject it as absolutely illogical.


Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

dhw: Why don’t you return to the fact that since you have no idea how your beliefs can fit in with the facts of life’s history, your beliefs might be wrong?

My facts fit my concept of life's history. it is your use of logic that is struggling.


dhw: You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: Again , pure humanizing.

dhw: Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

'
My current position, only as to use of logic. Remember?


DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

dhw: Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:

The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. […] I wish you would leave it at that.[/i]

DAVID: You/we can leave it at food supply is vital.

dhw: Food supply is and was vital to ALL forms of life, not just humans. If only you would stop repeating these obfuscations and self-contradictions, we could move on.

I don't obfuscate, and you torture quotations of mine. The bold is such torture. How can extinct life have a current role? Obvious statement.


Transposons

dhw: Thank you for agreeing that the need for survival was the driving force even for early sapiens with their giant brain. The fact that the drive for survival has led us to explore other fields of activity does not invalidate its continued importance to many of our products. Stasis is explained by the fact that throughout life’s history and human history, there have been long periods when life forms continued to exist without the need or the new ideas that can lead to further developments.

DAVID: 'Worried about survival' does not mean that worry itself caused their big brain. As a young adult my worry about survival led me to pursue medicine as a career. Stop distorting.

dhw: It is you who have distorted the argument by introducing the word “worried”. You have agreed that the drive for survival is and was the prime purpose of all life forms, including humans. Of course it’s not “worry” that changes brains! My proposal is that it’s the need to cope with new conditions or to implement new ideas that causes brain change.

And it is my view God prepares living organisms for the future needs, as our brain.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 13:10 (85 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My God designs purposely to reach His desired goals.

So does the God of my free-for-all.

DAVID: If you think He is a control freak, that is ca human concept in our society, not at the God level of proper analysis.

It is you who consider him a control freak because you insist that he would never give up control of evolution! This is YOUR view of his nature!

DAVID: You might as well stop repeating your 99% mantra, as I will always totally reject it as absolutely illogical.

What is illogical? You have agreed that 99% of extinct life forms had no connection with humans, and you have no idea why he would have designed them if his only goal was to design humans.

Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

dhw: Why don’t you return to the fact that since you have no idea how your beliefs can fit in with the facts of life’s history, your beliefs might be wrong?

DAVID: My facts fit my concept of life's history. it is your use of logic that is struggling.

Then, for the thousandth time, please explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, designed millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. I quote (amongst other quotes): “extinct life has no role in current time”.

dhw: You are sure he watches his creations (including humans) with interest (“entertain” is your expression). How do you know that he didn’t want to create something he could watch with interest?

DAVID: Again , pure humanizing.

dhw: Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: My current position, only as to use of logic. Remember?

February 6 or 7: “All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.”

It is, of course, absurd to separate “desires” (e.g. the desire to create something interesting) from human thought patterns and emotions. And why is it illogical for a Creator to want to create things that will interest him?

DAVID: Evolution connects all of us. And as usual you forget a vast bush means food for all.

dhw: Common descent connects all of “us” with bacteria, but not with every other life form that ever existed. Re food and all the unconnected species, I’ll repeat your own words, since you keep trying to forget them:
The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” , “extinct life has no role in current time”. […] ]

DAVID: [..] you torture quotations of mine. The bold is such torture. How can extinct life have a current role? Obvious statement.

What “torture”? I’ve quoted you, and you state that what you said is obvious! So if the extinct bush with food supplies obviously has no role in current time, why do you offer the vast bush of food as a reason for your claim that every life form is/was “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

Transposons

dhw: […] You have agreed that the drive for survival is and was the prime purpose of all life forms, including humans. Of course it’s not “worry” that changes brains! My proposal is that it’s the need to cope with new conditions or to implement new ideas that causes brain change.

DAVID: And it is my view God prepares living organisms for the future needs, as our brain.

And the “need” that all living organisms have in common is survival. See “pre-planning” for your preparation theory.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 17:54 (85 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: It is you who consider him a control freak because you insist that he would never give up control of evolution! This is YOUR view of his nature!

This is your humanized version of His nature. It is a derogatory term for humans!!!


Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

dhw: Why don’t you return to the fact that since you have no idea how your beliefs can fit in with the facts of life’s history, your beliefs might be wrong?

DAVID: My facts fit my concept of life's history. it is your use of logic that is struggling.

dhw: Then, for the thousandth time, please explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, designed millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. I quote (amongst other quotes): “extinct life has no role in current time”.

The bolded quote is obvious. There is no contemporaneous time connection, as you try to distort a misinterpretation of it.


dhw: Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: My current position, only as to use of logic. Remember?

dhw: February 6 or 7: “All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.”

dhw: It is, of course, absurd to separate “desires” (e.g. the desire to create something interesting) from human thought patterns and emotions. And why is it illogical for a Creator to want to create things that will interest him?

He is above finding a creation for self-interest. You do not understand how you humanize Him.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:00 (84 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It is you who consider him a control freak because you insist that he would never give up control of evolution! This is YOUR view of his nature!

DAVID: This is your humanized version of His nature. It is a derogatory term for humans!!!

What language do you expect me to speak? A control freak is someone who wishes to be in control of every situation, and that is precisely your “humanized” description of your God, which is why you reject the very idea of his creating a free-for-all.

Viral DNA in us

DAVID: I have to return to we don't understand everything, but will find OK answers later on.

dhw: Why don’t you return to the fact that since you have no idea how your beliefs can fit in with the facts of life’s history, your beliefs might be wrong?

DAVID: My facts fit my concept of life's history. it is your use of logic that is struggling.

dhw: Then, for the thousandth time, please explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, designed millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. I quote (amongst other quotes): “extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: The bolded quote is obvious. There is no contemporaneous time connection, as you try to distort a misinterpretation of it.

Yes, it is obvious, so please tell us what role extinct life (let’s say, the brontosaurus), which you claim was "part of the goal of evolving humans", plays in our human present.

dhw: Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: My current position, only as to use of logic. Remember?

dhw: February 6 or 7: “All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.”
It is, of course, absurd to separate “desires” (e.g. the desire to create something interesting) from human thought patterns and emotions. And why is it illogical for a Creator to want to create things that will interest him?

DAVID: He is above finding a creation for self-interest. You do not understand how you humanize Him.

I understand perfectly well that a Creator who creates something that will interest him would have a human pattern of thought similar to ours (though it might be more accurate to say that we have a pattern similar to his). And you agree that it is possible. By what authority do you claim that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them in order to create something that would interest him?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 18, 2021, 17:24 (84 days ago) @ dhw

Viral DNA in us

dhw: Then, for the thousandth time, please explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, designed millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. I quote (amongst other quotes): “extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: The bolded quote is obvious. There is no contemporaneous time connection, as you try to distort a misinterpretation of it.

dhw: Yes, it is obvious, so please tell us what role extinct life (let’s say, the brontosaurus), which you claim was "part of the goal of evolving humans", plays in our human present.

Evolving humans went through necessary complexifying stages that included the Bronto.


dhw: Please stop playing this cracked record. You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: My current position, only as to use of logic. Remember?

dhw: February 6 or 7: “All we can be sure of is logic on his part. His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires.”
It is, of course, absurd to separate “desires” (e.g. the desire to create something interesting) from human thought patterns and emotions. And why is it illogical for a Creator to want to create things that will interest him?

DAVID: He is above finding a creation for self-interest. You do not understand how you humanize Him.

dhw: I understand perfectly well that a Creator who creates something that will interest him would have a human pattern of thought similar to ours (though it might be more accurate to say that we have a pattern similar to his). And you agree that it is possible. By what authority do you claim that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them in order to create something that would interest him?

We create movies, plays, novels, TV sitcoms, etc. All for human entertainment. You claim God needs entertainment. He is above that aa a person like no other person. (Adler) Your 'God' will never resemble my view of God.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, February 19, 2021, 11:00 (83 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Then, for the thousandth time, please explain why a God whose one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, designed millions of life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. I quote (amongst other quotes): “extinct life has no role in current time”.

DAVID: The bolded quote is obvious. There is no contemporaneous time connection, as you try to distort a misinterpretation of it.

dhw: Yes, it is obvious, so please tell us what role extinct life (let’s say, the brontosaurus), which you claim was "part of the goal of evolving humans", plays in our human present.

DAVID: Evolving humans went through necessary complexifying stages that included the Bronto.

Bearing in mind your insistence that your God directly designed every life form, do you truly believe that your God could not have designed H. sapiens if he had not designed the brontosaurus plus the other millions of extinct life forms, 99% of which you have agreed had no connection with humans?

dhw: You have agreed that he possibly (and earlier probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.[…]

DAVID: […] He is above finding a creation for self-interest. You do not understand how you humanize Him.

dhw: I understand perfectly well that a Creator who creates something that will interest him would have a human pattern of thought similar to ours (though it might be more accurate to say that we have a pattern similar to his). And you agree that it is possible. By what authority do you claim that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them in order to create something that would interest him?

DAVID: We create movies, plays, novels, TV sitcoms, etc. All for human entertainment. You claim God needs entertainment. He is above that aa a person like no other person. (Adler) Your 'God' will never resemble my view of God.

How many more times must I tell you that “entertainment” is your choice of derogatory terminology? I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.

Magnetic field reversal

DAVID: The magnetic field protects us from most harmful rays. It is a must have. Why it flips and that lasts 1,000 years is not explained. And so it is another issue for theodicy discussion wondering if God has a reason for this phenomenon that might be required.

Yes, one could well include mass extinctions as part of the theodicy problem, along with diseases resulting from errors in the system, bad bacteria and bad viruses. They all fit in perfectly with the theory that if God exists, he set up a complete system whereby changes in the environment would bring about changes in life forms and behaviours, as organisms individually and autonomously responded or failed to respond to the new requirements.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, February 19, 2021, 19:16 (83 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The bolded quote is obvious. There is no contemporaneous time connection, as you try to distort a misinterpretation of it.

dhw: Yes, it is obvious, so please tell us what role extinct life (let’s say, the brontosaurus), which you claim was "part of the goal of evolving humans", plays in our human present.

DAVID: Evolving humans went through necessary complexifying stages that included the Bronto.

dhw: Bearing in mind your insistence that your God directly designed every life form, do you truly believe that your God could not have designed H. sapiens if he had not designed the brontosaurus plus the other millions of extinct life forms, 99% of which you have agreed had no connection with humans?

There is the real connection of stepwise complexification through an evolutionary process chosen for use by God.


DAVID: […] He is above finding a creation for self-interest. You do not understand how you humanize Him.

dhw: I understand perfectly well that a Creator who creates something that will interest him would have a human pattern of thought similar to ours (though it might be more accurate to say that we have a pattern similar to his). And you agree that it is possible. By what authority do you claim that although he is interested in his creations, he did not create them in order to create something that would interest him?

DAVID: We create movies, plays, novels, TV sitcoms, etc. All for human entertainment. You claim God needs entertainment. He is above that as a person like no other person. (Adler) Your 'God' will never resemble my view of God.

dhw: How many more times must I tell you that “entertainment” is your choice of derogatory terminology? I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.

Of course He is interested in His creations, but not to give Him something interesting to follow to have Him pass time as we humans idly do.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10:52 (82 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Bearing in mind your insistence that your God directly designed every life form, do you truly believe that your God could not have designed H. sapiens if he had not designed the brontosaurus plus the other millions of extinct life forms, 99% of which you have agreed had no connection with humans?

DAVID: There is the real connection of stepwise complexification through an evolutionary process chosen for use by God.

But that does not tell us why your God, whose only purpose according to you was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, would have directly designed the brontosaurus and millions of other life forms plus food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. Once more: you have admitted that you have no idea why he would have done so, but you firmly believe in this inexplicable theory and nothing will shake your belief in it. So let’s leave it at that.

dhw: I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Of course He is interested in His creations, but not to give Him something interesting to follow to have Him pass time as we humans idly do.

Why do you have to add such derogatory terms? You believe that your God created all the wonders of the world, and is interested in them. What is wrong with believing in a God who loves to create wonderful things and gets pleasure out of doing so? And once more, do tell us why you think he created the whole of life, including human beings. After all, you quite rightly tell us that he is purposeful, and so he must have had a purpose in creating all of life, including human beings.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 20, 2021, 21:34 (82 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Of course He is interested in His creations, but not to give Him something interesting to follow to have Him pass time as we humans idly do.

dhw: Why do you have to add such derogatory terms? You believe that your God created all the wonders of the world, and is interested in them. What is wrong with believing in a God who loves to create wonderful things and gets pleasure out of doing so? And once more, do tell us why you think he created the whole of life, including human beings. After all, you quite rightly tell us that he is purposeful, and so he must have had a purpose in creating all of life, including human beings.

Not derogatory. That is the image of God you give. I'm sure He had his own purposes, that we discuss while we guess at them.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, February 21, 2021, 11:06 (81 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Of course He is interested in His creations, but not to give Him something interesting to follow to have Him pass time as we humans idly do.

dhw: Why do you have to add such derogatory terms? You believe that your God created all the wonders of the world, and is interested in them. What is wrong with believing in a God who loves to create wonderful things and gets pleasure out of doing so? And once more, do tell us why you think he created the whole of life, including human beings. After all, you quite rightly tell us that he is purposeful, and so he must have had a purpose in creating all of life, including human beings.

DAVID: Not derogatory. That is the image of God you give. I'm sure He had his own purposes, that we discuss while we guess at them.

“Entertainment” and “pass time as we humans idly do” are derogatory descriptions. Why do you constantly harp on God’s purposefulness, and yet refuse to tell us what you think may have been his purpose in creating life, including humans? Do you really believe that your God created us without himself having any feelings at all, no awareness of love, joy, anger, pleasure etc.? You might as well bow down and worship a block of stone. In any case, you’ve told us he’s interested, and when pressed you’ve told us he might enjoy his work like a painter enjoying his paintings, and he might want us to recognize him and his works, and to have a relationship with us, and of course he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. You just don’t like it when I offer you a different thought pattern from your own! ;-)

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 21, 2021, 21:36 (81 days ago) @ dhw

;-) > dhw: I have stuck rigidly to your agreement that he is INTERESTED in us, and so I ask why you think a creator who you are sure is interested in his creations should not have created them because he wanted to create something that would interest him.


DAVID: Of course He is interested in His creations, but not to give Him something interesting to follow to have Him pass time as we humans idly do.

dhw: Why do you have to add such derogatory terms? You believe that your God created all the wonders of the world, and is interested in them. What is wrong with believing in a God who loves to create wonderful things and gets pleasure out of doing so? And once more, do tell us why you think he created the whole of life, including human beings. After all, you quite rightly tell us that he is purposeful, and so he must have had a purpose in creating all of life, including human beings.

DAVID: Not derogatory. That is the image of God you give. I'm sure He had his own purposes, that we discuss while we guess at them.

dhw: “Entertainment” and “pass time as we humans idly do” are derogatory descriptions. Why do you constantly harp on God’s purposefulness, and yet refuse to tell us what you think may have been his purpose in creating life, including humans? Do you really believe that your God created us without himself having any feelings at all, no awareness of love, joy, anger, pleasure etc.? You might as well bow down and worship a block of stone. In any case, you’ve told us he’s interested, and when pressed you’ve told us he might enjoy his work like a painter enjoying his paintings, and he might want us to recognize him and his works, and to have a relationship with us, and of course he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. You just don’t like it when I offer you a different thought pattern from your own! ;-)

You are the one who imagines God as human and implying He requires entertainment. Your reply indicates you are aware of my approach to God from past entries. I haven't changed. Every time we guess at his motives we must recognize it is all guesswork. I can admit God may have feeling of emotions that resembles ours, but 'may have' does not mean it has to be true. That is what religions peddle. I try to predict concepts of God by studying the science of what He has created (thru His works). He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.. I do not see Him producing humans just for his own self-interest or self entertainment as primary reasons. I carefully follow Karen Armstrong's views that studying His works is the most mature approach. And that has given me my views of God. ;-)

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, February 22, 2021, 13:20 (80 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: “Entertainment” and “pass time as we humans idly do” are derogatory descriptions. Why do you constantly harp on God’s purposefulness, and yet refuse to tell us what you think may have been his purpose in creating life, including humans? Do you really believe that your God created us without himself having any feelings at all, no awareness of love, joy, anger, pleasure etc.? You might as well bow down and worship a block of stone. In any case, you’ve told us he’s interested, and when pressed you’ve told us he might enjoy his work like a painter enjoying his paintings, and he might want us to recognize him and his works, and to have a relationship with us, and of course he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. You just don’t like it when I offer you a different thought pattern from your own! ;-)

DAVID: You are the one who imagines God as human and implying He requires entertainment.

I keep rejecting the word “entertainment” as derogatory, and I stick to your own agreement that he is INTERESTED in his creations. I do not imagine him as human, but like yourself I believe that if he exists, he probably (later you changed this to possibly) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours.

DAVID: Your reply indicates you are aware of my approach to God from past entries. I haven't changed. Every time we guess at his motives we must recognize it is all guesswork. I can admit God may have feeling of emotions that resembles ours, but 'may have' does not mean it has to be true.

None of our theories have “to be true” – including the theory that your God exists. We can only offer possibilities, and test their logic against whatever facts we have. “May have” acknowledges that it is possible (compared to your earlier “probable”) that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and if it is possible, then it should not be dismissed simply because we don’t and can’t know the truth.

DAVID: […] I try to predict concepts of God by studying the science of what He has created (thru His works).

I don’t know why you use the word “predict”, and although I agree that you study the science of his works (hence the design argument for his existence), your attempts to combine your theories concerning his purpose and the manner in which he achieves his purpose have nothing whatsoever to do with science.

DAVID: He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

This is a sensational new development in your thinking. Until now you have been adamant that every creation was “part of the goal of evolving humans”, and I have asked you a thousand times why, in that case, he created millions of extinct life forms (plus food supplies) that had no connection with humans. Now apparently he simply desires to create whatever he creates, with no other motive.

DAVID: I do not see Him producing humans just for his own self-interest or self entertainment as primary reasons. I carefully follow Karen Armstrong's views that studying His works is the most mature approach. And that has given me my views of God.

Now that you have embraced the idea that he created all life forms for the sake of creation, why are you suddenly switching to humans? You are certain that he is interested in his creations (including humans). Why, then, are you certain that he could not have created his creations (including humans) because he wanted to create something that he could be interested in? This theory would explain the huge diversity of extinct pre-human life, and is based entirely on the mature approach of linking his works to his possible motives for creating his works. And I’m not even asking you to believe it. I’m asking you why you find it inconceivable.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, February 22, 2021, 18:54 (80 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your reply indicates you are aware of my approach to God from past entries. I haven't changed. Every time we guess at his motives we must recognize it is all guesswork. I can admit God may have feeling of emotions that resembles ours, but 'may have' does not mean it has to be true.

dhw: None of our theories have “to be true” – including the theory that your God exists. We can only offer possibilities, and test their logic against whatever facts we have. “May have” acknowledges that it is possible (compared to your earlier “probable”) that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and if it is possible, then it should not be dismissed simply because we don’t and can’t know the truth.

I'm not dismissing anything, only pointing out what we can know about God and his personality by looking at what He has created. Your God personality creation relies on very human emotions and intentions. I try not to introduce that degree of humanizing, andv stick to looking at purpose.


DAVID: […] I try to predict concepts of God by studying the science of what He has created (thru His works).

dhw: I don’t know why you use the word “predict”, and although I agree that you study the science of his works (hence the design argument for his existence), your attempts to combine your theories concerning his purpose and the manner in which he achieves his purpose have nothing whatsoever to do with science.

My theories come from my analysis of the science.


DAVID: He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

dhw: This is a sensational new development in your thinking. Until now you have been adamant that every creation was “part of the goal of evolving humans”, and I have asked you a thousand times why, in that case, he created millions of extinct life forms (plus food supplies) that had no connection with humans. Now apparently he simply desires to create whatever he creates, with no other motive.

You keep straining for a change in my thinking. I always view that His final step was humans.


DAVID: I do not see Him producing humans just for his own self-interest or self entertainment as primary reasons. I carefully follow Karen Armstrong's views that studying His works is the most mature approach. And that has given me my views of God.

dhw: Now that you have embraced the idea that he created all life forms for the sake of creation, why are you suddenly switching to humans? You are certain that he is interested in his creations (including humans). Why, then, are you certain that he could not have created his creations (including humans) because he wanted to create something that he could be interested in? This theory would explain the huge diversity of extinct pre-human life, and is based entirely on the mature approach of linking his works to his possible motives for creating his works. And I’m not even asking you to believe it. I’m asking you why you find it inconceivable.

Still straining to find some change in my thinking. Not so. The bold is pure humanizing. Evolution from bacteria to humans with the necessary huge living bush for food energy, as we know it, makes perfect sense with God in charge. The 99% extinct forms are simply a record of the passage of time in the development from 3.8 bya of small populations now becoming large present populations. Your distortions of the required history make your humanizing approach unacceptable. Inconceivable, but conceivable, yes, if we make God quite human.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 12:35 (79 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID I can admit God may have feeling of emotions that resembles ours, but 'may have' does not mean it has to be true.

dhw: None of our theories have “to be true” – including the theory that your God exists. We can only offer possibilities, and test their logic against whatever facts we have. “May have” acknowledges that it is possible (compared to your earlier “probable”) that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and if it is possible, then it should not be dismissed simply because we don’t and can’t know the truth.

DAVID: I'm not dismissing anything, only pointing out what we can know about God and his personality by looking at what He has created. Your God personality creation relies on very human emotions and intentions. I try not to introduce that degree of humanizing, and stick to looking at purpose.

With my theist hat on, I look at what he has created, and I assume as you do that he had a purpose. But I have no idea why, although you are certain that he is interested in his creations and possibly or even probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you regard the desire to create something interesting as beyond the “degree of humanizing” that is acceptable to you. I also wait to hear what purpose for life including humans you would regard as being within the degree of humanization acceptable to you.

DAVID: My theories come from my analysis of the science.

Your analysis of the science has led you to believe that your God’s only purpose in creating life was to design H. sapiens, and therefore he designed millions of life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans. And you have no idea why he would have done so. This is not science. However, there has been a sudden volte face:

DAVID: He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

dhw: This is a sensational new development in your thinking. Until now you have been adamant that every creation was “part of the goal of evolving humans”, which makes no sense since 99% of extinct life forms (plus food supplies) had no connection with humans. Now apparently he simply desires to create whatever he creates, with no other motive.

DAVID: You keep straining for a change in my thinking. I always view that His final step was humans.

Nobody is going to deny that so far humans are the last species to have emerged. But what about all the other species unconnected with humans? Please explain what you meant by him having “no other motive than the creations themselves”.

DAVID: Evolution from bacteria to humans with the necessary huge living bush for food energy, as we know it, makes perfect sense with God in charge.

Yes it does make sense. What doesn’t make sense is that you believe he directly designed the 99% of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans. But if he created them because he desired to create them (as opposed to creating them as "part of the goal of evolving humans") it makes perfect sense. I just wonder why his human-type desire to create all these life forms, and his human-type interest in them, cannot mean that he had a human-type desire to create something that he could have a human-type interest in.

DAVID: The 99% extinct forms are simply a record of the passage of time in the development from 3.8 bya of small populations now becoming large present populations.

So your God had to directly design millions of irrelevant life forms to show that it took 3.8 billion years for him to design the only life form he wanted to design (plus food supply), and to show that all the irrelevant life forms made up smaller populations of irrelevant organisms than the larger populations of relevant organisms that we have today. Well, at least this makes a change from him having to design millions of generations of food supplies for humans to eat even though they weren’t there at the time.

DAVID: Your distortions of the required history make your humanizing approach unacceptable. Inconceivable, but conceivable, yes, if we make God quite human.

What distortions? History tells us that there were millions of life forms, now extinct, that had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God would have designed them if his only purpose was to design humans. They did not provide a food supply for humans, but now you tell us that he had no other motive than the creations themselves. And it makes perfect sense - if we accept your belief that he is/was interested in them - that he might have designed them because he wanted to design something that would interest him, even if that makes him “quite human”. Better than trying to explain why he designed them even though they had no connection with what he wanted to design!

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 16:39 (79 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: With my theist hat on, I look at what he has created, and I assume as you do that he had a purpose. But I have no idea why, ... you regard the desire to create something interesting as beyond the “degree of humanizing” that is acceptable to you. I also wait to hear what purpose for life including humans you would regard as being within the degree of humanization acceptable to you.

God does not create out of any self-interest or to create interesting things or events. From Swinburne:

3:16: What’s the role of analogical language in theism?

RS: Humans cannot fully understand the nature of God, and so they have to use words whose normal meaning they understand, but which are not fully satisfactory for describing that nature. So there is a sense in which God is a “person”, that he has beliefs, thoughts and other conscious events; but also a sense in which God is not a person, in that his identity is constituted by his properties – such as omnipotence and perfect goodness, whereas the identity of all other persons is independent of the degree of their power and the morality of their actions.

My point is God has very little human in his personality

DAVID: He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

dhw: This is a sensational new development in your thinking. Until now you have been adamant that every creation was “part of the goal of evolving humans”, which makes no sense since 99% of extinct life forms (plus food supplies) had no connection with humans. Now apparently he simply desires to create whatever he creates, with no other motive.

DAVID: You keep straining for a change in my thinking. I always view that His final step was humans.

dhw: Nobody is going to deny that so far humans are the last species to have emerged. But what about all the other species unconnected with humans? Please explain what you meant by him having “no other motive than the creations themselves”.

Simply, He is a purposeful creator. using evolution from bacteria. We know He has created a being that recognizes Him, that has a very fruitful, very expanded lifestyle. That is obviously what He wanted to do. Does that give Him self-gratification? He has no need.


DAVID: The 99% extinct forms are simply a record of the passage of time in the development from 3.8 bya of small populations now becoming large present populations.

So your God had to directly design millions of irrelevant life forms to show that it took 3.8 billion years for him to design the only life form he wanted to design (plus food supply), and to show that all the irrelevant life forms made up smaller populations of irrelevant organisms than the larger populations of relevant organisms that we have today. Well, at least this makes a change from him having to design millions of generations of food supplies for humans to eat even though they weren’t there at the time.

DAVID: Your distortions of the required history make your humanizing approach unacceptable. Inconceivable, but conceivable, yes, if we make God quite human.

dhw: What distortions? History tells us that there were millions of life forms, now extinct, that had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God would have designed them if his only purpose was to design humans. They did not provide a food supply for humans, but now you tell us that he had no other motive than the creations themselves. And it makes perfect sense - if we accept your belief that he is/was interested in them - that he might have designed them because he wanted to design something that would interest him, even if that makes him “quite human”. Better than trying to explain why he designed them even though they had no connection with what he wanted to design!

Evolution connects all forms through the passage of time. God evolved humans from bacteria. Done.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 12:09 (78 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: With my theist hat on, I look at what he has created, and I assume as you do that he had a purpose. But I have no idea why, ... you regard the desire to create something interesting as beyond the “degree of humanizing” that is acceptable to you. I also wait to hear what purpose for life including humans you would regard as being within the degree of humanization acceptable to you.

DAVID: God does not create out of any self-interest or to create interesting things or events.

You are simply restating your fixed beliefs. Why don’t you explain why it is not possible for a God - who you are sure is interested in his creations - to have created them because he wanted to create something he would find interesting. And why is “humanized” interest acceptable to you but “humanized” desire for something interesting is not?

DAVID: From Swinburne:
3:16: What’s the role of analogical language in theism?
RS: Humans cannot fully understand the nature of God, and so they have to use words whose normal meaning they understand, but which are not fully satisfactory for describing that nature. So there is a sense in which God is a “person”, that he has beliefs, thoughts and other conscious events; but also a sense in which God is not a person, in that his identity is constituted by his properties – such as omnipotence and perfect goodness, whereas the identity of all other persons is independent of the degree of their power and the morality of their actions.

Apparently my identity, then, is independent of what I can and can’t do, and of whether I am a good person or a bad person. Tell that to the judge. Why are you quoting such stuff? (See also under “Miscellany”.) And in any case, how does it come to mean that your God can’t want to create something he can watch with interest? That’s not “bad” is it?

DAVID: My point is God has very little human in his personality.

How do you know which thought patterns and emotions we share with him and he shares with us? And why is “interest” OK for a creator but wanting to creating something interesting is not OK for a creator?

DAVID: He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.

dhw: This is a sensational new development in your thinking. Until now you have been adamant that every creation was “part of the goal of evolving humans”, which makes no sense since 99% of extinct life forms (plus food supplies) had no connection with humans. Now apparently he simply desires to create whatever he creates, with no other motive.

DAVID: You keep straining for a change in my thinking. I always view that His final step was humans.

dhw: Nobody is going to deny that so far humans are the last species to have emerged. But what about all the other species unconnected with humans? Please explain what you meant by him having “no other motive than the creations themselves”.

DAVID: Simply, He is a purposeful creator. using evolution from bacteria. We know He has created a being that recognizes Him, that has a very fruitful, very expanded lifestyle. That is obviously what He wanted to do. Does that give Him self-gratification? He has no need.

You are regurgitating your mantras and ignoring my question. Yes, if he exists, he is a purposeful creator, yes ALL multicellular organisms including humans evolved from bacteria, yes humans recognize him. Now please tell us what you meant by “he has no other motive than the creations themselves”?

dhw: History tells us that there were millions of life forms, now extinct, that had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God would have designed them if his only purpose was to design humans. They did not provide a food supply for humans, but now you tell us that he had no other motive than the creations themselves. And it makes perfect sense - if we accept your belief that he is/was interested in them - that he might have designed them because he wanted to design something that would interest him, even if that makes him “quite human”. Better than trying to explain why he designed them even though they had no connection with what he wanted to design!

DAVID: Evolution connects all forms through the passage of time. God evolved humans from bacteria. Done.

God, if he exists, evolved ALL life forms from bacteria through the passage of time, not just humans, and I eagerly await your explanation of his desire to create them all (not just humans) for no other motive than the creations themselves, bearing in mind that you are sure he is interested in his creations and that previously you have claimed that they were all "part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans" Please don't dodge.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 15:29 (78 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God does not create out of any self-interest or to create interesting things or events.

dhw: You are simply restating your fixed beliefs. Why don’t you explain why it is not possible for a God - who you are sure is interested in his creations - to have created them because he wanted to create something he would find interesting. And why is “humanized” interest acceptable to you but “humanized” desire for something interesting is not?

My view of God is not your humanized view. I'll repeat: All we can guess about God's desires is He uses logic to satisfy them.


dhw: How do you know which thought patterns and emotions we share with him and he shares with us? And why is “interest” OK for a creator but wanting to creating something interesting is not OK for a creator?

My view of God is that He creates but not for self-interest or its corollary entertainment.


DAVID: Simply, He is a purposeful creator. using evolution from bacteria. We know He has created a being that recognizes Him, that has a very fruitful, very expanded lifestyle. That is obviously what He wanted to do. Does that give Him self-gratification? He has no need.

dhw: You are regurgitating your mantras and ignoring my question. Yes, if he exists, he is a purposeful creator, yes ALL multicellular organisms including humans evolved from bacteria, yes humans recognize him. Now please tell us what you meant by “he has no other motive than the creations themselves”?

Not to find something interesting to watch. That is called 'pass timing' in human psychology. He is timeless and doesn't need it as you imply in humanizing Him.


dhw: History tells us that there were millions of life forms, now extinct, that had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God would have designed them if his only purpose was to design humans. They did not provide a food supply for humans, but now you tell us that he had no other motive than the creations themselves. And it makes perfect sense - if we accept your belief that he is/was interested in them - that he might have designed them because he wanted to design something that would interest him, even if that makes him “quite human”. Better than trying to explain why he designed them even though they had no connection with what he wanted to design!

DAVID: Evolution connects all forms through the passage of time. God evolved humans from bacteria. Done.

dhw: God, if he exists, evolved ALL life forms from bacteria through the passage of time, not just humans, and I eagerly await your explanation of his desire to create them all (not just humans) for no other motive than the creations themselves, bearing in mind that you are sure he is interested in his creations and that previously you have claimed that they were all "part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans" Please don't dodge.

Never dodging. You and I have widely differing viewpoints. Your worry about the 99% gone is a total dodge. God knew He had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. You have accepted that need. His goal in evolution was humans. Our brain proves it as Adler noted. What is your point?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 12:45 (77 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view of God is not your humanized view. I'll repeat: All we can guess about God's desires is He uses logic to satisfy them.

Thank you for acknowledging that your God has desires. Now please explain why it is not logical to guess that since you are sure he is interested in his creations, he may have desired to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Simply, He is a purposeful creator. using evolution from bacteria. We know He has created a being that recognizes Him, that has a very fruitful, very expanded lifestyle. That is obviously what He wanted to do. Does that give Him self-gratification? He has no need.

dhw:[…] Yes, if he exists, he is a purposeful creator, yes ALL multicellular organisms including humans evolved from bacteria, yes humans recognize him. Now please tell us what you meant by “he has no other motive than the creations themselves”?

DAVID: Not to find something interesting to watch. That is called 'pass timing' in human psychology. He is timeless and doesn't need it as you imply in humanizing Him.

You have told us what you did not mean. Now please tell us what you did mean.

DAVID: Back to a human God who needs interesting events.

dhw: Why “needs”? Why not “wants” or, to use your own word: “desires”, as in your belief that he seems to be “full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves.”

DAVID (under “How roots fight compacted soils”): The quote stands on its own. God 'desires' are not equivalent to human desires.

So we can now drop the word “needs” and agree that God has desires. And if God does what he “desires” to do, why is that different from him doing what he is interested in doing?

dhw: I eagerly await your explanation of his desire to create them all (not just humans) for no other motive than the creations themselves, bearing in mind that you are sure he is interested in his creations and that previously you have claimed that they were all "part of the goal of evolving [= directly designing] humans" Please don't dodge.

DAVID: Never dodging. You and I have widely differing viewpoints. Your worry about the 99% gone is a total dodge. God knew He had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. You have accepted that need. His goal in evolution was humans. Our brain proves it as Adler noted. What is your point?

Yes, in your theory he had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. The problem you dodge here is that if humans were “His goal in evolution”, why did he have to create a huge bush of past life to create food energy for all the past life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans (his goal)? Please stop this particular dodging game. You have admitted that you have no idea, so we should leave it at that.

Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

DAVID: What this seems to mean is that viruses are not an aberrant life form but necessary to the overall balance scheme for living organisms. That tells us there are good and bad viruses just like good and bad bacteria, good and bad predator animals, and good and bad humans, all playing a role in our reality.

dhw: Yes indeed. This is the great problem of theodicy. Your Swinburne tells us of God’s omnipotence and “perfect goodness” (though I don’t know how he knows, or even what his criteria are), so how come God created so much that has turned out to be bad? If he’s omnipotent, he could have created whatever he wanted to create. So he must have wanted to create the bad. But if he’s all good, why would he want to create the bad? Out of interest, may I ask you whether your concept of God includes “perfect goodness” (whatever that may mean)?

DAVID: It's your British Swinburne, not mine. As a Christian theologian he has extremes of belief I ignore, using only parts of his ideas I agree with.

So why do you keep reproducing his ideas and then trying to support them instead of facing up to his contradictions? And he is your source, not mine!

DAVID: God is good is acceptable to me.

Why? Aren’t you attributing a human quality to him? (But see the next problem.)

DAVID: Viruses are so common and numerous God obviously created and used them for his purposes. The 'bad' forms are our interpretation of them. There may be good involved.

I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 23:55 (77 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My view of God is not your humanized view. I'll repeat: All we can guess about God's desires is He uses logic to satisfy them.

dhw: Thank you for acknowledging that your God has desires. Now please explain why it is not logical to guess that since you are sure he is interested in his creations, he may have desired to create something that would interest him.

Pure humanizing. He doesn't need interests


DAVID: Simply, He is a purposeful creator. using evolution from bacteria. We know He has created a being that recognizes Him, that has a very fruitful, very expanded lifestyle. That is obviously what He wanted to do. Does that give Him self-gratification? He has no need.

dhw:[…] Yes, if he exists, he is a purposeful creator, yes ALL multicellular organisms including humans evolved from bacteria, yes humans recognize him. Now please tell us what you meant by “he has no other motive than the creations themselves”?

DAVID: Not to find something interesting to watch. That is called 'pass timing' in human psychology. He is timeless and doesn't need it as you imply in humanizing Him.

dhw: You have told us what you did not mean. Now please tell us what you did mean.

"he has no other motive than the creations themselves" Simple: his motive is to create


dhw: Yes, in your theory he had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. The problem you dodge here is that if humans were “His goal in evolution”, why did he have to create a huge bush of past life to create food energy for all the past life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans (his goal)? Please stop this particular dodging game. You have admitted that you have no idea, so we should leave it at that.

No connection is y9ur illogical assertion. We will never agree, so stop asserting, and I won't mention God chose to evolve us again.


Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

So why do you keep reproducing his ideas and then trying to support them instead of facing up to his contradictions? And he is your source, not mine!

I said I take bits and pieces I agree with


DAVID: God is good is acceptable to me.

Why? Aren’t you attributing a human quality to him? (But see the next problem.)

DAVID: Viruses are so common and numerous God obviously created and used them for his purposes. The 'bad' forms are our interpretation of them. There may be good involved.

dhw: I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

To repeat, so-called bad has turned out to be OK with further research.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, February 26, 2021, 14:18 (76 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view of God is not your humanized view. I'll repeat: All we can guess about God's desires is He uses logic to satisfy them.

dhw: Thank you for acknowledging that your God has desires. Now please explain why it is not logical to guess that since you are sure he is interested in his creations, he may have desired to create something that would interest him.

DAVID: Pure humanizing. He doesn't need interests.

Why do you ignore my responses to such comments? Yesterday I asked: Why “needs”? “Why not “wants” or, to use your own word: “desires”, as in your belief that he seems to be “full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. I also asked what you meant by that.

DAVID: "he has no other motive than the creations themselves" Simple: his motive is to create.

And so once again, now that we have rid ourselves of “need”, and since you are certain that he is interested in his creations, why can’t you accept the possibility that a creator who creates what he desires to create might do so because he desires to create something that will interest him?

dhw: Yes, in your theory he had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. The problem you dodge here is that if humans were “His goal in evolution”, why did he have to create a huge bush of past life to create food energy for all the past life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans (his goal)? Please stop this particular dodging game. You have admitted that you have no idea, so we should leave it at that.

DAVID: No connection is your illogical assertion. We will never agree, so stop asserting, and I won't mention God chose to evolve us again.

I do not have a problem with the idea that God, if he exists, chose to evolve us. The problem is bolded above, and I do not accept your assertion that every single extinct life form plus food supply was specially designed “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.” If you can tell me how the special design of 100% of the millions of extinct life forms and food supplies were essential for him to be able to design humans, I will stop attacking your idea of logic.

Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

So why do you keep reproducing his [Swinburne’s] ideas and then trying to support them instead of facing up to his contradictions? And he is your source, not mine!

DAVID: I said I take bits and pieces I agree with.

So I trust you agree with the objections I have raised to the idea that our identity is independent of what we can and can’t do, and whether we are “good” or bad”.

dhw: I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

DAVID: To repeat, so-called bad has turned out to be OK with further research.

I admire your faith that research will prove to us that cancer and Covid are OK, not to mention all the “bads” that you believe your God has directly designed. It’s not much of a solution to the problem of theodicy, though, is it?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, February 26, 2021, 18:04 (76 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Pure humanizing. He doesn't need interests.

dhw: Why do you ignore my responses to such comments? Yesterday I asked: Why “needs”? “Why not “wants” or, to use your own word: “desires”, as in your belief that he seems to be “full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. I also asked what you meant by that.

Why does God need to interest Himself in something? Having been around since forever He is accustomed to his foreverness.


dhw: Yes, in your theory he had to create a huge bush of current life to create food energy for all. The problem you dodge here is that if humans were “His goal in evolution”, why did he have to create a huge bush of past life to create food energy for all the past life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans (his goal)? Please stop this particular dodging game. You have admitted that you have no idea, so we should leave it at that.

DAVID: No connection is your illogical assertion. We will never agree, so stop asserting, and I won't mention God chose to evolve us again.

dhw: I do not have a problem with the idea that God, if he exists, chose to evolve us. The problem is bolded above, and I do not accept your assertion that every single extinct life form plus food supply was specially designed “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.” If you can tell me how the special design of 100% of the millions of extinct life forms and food supplies were essential for him to be able to design humans, I will stop attacking your idea of logic.

Why don't you take a close look at what God created by using evolution. My explanation fits the history. What you object to is us as the goal, and I agree with Adler. We cannot b e explained any other way.


Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

So why do you keep reproducing his [Swinburne’s] ideas and then trying to support them instead of facing up to his contradictions? And he is your source, not mine!

DAVID: I said I take bits and pieces I agree with.

dhw: So I trust you agree with the objections I have raised to the idea that our identity is independent of what we can and can’t do, and whether we are “good” or bad”.

Yes


dhw: I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

DAVID: To repeat, so-called bad has turned out to be OK with further research.

dhw: I admire your faith that research will prove to us that cancer and Covid are OK, not to mention all the “bads” that you believe your God has directly designed. It’s not much of a solution to the problem of theodicy, though, is it?

Obviously we don't have a solution acceptable to all of us.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, February 27, 2021, 09:12 (75 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Pure humanizing. He doesn't need interests.

dhw: Why do you ignore my responses to such comments? Yesterday I asked: Why “needs”? “Why not “wants” or, to use your own word: “desires”, as in your belief that he seems to be “full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. I also asked what you meant by that.

DAVID: Why does God need to interest Himself in something? Having been around since forever He is accustomed to his foreverness.

I have just answered you by using your own term “desire”. Not “need”. It’s clever of you to read God’s mind and tell us that he is accustomed to his foreverness, but if he exists (and I always don my theist’s hat in these discussions), he created life. Why? You keep telling us how purposeful he is, so he must have had a purpose in creating ALL of life, INCLUDING HUMANS and their food supply. Bearing in mind that you are certain that he watches his creations with interest, please tell us once and for all why you think he did so, if it was not because he desired to create something he would find interesting.

dhw: I do not have a problem with the idea that God, if he exists, chose to evolve us. […] I do not accept your assertion that every single extinct life form plus food supply was specially designed “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.

DAVID: Why don't you take a close look at what God created by using evolution. My explanation fits the history. What you object to is us as the goal, and I agree with Adler. We cannot b e explained any other way. […]

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that my objection is to the COMBINATION of your two beliefs that 1) we (plus food supply) were the one and only goal, but 2) he directly designed millions of now extinct life forms (plus food supplies) that had no connection with us. You simply keep dodging. Herewith the last sentence of the post you have responded to: “If you can tell me how the special design of 100% of the millions of extinct life forms and food supplies were essential for him to be able to design humans, I will stop attacking your idea of logic.” If, as on previous occasions, you have “no idea”, then – as on previous occasions – I suggest we leave it at that.

Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

dhw: So why do you keep reproducing his [Swinburne’s] ideas and then trying to support them instead of facing up to his contradictions? And he is your source, not mine!

DAVID: I said I take bits and pieces I agree with.

dhw: So I trust you agree with the objections I have raised to the idea that our identity is independent of what we can and can’t do, and whether we are “good” or bad”.

DAVID: Yes

Thank you. It would save us both a great deal of time if you would always give me such straight answers. See the exchange above concerning your combination of beliefs, and the discussion on dualism under “Miscellany”.

dhw: I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

DAVID: To repeat, so-called bad has turned out to be OK with further research.

dhw: I admire your faith that research will prove to us that cancer and Covid are OK, not to mention all the “bads” that you believe your God has directly designed. It’s not much of a solution to the problem of theodicy, though, is it?

DAVID: Obviously we don't have a solution acceptable to all of us.

We don’t have a solution at all – we only have theories. I have offered you one: that your God gave all life forms a mechanism with which to work out their own methods of survival in the free-for-all that has resulted in what we humans consider to be a mixture of “good” and “bad”. You can hardly deny that this fits the facts of life’s history. And I am still waiting to hear why you find it illogical, apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit your personal view of God, that he would not want to lose control, that there must be a “good” reason for his directly creating what we consider to be “bad”, and one day we shall find out what it is.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 27, 2021, 21:02 (75 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why does God need to interest Himself in something? Having been around since forever He is accustomed to his foreverness.

dhw: I have just answered you by using your own term “desire”. Not “need”. It’s clever of you to read God’s mind and tell us that he is accustomed to his foreverness, but if he exists (and I always don my theist’s hat in these discussions), he created life. Why? You keep telling us how purposeful he is, so he must have had a purpose in creating ALL of life, INCLUDING HUMANS and their food supply. Bearing in mind that you are certain that he watches his creations with interest, please tell us once and for all why you think he did so, if it was not because he desired to create something he would find interesting.

Same old discussion. God does not need anything to interest Him. If He creates something He may look at it with subsequent interest, but not with the purpose of having something that will interest him


DAVID: Why don't you take a close look at what God created by using evolution. My explanation fits the history. What you object to is us as the goal, and I agree with Adler. We cannot b e explained any other way. […]

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that my objection is to the COMBINATION of your two beliefs that 1) we (plus food supply) were the one and only goal, but 2) he directly designed millions of now extinct life forms (plus food supplies) that had no connection with us. You simply keep dodging. Herewith the last sentence of the post you have responded to: “If you can tell me how the special design of 100% of the millions of extinct life forms and food supplies were essential for him to be able to design humans, I will stop attacking your idea of logic.” If, as on previous occasions, you have “no idea”, then – as on previous occasions –

I have no idea why God chose to use evolution, my statement you always distort as above. But using evolution every step is contingent upon past forms. Thus all past lifeforms were necessary to reach the human form. The implication of your illogical argument, as I've always noted is why noted is not direct creation. There can be only one system used: either evolution or direct creation. And the huge bush supplies necessary food energy. I view yhour objection as having no basis in logic.


Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

dhw: I have to agree that “good” and “bad” are subjective terms, but how else can we discuss such things? If God says that Covid and cancer are good, who are we to argue? But I’d like to think that there is a general consensus among us humans that certain things like cancer and Covid are “bad”, and that can be used as a basis for discussing your God’s possible nature and intentions. So why would an omnipotent God of “perfect goodness” create “bad” things?

DAVID: To repeat, so-called bad has turned out to be OK with further research.

dhw: I admire your faith that research will prove to us that cancer and Covid are OK, not to mention all the “bads” that you believe your God has directly designed. It’s not much of a solution to the problem of theodicy, though, is it?

DAVID: Obviously we don't have a solution acceptable to all of us.

dhw: We don’t have a solution at all – we only have theories. I have offered you one: that your God gave all life forms a mechanism with which to work out their own methods of survival in the free-for-all that has resulted in what we humans consider to be a mixture of “good” and “bad”. You can hardly deny that this fits the facts of life’s history. And I am still waiting to hear why you find it illogical, apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit your personal view of God, that he would not want to lose control, that there must be a “good” reason for his directly creating what we consider to be “bad”, and one day we shall find out what it is.

I don't believe God ever hands off responsibility to lesser forms. Your humanized God is nothing like mine. Note the discussion about God not in time.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, February 28, 2021, 09:14 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Bearing in mind that you are certain that he watches his creations with interest, please tell us once and for all why you think he did so, if it was not because he desired to create something he would find interesting.

DAVID: Same old discussion. God does not need anything to interest Him. If He creates something He may look at it with subsequent interest, but not with the purpose of having something that will interest him

It’s the same old discussion because you refuse to answer my questions, and you ignore my answers to your own questions. I have rejected your use of “need” and accepted your term “desire”. Your refusal to believe that he might have had the desire to create something interesting for himself does not tell us why else you think he might have created the whole of life, including humans.

DAVID: […]. My explanation fits the history. What you object to is us as the goal, and I agree with Adler. We cannot b e explained any other way. […]

dhw: […] “If you can tell me how the special design of 100% of the millions of extinct life forms and food supplies were essential for him to be able to design humans, I will stop attacking your idea of logic.” If, as on previous occasions, you have “no idea”, then – as on previous occasions –I suggest we leave it at that.

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to use evolution, my statement you always distort as above. But using evolution every step is contingent upon past forms. Thus all past life forms were necessary to reach the human form.

That is an extraordinary conclusion, and the distortion is entirely yours. If God exists, then he chose to “use evolution”, and yes, common descent means that all forms are contingent upon past forms. But it does not mean that every life form is/was contingent upon every other life form that ever existed in the past! You might just as well tell us that ALL past life forms were necessary to reach the form of the duck-billed platypus! 99% of branches died out. So please tell us why every single one of those extinct branches – each one, according to you, directly designed by your God – was necessary for him to be able to design H. sapiens.

DAVID: The implication of your illogical argument, as I've always noted is why noted is not direct creation. There can be only one system used: either evolution or direct creation. And the huge bush supplies necessary food energy. I view your objection as having no basis in logic.

I can’t follow the syntax and hence the meaning of your first sentence, but it is you who have insisted that your God directly designed every innovation leading to speciation – not to mention every econiche and lifestyle and natural wonder – but you accept Darwin’s theory of common descent, which can only mean that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all the changes that took place in existing organisms, thereby transforming them into new species. If this is not your theory, then please tell us what is. The different bushes supplied food energy for every species that ever lived, but that does not mean that every species and every bush in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” You know perfectly well that this is the illogical element of your theory, so I don’t know why you keep reverting to “I have no idea why God chose to use evolution”. The question is why, if his one and only goal was to evolve/design humans, he chose to directly design all the species that had no connection with humans.

Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

dhw: […] we only have theories. I have offered you one: that your God gave all life forms a mechanism with which to work out their own methods of survival in the free-for-all that has resulted in what we humans consider to be a mixture of “good” and “bad”. You can hardly deny that this fits the facts of life’s history. And I am still waiting to hear why you find it illogical, apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit your personal view of God, that he would not want to lose control, that there must be a “good” reason for his directly creating what we consider to be “bad”, and one day we shall find out what it is.

DAVID: I don't believe God ever hands off responsibility to lesser forms. Your humanized God is nothing like mine. […]
You have repeated that you don’t believe the “humanized” free-for-all theory, and I know you prefer your “humanized” always-in-control theory, and we might add that you can’t explain why your “humanized” God would create all the “bad” things, because your “humanization” of him implicitly makes him all “good”. Now, regardless of your beliefs and disbeliefs, please explain why you find my theory illogical.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 28, 2021, 15:55 (74 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to use evolution, my statement you always distort as above. But using evolution every step is contingent upon past forms. Thus all past life forms were necessary to reach the human form.

dhw: That is an extraordinary conclusion, and the distortion is entirely yours. If God exists, then he chose to “use evolution”, and yes, common descent means that all forms are contingent upon past forms. But it does not mean that every life form is/was contingent upon every other life form that ever existed in the past! You might just as well tell us that ALL past life forms were necessary to reach the form of the duck-billed platypus! 99% of branches died out. So please tell us why every single one of those extinct branches – each one, according to you, directly designed by your God – was necessary for him to be able to design H. sapiens.

Contingency!!!! required by the process of evolution


DAVID: (corrected) The implication of your illogical argument, as I've always noted is why not use direct creation. There can be only one system used: either evolution or direct creation. And the huge bush supplies necessary food energy. I view your objection as having no basis in logic.

dhw: I can’t follow the syntax and hence the meaning of your first sentence, but it is you who have insisted that your God directly designed every innovation leading to speciation – not to mention every econiche and lifestyle and natural wonder – but you accept Darwin’s theory of common descent, which can only mean that your God preprogrammed or dabbled all the changes that took place in existing organisms, thereby transforming them into new species. If this is not your theory, then please tell us what is. The different bushes supplied food energy for every species that ever lived, but that does not mean that every species and every bush in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” You know perfectly well that this is the illogical element of your theory, so I don’t know why you keep reverting to “I have no idea why God chose to use evolution”. The question is why, if his one and only goal was to evolve/design humans, he chose to directly design all the species that had no connection with humans.

See above. Sentence typo corrected. Because He chose, for his own reasons, to evolve humans by design from a start with bacteria, it all makes perfect sense to me. Again, contingency is the key to evolution. What is a past form becomes a new form by modification as evolution proceeds forward accepting Darwin's premise of common descent.


Viruses (taken from “Miscellany”)

dhw: […] we only have theories. I have offered you one: that your God gave all life forms a mechanism with which to work out their own methods of survival in the free-for-all that has resulted in what we humans consider to be a mixture of “good” and “bad”. You can hardly deny that this fits the facts of life’s history. And I am still waiting to hear why you find it illogical, apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit your personal view of God, that he would not want to lose control, that there must be a “good” reason for his directly creating what we consider to be “bad”, and one day we shall find out what it is.

DAVID: I don't believe God ever hands off responsibility to lesser forms. Your humanized God is nothing like mine. […]

dhw: You have repeated that you don’t believe the “humanized” free-for-all theory, and I know you prefer your “humanized” always-in-control theory, and we might add that you can’t explain why your “humanized” God would create all the “bad” things, because your “humanization” of him implicitly makes him all “good”. Now, regardless of your beliefs and disbeliefs, please explain why you find my theory illogical.

There is no logic in our views of God. We all have theistic theories. My view of God is eons apart from yours. Note our discussion about God and time. Your very humanized God does logical things since your 'god' is so human.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, March 01, 2021, 13:26 (73 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have no idea why God chose to use evolution, my statement you always distort as above. But using evolution every step is contingent upon past forms. Thus all past life forms were necessary to reach the human form.

dhw: That is an extraordinary conclusion, and the distortion is entirely yours. If God exists, then he chose to “use evolution”, and yes, common descent means that all forms are contingent upon past forms. But it does not mean that every life form is/was contingent upon every other life form that ever existed in the past! You might just as well tell us that ALL past life forms were necessary to reach the form of the duck-billed platypus! 99% of branches died out. So please tell us why every single one of those extinct branches – each one, according to you, directly designed by your God – was necessary for him to be able to design H. sapiens.

DAVID: Contingency!!!! required by the process of evolution.

Howling “contingency!!!” explains nothing. Please explain why your God’s direct design of humans was contingent upon his direct design of the brontosaurus. […]

dhw: The question is why, if his one and only goal was to evolve/design humans, he chose to directly design all the species that had no connection with humans.

I have cut the comments in between, because you still keep using the same tactic of dodging the question.

DAVID: Because He chose, for his own reasons, to evolve humans by design from a start with bacteria, it all makes perfect sense to me.

By “evolve” you mean directly design, and he chose to “evolve” EVERY life form from bacteria – not just humans – and the problem is WHY he chose to evolve all the life forms that had no connection with humans, if his one and only purpose was to evolve humans.

DAVID: Again, contingency is the key to evolution. What is a past form becomes a new form by modification as evolution proceeds forward accepting Darwin's premise of common descent.

An excellent description of how common descent works, and totally irrelevant to the question why your God designed all the life forms that had no connection with humans if his only goal was to design humans – or to put it another way, how does “contingency” come to mean that every single life form in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving (= designing) humans”? You have no idea, and that is where this discussion should end.

Viruses

dhw: […] we only have theories. I have offered you one: that your God gave all life forms a mechanism with which to work out their own methods of survival in the free-for-all that has resulted in what we humans consider to be a mixture of “good” and “bad”. You can hardly deny that this fits the facts of life’s history. And I am still waiting to hear why you find it illogical, apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit your personal view of God, that he would not want to lose control, that there must be a “good” reason for his directly creating what we consider to be “bad”, and one day we shall find out what it is.

DAVID: I don't believe God ever hands off responsibility to lesser forms. Your humanized God is nothing like mine. […]

dhw: You have repeated that you don’t believe the “humanized” free-for-all theory, and I know you prefer your “humanized” always-in-control theory, and we might add that you can’t explain why your “humanized” God would create all the “bad” things, because your “humanization” of him implicitly makes him all “good”. Now, regardless of your subjective beliefs and disbeliefs, please explain why you find my theory illogical.

DAVID: There is no logic in our views of God. We all have theistic theories. My view of God is eons apart from yours. Note our discussion about God and time. Your very humanized God does logical things since your 'god' is so human.

Now apparently my view of God is illogical because he does logical things, and that “humanizes him”. And yet even when you try to wriggle out of your support for the possibility/probability that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you insist that he has logic like ours.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 01, 2021, 16:13 (73 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Contingency!!!! required by the process of evolution.

dhw: Howling “contingency!!!” explains nothing. Please explain why your God’s direct design of humans was contingent upon his direct design of the brontosaurus. […]

Just another branch in the bush of life, its size required for food energy supply.

DAVID: Again, contingency is the key to evolution. What is a past form becomes a new form by modification as evolution proceeds forward accepting Darwin's premise of common descent.

dhw: An excellent description of how common descent works, and totally irrelevant to the question why your God designed all the life forms that had no connection with humans if his only goal was to design humans – or to put it another way, how does “contingency” come to mean that every single life form in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving (= designing) humans”? You have no idea, and that is where this discussion should end.

I'm full of ideas and concepts about evolution and humans most of which you remain blind to:
God chose to evolve us, and you agree, noting 'if' He exists. The history of evolution is real, and you reject it, and ask the ridiculous question: if He wanted humans why did He bother to evolve them as history shows with all the intervening forms? Total non sequitor


Viruses

dhw: You have repeated that you don’t believe the “humanized” free-for-all theory, and I know you prefer your “humanized” always-in-control theory, and we might add that you can’t explain why your “humanized” God would create all the “bad” things, because your “humanization” of him implicitly makes him all “good”. Now, regardless of your subjective beliefs and disbeliefs, please explain why you find my theory illogical.

DAVID: There is no logic in our views of God. We all have theistic theories. My view of God is eons apart from yours. Note our discussion about God and time. Your very humanized God does logical things since your 'god' is so human.

dhw: Now apparently my view of God is illogical because he does logical things, and that “humanizes him”. And yet even when you try to wriggle out of your support for the possibility/probability that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you insist that he has logic like ours.

I don't see what you are attempting to prove. We can be sure God uses logical thought as we do. As long as you do not understand your humanizing approach, as shown in the 'timeless' thread, we won't reach any agreements.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, March 02, 2021, 13:05 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Contingency!!!! required by the process of evolution.

dhw: Howling “contingency!!!” explains nothing. Please explain why your God’s direct design of humans was contingent upon his direct design of the brontosaurus. […]

DAVID: Just another branch in the bush of life, its size required for food energy supply.

Thank you. “Just another branch” is precisely my point. No connection with humans – i.e. not “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

DAVID: Again, contingency is the key to evolution. What is a past form becomes a new form by modification as evolution proceeds forward accepting Darwin's premise of common descent.

dhw: An excellent description of how common descent works, and totally irrelevant to the question why your God designed all the life forms that had no connection with humans if his only goal was to design humans – or to put it another way, how does “contingency” come to mean that every single life form in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving (= designing) humans”? You have no idea, and that is where this discussion should end.

DAVID: I'm full of ideas and concepts about evolution and humans most of which you remain blind to:
God chose to evolve us, and you agree, noting 'if' He exists. The history of evolution is real, and you reject it, and ask the ridiculous question: if He wanted humans why did He bother to evolve them as history shows with all the intervening forms? Total non sequitor.

As usual, you dodge the bolded question, and totally misrepresent my objections to your theory! I wish you would stop doing so. Please note: 1) I accept the history of evolution. 2) If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL FORMS OF LIFE, every one of which is part of the history of evolution. 3) I do not ask why your God would have bothered to evolve humans, but why, if humans were his only goal, he bothered to evolve [design] the 99% of life forms that are part of the history of evolution but had no connection with humans.

Viruses

dhw: You have repeated that you don’t believe the “humanized” free-for-all theory, and I know you prefer your “humanized” always-in-control theory, and we might add that you can’t explain why your “humanized” God would create all the “bad” things, because your “humanization” of him implicitly makes him all “good”. Now, regardless of your subjective beliefs and disbeliefs, please explain why you find my theory illogical.

DAVID: There is no logic in our views of God. […] Your very humanized God does logical things since your 'god' is so human.

dhw: Now apparently my view of God is illogical because he does logical things, and that “humanizes him”. And yet even when you try to wriggle out of your support for the possibility/probability that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you insist that he has logic like ours.

DAVID: I don't see what you are attempting to prove. We can be sure God uses logical thought as we do. As long as you do not understand your humanizing approach, as shown in the 'timeless' thread, we won't reach any agreements.

My “humanizing approach” is that your God would act logically, and you have agreed that your God uses logical thought as we do. You say that my “very humanized God does logical things”, and so I am asking you to give me a logical reason for rejecting my logical theory.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 02, 2021, 18:02 (72 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Just another branch in the bush of life, its size required for food energy supply.

dhw: Thank you. “Just another branch” is precisely my point. No connection with humans – i.e. not “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

You seem to prefer to view evolution as a totally disconnected process. Sapiens is the latest iteration in the primate branch, which existed back in dino times. And we came from something else before that. I reject your disconnected complaint. We evol ved from bacteria, one step at a time designed by God.


dhw: An excellent description of how common descent works, and totally irrelevant to the question why your God designed all the life forms that had no connection with humans if his only goal was to design humans – or to put it another way, how does “contingency” come to mean that every single life form in the history of life was “part of the goal of evolving (= designing) humans”? You have no idea, and that is where this discussion should end.

DAVID: I'm full of ideas and concepts about evolution and humans most of which you remain blind to:
God chose to evolve us, and you agree, noting 'if' He exists. The history of evolution is real, and you reject it, and ask the ridiculous question: if He wanted humans why did He bother to evolve them as history shows with all the intervening forms? Total non sequitor.

dhw: As usual, you dodge the bolded question, and totally misrepresent my objections to your theory! I wish you would stop doing so. Please note: 1) I accept the history of evolution. 2) If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL FORMS OF LIFE, every one of which is part of the history of evolution. 3) I do not ask why your God would have bothered to evolve humans, but why, if humans were his only goal, he bothered to evolve [design] the 99% of life forms that are part of the history of evolution but had no connection with humans.

I'm not stupid. I don't dodge your irrational objection. We've been 'round and 'round for years with your obvious implication, why not a choice by God for direct design of humans? That isn't what He did! I follow history. I frankly don 't understand your reasoning about God.


Viruses

DAVID: I don't see what you are attempting to prove. We can be sure God uses logical thought as we do. As long as you do not understand your humanizing approach, as shown in the 'timeless' thread, we won't reach any agreements.

dhw: My “humanizing approach” is that your God would act logically, and you have agreed that your God uses logical thought as we do. You say that my “very humanized God does logical things”, and so I am asking you to give me a logical reason for rejecting my logical theory.

I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, March 03, 2021, 11:29 (71 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Just another branch in the bush of life, its size required for food energy supply.

dhw: Thank you. “Just another branch” is precisely my point. No connection with humans – i.e. not “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

DAVID: You seem to prefer to view evolution as a totally disconnected process. Sapiens is the latest iteration in the primate branch, which existed back in dino times. And we came from something else before that. I reject your disconnected complaint. We evolved from bacteria, one step at a time designed by God.

And every other life form also “evolved” from bacteria (but by “evolved” you mean were specially designed), and 99% of them are extinct and had no connection with humans. The fact that sapiens is the latest “iteration” in the primate branch does not mean that every individual species in every other branch was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” Why do you keep dodging?

DAVID: I'm not stupid. I don't dodge your irrational objection. We've been 'round and 'round for years with your obvious implication, why not a choice by God for direct design of humans? That isn't what He did! I follow history. I frankly don't understand your reasoning about God.

No, you are not stupid, but you are as stubborn as I am! ;-) And so once again you ignore the problem, which is not just why your God did not directly design humans, but why – if humans were his only goal – he directly designed millions of life forms that had no connection with humans (or their food supply). You do indeed follow history, in so far as you acknowledge that there have been millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, and you believe your God directly designed all of them, and you believe that all of them were part of the goal of evolving humans. What I “frankly” don’t understand is why your God would have directly designed all of these, although 99% of them had no connection with his one and only goal. And at odd moments in these discussions, you have even admitted that you have no idea. But then a few days later, you return to the same theory and we go through the same game of dodge.

Reptile and mammal backbones

QUOTE: 'Lizards and mammals diverged from one another millions of years ago and they've each gone on their own evolutionary journey. We show that living lizards don't represent any sort of ancestral morphology or function that the two groups would have had in common so long ago."

DAVID: A clear exposition of the continuity in evolutionary changes, but dhw objects to this process finally leading to humans.

You could hardly have provided us with a clearer exposition of the fact that there is no continuity. You should perhaps read the articles you so kindly provide us with.

Viruses

DAVID: I don't see what you are attempting to prove. We can be sure God uses logical thought as we do. As long as you do not understand your humanizing approach, as shown in the 'timeless' thread, we won't reach any agreements.

dhw: My “humanizing approach” is that your God would act logically, and you have agreed that your God uses logical thought as we do. You say that my “very humanized God does logical things”, and so I am asking you to give me a logical reason for rejecting my logical theory.

DAVID: I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

Why have you used the word “person”? What I have proposed is a view of your God’s purpose and method which entails thought patterns and logic similar to ours. You agree that they are logical, and you agree that your God may have thought patterns and logic similar to ours. So what is your problem with my logical theory?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 03, 2021, 16:31 (71 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Wednesday, March 03, 2021, 16:55

dhw: And every other life form also “evolved” from bacteria (but by “evolved” you mean were specially designed), and 99% of them are extinct and had no connection with humans. The fact that sapiens is the latest “iteration” in the primate branch does not mean that every individual species in every other branch was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” Why do you keep dodging?

DAVID: I'm not stupid. I don't dodge your irrational objection. We've been 'round and 'round for years with your obvious implication, why not a choice by God for direct design of humans? That isn't what He did! I follow history. I frankly don't understand your reasoning about God.

dhw: No, you are not stupid, but you are as stubborn as I am! ;-) And so once again you ignore the problem, which is not just why your God did not directly design humans, but why – if humans were his only goal – he directly designed millions of life forms that had no connection with humans (or their food supply). You do indeed follow history, in so far as you acknowledge that there have been millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, and you believe your God directly designed all of them, and you believe that all of them were part of the goal of evolving humans. What I “frankly” don’t understand is why your God would have directly designed all of these, although 99% of them had no connection with his one and only goal. And at odd moments in these discussions, you have even admitted that you have no idea. But then a few days later, you return to the same theory and we go through the same game of dodge.

The bold is your usual distortion of my statement, which, again is only I don't know why He made the choice to evolve, vs. direct creation. You don't understand His choice either. I follow the real history that He evolved everything organism) we know about. And I have explained the need for a giant food supply. Just accept it.


Reptile and mammal backbones

QUOTE: 'Lizards and mammals diverged from one another millions of years ago and they've each gone on their own evolutionary journey. We show that living lizards don't represent any sort of ancestral morphology or function that the two groups would have had in common so long ago."

DAVID: A clear exposition of the continuity in evolutionary changes, but dhw objects to this process finally leading to humans.

dhw: You could hardly have provided us with a clearer exposition of the fact that there is no continuity. You should perhaps read the articles you so kindly provide us with.

Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.


Viruses

DAVID: I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

dhw: Why have you used the word “person”? What I have proposed is a view of your God’s purpose and method which entails thought patterns and logic similar to ours. You agree that they are logical, and you agree that your God may have thought patterns and logic similar to ours. So what is your problem with my logical theory?

It involves a humanized God, a problem you do not recognize.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, March 04, 2021, 11:41 (70 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You do indeed follow history, in so far as you acknowledge that there have been millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders, and you believe your God directly designed all of them, and you believe that all of them were part of the goal of evolving humans. What I “frankly” don’t understand is why your God would have directly designed all of these, although 99% of them had no connection with his one and only goal. And at odd moments in these discussions, you have even admitted that you have no idea. But then a few days later, you return to the same theory and we go through the same game of dodge.

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion of my statement, which, again is only I don't know why He made the choice to evolve, vs. direct creation. You don't understand His choice either. I follow the real history that He evolved everything organism) we know about. And I have explained the need for a giant food supply. Just accept it.

How can I accept such a truncated version of your beliefs, which leaves out every part that renders your theory illogical? Firstly, you have him directly creating every life form, econiche etc. Your sop to evolution is that his preprogrammming or dabbling is carried out on existing species (i.e. common descent). Secondly, yes, every organism evolved, but according to you , every organism that he directly designed was “part of the goal of evolving [directly designing] humans”. But 99% of the organisms had no connection with humans , so how can they have been part of the goal? And lastly, our giant food supply has no connection with the giant food supply required in the past. You know all this, you can’t explain it, and so all you can do is dodge it.

Reptile and mammal backbones

QUOTE: 'Lizards and mammals diverged from one another millions of years ago and they've each gone on their own evolutionary journey. We show that living lizards don't represent any sort of ancestral morphology or function that the two groups would have had in common so long ago."

DAVID: A clear exposition of the continuity in evolutionary changes, but dhw objects to this process finally leading to humans.

dhw: You could hardly have provided us with a clearer exposition of the fact that there is no continuity. You should perhaps read the articles you so kindly provide us with.

DAVID: Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.

When someone says lizards and mammals went their own way and have no morphology or function in common, I don’t know how you can take that as evidence of continuity.

Viruses

DAVID: I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

dhw: Why have you used the word “person”? What I have proposed is a view of your God’s purpose and method which entails thought patterns and logic similar to ours. You agree that they are logical, and you agree that your God may have thought patterns and logic similar to ours. So what is your problem with my logical theory?

DAVID: It involves a humanized God, a problem you do not recognize.

It involves thought patterns we may have in common. There is no problem except your refusal to accept that a logical theory is logical, on the grounds that it does not fit in with your image of your God.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 04, 2021, 17:28 (70 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion of my statement, which, again is only I don't know why He made the choice to evolve, vs. direct creation. You don't understand His choice either. I follow the real history that He evolved everything organism) we know about. And I have explained the need for a giant food supply. Just accept it.

dhw: How can I accept such a truncated version of your beliefs, which leaves out every part that renders your theory illogical? Firstly, you have him directly creating every life form, econiche etc. Your sop to evolution is that his preprogrammming or dabbling is carried out on existing species (i.e. common descent). Secondly, yes, every organism evolved, but according to you , every organism that he directly designed was “part of the goal of evolving [directly designing] humans”. But 99% of the organisms had no connection with humans , so how can they have been part of the goal? And lastly, our giant food supply has no connection with the giant food supply required in the past. You know all this, you can’t explain it, and so all you can do is dodge it.

it is your confused view I dodge. God ran evolution and did created all species in my view, with the final goal of producing humans. Exactly as the history He produced shows. You only accept God 'might' have done this and doubt his method.


Reptile and mammal backbones

QUOTE: 'Lizards and mammals diverged from one another millions of years ago and they've each gone on their own evolutionary journey. We show that living lizards don't represent any sort of ancestral morphology or function that the two groups would have had in common so long ago."

DAVID: A clear exposition of the continuity in evolutionary changes, but dhw objects to this process finally leading to humans.

dhw: You could hardly have provided us with a clearer exposition of the fact that there is no continuity. You should perhaps read the articles you so kindly provide us with.

DAVID: Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.

dhw: When someone says lizards and mammals went their own way and have no morphology or function in common, I don’t know how you can take that as evidence of continuity.

Every part of evolution has side branches, which creates the 'bush'. All the original roots are the same.


Viruses

DAVID: I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

dhw: Why have you used the word “person”? What I have proposed is a view of your God’s purpose and method which entails thought patterns and logic similar to ours. You agree that they are logical, and you agree that your God may have thought patterns and logic similar to ours. So what is your problem with my logical theory?

DAVID: It involves a humanized God, a problem you do not recognize.

dhw: It involves thought patterns we may have in common. There is no problem except your refusal to accept that a logical theory is logical, on the grounds that it does not fit in with your image of your God.

Why should I accept your imagined God? We differ widely in His personality.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, March 05, 2021, 12:03 (69 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The bold is your usual distortion of my statement, which, again is only I don't know why He made the choice to evolve, vs. direct creation. You don't understand His choice either. I follow the real history that He evolved everything organism) we know about. And I have explained the need for a giant food supply. Just accept it.

dhw: How can I accept such a truncated version of your beliefs, which leaves out every part that renders your theory illogical? Firstly, you have him directly creating every life form, econiche etc. Your sop to evolution is that his preprogrammming or dabbling is carried out on existing species (i.e. common descent). Secondly, yes, every organism evolved, but according to you , every organism that he directly designed was “part of the goal of evolving [directly designing] humans”. But 99% of the organisms had no connection with humans , so how can they have been part of the goal? And lastly, our giant food supply has no connection with the giant food supply required in the past. You know all this, you can’t explain it, and so all you can do is dodge it.

DAVID: it is your confused view I dodge. God ran evolution and did created all species in my view, with the final goal of producing humans. Exactly as the history He produced shows. You only accept God 'might' have done this and doubt his method.

You have repeated your belief that your God directly designed all species and that his goal was to design humans. This is not history! History only tells us that there have been millions of life forms etc., and humans are the last known species so far. If God exists, it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that this is what he wanted to produce. It is totally unreasonable to tell us that his purpose was to design humans and therefore he designed millions of life forms that had no connection with humans. You are determined to dodge this illogicality.


Reptile and mammal backbones

QUOTE: 'Lizards and mammals diverged from one another millions of years ago and they've each gone on their own evolutionary journey. We show that living lizards don't represent any sort of ancestral morphology or function that the two groups would have had in common so long ago."

DAVID: A clear exposition of the continuity in evolutionary changes, but dhw objects to this process finally leading to humans.

dhw: You could hardly have provided us with a clearer exposition of the fact that there is no continuity. You should perhaps read the articles you so kindly provide us with.

DAVID: Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.

dhw: When someone says lizards and mammals went their own way and have no morphology or function in common, I don’t know how you can take that as evidence of continuity.

DAVID: Every part of evolution has side branches, which creates the 'bush'. All the original roots are the same.

Yes indeed. Now please tell us how lizards could have been “part of the goal to evolve [= directly design] humans”, if they went their own way and they had/have no morphology or function in common with us mammals.

Viruses

DAVID: I'm pointing out to you, we both have very different views of God's personage and how He acquires His purposes. What you have proposed about God's actions are logical if He is a humanized person.

dhw: Why have you used the word “person”? What I have proposed is a view of your God’s purpose and method which entails thought patterns and logic similar to ours. You agree that they are logical, and you agree that your God may have thought patterns and logic similar to ours. So what is your problem with my logical theory?

DAVID: It involves a humanized God, a problem you do not recognize.

dhw: It involves thought patterns we may have in common. There is no problem except your refusal to accept that a logical theory is logical, on the grounds that it does not fit in with your image of your God.

DAVID: Why should I accept your imagined God? We differ widely in His personality.

You do not have to accept my theory. I am only asking you to give me reasons for your rejection – just as I give you my reasons for rejecting your own theories. What is the point of discussing these subjects if we do not discuss possible explanations and why these do or do not stand up to analysis?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, March 05, 2021, 15:36 (69 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: it is your confused view I dodge. God ran evolution and did created all species in my view, with the final goal of producing humans. Exactly as the history He produced shows. You only accept God 'might' have done this and doubt his method.

dhw: You have repeated your belief that your God directly designed all species and that his goal was to design humans. This is not history! History only tells us that there have been millions of life forms etc., and humans are the last known species so far. If God exists, it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that this is what he wanted to produce. It is totally unreasonable to tell us that his purpose was to design humans and therefore he designed millions of life forms that had no connection with humans. You are determined to dodge this illogicality.

Your confused view continues. It was God's purpose to evolve all forms leading to His final intended unique form, humans. Why is that confusing to you?


Reptile and mammal backbones

DAVID: Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.

dhw: When someone says lizards and mammals went their own way and have no morphology or function in common, I don’t know how you can take that as evidence of continuity.

DAVID: Every part of evolution has side branches, which creates the 'bush'. All the original roots are the same.

dhw: Yes indeed. Now please tell us how lizards could have been “part of the goal to evolve [= directly design] humans”, if they went their own way and they had/have no morphology or function in common with us mammals.

As above, it was God's intention to design all side branches. Seems you are ignoring common descent, where everyone comes from common ancestors.


Viruses

dhw: It involves thought patterns we may have in common. There is no problem except your refusal to accept that a logical theory is logical, on the grounds that it does not fit in with your image of your God.

DAVID: Why should I accept your imagined God? We differ widely in His personality.

dhw: You do not have to accept my theory. I am only asking you to give me reasons for your rejection – just as I give you my reasons for rejecting your own theories. What is the point of discussing these subjects if we do not discuss possible explanations and why these do or do not stand up to analysis?

Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 10:10 (68 days ago) @ David Turell

This begins with the usual discussion of David’s theory of evolution, as under “pre-planning”, that his God directly designed every life form as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. However the following may offer us a glimmer of light….

Reptile and mammal backbones

DAVID: Here we go again on opposite sides. I read the article as continuity and you don't see it.

dhw : When someone says lizards and mammals went their own way and have no morphology or function in common, I don’t know how you can take that as evidence of continuity.

DAVID: Every part of evolution has side branches, which creates the 'bush'. All the original roots are the same.

dhw: Yes indeed. Now please tell us how lizards could have been “part of the goal to evolve [= directly design] humans”, if they went their own way and they had/have no morphology or function in common with us mammals.

DAVID: As above, it was God's intention to design all side branches. Seems you are ignoring common descent, where everyone comes from common ancestors.

Common descent does not mean that every life form in history was designed as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. Why would your God have designed lizards if all he wanted to do was design humans? Possible explanation offered by you a couple of weeks ago: “He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. That makes sense. He desired to create them. Not he created them as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. And it is heartening to find you suggesting that God has desires, and it even seems to you that he has a desire in common with some of us humans – the desire to create. If only you would pursue your own idea, it might even lead to you admitting the possibility (as you did once before) that your God might enjoy his work as a painter enjoys his paintings. And it might even lead you to agree that since you are sure that he watches his creations with interest, he might have created them in order to have something that would interest him.

Viruses

dhw: You do not have to accept my theory. I am only asking you to give me reasons for your rejection – just as I give you my reasons for rejecting your own theories. What is the point of discussing these subjects if we do not discuss possible explanations and why these do or do not stand up to analysis?

DAVID: Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

Do please tell us your view of God’s “personage”. By that I don’t mean tell us what you think your God is NOT, but tell us what you think your God IS.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 06, 2021, 15:42 (68 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: This begins with the usual discussion of David’s theory of evolution, as under “pre-planning”, that his God directly designed every life form as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. However the following may offer us a glimmer of light….

Reptile and mammal backbones

dhw: Yes indeed. Now please tell us how lizards could have been “part of the goal to evolve [= directly design] humans”, if they went their own way and they had/have no morphology or function in common with us mammals.

DAVID: As above, it was God's intention to design all side branches. Seems you are ignoring common descent, where everyone comes from common ancestors.

dhw: Common descent does not mean that every life form in history was designed as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. Why would your God have designed lizards if all he wanted to do was design humans? Possible explanation offered by you a couple of weeks ago: “He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. That makes sense. He desired to create them. Not he created them as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. And it is heartening to find you suggesting that God has desires, and it even seems to you that he has a desire in common with some of us humans – the desire to create. If only you would pursue your own idea, it might even lead to you admitting the possibility (as you did once before) that your God might enjoy his work as a painter enjoys his paintings. And it might even lead you to agree that since you are sure that he watches his creations with interest, he might have created them in order to have something that would interest him.

Thank you for your long review clarifying past discussions. I'm sure God enjoys His work at creating. I'm sure He started with goals in mind. He obviously eschewed direct creations and chose evolution for the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally for living organisms. He has never shown His reasons for using evolving processes. We must accept what He obviously has chosen to do to reach His goals. Very unusual exceptional H. sapiens is a standout example of an obvious goal.


Viruses

dhw: You do not have to accept my theory. I am only asking you to give me reasons for your rejection – just as I give you my reasons for rejecting your own theories. What is the point of discussing these subjects if we do not discuss possible explanations and why these do or do not stand up to analysis?

DAVID: Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

dhw: Do please tell us your view of God’s “personage”. By that I don’t mean tell us what you think your God is NOT, but tell us what you think your God IS.

Very purposeful, very logical, creating what He wishes but never for His own enjoyment or self-interest. Never for human desires.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, March 07, 2021, 17:11 (67 days ago) @ David Turell

Reptile and mammal backbones

dhw: Common descent does not mean that every life form in history was designed as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. Why would your God have designed lizards if all he wanted to do was design humans? Possible explanation offered by you a couple of weeks ago: “He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. That makes sense. He desired to create them. Not he created them as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. And it is heartening to find you suggesting that God has desires, and it even seems to you that he has a desire in common with some of us humans – the desire to create. If only you would pursue your own idea, it might even lead to you admitting the possibility (as you did once before) that your God might enjoy his work as a painter enjoys his paintings. And it might even lead you to agree that since you are sure that he watches his creations with interest, he might have created them in order to have something that would interest him.

DAVID: Thank you for your long review clarifying past discussions. I'm sure God enjoys His work at creating. I'm sure He started with goals in mind. He obviously eschewed direct creations and chose evolution for the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally for living organisms. He has never shown His reasons for using evolving processes. We must accept what He obviously has chosen to do to reach His goals. Very unusual exceptional H. sapiens is a standout example of an obvious goal.

I’m delighted that you are sure God enjoys creating. And of course he would have started with goals in mind. And I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that one of his goals was to enjoy creating. Yes, if he exists, he obviously used evolution to fulfil whatever his purpose(s) might have been, and yes, we must accept what he chose to do to reach his goals. And I have no problem at all accepting that humans could have been one of his goals. And I am doubly delighted that you appear to have dropped the suggestion that H. sapiens was his one and only goal, and your review of your own position no longer insists that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. This at long last relieves you of the burden of trying to explain why he designed lizards and brontosauruses when his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. We are close to agreement at last.

Viruses

dhw: You do not have to accept my theory. I am only asking you to give me reasons for your rejection – just as I give you my reasons for rejecting your own theories. What is the point of discussing these subjects if we do not discuss possible explanations and why these do or do not stand up to analysis?

DAVID: Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

hw: Do please tell us your view of God’s “personage”. By that I don’t mean tell us what you think your God is NOT, but tell us what you think your God IS.

DAVID: Very purposeful, very logical, creating what He wishes but never for His own enjoyment or self-interest. Never for human desires.

I did ask you not to tell us what you think he is NOT. And once again I am at a loss as to why you are certain that he enjoys his creative work and also that he watches the results with interest, and yet you discount the possibility that one of his goals might have been to create things that he would enjoy creating and would be able to watch with interest. Of course I agree that he must be very purposeful and logical. And if one of his purposes was to design the exceptional H. sapiens, do please tell us (or rather repeat) what you think was his purpose in designing us. Thank you.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 08, 2021, 01:17 (66 days ago) @ dhw

Reptile and mammal backbones

DAVID: Thank you for your long review clarifying past discussions. I'm sure God enjoys His work at creating. I'm sure He started with goals in mind. He obviously eschewed direct creations and chose evolution for the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally for living organisms. He has never shown His reasons for using evolving processes. We must accept what He obviously has chosen to do to reach His goals. Very unusual exceptional H. sapiens is a standout example of an obvious goal.

dhw: I’m delighted that you are sure God enjoys creating. And of course he would have started with goals in mind. And I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that one of his goals was to enjoy creating. Yes, if he exists, he obviously used evolution to fulfil whatever his purpose(s) might have been, and yes, we must accept what he chose to do to reach his goals. And I have no problem at all accepting that humans could have been one of his goals. And I am doubly delighted that you appear to have dropped the suggestion that H. sapiens was his one and only goal, and your review of your own position no longer insists that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. This at long last relieves you of the burden of trying to explain why he designed lizards and brontosauruses when his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. We are close to agreement at last.

Don't try to inch closer. "enjoying creating" is so very humanizing.


Viruses

DAVID: Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

hw: Do please tell us your view of God’s “personage”. By that I don’t mean tell us what you think your God is NOT, but tell us what you think your God IS.

DAVID: Very purposeful, very logical, creating what He wishes but never for His own enjoyment or self-interest. Never for human desires.

dhw: I did ask you not to tell us what you think he is NOT. And once again I am at a loss as to why you are certain that he enjoys his creative work and also that he watches the results with interest, and yet you discount the possibility that one of his goals might have been to create things that he would enjoy creating and would be able to watch with interest. Of course I agree that he must be very purposeful and logical. And if one of his purposes was to design the exceptional H. sapiens, do please tell us (or rather repeat) what you think was his purpose in designing us. Thank you.

He hasn't told us why we are here as His creation. All religions make up stories about it. have no answer I trust, other than we are the obvious goal for Adler and me.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, March 08, 2021, 14:05 (66 days ago) @ David Turell

Reptile and mammal backbones

DAVID: Thank you for your long review clarifying past discussions. I'm sure God enjoys His work at creating. I'm sure He started with goals in mind. He obviously eschewed direct creations and chose evolution for the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally for living organisms. He has never shown His reasons for using evolving processes. We must accept what He obviously has chosen to do to reach His goals. Very unusual exceptional H. sapiens is a standout example of an obvious goal.

dhw: I’m delighted that you are sure God enjoys creating. And of course he would have started with goals in mind. And I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that one of his goals was to enjoy creating. Yes, if he exists, he obviously used evolution to fulfil whatever his purpose(s) might have been, and yes, we must accept what he chose to do to reach his goals. And I have no problem at all accepting that humans could have been one of his goals. And I am doubly delighted that you appear to have dropped the suggestion that H. sapiens was his one and only goal, and your review of your own position no longer insists that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. This at long last relieves you of the burden of trying to explain why he designed lizards and brontosauruses when his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. We are close to agreement at last.

DAVID: Don't try to inch closer. "enjoying creating" is so very humanizing.

You are sure your God “enjoys his work at creating” but enjoying creating is very humanizing, although God probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. It is you who are inching closer, and I have no idea why you are so frightened by the logical thought that if your God really did create us, he might have endowed us with certain attributes of his own. Let me try another idea on you, purely out of interest. Do you think your God is incapable of love?

Viruses

DAVID: Where we initially differ in our views of God's personage there can be no agreement. I can't change your humanizing view, and you won't change mine.

dhw: Do please tell us your view of God’s “personage”. By that I don’t mean tell us what you think your God is NOT, but tell us what you think your God IS.

DAVID: Very purposeful, very logical, creating what He wishes but never for His own enjoyment or self-interest. Never for human desires.

dhw: I did ask you not to tell us what you think he is NOT. And once again I am at a loss as to why you are certain that he enjoys his creative work and also that he watches the results with interest, and yet you discount the possibility that one of his goals might have been to create things that he would enjoy creating and would be able to watch with interest. Of course I agree that he must be very purposeful and logical. And if one of his purposes was to design the exceptional H. sapiens, do please tell us (again) what you think was his purpose in designing us. Thank you.

DAVID: He hasn't told us why we are here as His creation. All religions make up stories about it. have no answer I trust, other than we are the obvious goal for Adler and me.

God hasn’t told us anything about anything. Your efforts to twist life’s history into an illogical interpretation of his purpose and method, and your firm belief that he must have had a good purpose for creating bad bugs and viruses, are examples of your double standards. We mustn’t try to read his mind, but at the same time you can tell us what he wasn’t thinking when he did what you think he did.

Again purely out of interest and while on the subject of viruses, which you think your God designed for some unknown good purpose, do you think he has given Covid-19 instructions for their different mutations, or is their method of finding different ways to survive autonomous?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 08, 2021, 15:38 (66 days ago) @ dhw

Reptile and mammal backbones

DAVID: Thank you for your long review clarifying past discussions. I'm sure God enjoys His work at creating. I'm sure He started with goals in mind. He obviously eschewed direct creations and chose evolution for the universe, the Milky Way, the Earth, and finally for living organisms. He has never shown His reasons for using evolving processes. We must accept what He obviously has chosen to do to reach His goals. Very unusual exceptional H. sapiens is a standout example of an obvious goal.

dhw: I’m delighted that you are sure God enjoys creating. And of course he would have started with goals in mind. And I see no reason why you should reject the possibility that one of his goals was to enjoy creating. Yes, if he exists, he obviously used evolution to fulfil whatever his purpose(s) might have been, and yes, we must accept what he chose to do to reach his goals. And I have no problem at all accepting that humans could have been one of his goals. And I am doubly delighted that you appear to have dropped the suggestion that H. sapiens was his one and only goal, and your review of your own position no longer insists that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. This at long last relieves you of the burden of trying to explain why he designed lizards and brontosauruses when his only purpose was to design H. sapiens. We are close to agreement at last.

DAVID: Don't try to inch closer. "enjoying creating" is so very humanizing.

dhw: You are sure your God “enjoys his work at creating” but enjoying creating is very humanizing, although God probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. It is you who are inching closer, and I have no idea why you are so frightened by the logical thought that if your God really did create us, he might have endowed us with certain attributes of his own. Let me try another idea on you, purely out of interest. Do you think your God is incapable of love?

"God loves you" is pure religious thought. God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think He would stop. I don't know if He loves each individual in the human population or even tries to. Of course He can love if He wants to.


Viruses

DAVID: Very purposeful, very logical, creating what He wishes but never for His own enjoyment or self-interest. Never for human desires.

dhw: I did ask you not to tell us what you think he is NOT. And once again I am at a loss as to why you are certain that he enjoys his creative work and also that he watches the results with interest, and yet you discount the possibility that one of his goals might have been to create things that he would enjoy creating and would be able to watch with interest. Of course I agree that he must be very purposeful and logical. And if one of his purposes was to design the exceptional H. sapiens, do please tell us (again) what you think was his purpose in designing us. Thank you.

DAVID: He hasn't told us why we are here as His creation. All religions make up stories about it. have no answer I trust, other than we are the obvious goal for Adler and me.

dhw: God hasn’t told us anything about anything. Your efforts to twist life’s history into an illogical interpretation of his purpose and method, and your firm belief that he must have had a good purpose for creating bad bugs and viruses, are examples of your double standards. We mustn’t try to read his mind, but at the same time you can tell us what he wasn’t thinking when he did what you think he did.

God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.


dhw: Again purely out of interest and while on the subject of viruses, which you think your God designed for some unknown good purpose, do you think he has given Covid-19 instructions for their different mutations, or is their method of finding different ways to survive autonomous?

Actually I believe the Chinese invented the virus. However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, March 09, 2021, 11:52 (65 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Don't try to inch closer. "enjoying creating" is so very humanizing.

dhw: You are sure your God “enjoys his work at creating” but enjoying creating is very humanizing, although God probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. It is you who are inching closer, and I have no idea why you are so frightened by the logical thought that if your God really did create us, he might have endowed us with certain attributes of his own. Let me try another idea on you, purely out of interest. Do you think your God is incapable of love?

DAVID: "God loves you" is pure religious thought. God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think He would stop. I don't know if He loves each individual in the human population or even tries to. Of course He can love if He wants to.

So God is capable of enjoying creation, but he is incapable of desiring to create something so that he can enjoy it. Why? He is capable of love if he wants it. And how do you know what he wants or doesn’t want? Over and over again, you have conceded that it is possible/probable that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours (or let’s put it the other way round, we may have thought patterns and emotions similar to his), but the moment I propose a perfectly logical theory involving such patterns and/or emotions, you complain that they “humanize” him! They are possible, and unless you can find a logical flaw in the argument itself (which you have failed to do), maybe you could take a leaf out of my agnostic book: I recognize the logic of your argument for design, and so I accept that your theory concerning a designer is possible. I don’t dismiss it. That is the hallmark of agnosticism: to keep an open mind. Why can’t you do the same – not about the existence of God but about my theory to explain both theistic evolution and theodicy?

Viruses

dhw: God hasn’t told us anything about anything. Your efforts to twist life’s history into an illogical interpretation of his purpose and method, and your firm belief that he must have had a good purpose for creating bad bugs and viruses, are examples of your double standards. We mustn’t try to read his mind, but at the same time you can tell us what he wasn’t thinking when he did what you think he did.

DAVID: God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.

See above re "humanize". Now please try to find a logical flaw in my “guesses”.

dhw: Again purely out of interest and while on the subject of viruses, which you think your God designed for some unknown good purpose, do you think he has given Covid-19 instructions for their different mutations, or is their method of finding different ways to survive autonomous?

DAVID: Actually I believe the Chinese invented the virus. However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God.

I like your last sentence. I take the word mutation to mean a change in structure. If your God gave viruses an autonomous ability to change their own structure, why could he not have given the same ability to all life forms?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 09, 2021, 19:35 (65 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: "God loves you" is pure religious thought. God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think He would stop. I don't know if He loves each individual in the human population or even tries to. Of course He can love if He wants to.

dhw:So God is capable of enjoying creation, but he is incapable of desiring to create something so that he can enjoy it. Why? He is capable of love if he wants it. And how do you know what he wants or doesn’t want? Over and over again, you have conceded that it is possible/probable that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours (or let’s put it the other way round, we may have thought patterns and emotions similar to his), but the moment I propose a perfectly logical theory involving such patterns and/or emotions, you complain that they “humanize” him! They are possible, and unless you can find a logical flaw in the argument itself (which you have failed to do), maybe you could take a leaf out of my agnostic book: I recognize the logic of your argument for design, and so I accept that your theory concerning a designer is possible. I don’t dismiss it. That is the hallmark of agnosticism: to keep an open mind. Why can’t you do the same – not about the existence of God but about my theory to explain both theistic evolution and theodicy?

You can't get away from humanizing, while I try to avoid it every way I can, as you note. All I can tell is He obviously wanted us to appear. We can guess as to why, but let us remember it is all guesswork. I accept Him as the creator of reality without giving Him motives, and I am satisfied with that approach. You don't accept Him but want to know his motives. Strange. Does that help you at all in trying to find acceptance?


Viruses

dhw: God hasn’t told us anything about anything. Your efforts to twist life’s history into an illogical interpretation of his purpose and method, and your firm belief that he must have had a good purpose for creating bad bugs and viruses, are examples of your double standards. We mustn’t try to read his mind, but at the same time you can tell us what he wasn’t thinking when he did what you think he did.

DAVID: God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.

dhw: See above re "humanize". Now please try to find a logical flaw in my “guesses”.

There is a flaw in imagining a very humanized God and then saying your guesses are logical, since the initial premise is to humanize Him.


dhw: Again purely out of interest and while on the subject of viruses, which you think your God designed for some unknown good purpose, do you think he has given Covid-19 instructions for their different mutations, or is their method of finding different ways to survive autonomous?

DAVID: Actually I believe the Chinese invented the virus. However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God.

dhw: I like your last sentence. I take the word mutation to mean a change in structure. If your God gave viruses an autonomous ability to change their own structure, why could he not have given the same ability to all life forms?

We know all viruses mutate, but they start with a very simplistic structure in their DNA to make each change qite large.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 11:42 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: "God loves you" is pure religious thought. God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think He would stop. I don't know if He loves each individual in the human population or even tries to. Of course He can love if He wants to.

dhw: So God is capable of enjoying creation, but he is incapable of desiring to create something so that he can enjoy it. Why? He is capable of love if he wants it. And how do you know what he wants or doesn’t want? Over and over again, you have conceded that it is possible/probable that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours (or let’s put it the other way round, we may have thought patterns and emotions similar to his), but the moment I propose a perfectly logical theory involving such patterns and/or emotions, you complain that they “humanize” him! They are possible, and unless you can find a logical flaw in the argument itself (which you have failed to do), maybe you could take a leaf out of my agnostic book: I recognize the logic of your argument for design, and so I accept that your theory concerning a designer is possible. I don’t dismiss it. That is the hallmark of agnosticism: to keep an open mind. Why can’t you do the same – not about the existence of God but about my theory to explain both theistic evolution and theodicy?

DAVID: You can't get away from humanizing, while I try to avoid it every way I can, as you note. All I can tell is He obviously wanted us to appear.

If he exists, he obviously wanted the whole vast bush of life forms to appear.

DAVID: We can guess as to why, but let us remember it is all guesswork. I accept Him as the creator of reality without giving Him motives, and I am satisfied with that approach. You don't accept Him but want to know his motives. Strange. Does that help you at all in trying to find acceptance?

You don’t accept him without giving him motives, and that is the problem with your theory of evolution. Yes, it is all guesswork, and your guess is that he directly designed every single life form “AS PART OF THE GOAL OF EVOLVING [= designing] HUMANS”. A goal is a motive! That makes no sense, if 99% of life forms and their food supplies had no connection with humans. Then you harp on about your God’s purposefulness, but when asked what may have been his purpose in designing humans, you no longer want to discuss purposefulness. See below for more.

Viruses

dhw: God hasn’t told us anything about anything. Your efforts to twist life’s history into an illogical interpretation of his purpose and method, and your firm belief that he must have had a good purpose for creating bad bugs and viruses, are examples of your double standards. We mustn’t try to read his mind, but at the same time you can tell us what he wasn’t thinking when he did what you think he did.

DAVID: God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.

dhw: See above re "humanize". Now please try to find a logical flaw in my “guesses”.

DAVID: There is a flaw in imagining a very humanized God and then saying your guesses are logical, since the initial premise is to humanize Him.

How can you discuss your God’s purpose for creating life and evolution, or the problem of theodicy, without attributing human thought patterns to him, and why do you find it illogical that a God who you think created us with all our human attributes should have none of those attributes himself, even though according to you he probably/possibly does have them? At other moments, you have speculated that he may want a relationship with us, and may want us to admire his works. Why are you now so coy about making such guesses, and yet so bold as to guess that he must have had “good” reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria? And if you are certain that he enjoys creating, why is it illogical to suggest that he might create things in order to have something to enjoy? The diagnosis is double standards, Dr Turell, and the cure is a dose of open-minded logic. ;-)

DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God.

dhw: I like your last sentence. I take the word mutation to mean a change in structure. If your God gave viruses an autonomous ability to change their own structure, why could he not have given the same ability to all life forms?

DAVID: We know all viruses mutate, but they start with a very simplistic structure in their DNA to make each change qite large.

So if your God gave them the autonomous ability to change their simple structure, why could he not possiblY have given the same ability to less simple life forms?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 15:13 (64 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You can't get away from humanizing, while I try to avoid it every way I can, as you note. All I can tell is He obviously wanted us to appear.

dhw: If he exists, he obviously wanted the whole vast bush of life forms to appear.

DAVID: We can guess as to why, but let us remember it is all guesswork. I accept Him as the creator of reality without giving Him motives, and I am satisfied with that approach. You don't accept Him but want to know his motives. Strange. Does that help you at all in trying to find acceptance?

dhw: You don’t accept him without giving him motives, and that is the problem with your theory of evolution. Yes, it is all guesswork, and your guess is that he directly designed every single life form “AS PART OF THE GOAL OF EVOLVING [= designing] HUMANS”. A goal is a motive! That makes no sense, if 99% of life forms and their food supplies had no connection with humans. Then you harp on about your God’s purposefulness, but when asked what may have been his purpose in designing humans, you no longer want to discuss purposefulness. See below for more.

Motives and purpose are reasons for action, and we have been guessing at them for going on 13 years. Nothing new has turned up except the knowledge of the biochemistry of life is becoming increasingly complex, demanding a designer.


Viruses

DAVID: God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.

dhw: See above re "humanize". Now please try to find a logical flaw in my “guesses”.

DAVID: There is a flaw in imagining a very humanized God and then saying your guesses are logical, since the initial premise is to humanize Him.

dhw: How can you discuss your God’s purpose for creating life and evolution, or the problem of theodicy, without attributing human thought patterns to him, and why do you find it illogical that a God who you think created us with all our human attributes should have none of those attributes himself, even though according to you he probably/possibly does have them? At other moments, you have speculated that he may want a relationship with us, and may want us to admire his works. Why are you now so coy about making such guesses, and yet so bold as to guess that he must have had “good” reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria? And if you are certain that he enjoys creating, why is it illogical to suggest that he might create things in order to have something to enjoy? The diagnosis is double standards, Dr Turell, and the cure is a dose of open-minded logic. ;-)

You have covered our history and the bold is pure humanizing. Our views of God are totally different.


DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God.

dhw: I like your last sentence. I take the word mutation to mean a change in structure. If your God gave viruses an autonomous ability to change their own structure, why could he not have given the same ability to all life forms?

DAVID: We know all viruses mutate, but they start with a very simplistic structure in their DNA to make each change uqite large.

dhw: So if your God gave them the autonomous ability to change their simple structure, why could he not possiblY have given the same ability to less simple life forms?

No difference in our views. Every complex organism can make simple adaptations.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, March 11, 2021, 09:28 (63 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You can't get away from humanizing, while I try to avoid it every way I can, as you note. All I can tell is He obviously wanted us to appear.

dhw: If he exists, he obviously wanted the whole vast bush of life forms to appear.

DAVID: We can guess as to why, but let us remember it is all guesswork. I accept Him as the creator of reality without giving Him motives, and I am satisfied with that approach. You don't accept Him but want to know his motives. Strange. Does that help you at all in trying to find acceptance?

dhw: You don’t accept him without giving him motives, and that is the problem with your theory of evolution. Yes, it is all guesswork, and your guess is that he directly designed every single life form “AS PART OF THE GOAL OF EVOLVING [= designing] HUMANS”. A goal is a motive! That makes no sense, if 99% of life forms and their food supplies had no connection with humans. Then you harp on about your God’s purposefulness, but when asked what may have been his purpose in designing humans, you no longer want to discuss purposefulness. See below for more.

DAVID: Motives and purpose are reasons for action, and we have been guessing at them for going on 13 years. Nothing new has turned up except the knowledge of the biochemistry of life is becoming increasingly complex, demanding a designer.

I know what motives and purpose are. The case for design is not new, and I have accepted it for the sake of discussing your illogical theory above. You insist on your God having only one purpose, I have challenged your theory, and then you claim you don’t give him any purpose. I wish you would repeat the fact that you have no idea why your God would have chosen your version of his method to achieve your version of his purpose, and leave it at that.

Viruses

DAVID: God does what He did for His reasons, at which we guess from studying His works. Your guesses always humanize Him.

dhw: See above re "humanize". Now please try to find a logical flaw in my “guesses”.

DAVID: There is a flaw in imagining a very humanized God and then saying your guesses are logical, since the initial premise is to humanize Him.

dhw: How can you discuss your God’s purpose for creating life and evolution, or the problem of theodicy, without attributing human thought patterns to him, and why do you find it illogical that a God who you think created us with all our human attributes should have none of those attributes himself, even though according to you he probably/possibly does have them? At other moments, you have speculated that he may want a relationship with us, and may want us to admire his works. Why are you now so coy about making such guesses, and yet so bold as to guess that he must have had “good” reasons for designing “bad” viruses and bacteria? And if you are certain that he enjoys creating, why is it illogical to suggest that he might create things in order to have something to enjoy? The diagnosis is double standards, Dr Turell, and the cure is a dose of open-minded logic. ;-)

DAVID: You have covered our history and the bold is pure humanizing. Our views of God are totally different.

Why is it OK for you to humanize him by telling us you are sure he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, but it is not OK for me to use the same terms to provide a possible motive for his actions? Double standards again.

Placenta

QUOTE: It was fascinating to observe how such a serious genetic flaw as a chromosomal copy number error was ironed out by the baby but not by the placenta.

DAVID: Here again we see God saw need for error corrections and provided a mechanism.

And who created the errors in the first place? I know - you think your all-powerful, always-in-control God couldn’t design a system that would avoid such errors, including all those for which he did not provide a corrective mechanism. While we’re on the subject, why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction?

DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God. […]

dhw: So if your God gave them the autonomous ability to change their simple structure, why could he not possiblY have given the same ability to less simple life forms?

DAVID: No difference in our views. Every complex organism can make simple adaptations.

So your God gave even complex organisms the autonomous ability to change their structure. How does that make it impossible for him to have given them the ability to make complex adaptations, even amounting to innovations (e.g. legs adapting themselves to life in the water and becoming flippers)?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 11, 2021, 15:33 (63 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Motives and purpose are reasons for action, and we have been guessing at them for going on 13 years. Nothing new has turned up except the knowledge of the biochemistry of life is becoming increasingly complex, demanding a designer.

dhw: I know what motives and purpose are. The case for design is not new, and I have accepted it for the sake of discussing your illogical theory above. You insist on your God having only one purpose, I have challenged your theory, and then you claim you don’t give him any purpose. I wish you would repeat the fact that you have no idea why your God would have chosen your version of his method to achieve your version of his purpose, and leave it at that.

I'll repeat: God chose to evolve us for unknown reasons.


Viruses

DAVID: You have covered our history and the bold is pure humanizing. Our views of God are totally different.

dhw: Why is it OK for you to humanize him by telling us you are sure he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, but it is not OK for me to use the same terms to provide a possible motive for his actions? Double standards again.

When I make statements like 'enjoy' or 'take interest' I always indicate it is a guess or a maybe. You definitively are sure of those conjectures as you always humanize.


Placenta

QUOTE: It was fascinating to observe how such a serious genetic flaw as a chromosomal copy number error was ironed out by the baby but not by the placenta.

DAVID: Here again we see God saw need for error corrections and provided a mechanism.

dhw: And who created the errors in the first place? I know - you think your all-powerful, always-in-control God couldn’t design a system that would avoid such errors, including all those for which he did not provide a corrective mechanism. While we’re on the subject, why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction?

To undo errors His form of biochemical life can mistakenly make. All discussed before.


DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God. […]

dhw: So if your God gave them the autonomous ability to change their simple structure, why could he not possiblY have given the same ability to less simple life forms?

DAVID: No difference in our views. Every complex organism can make simple adaptations.

dhw: So your God gave even complex organisms the autonomous ability to change their structure. How does that make it impossible for him to have given them the ability to make complex adaptations, even amounting to innovations (e.g. legs adapting themselves to life in the water and becoming flippers)?

All we see, just to remind you, are minor adaptations. You admit major alterations require design. Design means a designer mind is at work..

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, March 12, 2021, 07:49 (62 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Motives and purpose are reasons for action, and we have been guessing at them for going on 13 years. Nothing new has turned up except the knowledge of the biochemistry of life is becoming increasingly complex, demanding a designer.

dhw: I know what motives and purpose are. The case for design is not new, and I have accepted it for the sake of discussing your illogical theory above. You insist on your God having only one purpose, I have challenged your theory, and then you claim you don’t give him any purpose. I wish you would repeat the fact that you have no idea why your God would have chosen your version of his method to achieve your version of his purpose, and leave it at that.

DAVID: I'll repeat: God chose to evolve us for unknown reasons.

And I’ll repeat that if God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms for unknown reasons, and the illogicality of your theory lies in your insistence that by “evolve” you mean directly design, and so you have him directly designing millions of life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans, although his one and only purpose was supposed to be humans. Please stop editing out the parts of your theory that make it illogical.

Viruses

dhw: Why is it OK for you to humanize him by telling us you are sure he enjoys creating and watches us with interest, but it is not OK for me to use the same terms to provide a possible motive for his actions? Double standards again.

DAVID: When I make statements like 'enjoy' or 'take interest' I always indicate it is a guess or a maybe. You definitively are sure of those conjectures as you always humanize.

More straw men of your own making. I don’t even believe (or disbelieve) that God exists, let alone that he has this, that or the other attribute! On this thread, earlier this week, you wrote: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating”. Previously you were certain that he was interested in his creations. I have NEVER expressed certainty about any of these subjects, but I do insist that all my guesses fit in logically with the history of life as we know it, and you cannot find fault with the logic. You agree that your God probably/possibly has human thought patterns etc., but you want to censor any you don’t like, even when they derive from those that you do like. :-(

Placenta

QUOTE: It was fascinating to observe how such a serious genetic flaw as a chromosomal copy number error was ironed out by the baby but not by the placenta.

DAVID: Here again we see God saw need for error corrections and provided a mechanism.

dhw: And who created the errors in the first place? I know - you think your all-powerful, always-in-control God couldn’t design a system that would avoid such errors, including all those for which he did not provide a corrective mechanism. While we’re on the subject, why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction?

DAVID: To undo errors His form of biochemical life can mistakenly make. All discussed before.

I know he would have provided mechanisms for error correction in order to correct errors. Let me rephrase the question: why do you think he wanted to correct the errors?

DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God. […]
And:
DAVID: Every complex organism can make simple adaptations.

dhw: So your God gave even complex organisms the autonomous ability to change their structure. How does that make it impossible for him to have given them the ability to make complex adaptations, even amounting to innovations (e.g. legs adapting themselves to life in the water and becoming flippers)?

DAVID: All we see, just to remind you, are minor adaptations. You admit major alterations require design. Design means a designer mind is at work.

Actually, I regard legs to flippers as major adaptations, but in any case that doesn’t answer the question. If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? Of course major alterations, just like minor alterations, require design, but that does not mean the different life forms do not have their own kind of mind (possibly designed by your God) to do their own designing.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, March 12, 2021, 18:32 (62 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'll repeat: God chose to evolve us for unknown reasons.

dhw: And I’ll repeat that if God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms for unknown reasons, and the illogicality of your theory lies in your insistence that by “evolve” you mean directly design, and so you have him directly designing millions of life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans, although his one and only purpose was supposed to be humans. Please stop editing out the parts of your theory that make it illogical.


Why is it illogical that I believe God is the designer of evolution and all forms?


Viruses

DAVID: When I make statements like 'enjoy' or 'take interest' I always indicate it is a guess or a maybe. You definitively are sure of those conjectures as you always humanize.

More straw men of your own making. I don’t even believe (or disbelieve) that God exists, let alone that he has this, that or the other attribute! On this thread, earlier this week, you wrote: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating”. Previously you were certain that he was interested in his creations. I have NEVER expressed certainty about any of these subjects, but I do insist that all my guesses fit in logically with the history of life as we know it, and you cannot find fault with the logic. You agree that your God probably/possibly has human thought patterns etc., but you want to censor any you don’t like, even when they derive from those that you do like. :-(

You can imagine God as you wish. I make a special effort not to create a human picture of Him in any way. He wouldn't create unless He liked doing it. Obvious and not humanizing.


Placenta

dhw: And who created the errors in the first place? I know - you think your all-powerful, always-in-control God couldn’t design a system that would avoid such errors, including all those for which he did not provide a corrective mechanism. While we’re on the subject, why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction?

DAVID: To undo errors His form of biochemical life can mistakenly make. All discussed before.

dhw: I know he would have provided mechanisms for error correction in order to correct errors. Let me rephrase the question: why do you think he wanted to correct the errors?

Because God recognized unwanted errors could be fatal

DAVID: […] However, all viruses, manufactured or natural, come with a mutation ability given by God. […]
And:
DAVID: Every complex organism can make simple adaptations.

dhw: So your God gave even complex organisms the autonomous ability to change their structure. How does that make it impossible for him to have given them the ability to make complex adaptations, even amounting to innovations (e.g. legs adapting themselves to life in the water and becoming flippers)?

DAVID: All we see, just to remind you, are minor adaptations. You admit major alterations require design. Design means a designer mind is at work.

dhw: Actually, I regard legs to flippers as major adaptations, but in any case that doesn’t answer the question. If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? Of course major alterations, just like minor alterations, require design, but that does not mean the different life forms do not have their own kind of mind (possibly designed by your God) to do their own designing.

We have no idea how speciation occurs. I believe God does it because of designing requirements and you hope it is natural. Flippers from legs require major design problems. There is no known evidence for natural, and God is on faith and the strong evidence design is required..

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, March 13, 2021, 13:12 (61 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please stop editing out the parts of your theory that make it illogical.

DAVID: Why is it illogical that I believe God is the designer of evolution and all forms?

It is not illogical. What is illogical is that you believe he designed all forms as part of his one and only goal, which was to design H. sapiens, although 99% of the forms he designed had no connection with humans. You are still editing out those sections of your theory which make it illogical. This could go on for ever! :-(

Viruses

DAVID: When I make statements like 'enjoy' or 'take interest' I always indicate it is a guess or a maybe. You definitively are sure of those conjectures as you always humanize.

dhw: More straw men of your own making. I don’t even believe (or disbelieve) that God exists, let alone that he has this, that or the other attribute! On this thread, earlier this week, you wrote: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating”. Previously you were certain that he was interested in his creations. I have NEVER expressed certainty about any of these subjects, but I do insist that all my guesses fit in logically with the history of life as we know it, and you cannot find fault with the logic. You agree that your God probably/possibly has human thought patterns etc., but you want to censor any you don’t like, even when they derive from those that you do like. :-(

DAVID: You can imagine God as you wish. I make a special effort not to create a human picture of Him in any way. He wouldn't create unless He liked doing it. Obvious and not humanizing.

In your first comment, it was a guess or a maybe (now bolded), and now it is obvious. I agree that it is obvious. And if he likes doing something, why do you consider it excessively human to propose that maybe he does what he does BECAUSE he likes doing it?

Placenta

dhw: […] why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction? […]

DAVID: […] Because God recognized unwanted errors could be fatal.

And why do you think that mattered so much to him that he attempted (though often in vain) to correct the errors?

Viruses

dhw: If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? Of course major alterations, just like minor altedhw: rations, require design, but that does not mean the different life forms do not have their own kind of mind (possibly designed by your God) to do their own designing.

DAVID: We have no idea how speciation occurs. I believe God does it because of designing requirements and you hope it is natural. Flippers from legs require major design problems. There is no known evidence for natural, and God is on faith and the strong evidence design is required.

Again, why have you imposed the word “natural” on my arguments? That automatically suggests that God plays no role. And why “hope”? And why do you contrast “natural” with design, when you know perfectly well that what I am proposing (THEISTIC version) is that your God designed the mechanism which enabled the intelligent cell communities to do their own designing – as opposed to your God preprogramming or dabbling flippers and every other evolutionary change in life’s history as part of his goal to design humans (and their food supply).

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 13, 2021, 18:12 (61 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Why is it illogical that I believe God is the designer of evolution and all forms?

dhw: It is not illogical. What is illogical is that you believe he designed all forms as part of his one and only goal, which was to design H. sapiens, although 99% of the forms he designed had no connection with humans. You are still editing out those sections of your theory which make it illogical. This could go on for ever! :-(

We fully disagree in our interpretations of the process and results of evolution. Why don't you accept it? Years ago I interpreted your objection to indicate you wanted God to directly create hum ans. Your ideas still come across that way. I don't accept your position. You don't accept mine. Don't refer to my concept of evolution derisively and I won't bother to respond.


Viruses

DAVID: You can imagine God as you wish. I make a special effort not to create a human picture of Him in any way. He wouldn't create unless He liked doing it. Obvious and not humanizing.

dhw: In your first comment, it was a guess or a maybe (now bolded), and now it is obvious. I agree that it is obvious. And if he likes doing something, why do you consider it excessively human to propose that maybe he does what he does BECAUSE he likes doing it?

Only a human wants to do something pleasurable (likes). You are still humanizing God, and He is not human.


Placenta

dhw: […] why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction? […]

DAVID: […] Because God recognized unwanted errors could be fatal.

dhw: And why do you think that mattered so much to him that he attempted (though often in vain) to correct the errors?

God would want the system He invented to work as well as it should. but knows self-folding proteins could make mistakes since He doesn't have them on puppet strings..


Viruses

dhw: If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? Of course major alterations, just like minor altedhw: rations, require design, but that does not mean the different life forms do not have their own kind of mind (possibly designed by your God) to do their own designing.

DAVID: We have no idea how speciation occurs. I believe God does it because of designing requirements and you hope it is natural. Flippers from legs require major design problems. There is no known evidence for natural, and God is on faith and the strong evidence design is required.

dhw: Again, why have you imposed the word “natural” on my arguments? That automatically suggests that God plays no role. And why “hope”? And why do you contrast “natural” with design, when you know perfectly well that what I am proposing (THEISTIC version) is that your God designed the mechanism which enabled the intelligent cell communities to do their own designing – as opposed to your God preprogramming or dabbling flippers and every other evolutionary change in life’s history as part of his goal to design humans (and their food supply).

I've told you I don't think God does design by second-hand mechanisms He granted to organisms. There is a great difference in instructing someone as to how to do it, and it doing it yourself, more directed and much quicker. Speciation requires complex knowledge of the design requirements for future use. New species always work in their future a point you constantly illogically ignore. You obviously don't want God to have any controls, although you give it lip service, which is why I view you as looking for natural methods of speciation.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, March 14, 2021, 12:01 (60 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Years ago I interpreted your objection to indicate you wanted God to directly create humans. Your ideas still come across that way. I don't accept your position. You don't accept mine. Don't refer to my concept of evolution derisively and I won't bother to respond.

I do not refer to your concept derisively, and I do not “want” your God to do anything differently. I offer various theories to cover different aspects of your illogical theory. You have no idea why, if your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, he chose to design millions of life forms and food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. (If you do have an idea why, then please tell us at last.) If I accept your basic premises that he designed every life form but only wanted one, I offer the logical theory of experimentation. An alternative: that he did not start out with just that one purpose, but developed new ideas as he went along. These are not “derisive” dismissals of your theory but a genuine attempt to reconcile it with the facts of life’s history as we know it. You acknowledge their logic, but they don’t fit in with your preconceptions concerning God’s character, and so you continue to promulgate your theory and to find different ways of dodging its illogicality.

Viruses

dhw: […] if he likes doing something, why do you consider it excessively human to propose that maybe he does what he does BECAUSE he likes doing it?

DAVID: Only a human wants to do something pleasurable (likes). You are still humanizing God, and He is not human.

For the life of me I can’t see why liking something is not human, but wanting to do something you like is human. And still you dodge your own agreement that your God possibly (formerly "probably") has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. That does not make him human. It simply means that he created a being with some thought patterns and emotions similar to his own. Why do you find that possible and yet impossible?

Placenta

dhw: […] why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction? […]

DAVID: God would want the system He invented to work as well as it should. but knows self-folding proteins could make mistakes since He doesn't have them on puppet strings.

That doesn’t explain why he tried (though often failed) to correct the errors. It merely underlines his lack of control over the system he designed. Bearing in mind the terrible diseases that are caused by some of the errors, I’m asking why you think he wanted to correct them.

Viruses

dhw: If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? […]

DAVID: I've told you I don't think God does design by second-hand mechanisms He granted to organisms. There is a great difference in instructing someone as to how to do it, and it doing it yourself, more directed and much quicker.

I don’t understand the second sentence. Your alternatives are preprogramming and dabbling (“instructions” could mean either.) That doesn’t explain why he couldn’t have given them the wherewithal to make big changes! It merely repeats your rigid opposition to a perfectly logical theory.

DAVID: Speciation requires complex knowledge of the design requirements for future use. New species always work in their future a point you constantly illogically ignore.

It is a point I constantly reject – I don’t ignore it. In my theory, speciation does NOT “work in the future”, but is the result of a direct response to the organism’s PRESENT. When conditions change (for whatever reason) the organism must also change in order to survive in the new conditions (adaptation), or it may find that the new conditions offer new ways of improving its chances of survival (innovation). Our example is the whale’s flippers. Your theory: 3.8 billion years ago or x million years ago your God foresaw the need for the pre-whale to enter the water, and preprogrammed or dabbled the change from legs to flippers before it was necessary. My theory: pre-whales had trouble finding food on land, discovered that life in the water improved their chances of survival, and in due course the cell communities – using their possibly God-given intelligence – made all the adjustments necessary for optimising the body’s adaptation to maritime life. No crystal ball involved. Every change a RESPONSE to existing conditions.

DAVID: You obviously don't want God to have any controls, although you give it lip service, which is why I view you as looking for natural methods of speciation.

“Wanting” is not the point. You obviously “want” your God to be in full control of everything. I believe evolution happened, and what I want is an explanation of how it works. Like Darwin, I begin my quest at Chapter Two of life: how evolution works, not how life and evolution originated. The intelligent cell theory does not omit your God, which is why I don’t like your use of the word “natural”, as I suspect it implies exclusion of God. God is not excluded if it was his choice to give evolution free rein.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 14, 2021, 15:05 (60 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Years ago I interpreted your objection to indicate you wanted God to directly create humans. Your ideas still come across that way. I don't accept your position. You don't accept mine. Don't refer to my concept of evolution derisively and I won't bother to respond.

dhw: I offer various theories to cover different aspects of your illogical theory. You have no idea why, if your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, he chose to design millions of life forms and food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. (If you do have an idea why, then please tell us at last.)

I deleted all the usual history. Another repeat, God chose to evolve us from bacteria and I have no idea why He chose that method, but it fits known history.


Viruses

DAVID: Only a human wants to do something pleasurable (likes). You are still humanizing God, and He is not human.

dhw: For the life of me I can’t see why liking something is not human, but wanting to do something you like is human. And still you dodge your own agreement that your God possibly (formerly "probably") has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. That does not make him human. It simply means that he created a being with some thought patterns and emotions similar to his own. Why do you find that possible and yet impossible?

That God choses to create is all we know. WE can assume He 'likes' doing it, because if He hated it, creation would stop. He doesn't need to do it for self-satisfaction.

e
Placenta

dhw: […] why do you think he would have provided mechanisms for error correction? […]

DAVID: God would want the system He invented to work as well as it should. but knows self-folding proteins could make mistakes since He doesn't have them on puppet strings.

dhw: That doesn’t explain why he tried (though often failed) to correct the errors. It merely underlines his lack of control over the system he designed. Bearing in mind the terrible diseases that are caused by some of the errors, I’m asking why you think he wanted to correct them.

He didn't want the diseases to happen, so He added corrections where He could .


Viruses

dhw: If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? […]

DAVID: I've told you I don't think God does design by second-hand mechanisms He granted to organisms. There is a great difference in instructing someone as to how to do it, and it doing it yourself, more directed and much quicker.

dhw: I don’t understand the second sentence.

I've been clear: Hands-on is more efficient than second-hands-on.


DAVID: Speciation requires complex knowledge of the design requirements for future use. New species always work in their future a point you constantly illogically ignore.

dhw: It is a point I constantly reject – I don’t ignore it. In my theory, speciation does NOT “work in the future”, but is the result of a direct response to the organism’s PRESENT. When conditions change (for whatever reason) the organism must also change in order to survive... No crystal ball involved. Every change a RESPONSE to existing conditions.

Same disagreement. God designs in anticipation of needs.


DAVID: You obviously don't want God to have any controls, although you give it lip service, which is why I view you as looking for natural methods of speciation.

dhw: “Wanting” is not the point. You obviously “want” your God to be in full control of everything. I believe evolution happened, and what I want is an explanation of how it works. Like Darwin, I begin my quest at Chapter Two of life: how evolution works, not how life and evolution originated. The intelligent cell theory does not omit your God, which is why I don’t like your use of the word “natural”, as I suspect it implies exclusion of God. God is not excluded if it was his choice to give evolution free rein.

Free rein means chance events and a natural course for evolution. God running/designing evolution is a full explanation. Obvious complex designs cannot be ignored.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, March 15, 2021, 11:48 (59 days ago) @ David Turell

I have rejigged this thread and provided new headings as the previous headings were no longer applicable. The first section repeats arguments from the “pre-planning” thread, and I’ll eventually try to telescope these sections!

David’s Theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: I offer various theories to cover different aspects of your illogical theory. You have no idea why, if your God’s one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens plus food supply, he chose to design millions of life forms and food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. (If you do have an idea why, then please tell us at last.)

DAVID: I deleted all the usual history. [dhw: you deleted two of my alternative theories to cover the above problem] Another repeat, God chose to evolve us from bacteria and I have no idea why He chose that method, but it fits known history.

And still you go on editing out what I have bolded! It is not evolution that I am challenging but your insistence that every single life form in the history of life was part of your God’s one and only goal to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

dhw: If organisms have the autonomous ability to adapt, how can you be so sure that they do not have the autonomous ability to innovate? […]

DAVID: Hands-on is more efficient than second-hands-on.

But supposing your God wanted a free-for-all? Then he would invent a mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. And wouldn’t that explain the vast diversity of life forms that have come and gone? (See below.)

DAVID: God designs in anticipation of needs.

That is your theory. He changes legs to flippers before pre-whales enter the water (as part of his goal to design humans and their food supply), and he operates on a group of homos to give them a bigger brain 300,000 years before they need it. And you dismiss the theory that organisms change IN RESPONSE to existing conditions, as opposed to anticipation of them. And yet we see examples every day of organisms RESPONDING and adapting to new needs, so why should the process have been reversed for speciation?

DAVID: You obviously don't want God to have any controls, although you give it lip service, which is why I view you as looking for natural methods of speciation.

dhw: “Wanting” is not the point. You obviously “want” your God to be in full control of everything. I believe evolution happened, and what I want is an explanation of how it works. Like Darwin, I begin my quest at Chapter Two of life: how evolution works, not how life and evolution originated. The intelligent cell theory does not omit your God, which is why I don’t like your use of the word “natural”, as I suspect it implies exclusion of God. God is not excluded if it was his choice to give evolution free rein.

DAVID: Free rein means chance events and a natural course for evolution. God running/designing evolution is a full explanation. Obvious complex designs cannot be ignored.

I do not ignore complex designs, but (with my theist’s hat on) I do not consider it to be beyond your God’s capabilities to design a form of intelligence that can do the designing. The history of evolution certainly suggests chance events, since it depends on changing conditions. You have never been quite sure about your God’s control of every single environmental change, local and global, in the history of the world. I would suggest that if he exists, he would deliberately have created a system that would result in ever changing environments. As regards a “natural” course for evolution, I presume you just mean evolution that is not directly controlled by God. Yes indeed, and that provides a “full explanation” of the constantly changing nature of life’s history, in which branches of life’s vast bush have grown and died out, to be replaced by new branches, with humans on the end of just one of those branches. At a stroke, we have eliminated the problem which your own theory can never explain and which I have bolded at the start of this post.

God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: That God choses to create is all we know. WE can assume He 'likes' doing it, because if He hated it, creation would stop. He doesn't need to do it for self-satisfaction.

You said it was obvious that he likes creating, and you agree that he possibly (probably) has thought patterns similar to ours. You don’t need to change the vocabulary. If he likes doing it, why is it not even feasible that he would do it because he likes doing it?

Theodicy

dhw: Bearing in mind the terrible diseases that are caused by some of the errors, I’m asking why you think he wanted to correct them.

DAVID: He didn't want the diseases to happen, so He added corrections where He could.

You’re coming closer to giving me an answer, so I’ll just try to push you one step further. Why do you think he did not want the diseases to happen?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 15, 2021, 16:58 (59 days ago) @ dhw

David’s Theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: And still you go on editing out what I have bolded! It is not evolution that I am challenging but your insistence that every single life form in the history of life was part of your God’s one and only goal to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

Same old illogical complaint. My position: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Pure history, and must involve 99% of all extinct species as evolution is a continuous process.


dhw: But supposing your God wanted a free-for-all? Then he would invent a mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. And wouldn’t that explain the vast diversity of life forms that have come and gone? (See below.)

My God prefers tight control of all advances. Yours is namby-pamby. Design require controls


DAVID: God designs in anticipation of needs.

dhw: And you dismiss the theory that organisms change IN RESPONSE to existing conditions, as opposed to anticipation of them. And yet we see examples every day of organisms RESPONDING and adapting to new needs, so why should the process have been reversed for speciation?

The adaptations we see are small changes within species. My view: only God speciates


DAVID: You obviously don't want God to have any controls, although you give it lip service, which is why I view you as looking for natural methods of speciation.

dhw: The intelligent cell theory does not omit your God, which is why I don’t like your use of the word “natural”, as I suspect it implies exclusion of God. God is not excluded if it was his choice to give evolution free rein.[/i]

DAVID: Free rein means chance events and a natural course for evolution. God running/designing evolution is a full explanation. Obvious complex designs cannot be ignored.

dhw: I would suggest that if he exists, he would deliberately have created a system that would result in ever changing environments. As regards a “natural” course for evolution, I presume you just mean evolution that is not directly controlled by God. Yes indeed, and that provides a “full explanation” of the constantly changing nature of life’s history, in which branches of life’s vast bush have grown and died out, to be replaced by new branches, with humans on the end of just one of those branches. At a stroke, we have eliminated the problem which your own theory can never explain and which I have bolded at the start of this post.

My firm totally logical position as above: "My position: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Pure history, and must involve 99% of all extinct species as evolution is a continuous process."


God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: That God choses to create is all we know. WE can assume He 'likes' doing it, because if He hated it, creation would stop. He doesn't need to do it for self-satisfaction.

dhw: ou said it was obvious that he likes creating, and you agree that he possibly (probably) has thought patterns similar to ours. You don’t need to change the vocabulary. If he likes doing it, why is it not even feasible that he would do it because he likes doing it?

More humanizing. God is the creator and is not doing it for self-enjoyment or aggrandizement.


Theodicy

dhw: Bearing in mind the terrible diseases that are caused by some of the errors, I’m asking why you think he wanted to correct them.

DAVID: He didn't want the diseases to happen, so He added corrections where He could.

dhw: You’re coming closer to giving me an answer, so I’ll just try to push you one step further. Why do you think he did not want the diseases to happen?

Why invent forms that get sick? Not on purpose.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 12:01 (58 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s Theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: And still you go on editing out what I have bolded! It is not evolution that I am challenging but your insistence that every single life form in the history of life was part of your God’s one and only goal to design humans, although 99% of them had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Same old illogical complaint. My position: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Pure history, and must involve 99% of all extinct species as evolution is a continuous process.

Now your God wanted only to design humans and their food supply, but he had to design every other extinct life form, 99% of which had no connection with humans, because he designed every one of the other 99% of non-human branches in a continuous process from bacteria. I’m sorry, but the logic of this theory (which you later call your “totally logical position”) is getting more and more twisted.

dhw: But supposing your God wanted a free-for-all? Then he would invent a mechanism that would enable organisms to do their own designing. And wouldn’t that explain the vast diversity of life forms that have come and gone? (See below.)

DAVID: My God prefers tight control of all advances. Yours is namby-pamby. Design require controls.

You are of course free to tell us what you think your God prefers, but you have no more insight into his mind than anyone else. Calling my theoretical God namby-pamby just because I propose that he WANTED a free-for-all is not the most illuminating of reasons for rejecting a theory which logically explains the vast variety of life, not to mention the existence of bad viruses and bacteria, deadly diseases, and “evil”, which all constitute the great problem of theodicy.

DAVID: God designs in anticipation of needs.

dhw: And you dismiss the theory that organisms change IN RESPONSE to existing conditions, as opposed to anticipation of them. And yet we see examples every day of organisms RESPONDING and adapting to new needs, so why should the process have been reversed for speciation?

DAVID: The adaptations we see are small changes within species. My view: only God speciates.

Nobody knows what caused speciation, but if organisms have the autonomous ability to make small changes, it is not illogical to propose that in earlier times (and possibly later - Planet Earth is still young) the same ability enabled them to make large changes.

The rest of this part of the post leads to you repeating the non sequitur of what you call the “totally logical position” you offered at the start: that in order to specially design H. sapiens, your God had to specially design the brontosaurus plus the rest of the 99% per cent of extinct, non-human life forms, because all life forms are descended from bacteria.

God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: That God choses to create is all we know. WE can assume He 'likes' doing it, because if He hated it, creation would stop. He doesn't need to do it for self-satisfaction.

dhw: You said it was obvious that he likes creating, and you agree that he possibly (probably) has thought patterns similar to ours. You don’t need to change the vocabulary. If he likes doing it, why is it not even feasible that he would do it because he likes doing it?

DAVID: More humanizing. God is the creator and is not doing it for self-enjoyment or aggrandizement.

Why do you keep changing the vocabulary? You are sure that he “likes” creating. So why are you so sure that he does not create because he “likes” creating?

Theodicy

dhw: Bearing in mind the terrible diseases that are caused by some of the errors, I’m asking why you think he wanted to correct them.

DAVID: He didn't want the diseases to happen, so He added corrections where He could.

dhw: You’re coming closer to giving me an answer, so I’ll just try to push you one step further. Why do you think he did not want the diseases to happen?

DAVID: Why invent forms that get sick? Not on purpose.

And yet he invented bad bugs and viruses that cause sickness. But I suspect that you prefer not to answer my question because it might mean that he has some thought patterns and emotions similar to ours – e.g. he doesn’t like seeing people and animals suffering through the errors in his system. Just a thought, but it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses.

QUOTES (from “Bacterial intelligence”): "Some of the best-known human pathogens -- from the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis to the diarrhea pathogen Salmonella -- use a tiny hypodermic needle to inject disease-causing proteins into their host's cells, thereby manipulating them.
“The new results from Marburg show how protein exchange allows to respond flexibly to external circumstances -- an immense advantage, not only for bacteria
."

DAVID: Shapiro's research validated again. I still approach this as a God-given design.

Have I understood this correctly? Are you saying you believe that the plague and the diarrhea bacteria were specially designed by the same God who tried to correct the disease-causing errors in his design system? Don’t you find this a bit odd?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 18:39 (58 days ago) @ dhw

David’s Theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Same old illogical complaint. My position: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Pure history, and must involve 99% of all extinct species as evolution is a continuous process.

dhw: Now your God wanted only to design humans and their food supply, but he had to design every other extinct life form, 99% of which had no connection with humans, because he designed every one of the other 99% of non-human branches in a continuous process from bacteria.

I'll stick with God designing the entire history of evolution with a goal of humans as the endpoint. Logical since I believe God designed evolution from the beginning.

DAVID: My God prefers tight control of all advances. Yours is namby-pamby. Design require controls.

dhw: You are of course free to tell us what you think your God prefers, but you have no more insight into his mind than anyone else. Calling my theoretical God namby-pamby just because I propose that he WANTED a free-for-all is not the most illuminating of reasons for rejecting a theory which logically explains the vast variety of life, not to mention the existence of bad viruses and bacteria, deadly diseases, and “evil”, which all constitute the great problem of theodicy.

We will always disagree on God's personality, as you humanize Him constantly.

God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: More humanizing. God is the creator and is not doing it for self-enjoyment or aggrandizement.

dhw: Why do you keep changing the vocabulary? You are sure that he “likes” creating. So why are you so sure that he does not create because he “likes” creating?

I am not sure God 'likes' creating, but that is what He does, so I assume He likes doing it.


Theodicy

dhw: You’re coming closer to giving me an answer, so I’ll just try to push you one step further. Why do you think he did not want the diseases to happen?

DAVID: Why invent forms that get sick? Not on purpose.

dhw: And yet he invented bad bugs and viruses that cause sickness. But I suspect that you prefer not to answer my question because it might mean that he has some thought patterns and emotions similar to ours – e.g. he doesn’t like seeing people and animals suffering through the errors in his system. Just a thought, but it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses.

You are ignoring or not remembering my previous answers. Bad bugs and viruses are our current interpretations, but further research may show beneficial purposes


QUOTES (from “Bacterial intelligence”): "Some of the best-known human pathogens -- from the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis to the diarrhea pathogen Salmonella -- use a tiny hypodermic needle to inject disease-causing proteins into their host's cells, thereby manipulating them.
“The new results from Marburg show how protein exchange allows to respond flexibly to external circumstances -- an immense advantage, not only for bacteria
."

DAVID: Shapiro's research validated again. I still approach this as a God-given design.

dhw: Have I understood this correctly? Are you saying you believe that the plague and the diarrhea bacteria were specially designed by the same God who tried to correct the disease-causing errors in his design system? Don’t you find this a bit odd?

No. Further research may show beneficial purposes

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 13:19 (57 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Same old illogical complaint. My position: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. Pure history, and must involve 99% of all extinct species as evolution is a continuous process.

dhw: Now your God wanted only to design humans and their food supply, but he had to design every other extinct life form, 99% of which had no connection with humans, because he designed every one of the other 99% of non-human branches in a continuous process from bacteria.

DAVID: I'll stick with God designing the entire history of evolution with a goal of humans as the endpoint. Logical since I believe God designed evolution from the beginning.

Since you believe that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal, you will stick with your belief that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal. Yes, that is logical. It is only your belief, as explained above, that is illogical.

DAVID: My God prefers tight control of all advances. Yours is namby-pamby. Design require controls.

dhw: You are of course free to tell us what you think your God prefers, but you have no more insight into his mind than anyone else. Calling my theoretical God namby-pamby just because I propose that he WANTED a free-for-all is not the most illuminating of reasons for rejecting a theory which logically explains the vast variety of life, not to mention the existence of bad viruses and bacteria, deadly diseases, and “evil”, which all constitute the great problem of theodicy.

DAVID: We will always disagree on God's personality, as you humanize Him constantly.

Why is deliberately giving free rein more “humanizing” than exercising tight control?

God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: More humanizing. God is the creator and is not doing it for self-enjoyment or aggrandizement.

dhw: Why do you keep changing the vocabulary? You are sure that he “likes” creating. So why are you so sure that he does not create because he “likes” creating?

DAVID: I am not sure God 'likes' creating, but that is what He does, so I assume He likes doing it.

Last week you wrote: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating.” And “He wouldn’t create unless he liked doing it. Obvious and not humanizing.” Why is it not humanizing to say he enjoys/likes creating, but it is humanizing to deduce from this obvious certainty that he might possibly create because he enjoys/likes creating?

Theodicy

dhw: You’re coming closer to giving me an answer, so I’ll just try to push you one step further. Why do you think he did not want the diseases to happen?

DAVID: Why invent forms that get sick? Not on purpose.

dhw: And yet he invented bad bugs and viruses that cause sickness. But I suspect that you prefer not to answer my question because it might mean that he has some thought patterns and emotions similar to ours – e.g. he doesn’t like seeing people and animals suffering through the errors in his system. Just a thought, but it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses.

DAVID: You are ignoring or not remembering my previous answers. Bad bugs and viruses are our current interpretations, but further research may show beneficial purposes.

Not ignoring or forgetting, but I simply put it differently above: “it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses”. Dawkins’ has the same approach to all the flaws in his logic: “If there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural”. The two of you have a great deal in common in your methods of defending your credos!

QUOTE (from “Bacterial intelligence”): "Some of the best-known human pathogens -- from the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis to the diarrhea pathogen Salmonella -- use a tiny hypodermic needle to inject disease-causing proteins into their host's cells, thereby manipulating them.”

DAVID: Shapiro's research validated again. I still approach this as a God-given design.

dhw: Have I understood this correctly? Are you saying you believe that the plague and the diarrhea bacteria were specially designed by the same God who tried to correct the disease-causing errors in his design system? Don’t you find this a bit odd?

DAVID: No. Further research may show beneficial purposes.

I doubt if your patients would have found much comfort in that, and I certainly can’t accept your hopes as a valid argument against the logic of Shapiro’s theory and my application of it to the problem of theodicy.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 16:23 (57 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: I'll stick with God designing the entire history of evolution with a goal of humans as the endpoint. Logical since I believe God designed evolution from the beginning.

dhw: Since you believe that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal, you will stick with your belief that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal. Yes, that is logical. It is only your belief, as explained above, that is illogical.

Totally confusing. My statement above has always been my position, so what specifically do you find illogical in your mind?


DAVID: We will always disagree on God's personality, as you humanize Him constantly.

dhw: Why is deliberately giving free rein more “humanizing” than exercising tight control?

Tight control is not necessarily humanizing. A purposeful God (His personality) would necessarily keep tight controls. You have never understood my compliant of humanizing. God is never a human person in any aspect of His thoughts or desires.


God’s purpose for creating life

DAVID: More humanizing. God is the creator and is not doing it for self-enjoyment or aggrandizement.

dhw: Why do you keep changing the vocabulary? You are sure that he “likes” creating. So why are you so sure that he does not create because he “likes” creating?

DAVID: I am not sure God 'likes' creating, but that is what He does, so I assume He likes doing it.

dhw: Last week you wrote: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating.” And “He wouldn’t create unless he liked doing it. Obvious and not humanizing.” Why is it not humanizing to say he enjoys/likes creating, but it is humanizing to deduce from this obvious certainty that he might possibly create because he enjoys/likes creating?

God must be approached at all times allegorically. His 'enjoyment' may not be like ours.


Theodicy

DAVID: You are ignoring or not remembering my previous answers. Bad bugs and viruses are our current interpretations, but further research may show beneficial purposes.

dhw: Not ignoring or forgetting, but I simply put it differently above: “it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses”. Dawkins’ has the same approach to all the flaws in his logic: “If there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural”. The two of you have a great deal in common in your methods of defending your credos!

Except I can give you oodles of examples in our bodies now seen as proper: appendix, backward retina, etc. Discovery for what seems improper to proper takes research time. Our current impressions should never be writ in stone.


QUOTE (from “Bacterial intelligence”): "Some of the best-known human pathogens -- from the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis to the diarrhea pathogen Salmonella -- use a tiny hypodermic needle to inject disease-causing proteins into their host's cells, thereby manipulating them.”

DAVID: Shapiro's research validated again. I still approach this as a God-given design.

dhw: Have I understood this correctly? Are you saying you believe that the plague and the diarrhea bacteria were specially designed by the same God who tried to correct the disease-causing errors in his design system? Don’t you find this a bit odd?

DAVID: No. Further research may show beneficial purposes.

dhw: I doubt if your patients would have found much comfort in that, and I certainly can’t accept your hopes as a valid argument against the logic of Shapiro’s theory and my application of it to the problem of theodicy.

I don't use Shapiro as you do. Time with research may give us answers

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, March 18, 2021, 11:16 (56 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: I'll stick with God designing the entire history of evolution with a goal of humans as the endpoint. Logical since I believe God designed evolution from the beginning.

dhw: Since you believe that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal, you will stick with your belief that your God designed evolution from the beginning with humans as his goal. Yes, that is logical. It is only your belief, as explained above, that is illogical.

DAVID: Totally confusing. My statement above has always been my position, so what specifically do you find illogical in your mind?

Yes, you have always stated your belief, and so it is logical that this is what you believe. What I find “specifically illogical” – as if you didn’t know – is the belief itself: namely, that although your God’s one and only purpose was to specifically design H. sapiens, he deliberately designed millions of now extinct life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: We will always disagree on God's personality, as you humanize Him constantly.

dhw: Why is deliberately giving free rein more “humanizing” than exercising tight control?

DAVID: Tight control is not necessarily humanizing. A purposeful God (His personality) would necessarily keep tight controls. You have never understood my compliant of humanizing. God is never a human person in any aspect of His thoughts or desires.

I have never said he was a human person. I simply agree wholeheartedly with you when you say that it is possible (previously probable) that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. I fully accept that if he exists, he would have had a purpose for creating life – which includes all those life forms that had no connection with humans. If his purpose was to create an ever changing bush of life by designing a mechanism enabling life forms to design their own ways of survival, he would “necessarily” have given them free rein. That does not mean he is a human person. Furthermore, a month or so ago you wrote: “He seems to me full of purposeful activity to create what He desires to create with no other motive that the creations themselves”, which allied to the recent statements concerning how obvious it is that he “likes” creating, suggests to me that a possible purpose for his creation of life might be that he desired to create something he liked creating. Hence the question I asked you yesterday:

dhw: Why is it not humanizing to say he enjoys/likes creating, but it is humanizing to deduce from this obvious certainty that he might possibly create because he enjoys/likes creating?

DAVID: God must be approached at all times allegorically. His 'enjoyment' may not be like ours.

Please tell us how God communicated this "must" to you. However, we can happily let him have his own form of “enjoyment”. So now we have God enjoying creating in his own way, and therefore it is possible that his purpose in creating life was to create something he could enjoy in his own way. Why is that deduction to be dismissed as “humanizing” whereas his enjoyment of creation in his own way is not “humanizing”. Your opposition to this theory is based on one long quibble.

Theodicy

DAVID: You are ignoring or not remembering my previous answers. Bad bugs and viruses are our current interpretations, but further research may show beneficial purposes.

dhw: Not ignoring or forgetting, but I simply put it differently above: “it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses”. Dawkins’ has the same approach to all the flaws in his logic: “If there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural”. The two of you have a great deal in common in your methods of defending your credos!

DAVID: Except I can give you oodles of examples in our bodies now seen as proper: appendix, backward retina, etc. Discovery for what seems improper to proper takes research time. Our current impressions should never be writ in stone.

I agree, and I do wish the two of you would acknowledge the fact that your basic credos (currently written so firmly in stone that you call each other delusional) are based on hope and not on science. This point is repeated under “Bacterial intelligence”, so we needn’t go into it again.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 18, 2021, 17:33 (56 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Totally confusing. My statement above has always been my position, so what specifically do you find illogical in your mind?

dhw: Yes, you have always stated your belief, and so it is logical that this is what you believe. What I find “specifically illogical” – as if you didn’t know – is the belief itself: namely, that although your God’s one and only purpose was to specifically design H. sapiens, he deliberately designed millions of now extinct life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

Total distortion of my belief, which starts with the position God CHOSE to evolve humans from bacteria, as history shows and therefore had to design all the life forms you question.


DAVID: Tight control is not necessarily humanizing. A purposeful God (His personality) would necessarily keep tight controls. You have never understood my complaint of humanizing. God is never a human person in any aspect of His thoughts or desires.

dhw: I have never said he was a human person. If his purpose was to create an ever changing bush of life by designing a mechanism enabling life forms to design their own ways of survival, he would “necessarily” have given them free rein.

And change His personality in my view. I view He as fully purposeful, knows His goals, and would not allow secondhand drift of evolution.

dhw: Why is it not humanizing to say he enjoys/likes creating, but it is humanizing to deduce from this obvious certainty that he might possibly create because he enjoys/likes creating?

DAVID: God must be approached at all times allegorically. His 'enjoyment' may not be like ours.

dhw: Please tell us how God communicated this "must" to you. However, we can happily let him have his own form of “enjoyment”. So now we have God enjoying creating in his own way, and therefore it is possible that his purpose in creating life was to create something he could enjoy in his own way. Why is that deduction to be dismissed as “humanizing” whereas his enjoyment of creation in his own way is not “humanizing”. Your opposition to this theory is based on one long quibble.

I think that comment about God almost comes very close to how I try to reason about God. The bold is your usual slip: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment.


Theodicy

dhw: Not ignoring or forgetting, but I simply put it differently above: “it might explain why you are hoping so desperately that one day someone might discover a “good” reason why he directly designed “bad” bacteria and viruses”. Dawkins’ has the same approach to all the flaws in his logic: “If there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural”. The two of you have a great deal in common in your methods of defending your credos!

DAVID: Except I can give you oodles of examples in our bodies now seen as proper: appendix, backward retina, etc. Discovery for what seems improper to proper takes research time. Our current impressions should never be writ in stone.

dhw: I agree, and I do wish the two of you would acknowledge the fact that your basic credos (currently written so firmly in stone that you call each other delusional) are based on hope and not on science. This point is repeated under “Bacterial intelligence”, so we needn’t go into it again.

Fine.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, March 19, 2021, 12:23 (55 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Totally confusing. My statement above has always been my position, so what specifically do you find illogical in your mind?

dhw: Yes, you have always stated your belief, and so it is logical that this is what you believe. What I find “specifically illogical” – as if you didn’t know – is the belief itself: namely, that although your God’s one and only purpose was to specifically design H. sapiens, he deliberately designed millions of now extinct life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Total distortion of my belief, which starts with the position God CHOSE to evolve humans from bacteria, as history shows and therefore had to design all the life forms you question.

If God exists, he CHOSE to evolve (by which you mean design) every life form from bacteria. Why did he “have to” directly design the 99% of life forms that had no connection with humans and their food supply if his only purpose was to design sapiens and his food supply? What part of your belief am I “distorting”? I am asking for an explanation of your illogical version of your God’s purpose and method of achieving it. You have “no idea” why, and so you continue to dodge.

DAVID: Tight control is not necessarily humanizing. A purposeful God (His personality) would necessarily keep tight controls. You have never understood my complaint of humanizing. God is never a human person in any aspect of His thoughts or desires.

dhw: I have never said he was a human person. If his purpose was to create an ever changing bush of life by designing a mechanism enabling life forms to design their own ways of survival, he would “necessarily” have given them free rein.

DAVID: And change His personality in my view. I view He as fully purposeful, knows His goals, and would not allow secondhand drift of evolution.

Yes, if my theory is correct, it would mean that he did allow free rein as opposed to wanting tight control. He would, however, be fully purposeful, know his goals, and create a free-for-all system that would produce precisely the vast bush of life forms that have come and gone, 99% of which had no connection with humans, thereby at last relieving you of the burden of explaining why he would have directly designed 99% of life forms that had nothing to do with humans, although he only wanted to design humans. And – just to help you accept this marvellous solution to the dilemma you try to dodge (not to mention the problem of theodicy) – he could also have reserved the right to dabble.

dhw: Why is it not humanizing to say he enjoys/likes creating, but it is humanizing to deduce from this obvious certainty that he might possibly create because he enjoys/likes creating?

DAVID: God must be approached at all times allegorically. His 'enjoyment' may not be like ours.

dhw: Please tell us how God communicated this "must" to you. However, we can happily let him have his own form of “enjoyment”. So now we have God enjoying creating in his own way, and therefore it is possible that his purpose in creating life was to create something he could enjoy in his own way. Why is that deduction to be dismissed as “humanizing” whereas his enjoyment of creation in his own way is not “humanizing”. Your opposition to this theory is based on one long quibble.

DAVID: I think that comment about God almost comes very close to how I try to reason about God. The bold is your usual slip: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment.

Where did I say he “needed” to do anything? If you agree that his purpose in creating life could have been to create something he could enjoy in his own way, then at long last I trust you will drop the silly “humanizing” objection and accept that this is a feasible theory. We cannot do more than propose feasible theories.

Theodicy
Parasites

DAVID: most parasites have a lifecycle through host animals. It is a wonder how they develop. Stepwise does not seem possible since the parasite has to depend on specific hosts to survive. Was this designed by God? And for what purpose? I'm left with pure guesswork.

So are we all, but we can add “bad” parasites to our list of “bad” bacteria and viruses, and to errors in the system that lead to “bad” diseases. And still I don’t know why you reject the feasibility of a free-for-all, which would at least rid us of the idea that he deliberately designed “bad” things which you hope will somehow prove to be “good”.

Gut immune system

DAVID: 'Good' bacteria play a vital role in our digestion, but there must be designed controls for lurking pathogens in the mix.

Yes, it’s the pathogens that are your problem.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, March 19, 2021, 15:31 (55 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Total distortion of my belief, which starts with the position God CHOSE to evolve humans from bacteria, as history shows and therefore had to design all the life forms you question.

dhw: If God exists, he CHOSE to evolve (by which you mean design) every life form from bacteria. Why did he “have to” directly design the 99% of life forms that had no connection with humans and their food supply if his only purpose was to design sapiens and his food supply? What part of your belief am I “distorting”? I am asking for an explanation of your illogical version of your God’s purpose and method of achieving it. You have “no idea” why, and so you continue to dodge.

Totally disjointed reasoning. All of the steps in the evolution of humans are required steps from simple to complex. Giant bush is required for food supply for all. Against distortion of 'no idea' which applies only as to why God chose to evolve.


DAVID: I view He as fully purposeful, knows His goals, and would not allow secondhand drift of evolution.

dhw: Yes, if my theory is correct, it would mean that he did allow free rein as opposed to wanting tight control. He would, however, be fully purposeful, know his goals, and create a free-for-all system that would produce precisely the vast bush of life forms that have come and gone, 99% of which had no connection with humans, thereby at last relieving you of the burden of explaining why he would have directly designed 99% of life forms that had nothing to do with humans, although he only wanted to design humans. And – just to help you accept this marvellous solution to the dilemma you try to dodge (not to mention the problem of theodicy) – he could also have reserved the right to dabble.

Not my problem but yours. I'm perfectly logical in my thoughts starting with God as the designer of all the necessary steps of evolution as presented by history.

dhw: However, we can happily let him have his own form of “enjoyment”. So now we have God enjoying creating in his own way, and therefore it is possible that his purpose in creating life was to create something he could enjoy in his own way. Why is that deduction to be dismissed as “humanizing” whereas his enjoyment of creation in his own way is not “humanizing”. Your opposition to this theory is based on one long quibble.

DAVID: I think that comment about God almost comes very close to how I try to reason about God. The bold is your usual slip: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment.

dhw: If you agree that his purpose in creating life could have been to create something he could enjoy in his own way, then at long last I trust you will drop the silly “humanizing” objection and accept that this is a feasible theory. We cannot do more than propose feasible theories.

I'll repeat: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment for himself. You don't recognize your humanizing of God.

Theodicy
Parasites

DAVID: most parasites have a lifecycle through host animals. It is a wonder how they develop. Stepwise does not seem possible since the parasite has to depend on specific hosts to survive. Was this designed by God? And for what purpose? I'm left with pure guesswork.

dhw: So are we all, but we can add “bad” parasites to our list of “bad” bacteria and viruses, and to errors in the system that lead to “bad” diseases. And still I don’t know why you reject the feasibility of a free-for-all, which would at least rid us of the idea that he deliberately designed “bad” things which you hope will somehow prove to be “good”.

My purposeful God will not allow a secondhand drifting of evolution .


Gut immune system

DAVID: 'Good' bacteria play a vital role in our digestion, but there must be designed controls for lurking pathogens in the mix.

dhw: Yes, it’s the pathogens that are your problem.

No, my comment was to point out God has provided controls.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, March 20, 2021, 09:06 (54 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: If God exists, he CHOSE to evolve (by which you mean design) every life form from bacteria. Why did he “have to” directly design the 99% of life forms that had no connection with humans and their food supply if his only purpose was to design sapiens and his food supply? […]

DAVID: Totally disjointed reasoning. All of the steps in the evolution of humans are required steps from simple to complex. Giant bush is required for food supply for all.

But the giant bush supplied food for ALL its branches, and according to you, ALL its branches were directly designed by your God. The steps in the evolution of humans from bacteria constitute ONE of the branches, whereas the other 99% had no connection with humans. If they had no connection with humans, how could they have been “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”? You continue to edit your beliefs in order to dodge the question which reveals your “totally disjointed reasoning”.

DAVID: I view He as fully purposeful, knows His goals, and would not allow secondhand drift of evolution.

dhw: Yes, if my theory is correct, it would mean that he did allow free rein as opposed to wanting tight control. He would, however, be fully purposeful, know his goals, and create a free-for-all system that would produce precisely the vast bush of life forms that have come and gone etc. […]

DAVID: Not my problem but yours. I'm perfectly logical in my thoughts starting with God as the designer of all the necessary steps of evolution as presented by history.

Necessary for what? Yet again, why was it necessary for God to directly design the 99% of organisms and food supplies that had no connection with the only organism plus food supply that you say he wanted to design?

dhw: However, we can happily let him have his own form of “enjoyment”. So now we have God enjoying creating in his own way, and therefore it is possible that his purpose in creating life was to create something he could enjoy in his own way. Why is that deduction to be dismissed as “humanizing” whereas his enjoyment of creation in his own way is not “humanizing”. Your opposition to this theory is based on one long quibble.

DAVID: I think that comment about God almost comes very close to how I try to reason about God. The bold is your usual slip: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment.

dhw: If you agree that his purpose in creating life could have been to create something he could enjoy in his own way, then at long last I trust you will drop the silly “humanizing” objection and accept that this is a feasible theory. We cannot do more than propose feasible theories.

DAVID: I'll repeat: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment for himself. You don't recognize your humanizing of God.

I did not use the word “need”. You wrote: “He seems to me full of personal activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. You say it was a desire, and he likes/enjoys creating. Why is liking and enjoying the fulfilment of his desire not “humanizing” for you, but you regard doing something BECAUSE he desires and likes and enjoys doing it as being unimaginably “humanizing”?

Theodicy
Parasites

DAVID: most parasites have a lifecycle through host animals. It is a wonder how they develop. Stepwise does not seem possible since the parasite has to depend on specific hosts to survive. Was this designed by God? And for what purpose? I'm left with pure guesswork.

dhw: So are we all, but we can add “bad” parasites to our list of “bad” bacteria and viruses, and to errors in the system that lead to “bad” diseases. And still I don’t know why you reject the feasibility of a free-for-all, which would at least rid us of the idea that he deliberately designed “bad” things which you hope will somehow prove to be “good”.

DAVID: My purposeful God will not allow a secondhand drifting of evolution.

To put it slightly differently, your personal interpretation of your purposeful God’s purpose, which can provide no explanation for theodicy or for his method of fulfilling that purpose, will not allow you to consider any other theory, even if it provides a logical explanation for the history of evolution and for theodicy.

Gut immune system
DAVID: 'Good' bacteria play a vital role in our digestion, but there must be designed controls for lurking pathogens in the mix.

dhw: Yes, it’s the pathogens that are your problem.

DAVID: No, my comment was to point out God has provided controls.

Another example of your refusal to face the problem of why your version of God created “evil” in the first place.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 20, 2021, 14:09 (54 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Totally disjointed reasoning. All of the steps in the evolution of humans are required steps from simple to complex. Giant bush is required for food supply for all.

dhw: But the giant bush supplied food for ALL its branches, and according to you, ALL its branches were directly designed by your God. The steps in the evolution of humans from bacteria constitute ONE of the branches, whereas the other 99% had no connection with humans. If they had no connection with humans, how could they have been “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”? You continue to edit your beliefs in order to dodge the question which reveals your “totally disjointed reasoning”.

Doesn't everyone have to eat as populations grow from early evolution to now?


DAVID: I'm perfectly logical in my thoughts starting with God as the designer of all the necessary steps of evolution as presented by history.

dhw: Necessary for what? Yet again, why was it necessary for God to directly design the 99% of organisms and food supplies that had no connection with the only organism plus food supply that you say he wanted to design?

Humans were His goal and He chose to evolve us from bacteria. You still illogically imply God should have used direct creation


DAVID: I think that comment about God almost comes very close to how I try to reason about God. The bold is your usual slip: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment.

dhw: If you agree that his purpose in creating life could have been to create something he could enjoy in his own way, then at long last I trust you will drop the silly “humanizing” objection and accept that this is a feasible theory. We cannot do more than propose feasible theories.

DAVID: I'll repeat: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment for himself. You don't recognize your humanizing of God.

dhw: You wrote: “He seems to me full of personal activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. You say it was a desire, and he likes/enjoys creating. Why is liking and enjoying the fulfilment of his desire not “humanizing” for you, but you regard doing something BECAUSE he desires and likes and enjoys doing it as being unimaginably “humanizing”?

My statement above stands. We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.


Theodicy
Parasites

DAVID: most parasites have a lifecycle through host animals. It is a wonder how they develop. Stepwise does not seem possible since the parasite has to depend on specific hosts to survive. Was this designed by God? And for what purpose? I'm left with pure guesswork.

dhw: So are we all, but we can add “bad” parasites to our list of “bad” bacteria and viruses, and to errors in the system that lead to “bad” diseases. And still I don’t know why you reject the feasibility of a free-for-all, which would at least rid us of the idea that he deliberately designed “bad” things which you hope will somehow prove to be “good”.

DAVID: My purposeful God will not allow a secondhand drifting of evolution.

dhw: To put it slightly differently, your personal interpretation of your purposeful God’s purpose, which can provide no explanation for theodicy or for his method of fulfilling that purpose, will not allow you to consider any other theory, even if it provides a logical explanation for the history of evolution and for theodicy.

Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.


Gut immune system
DAVID: 'Good' bacteria play a vital role in our digestion, but there must be designed controls for lurking pathogens in the mix.

dhw: Yes, it’s the pathogens that are your problem.

DAVID: No, my comment was to point out God has provided controls.

dhw: Another example of your refusal to face the problem of why your version of God created “evil” in the first place.

God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, March 21, 2021, 10:56 (53 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives
DAVID: Totally disjointed reasoning. All of the steps in the evolution of humans are required steps from simple to complex. Giant bush is required for food supply for all.

dhw: But the giant bush supplied food for ALL its branches, and according to you, ALL its branches were directly designed by your God. The steps in the evolution of humans from bacteria constitute ONE of the branches, whereas the other 99% had no connection with humans. If they had no connection with humans, how could they have been “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”? You continue to edit your beliefs in order to dodge the question which reveals your “totally disjointed reasoning”.

DAVID: Doesn't everyone have to eat as populations grow from early evolution to now?

Yes, everyone does, but that does not explain why, if your God’s only purpose was to design humans and their food supplies, he had to design millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. We are going over the same points over and over again, as you continually edit out those sections of your theory that make no sense when combined with the rest.

DAVID: Humans were His goal and He chose to evolve us from bacteria. You still illogically imply God should have used direct creation.

The same as above: why have you edited out the 99% of dead species which your God chose to directly design even though they had no connection with us?
[…]

DAVID: God does not need to provide self-enjoyment for himself. You don't recognize your humanizing of God.

dhw: I did not use the word “need”. [You omitted this important part of my reply.] You wrote: “He seems to me full of personal activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. You say it was a desire, and he likes/enjoys creating. Why is liking and enjoying the fulfilment of his desire not “humanizing” for you, but you regard doing something BECAUSE he desires and likes and enjoys doing it as being unimaginably “humanizing”?

DAVID: My statement above stands. We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.

I cannot for the life of me see how words like “desire”, “like” and “enjoy” can be “allegorical”. Please explain what they symbolize, and in what way your God’s desire to design humans is allegorical.

Theodicy
dhw: And still I don’t know why you reject the feasibility of a free-for-all, which would at least rid us of the idea that he deliberately designed “bad” things which you hope will somehow prove to be “good”.

DAVID: My purposeful God will not allow a secondhand drifting of evolution.

dhw: To put it slightly differently, your personal interpretation of your purposeful God’s purpose, which can provide no explanation for theodicy or for his method of fulfilling that purpose, will not allow you to consider any other theory, even if it provides a logical explanation for the history of evolution and for theodicy.

DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

More word games. What is a “fully” humanized God – a God with two arms and legs and a beard? The God you believe in is always in control and directly designs both “good” and “bad” things, but we don’t know why. The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing?

DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

May I suggest that since, according to you, your God deliberately and directly designed humans, even to the extent of operating on their brains 200 cc at a time, he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God – including his existence, nature, purpose and means of achieving his purpose, is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge? Please offer at least one reason.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 21, 2021, 15:00 (53 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Doesn't everyone have to eat as populations grow from early evolution to now?

dhw: Yes, everyone does, but that does not explain why, if your God’s only purpose was to design humans and their food supplies, he had to design millions of extinct life forms and their food supplies, 99% of which had no connection with humans. We are going over the same points over and over again, as you continually edit out those sections of your theory that make no sense when combined with the rest.

Still your totally illogical complaint. It is an easy concept to understand. God chose to evolve us from initial bacteria, and provided the huge bush of life to feed all, especially the huge present human population. A major tenet of mine: God designs in anticipation of need


DAVID: Humans were His goal and He chose to evolve us from bacteria. You still illogically imply God should have used direct creation.

dhw: The same as above: why have you edited out the 99% of dead species which your God chose to directly design even though they had no connection with us?

Not edited out. What are you smoking? Your same implied illogical idea that God should have directly created us. I taught you about the 99% loss of previous necessary stepwise species.

[…]

DAVID: My statement above stands. We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.

dhw: I cannot for the life of me see how words like “desire”, “like” and “enjoy” can be “allegorical”. Please explain what they symbolize, and in what way your God’s desire to design humans is allegorical.

That desire is not allegorical, but words that describe God Himself or His person attributes must be allegorical.


Theodicy

DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing?

My God differs. As totally purposeful in creation He is fully hands-on and in full control of how evolution develops according to his plans.


DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

dhw: May I suggest that since, according to you, your God deliberately and directly designed humans, even to the extent of operating on their brains 200 cc at a time, he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God – including his existence, nature, purpose and means of achieving his purpose, is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge? Please offer at least one reason.

Fully covered in the past discussions: He gave us our giant brains so we could research and correct some of the errors He knew would happen in a biochemical living system in which free- acting molecules might make mistakes.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, March 22, 2021, 12:12 (52 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives
DAVID: […] God chose to evolve us from initial bacteria, and provided the huge bush of life to feed all, especially the huge present human population. A major tenet of mine: God designs in anticipation of need.

God, if he exists, chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria, though you say he directly designed them all, and again you omit to mention that 99% of extinct organisms had no connection with us or our food supply, although according to you, we and our food supply were his one and only purpose. The huge bush of life fed ALL 99% of the unconnected extinct organisms – not just “especially the huge present human population”. Your major tenet does not explain the bold above. Please stop this silly dodging game.

DAVID: Humans were His goal and He chose to evolve us from bacteria. You still illogically imply God should have used direct creation.

dhw: The same as above: why have you edited out the 99% of dead species which your God chose to directly design even though they had no connection with us?

DAVID: Not edited out. What are you smoking? Your same implied illogical idea that God should have directly created us. I taught you about the 99% loss of previous necessary stepwise species.

I did not say he should have directly created us. I’m challenging the illogicality of the bold above, though elsewhere I have offered you various alternatives, which you accept as logical. Whatever you may or may not have taught me does not explain the illogicalities of your theory.
[…]
DAVID: We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.

dhw: I cannot for the life of me see how words like “desire”, “like” and “enjoy” can be “allegorical”. Please explain what they symbolize, and in what way your God’s desire to design humans is allegorical.

DAVID: That desire is not allegorical, but words that describe God Himself or His person attributes must be allegorical.

Transferred from “Miscellany”: just over a month ago you wrote,: “His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires”. I would certainly agree that he is unlikely to have human desires for sex, money, chocolate etc, but you later wrote: “He seems to me to be full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves”. I can well imagine him desiring to create, and have no idea why - even though you are certain that he has that desire - he could not possibly have done his creating BECAUSE he had the desire to create.

DAVID: I'm glad you alone have the ability to find my old quotes so easily.

So should I ignore what you write today because in a month’s time you’ll have changed your mind?

DAVID: Your logic has no flaw once you have established primarily how human God seems to be to you.

If it is OK for you to be sure that your God has the desire to create and likes/enjoys creating, why is it excessively “human” to propose that this might be a reason why he does his creating?

DAVID: I can't allow you to change my image of God or challenge my logic. Please try to remember we have no common ground when it comes to thinking abut God's personality.

I’m not sure what image you have of your God, but you are certain that he is purposeful and likes/enjoys creating, and this can be regarded as common ground between us. And so I have no idea why you refuse to accept his desire to create as a possible purpose for his creating things he likes/enjoys creating. Please explain.

Theodicy
DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing?

DAVID: My God differs. As totally purposeful in creation He is fully hands-on and in full control of how evolution develops according to his plans.

I know. Why is that less human than a God who is totally purposeful in creating a free-for-all?

DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

dhw: May I suggest that […] he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God […] is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge?

DAVID: Fully covered in the past discussions: He gave us our giant brains so we could research and correct some of the errors He knew would happen in a biochemical living system in which free- acting molecules might make mistakes.

Mistakes which he himself couldn’t correct! So why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors in the system he created?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 22, 2021, 16:24 (52 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: […] God chose to evolve us from initial bacteria, and provided the huge bush of life to feed all, especially the huge present human population. A major tenet of mine: God designs in anticipation of need.

dhw: God, if he exists, chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria, though you say he directly designed them all, and again you omit to mention that 99% of extinct organisms had no connection with us or our food supply, although according to you, we and our food supply were his one and only purpose. The huge bush of life fed ALL 99% of the unconnected extinct organisms – not just “especially the huge present human population”. Your major tenet does not explain the bold above. Please stop this silly dodging game.

Your conjured up strawman complaint is silly as usual. Yours is the dodge. My belief above stands.

DAVID: We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.

dhw: I cannot for the life of me see how words like “desire”, “like” and “enjoy” can be “allegorical”. Please explain what they symbolize, and in what way your God’s desire to design humans is allegorical.

DAVID: That desire is not allegorical, but words that describe God Himself or His person attributes must be allegorical.

Transferred from “Miscellany”: just over a month ago you wrote,: “His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires”...I can well imagine him desiring to create, and have no idea why - even though you are certain that he has that desire - he could not possibly have done his creating BECAUSE he had the desire to create.

DAVID: I'm glad you alone have the ability to find my old quotes so easily.

dhw: So should I ignore what you write today because in a month’s time you’ll have changed your mind?

I have to respond to how you twist my words out of current context.


DAVID: I can't allow you to change my image of God or challenge my logic. Please try to remember we have no common ground when it comes to thinking abut God's personality.

dhw: I’m not sure what image you have of your God, but you are certain that he is purposeful and likes/enjoys creating, and this can be regarded as common ground between us. And so I have no idea why you refuse to accept his desire to create as a possible purpose for his creating things he likes/enjoys creating. Please explain.

God is the Creator. Just stop at that point, and try to not dig further which proves nothing.


Theodicy
DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing?

DAVID: My God differs. As totally purposeful in creation He is fully hands-on and in full control of how evolution develops according to his plans.

dhw: I know. Why is that less human than a God who is totally purposeful in creating a free-for-all?

Word play game. Free-for-all is uncontrolled advances


DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

dhw: May I suggest that […] he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God […] is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge?

DAVID: Fully covered in the past discussions: He gave us our giant brains so we could research and correct some of the errors He knew would happen in a biochemical living system in which free- acting molecules might make mistakes.

dhw: Mistakes which he himself couldn’t correct! So why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors in the system he created?

Covered before: the system from God is feely-acting molecules to create necessary speed of reactions. He did add editing programs knowing errors would occur and knew our brains could provide some corrections.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 11:47 (51 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: […] God chose to evolve us from initial bacteria, and provided the huge bush of life to feed all, especially the huge present human population. A major tenet of mine: God designs in anticipation of need.

dhw: God, if he exists, chose to evolve ALL forms of life from bacteria, though you say he directly designed them all, and again you omit to mention that 99% of extinct organisms had no connection with us or our food supply, although according to you, we and our food supply were his one and only purpose. The huge bush of life fed ALL 99% of the unconnected extinct organisms – not just “especially the huge present human population”. Your major tenet does not explain the bold above. Please stop this silly dodging game.

DAVID: Your conjured up strawman complaint is silly as usual. Yours is the dodge. My belief above stands.

What straw man? What am I dodging? Question: if God’s one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, why did he directly design millions of now dead life forms, strategies etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans? And your answer is….?

DAVID: We use allegorical words to define God, and you use the words as distinctly human in meaning.

dhw: I cannot for the life of me see how words like “desire”, “like” and “enjoy” can be “allegorical”. Please explain what they symbolize, and in what way your God’s desire to design humans is allegorical.

DAVID: That desire is not allegorical, but words that describe God Himself or His person attributes must be allegorical.

Transferred from “Miscellany”: just over a month ago you wrote: “His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires” [...] "He seems to me to be full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creations themselves." I can well imagine him desiring to create, and have no idea why - even though you are certain that he has that desire - he could not possibly have done his creating BECAUSE he had the desire to create.

DAVID: I'm glad you alone have the ability to find my old quotes so easily.

dhw: So should I ignore what you write today because in a month’s time you’ll have changed your mind?

DAVID: I have to respond to how you twist my words out of current context.

Please explain what possible context your words could have apart from what you believe your God may be like?

DAVID: I can't allow you to change my image of God or challenge my logic. Please try to remember we have no common ground when it comes to thinking abut God's personality.

dhw: I’m not sure what image you have of your God, but you are certain that he is purposeful and likes/enjoys creating, and this can be regarded as common ground between us. And so I have no idea why you refuse to accept his desire to create as a possible purpose for his creating things he likes/enjoys creating. Please explain.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Just stop at that point, and try to not dig further which proves nothing.

Why should I stop at this point, when you are constantly telling us what your God wants and doesn’t want, and what he does and doesn't do? And I keep having to repeat ad nauseam, nothing is proven – not even your God’s existence. If you want proof, we might as well end all discussion.

Theodicy
DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing? […]

DAVID: Word play game. Free-for-all is uncontrolled advances.

I know what free-for-all means. Why do you consider that to be more “human” than a God who wants full control of everything?

DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

dhw: May I suggest that […] he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God […] is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge? [...]

DAVID: [..] Covered before: the system from God is feely-acting molecules to create necessary speed of reactions. He did add editing programs knowing errors would occur and knew our brains could provide some corrections.

That is a repetition of your beliefs, but you said that he gave us our giant brains so that we could correct the errors he hadn’t corrected. Why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 17:58 (51 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: What straw man? What am I dodging? Question: if God’s one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, why did he directly design millions of now dead life forms, strategies etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans? And your answer is….?

Same logical answer starting with the belief God is the Creator, creating all His actions as history shows. We came evolved by His design from bacteria. Therefore He chose to evolve us through all the 99% extinct stages of development. You still imply why not direct creation? You'll have to ask God why. I don't know that answer.


DAVID: God is the Creator. Just stop at that point, and try to not dig further which proves nothing.

dhw: Why should I stop at this point, when you are constantly telling us what your God wants and doesn’t want, and what he does and doesn't do? And I keep having to repeat ad nauseam, nothing is proven – not even your God’s existence. If you want proof, we might as well end all discussion.

You are discussing points about God with a person who firmly believes He exists. I don't need further proof, but you do.


Theodicy
DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing? […]

DAVID: Word play game. Free-for-all is uncontrolled advances.

dhw: I know what free-for-all means. Why do you consider that to be more “human” than a God who wants full control of everything?

Same old point. My view of God's personality is diametrically opposed to yours.


DAVID: God cannot control nor did He invent 'evil' in humans. They did. As for evil bugs, it is our interpretation and they may have a rational use, which we will discover. Alternatively they are a challenge to be solved by our God-given brilliant brains.

dhw: May I suggest that […] he could have controlled them if he wanted to, but he preferred to give them free rein. Everything we say about God […] is our “interpretation”. Your vague “may have” is no more likely than my concrete proposal. Out of interest, why do you think your God would want to set us a challenge? [...]

DAVID: [..] Covered before: the system from God is feely-acting molecules to create necessary speed of reactions. He did add editing programs knowing errors would occur and knew our brains could provide some corrections.

dhw: That is a repetition of your beliefs, but you said that he gave us our giant brains so that we could correct the errors he hadn’t corrected. Why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors?

Strange question for what purpose? God certainly does not want/like the errors (just as you don't) and wishes they didn't exist, but He knows we can solve many of them with our huge God-given brain, those that escape His corrective editing mechanisms He created.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 08:58 (50 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

dhw: What straw man? What am I dodging? Question: if God’s one and only purpose was to design humans and their food supply, why did he directly design millions of now dead life forms, strategies etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans? And your answer is….?

DAVID: Same logical answer starting with the belief God is the Creator, creating all His actions as history shows. We came evolved by His design from bacteria. Therefore He chose to evolve us through all the 99% extinct stages of development. You still imply why not direct creation? You'll have to ask God why. I don't know that answer.

Let us not forget that you believe your God personally designed every species, econiche, strategy etc. What do you mean by “stages of development” here? Please tell us how he designed us “through” the brontosaurus, or how the brontosaurus was a “stage of development” in his design of humans, or how the brontosaurus was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans", bearing in mind that you have told us there is no connection between us and the brontosaurus. If you can’t explain it, then please let’s accept that this illogical theory is your belief, and leave it at that.

DAVID: God is the Creator. Just stop at that point, and try to not dig further which proves nothing.

dhw: Why should I stop at this point, when you are constantly telling us what your God wants and doesn’t want, and what he does and doesn't do? And I keep having to repeat ad nauseam, nothing is proven – not even your God’s existence. If you want proof, we might as well end all discussion.

DAVID: You are discussing points about God with a person who firmly believes He exists. I don't need further proof, but you do.

In ALL our discussions concerning evolution and theodicy, I have allowed for the existence of God (you can’t discuss theodicy without doing so). You have asked me not to dig further than his existence as Creator, but you yourself constantly hammer out your own preconceptions about his purpose, his methods of achieving his purpose, what he wants and doesn’t want etc. And when I question your logic, you tell me to stop digging, and when I propose logical alternatives you tell me that they are not proven – as if only your interpretations can possibly be correct. :-(

Theodicy
DAVID: Yes you theory is logical for fully humanized God.

dhw: The God I offer as an alternative deliberately designs a free-for-all which results in “good” things as well as “bad” things. What makes your God less “human” than the one I am proposing? […]

DAVID: Word play game. Free-for-all is uncontrolled advances.

dhw: I know what free-for-all means. Why do you consider that to be more “human” than a God who wants full control of everything?

DAVID: Same old point. My view of God's personality is diametrically opposed to yours.

That is not an answer. Your only criticism of my proposal is that it ”humanizes” God. Why is a God who wants total control less “human” than a God who wants a free-for-all?

dhw: ...you said that he gave us our giant brains so that we could correct the errors he hadn’t corrected. Why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors?

DAVID: Strange question for what purpose? God certainly does not want/like the errors (just as you don't) and wishes they didn't exist, but He knows we can solve many of them with our huge God-given brain, those that escape His corrective editing mechanisms He created.

And there you go again, telling us what your God does or doesn’t want/like. Now look at this immensely revealing comment of yours under “How antibiotic spores spread”.

DAVID: The war between organisms is a permanent part of living. These are very complex molecules that well could have been designed by God.

So it may well be that your God designed the whole of life because he wanted precisely what we see: a war between organisms. In the context of theodicy, a war between good and evil. I’ll refrain from further comment until you have made your own comments on the possibility you have presented us with.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 17:28 (50 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: Same logical answer starting with the belief God is the Creator, creating all His actions as history shows. We came evolved by His design from bacteria. Therefore He chose to evolve us through all the 99% extinct stages of development. You still imply why not direct creation? You'll have to ask God why. I don't know that answer.

dhw: Let us not forget that you believe your God personally designed every species, econiche, strategy etc. What do you mean by “stages of development” here? Please tell us how he designed us “through” the brontosaurus, or how the brontosaurus was a “stage of development” in his design of humans, or how the brontosaurus was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans", bearing in mind that you have told us there is no connection between us and the brontosaurus. If you can’t explain it, then please let’s accept that this illogical theory is your belief, and leave it at that.

The only 'belief' involved is God as creator used evolution to produce today's organisms, us included. The brontosaurus connection is the part you won't accept. The development of the huge bush of life food supply. For example I've eaten zebra in Africa, whale steak in Japan. kangaroo in Australia, and alligator here. All entirely logical following the acceptance of God.


DAVID: You are discussing points about God with a person who firmly believes He exists. I don't need further proof, but you do.

dhw: In ALL our discussions concerning evolution and theodicy, I have allowed for the existence of God (you can’t discuss theodicy without doing so). You have asked me not to dig further than his existence as Creator, but you yourself constantly hammer out your own preconceptions about his purpose, his methods of achieving his purpose, what he wants and doesn’t want etc. And when I question your logic, you tell me to stop digging, and when I propose logical alternatives you tell me that they are not proven – as if only your interpretations can possibly be correct. :-(

As I keep telling you each of our concepts about God are wildly and widely different. Lets leave it at that. ;-)


Theodicy

DAVID: Same old point. My view of God's personality is diametrically opposed to yours.

dhw: That is not an answer. Your only criticism of my proposal is that it ”humanizes” God. Why is a God who wants total control less “human” than a God who wants a free-for-all?

dhw: ...you said that he gave us our giant brains so that we could correct the errors he hadn’t corrected. Why do you think he wanted us to correct the errors?

DAVID: Strange question for what purpose? God certainly does not want/like the errors (just as you don't) and wishes they didn't exist, but He knows we can solve many of them with our huge God-given brain, those that escape His corrective editing mechanisms He created.

dhw: And there you go again, telling us what your God does or doesn’t want/like. Now look at this immensely revealing comment of yours under “How antibiotic spores spread”.

DAVID: The war between organisms is a permanent part of living. These are very complex molecules that well could have been designed by God.

dhw: So it may well be that your God designed the whole of life because he wanted precisely what we see: a war between organisms. In the context of theodicy, a war between good and evil. I’ll refrain from further comment until you have made your own comments on the possibility you have presented us with.

Of course there has to be a war. Everyone has to eat. Good and evil are human concepts. God may view it differently than Moses' proposed Ten Commandments. Just as humans propose badly designed organs that are really excellent in design.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, March 25, 2021, 12:22 (49 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives
DAVID: Same logical answer starting with the belief God is the Creator, creating all His actions as history shows. We came evolved by His design from bacteria. Therefore He chose to evolve us through all the 99% extinct stages of development. You still imply why not direct creation? You'll have to ask God why. I don't know that answer.

dhw: Let us not forget that you believe your God personally designed every species, econiche, strategy etc. What do you mean by “stages of development” here? Please tell us how he designed us “through” the brontosaurus, or how the brontosaurus was a “stage of development” in his design of humans, or how the brontosaurus was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans", bearing in mind that you have told us there is no connection between us and the brontosaurus. If you can’t explain it, then please let’s accept that this illogical theory is your belief, and leave it at that.

DAVID: The only 'belief' involved is God as creator used evolution to produce today's organisms, us included. The brontosaurus connection is the part you won't accept. The development of the huge bush of life food supply. For example I've eaten zebra in Africa, whale steak in Japan. kangaroo in Australia, and alligator here. All entirely logical following the acceptance of God.

So God designed millions and millions of extinct life forms such as the brontosaurus, so that you could eat zebras and kangaroos? This has absolutely nothing to do with “acceptance of God”. If I wanted you to eat chocolate, why would I specially prepare a ham sandwich? That is the level of “connection” you consider to be logical. Once again, in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “extinct life has no role in current time.”

dhw: In ALL our discussions concerning evolution and theodicy, I have allowed for the existence of God (you can’t discuss theodicy without doing so). You have asked me not to dig further than his existence as Creator, but you yourself constantly hammer out your own preconceptions about his purpose, his methods of achieving his purpose, what he wants and doesn’t want etc. And when I question your logic, you tell me to stop digging, and when I propose logical alternatives you tell me that they are not proven – as if only your interpretations can possibly be correct.

DAVID: As I keep telling you each of our concepts about God are wildly and widely different. Lets leave it at that.

I will, but if you continue to promulgate your own illogical theories about your God’s nature and purpose, you cannot expect me to remain silent.

Theodicy
dhw: Your only criticism of my proposal is that it ”humanizes” God. Why is a God who wants total control less “human” than a God who wants a free-for-all?

You have never answered this question.

Under “How antibiotic spores spread
DAVID: The war between organisms is a permanent part of living. These are very complex molecules that well could have been designed by God.

dhw: So it may well be that your God designed the whole of life because he wanted precisely what we see: a war between organisms. In the context of theodicy, a war between good and evil. I’ll refrain from further comment until you have made your own comments on the possibility you have presented us with.

DAVID: Of course there has to be a war. Everyone has to eat. Good and evil are human concepts. God may view it differently than Moses' proposed Ten Commandments. Just as humans propose badly designed organs that are really excellent in design.

We are not concerned with good and bad design here but with the problem of theodicy, which you yourself raised in the first place. Your God’s deliberate creation of war and of “bad”, disease-causing bugs and viruses would seem to indicate that he actually wants what we humans consider to be “evil”. Your reference to the ten commandments suggests that he may have different standards from ours. Ugh, that does not bode well for a possible afterlife in his presence! But perhaps that is why you hope that the bad bugs will turn out to be good, and your God has no “bad” intentions – which is also why you think he tried, though sometimes failed, to correct the errors in the system he designed. (That was my reason for asking you why you thought he wanted to make the corrections.) The problem of theodicy becomes even more complex and disturbing if we bear in mind your certainty that he likes/enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest. And yet when I propose that he might NOT have specially designed the bad bugs (to which let us add the war), but they were part of a free-for-all system just like the freedom you think he gave to the human will, you dismiss the idea as being too “human”. I wonder why a God who enjoys directly creating nasty things as well as nice things is considered to be less human than a God who creates a free-for-all.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 25, 2021, 17:54 (49 days ago) @ dhw

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives

DAVID: The only 'belief' involved is God as creator used evolution to produce today's organisms, us included. The brontosaurus connection is the part you won't accept. The development of the huge bush of life food supply. For example I've eaten zebra in Africa, whale steak in Japan. kangaroo in Australia, and alligator here. All entirely logical following the acceptance of God.

dhw: So God designed millions and millions of extinct life forms such as the brontosaurus, so that you could eat zebras and kangaroos? This has absolutely nothing to do with “acceptance of God”. If I wanted you to eat chocolate, why would I specially prepare a ham sandwich? That is the level of “connection” you consider to be logical. Once again, in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “extinct life has no role in current time.”

The bolded quotes are proper and true, as they relate to a current time connection, and nothing more as you try to distort them. Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to humans. All stages were used to advance complexity. Ancient events are ancient, obviously.

DAVID: As I keep telling you each of our concepts about God are wildly and widely different. Lets leave it at that.

dhw: I will, but if you continue to promulgate your own illogical theories about your God’s nature and purpose, you cannot expect me to remain silent.

My thoughts about God are as logical or illogical are no different than yours, based as they are for both of us as they start at vast differences in each of our views in God's personality.


Theodicy
dhw: Your only criticism of my proposal is that it ”humanizes” God. Why is a God who wants total control less “human” than a God who wants a free-for-all?

dhw: You have never answered this question.

I've answered over and over, that free-for-all indicates a weak God who gives up full control of evolution. Not my concept of my God.


Under “How antibiotic spores spread
DAVID: The war between organisms is a permanent part of living. These are very complex molecules that well could have been designed by God.

dhw: So it may well be that your God designed the whole of life because he wanted precisely what we see: a war between organisms. In the context of theodicy, a war between good and evil. I’ll refrain from further comment until you have made your own comments on the possibility you have presented us with.

DAVID: Of course there has to be a war. Everyone has to eat. Good and evil are human concepts. God may view it differently than Moses' proposed Ten Commandments. Just as humans propose badly designed organs that are really excellent in design.

dhw: We are not concerned with good and bad design here but with the problem of theodicy, which you yourself raised in the first place. Your God’s deliberate creation of war and of “bad”, disease-causing bugs and viruses would seem to indicate that he actually wants what we humans consider to be “evil”. Your reference to the ten commandments suggests that he may have different standards from ours. Ugh, that does not bode well for a possible afterlife in his presence! But perhaps that is why you hope that the bad bugs will turn out to be good, and your God has no “bad” intentions – which is also why you think he tried, though sometimes failed, to correct the errors in the system he designed. (That was my reason for asking you why you thought he wanted to make the corrections.) The problem of theodicy becomes even more complex and disturbing if we bear in mind your certainty that he likes/enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest. And yet when I propose that he might NOT have specially designed the bad bugs (to which let us add the war), but they were part of a free-for-all system just like the freedom you think he gave to the human will, you dismiss the idea as being too “human”. I wonder why a God who enjoys directly creating nasty things as well as nice things is considered to be less human than a God who creates a free-for-all.

I brought up theodicy because it is required in a complete discussion. I have given you my opinion that what seems bad may not be bad after more research as questionable human organs have shown. God put us in charge because He wants us to solve problems that arise from His style of biochemistry that created our life, but unfortunately makes errors from free acting molecules that cannot be fully controlled to allow the necessary speed of reactions.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, March 26, 2021, 12:44 (48 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s theory of evolution and alternatives
DAVID: The only 'belief' involved is God as creator used evolution to produce today's organisms, us included. The brontosaurus connection is the part you won't accept. The development of the huge bush of life food supply. For example I've eaten zebra in Africa, whale steak in Japan. kangaroo in Australia, and alligator here. All entirely logical following the acceptance of God.

dhw: So God designed millions and millions of extinct life forms such as the brontosaurus, so that you could eat zebras and kangaroos? This has absolutely nothing to do with “acceptance of God”. If I wanted you to eat chocolate, why would I specially prepare a ham sandwich? That is the level of “connection” you consider to be logical. Once again, in your own words: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “extinct life has no role in current time.”

DAVID: The bolded quotes are proper and true, as they relate to a current time connection, and nothing more as you try to distort them. Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to humans. All stages were used to advance complexity. Ancient events are ancient, obviously.

Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to ALL species, and the bolded quotes make it clear that although there must be ONE continuous line to humans, 99% of past bushes and past life had no connection with humans. That is why it is illogical to claim as you do that your God designed them all individually as “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

DAVID: As I keep telling you each of our concepts about God are wildly and widely different. Lets leave it at that.

dhw: I will, but if you continue to promulgate your own illogical theories about your God’s nature and purpose, you cannot expect me to remain silent.

DAVID: My thoughts about God are as logical or illogical are no different than yours, based as they are for both of us as they start at vast differences in each of our views in God's personality.

I offer a variety of views, and you agree that they all fit logically into the pattern of life’s history. Only you start out with a fixed view of God’s “personality”, and when I challenge its logic, you dodge the issue, as you have tried to do above by emphasizing one line of descent and ignoring the other 99% which had no role in current time.

Theodicy
dhw: Your only criticism of my proposal is that it ”humanizes” God. Why is a God who wants total control less “human” than a God who wants a free-for-all?
dhw: You have never answered this question.

DAVID: I've answered over and over, that free-for-all indicates a weak God who gives up full control of evolution. Not my concept of my God.

Of course a God who creates a free-for-all is giving up control. I have no idea why you consider that to be “weak”, but that still doesn’t explain why wanting total control is less “human” than not wanting total control. Is dictatorship less "human" than democracy?

Under “How antibiotic spores spread

dhw: […] Your God’s deliberate creation of war and of “bad”, disease-causing bugs and viruses would seem to indicate that he actually wants what we humans consider to be “evil”. Your reference to the ten commandments suggests that he may have different standards from ours. Ugh, that does not bode well for a possible afterlife in his presence! […] The problem of theodicy becomes even more complex and disturbing if we bear in mind your certainty that he likes/enjoys creating, and watches his creations with interest. And yet when I propose that he might NOT have specially designed the bad bugs (to which let us add the war), but they were part of a free-for-all system just like the freedom you think he gave to the human will, you dismiss the idea as being too “human”. I wonder why a God who enjoys directly creating nasty things as well as nice things is considered to be less human than a God who creates a free-for-all.

DAVID: I brought up theodicy because it is required in a complete discussion. I have given you my opinion that what seems bad may not be bad after more research as questionable human organs have shown. God put us in charge because He wants us to solve problems that arise from His style of biochemistry that created our life, but unfortunately makes errors from free acting molecules that cannot be fully controlled to allow the necessary speed of reactions.

You have left out your theory that he deliberately created the “war” and the bad bugs and viruses that cause terrible diseases (unless you think that the terrible diseases might turn out to be “good”). Your only objection to my theory is that it makes God “human”, and you still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, March 26, 2021, 14:58 (48 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The bolded quotes are proper and true, as they relate to a current time connection, and nothing more as you try to distort them. Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to humans. All stages were used to advance complexity. Ancient events are ancient, obviously.

dhw: Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to ALL species, and the bolded quotes make it clear that although there must be ONE continuous line to humans, 99% of past bushes and past life had no connection with humans. That is why it is illogical to claim as you do that your God designed them all individually as “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

Again you ignore the huge bush provides necessary food for all.


DAVID: My thoughts about God are as logical or illogical are no different than yours, based as they are for both of us as they start at vast differences in each of our views in God's personality.

dhw: I offer a variety of views, and you agree that they all fit logically into the pattern of life’s history. Only you start out with a fixed view of God’s “personality”, and when I challenge its logic, you dodge the issue, as you have tried to do above by emphasizing one line of descent and ignoring the other 99% which had no role in current time.

Your usual distortions: I clearly say we have very different views of God's personality and purposes. Your theories logically fit into type of God you seem to describe.


Theodicy

DAVID: I've answered over and over, that free-for-all indicates a weak God who gives up full control of evolution. Not my concept of my God.

dhw: Of course a God who creates a free-for-all is giving up control. I have no idea why you consider that to be “weak”, but that still doesn’t explain why wanting total control is less “human” than not wanting total control. Is dictatorship less "human" than democracy?

God is a creator not a dictator. Again your imagined god is nothing like mine. I cannot accept yours.


Under “How antibiotic spores spread

DAVID: I brought up theodicy because it is required in a complete discussion. I have given you my opinion that what seems bad may not be bad after more research as questionable human organs have shown. God put us in charge because He wants us to solve problems that arise from His style of biochemistry that created our life, but unfortunately makes errors from free acting molecules that cannot be fully controlled to allow the necessary speed of reactions.

dhw: You have left out your theory that he deliberately created the “war” and the bad bugs and viruses that cause terrible diseases (unless you think that the terrible diseases might turn out to be “good”). Your only objection to my theory is that it makes God “human”, and you still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”.

You are the humanizing theorist. Of course there is a constant war at the bacterial level. We observe it, and learn to use it by finding antibiotic molecules. We find what God put out there for us to find. Research to find the good happens all the time and we most likely find good in the 'bad'.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, March 27, 2021, 11:47 (47 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The bolded quotes are proper and true, as they relate to a current time connection, and nothing more as you try to distort them. Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to humans. All stages were used to advance complexity. Ancient events are ancient, obviously.

dhw: Evolution is a continuum from bacteria to ALL species, and the bolded quotes make it clear that although there must be ONE continuous line to humans, 99% of past bushes and past life had no connection with humans. That is why it is illogical to claim as you do that your God designed them all individually as “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

DAVID: Again you ignore the huge bush provides necessary food for all.

How many more times? The bolded quotes were the answer to this silly argument! So here they are again: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” (D. Turell). And “extinct life has no role in current time” (D. Turell). Therefore it is clearly absurd to claim that every life form, food supply etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

DAVID: My thoughts about God are as logical or illogical are no different than yours, based as they are for both of us as they start at vast differences in each of our views in God's personality.

dhw: I offer a variety of views, and you agree that they all fit logically into the pattern of life’s history. Only you start out with a fixed view of God’s “personality”, and when I challenge its logic, you dodge the issue, as you have tried to do above by emphasizing one line of descent and ignoring the other 99% which had no role in current time.

DAVID: Your usual distortions: I clearly say we have very different views of God's personality and purposes. Your theories logically fit into type of God you seem to describe.

What distortions? Your clear statement that our views are different does not provide us with a logical explanation of why, if your God’s sole purpose was to design H. sapiens, he designed millions of life forms, food supplies, strategies etc., 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. My theories logically fit different versions of your God in with the history of life, whereas you attempt to fit the history of life into the only type of God you are prepared to imagine, and then have no idea why he would have chosen your view of his method to fulfil your view of his purpose.

Theodicy
DAVID: I've answered over and over, that free-for-all indicates a weak God who gives up full control of evolution. Not my concept of my God.

dhw: Of course a God who creates a free-for-all is giving up control. I have no idea why you consider that to be “weak”, but that still doesn’t explain why wanting total control is less “human” than not wanting total control. Is dictatorship less "human" than democracy?

DAVID: God is a creator not a dictator. Again your imagined god is nothing like mine. I cannot accept yours.

Dictators want total control. But I am not asking you to accept anything. Your objection to my theodicy theory is that it makes God “human”, and so I’m asking why you consider wanting total control to be less “human” than wanting a free-for-all. […]

DAVID (under “How antibiotic spores spread”): You are the humanizing theorist. Of course there is a constant war at the bacterial level. We observe it, and learn to use it by finding antibiotic molecules. We find what God put out there for us to find. Research to find the good happens all the time and we most likely find good in the 'bad'.

This does not answer my question above, which also applies to your God’s apparently deliberate design of what we consider to be “bad” bugs and viruses. My theory proposes that he did NOT deliberately design them, and so last time I complained that “you still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”".

I’d better repeat that I don’t expect you to accept my theory. But just as I dispute the logic of your own theories, I would like to know what logic underlies your attack on mine..

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 27, 2021, 17:44 (47 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again you ignore the huge bush provides necessary food for all.

dhw: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” (D. Turell). And “extinct life has no role in current time” (D. Turell). Therefore it is clearly absurd to claim that every life form, food supply etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

Growth of the bush is part of what has been necessary throughout the development of complex forms and, especially now, vast populations of organism on a limited-sized Earth. God chose to evolve us from bacteria and you agree with some qualifications evolution from a start with bacteria is correct giving us common descent of which humans are a part of teh overall goal. From my view your bolds are all illogical distortions proving nothing.


DAVID: Your usual distortions: I clearly say we have very different views of God's personality and purposes. Your theories logically fit into type of God you seem to describe.

dhw: What distortions? Your clear statement that our views are different does not provide us with a logical explanation of why, if your God’s sole purpose was to design H. sapiens, he designed millions of life forms, food supplies, strategies etc., 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. My theories logically fit different versions of your God in with the history of life, whereas you attempt to fit the history of life into the only type of God you are prepared to imagine, and then have no idea why he would have chosen your view of his method to fulfil your view of his purpose.

I've agreed with you, your wishy-washy form of God would fit your theories. My form of God doesn't. I've stated we cannot agree about this. Relax. quit arguing, as I agree with you, we will will never reach any conclusion on the point. I believe God chose to evolve us, as history shows for His own reasons that I never would try to explain and simply accept. Logical thought can go no further.


Theodicy

dhw: Your objection to my theodicy theory is that it makes God “human”, and so I’m asking why you consider wanting total control to be less “human” than wanting a free-for-all. […]

Ad nauseum: our separate imaginations (for that is what it is) of God's personality and purposes are diametrically opposed. They will not meet. My God is strictly purposeful and in total control. Yours allows freestyle evolution. So be it.


DAVID (under “How antibiotic spores spread”): You are the humanizing theorist. Of course there is a constant war at the bacterial level. We observe it, and learn to use it by finding antibiotic molecules. We find what God put out there for us to find. Research to find the good happens all the time and we most likely find good in the 'bad'.

dhw: This does not answer my question above, which also applies to your God’s apparently deliberate design of what we consider to be “bad” bugs and viruses. My theory proposes that he did NOT deliberately design them, and so last time I complained that “you still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”".

I’d better repeat that I don’t expect you to accept my theory. But just as I dispute the logic of your own theories, I would like to know what logic underlies your attack on mine.

God designed all parts of all branches of life. I view His personality and purposefulness as very different than yours, as stated above. As above, imaginations of God start with personal logic. You are an agnostic, I'm a believer, so the starting points are different. I logically see a preponderance of evidence for God's existence, and you don't. There are some places in discussion where we must naturally remain apart. This is one of them.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, March 28, 2021, 08:53 (46 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Again you ignore the huge bush provides necessary food for all.

dhw: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” (D. Turell). And “extinct life has no role in current time” (D. Turell). Therefore it is clearly absurd to claim that every life form, food supply etc. was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.”

DAVID: Growth of the bush is part of what has been necessary throughout the development of complex forms and, especially now, vast populations of organism on a limited-sized Earth. God chose to evolve us from bacteria and you agree with some qualifications evolution from a start with bacteria is correct giving us common descent of which humans are a part of the overall goal. From my view your bolds are all illogical distortions proving nothing.

They are your bolds, and they categorically contradict your constantly repeated claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” But you have suddenly made a subtle change here: now “humans are part of the overall goal”. That is a colossal switch of focus which brings hope of enlightenment! Please tell us what you believe is your God’s overall goal.

Theodicy
dhw: Your objection to my theodicy theory is that it makes God “human”, and so I’m asking why you consider wanting total control to be less “human” than wanting a free-for-all. […]

DAVID: Ad nauseum: our separate imaginations (for that is what it is) of God's personality and purposes are diametrically opposed. They will not meet. My God is strictly purposeful and in total control. Yours allows freestyle evolution. So be it.

Ad nauseam: I know what the two opposing theories are. But your objection to mine is that it “humanizes” God. And all I am asking is WHY you think a purposeful God in total control is less “human” than a purposeful God who deliberately allows free rein.

DAVID (under “How antibiotic spores spread”): You are the humanizing theorist. Of course there is a constant war at the bacterial level. We observe it, and learn to use it by finding antibiotic molecules. We find what God put out there for us to find. Research to find the good happens all the time and we most likely find good in the 'bad'. [dhw's bold]

dhw: This does not answer my question above, which also applies to your God’s apparently deliberate design of what we consider to be “bad” bugs and viruses. My theory proposes that he did NOT deliberately design them, and so last time I complained thatyou still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”".

I’d better repeat that I don’t expect you to accept my theory. But just as I dispute the logic of your own theories, I would like to know what logic underlies your attack on mine.

DAVID: God designed all parts of all branches of life. I view His personality and purposefulness as very different than yours, as stated above. As above, imaginations of God start with personal logic. You are an agnostic, I'm a believer, so the starting points are different. I logically see a preponderance of evidence for God's existence, and you don't.

We are not talking about God’s existence, which for the sake of all these discussions I am accepting! Theodicy is not about your God’s existence but about his nature and purposes! If I propose a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all, thereby suggesting that he did not deliberately create evil, it is patently absurd to say that I’m wrong because I’m an agnostic! Your earlier dismissal of the theory was that it made your God “human”, and that is why I asked why a free-for-all is more “human” than total control. Presumably you can’t answer, and so you have no logical objections to my theory. We could leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 28, 2021, 16:07 (46 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Growth of the bush is part of what has been necessary throughout the development of complex forms and, especially now, vast populations of organism on a limited-sized Earth. God chose to evolve us from bacteria and you agree with some qualifications evolution from a start with bacteria is correct giving us common descent of which humans are a part of the overall goal. From my view your bolds are all illogical distortions proving nothing.

dhw: They are your bolds, and they categorically contradict your constantly repeated claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” But you have suddenly made a subtle change here: now “humans are part of the overall goal”. That is a colossal switch of focus which brings hope of enlightenment! Please tell us what you believe is your God’s overall goal.

My focus never changes. Growing a huge bush of life by evolving all forms with increasing complexity to finally have humans with a huge brain appear was God's overall plan. And counter to Darwin our huge brain is not necessary for 'survival'. Darwin's survival theory does not ever explain our arrival.


Theodicy
dhw: Your objection to my theodicy theory is that it makes God “human”, and so I’m asking why you consider wanting total control to be less “human” than wanting a free-for-all. […]

DAVID: Ad nauseum: our separate imaginations (for that is what it is) of God's personality and purposes are diametrically opposed. They will not meet. My God is strictly purposeful and in total control. Yours allows freestyle evolution. So be it.

dhw: Ad nauseam: I know what the two opposing theories are. But your objection to mine is that it “humanizes” God. And all I am asking is WHY you think a purposeful God in total control is less “human” than a purposeful God who deliberately allows free rein.

You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish.


DAVID (under “How antibiotic spores spread”): You are the humanizing theorist. Of course there is a constant war at the bacterial level. We observe it, and learn to use it by finding antibiotic molecules. We find what God put out there for us to find. Research to find the good happens all the time and we most likely find good in the 'bad'. [dhw's bold]

dhw: This does not answer my question above, which also applies to your God’s apparently deliberate design of what we consider to be “bad” bugs and viruses. My theory proposes that he did NOT deliberately design them, and so last time I complained thatyou still haven’t explained why NOT deliberately creating what we consider to be “bad” makes him more human than deliberately creating “bad” things which you hope will one day turn out to be “good”".

I’d better repeat that I don’t expect you to accept my theory. But just as I dispute the logic of your own theories, I would like to know what logic underlies your attack on mine.

DAVID: God designed all parts of all branches of life. I view His personality and purposefulness as very different than yours, as stated above. As above, imaginations of God start with personal logic. You are an agnostic, I'm a believer, so the starting points are different. I logically see a preponderance of evidence for God's existence, and you don't.

dhw: We are not talking about God’s existence, which for the sake of all these discussions I am accepting! Theodicy is not about your God’s existence but about his nature and purposes! If I propose a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all, thereby suggesting that he did not deliberately create evil, it is patently absurd to say that I’m wrong because I’m an agnostic! Your earlier dismissal of the theory was that it made your God “human”, and that is why I asked why a free-for-all is more “human” than total control. Presumably you can’t answer, and so you have no logical objections to my theory. We could leave it at that.

My answer is above and here: "You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish." It means your God is not purposeful in arriving finally at humans. Under your approach we might never have arrived. Do you like that result?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, March 29, 2021, 14:07 (45 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Growth of the bush is part of what has been necessary throughout the development of complex forms and, especially now, vast populations of organism on a limited-sized Earth. God chose to evolve us from bacteria and you agree with some qualifications evolution from a start with bacteria is correct giving us common descent of which humans are a part of the overall goal. From my view your bolds are all illogical distortions proving nothing.

dhw: They are your bolds, and they categorically contradict your constantly repeated claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” But you have suddenly made a subtle change here: now “humans are part of the overall goal”. That is a colossal switch of focus which brings hope of enlightenment! Please tell us what you believe is your God’s overall goal.

DAVID: My focus never changes. Growing a huge bush of life by evolving all forms with increasing complexity to finally have humans with a huge brain appear was God's overall plan.

Apart from continuing to gloss over the fact that for you evolution means directly designing all species, you are simply restating your illogical combination of premises: his overall plan (usually called his one and only “goal and purpose”) was to design humans ("= to have them appear") but first to deliberately design millions of life forms etc. – the "huge bush of life" – 99% of which (no matter how complex) died out and had no connection with humans. You’re right: your focus, which I call your illogical combination of premises, never changes.

DAVID: And counter to Darwin our huge brain is not necessary for 'survival'. Darwin's survival theory does not ever explain our arrival.

That is a different subject dealt with ad nauseam elsewhere.

Theodicy
DAVID: Ad nauseum: our separate imaginations (for that is what it is) of God's personality and purposes are diametrically opposed. They will not meet. My God is strictly purposeful and in total control. Yours allows freestyle evolution. So be it.

dhw: Ad nauseam: I know what the two opposing theories are. But your objection to mine is that it “humanizes” God. And all I am asking is WHY you think a purposeful God in total control is less “human” than a purposeful God who deliberately allows free rein.

DAVID: You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish.

And you still refuse to answer my question as to why a God who wants to remain in total control is less “human” than a God who wants to give free rein. Instead you repeat the above, and add: “It means your God is not purposeful in arriving finally at humans. Under your approach we might never have arrived. Do you like that result?

Firstly, what we “like” should not have the slightest bearing on a discussion of whether a theory is logical or not. Secondly, it is your rigid adherence to one interpretation of life’s history and your God’s purpose, and your refusal to consider others, that keeps this discussion going round in circles. It may be worthwhile to repeat some of the options.

1) It is indeed possible that evolution could have unfolded without our arrival, and indeed without the arrival of the brontosaurus, the weaverbird and the duckbilled platypus. I suspect most atheists would agree, but 4) offers a theistic variation.

2) If God exists, it is possible that he wanted to design a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he needed to experiment in order to create one (hence all the different life forms that came and went.)

3) It is possible that he enjoyed creating things, and in the course of his creating the ever changing bush of life, he had a new idea: how about designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own? (2 & 3 preclude your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for all evolutionary innovations, strategies etc., but they allow for dabbles at any time, and for the specialness of humans.)

4) It is possible that your God started out simply with the intention of inventing a mechanism that would produce life with the autonomous ability to reproduce and to restructure itself in an infinite variety of ways. No particular species in mind. He might then watch with interest to see what it produces – or, who knows? – he might prefer not to watch, but to focus on new creations elsewhere in the universe.

5) Your God started out with the intention of designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and attributes similar to his own, knew exactly how to do it, was in total control, and then directly designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, before he directly designed a series of non-sapiens humans before directly putting the finishing touches to the only one he actually wanted to design.

I’ll leave you and others to decide which of these logically explains the vast bush of life and also solves the problem of theodicy.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, March 29, 2021, 18:39 (45 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: They are your bolds, and they categorically contradict your constantly repeated claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” But you have suddenly made a subtle change here: now “humans are part of the overall goal”. That is a colossal switch of focus which brings hope of enlightenment! Please tell us what you believe is your God’s overall goal.

DAVID: My focus never changes. Growing a huge bush of life by evolving all forms with increasing complexity to finally have humans with a huge brain appear was God's overall plan.

dhw: Apart from continuing to gloss over the fact that for you evolution means directly designing all species, you are simply restating your illogical combination of premises... You’re right: your focus, which I call your illogical combination of premises, never changes.

I never gloss over God designing all new species, and driving the new complexities in new stages of evolution. My premises all fit following an acceptance that God runs evolution and all of history. No need to re-explain.


Theodicy

DAVID: You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish.

dhw: And you still refuse to answer my question as to why a God who wants to remain in total control is less “human” than a God who wants to give free rein. Instead you repeat the above, and add: “It means your God is not purposeful in arriving finally at humans. Under your approach we might never have arrived. Do you like that result?” ... it is your rigid adherence to one interpretation of life’s history and your God’s purpose, and your refusal to consider others, that keeps this discussion going round in circles. It may be worthwhile to repeat some of the options.

1) It is indeed possible that evolution could have unfolded without our arrival, and indeed without the arrival of the brontosaurus, the weaverbird and the duckbilled platypus. I suspect most atheists would agree, but 4) offers a theistic variation.

2) If God exists, it is possible that he wanted to design a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he needed to experiment in order to create one (hence all the different life forms that came and went.)

3) It is possible that he enjoyed creating things, and in the course of his creating the ever changing bush of life, he had a new idea: how about designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own? (2 & 3 preclude your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for all evolutionary innovations, strategies etc., but they allow for dabbles at any time, and for the specialness of humans.)

4) It is possible that your God started out simply with the intention of inventing a mechanism that would produce life with the autonomous ability to reproduce and to restructure itself in an infinite variety of ways. No particular species in mind. He might then watch with interest to see what it produces – or, who knows? – he might prefer not to watch, but to focus on new creations elsewhere in the universe.

5) Your God started out with the intention of designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and attributes similar to his own, knew exactly how to do it, was in total control, and then directly designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, before he directly designed a series of non-sapiens humans before directly putting the finishing touches to the only one he actually wanted to design.

I’ll leave you and others to decide which of these logically explains the vast bush of life and also solves the problem of theodicy.

I'll accept (5) as the only reasonable, non-humanizing God theory. I don't find (4) as reasonably theistic. I would like a group of folks to vote on your elect-a-theory list.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 14:15 (44 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: They are your bolds, and they categorically contradict your constantly repeated claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans.” But you have suddenly made a subtle change here: now “humans are part of the overall goal”. That is a colossal switch of focus which brings hope of enlightenment! Please tell us what you believe is your God’s overall goal.

DAVID: My focus never changes. Growing a huge bush of life by evolving all forms with increasing complexity to finally have humans with a huge brain appear was God's overall plan.

dhw: Apart from continuing to gloss over the fact that for you evolution means directly designing all species, you are simply restating your illogical combination of premises... You’re right: your focus, which I call your illogical combination of premises, never changes.

DAVID: I never gloss over God designing all new species, and driving the new complexities in new stages of evolution. My premises all fit following an acceptance that God runs evolution and all of history. No need to re-explain.

Your premises do not fit if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design humans plus food supply and so he first had to design millions of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans.

Theodicy
DAVID: You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish.

dhw: And you still refuse to answer my question as to why a God who wants to remain in total control is less “human” than a God who wants to give free rein. Instead you repeat the above, and add: “It means your God is not purposeful in arriving finally at humans. Under your approach we might never have arrived. Do you like that result?” ... it is your rigid adherence to one interpretation of life’s history and your God’s purpose, and your refusal to consider others, that keeps this discussion going round in circles. It may be worthwhile to repeat some of the options.
1) It is indeed possible that evolution could have unfolded without our arrival, and indeed without the arrival of the brontosaurus, the weaverbird and the duckbilled platypus. I suspect most atheists would agree, but 4) offers a theistic variation.
2) If God exists, it is possible that he wanted to design a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he needed to experiment in order to create one (hence all the different life forms that came and went.)
3) It is possible that he enjoyed creating things, and in the course of his creating the ever changing bush of life, he had a new idea: how about designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own? (2 & 3 preclude your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for all evolutionary innovations, strategies etc., but they allow for dabbles at any time, and for the specialness of humans.)
4) It is possible that your God started out simply with the intention of inventing a mechanism that would produce life with the autonomous ability to reproduce and to restructure itself in an infinite variety of ways. No particular species in mind. He might then watch with interest to see what it produces – or, who knows? – he might prefer not to watch, but to focus on new creations elsewhere in the universe.
5) Your God started out with the intention of designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and attributes similar to his own, knew exactly how to do it, was in total control, and then directly designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, before he directly designed a series of non-sapiens humans before directly putting the finishing touches to the only one he actually wanted to design.

I’ll leave you and others to decide which of these logically explains the vast bush of life and also solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I'll accept (5) as the only reasonable, non-humanizing God theory. I don't find (4) as reasonably theistic. I would like a group of folks to vote on your elect-a-theory list.

Taken from "ID explained" under “Miscellany”:
DAVID: My thoughts are my thoughts expressed in two books. I don't run a religion and have no known followers. Do you have some to support agnosticism?

Your books present a masterly case for design. I don’t recall them ever setting out your theory of evolution as under 5), but you would know! This discussion is about evolution, not religion, and I too would love to know if any folks at all would vote for No. 5. And I‘m surprised that you think I’m the only agnostic in the world. One prominent name that springs to mind is Charles Darwin.

Meanwhile, you still refuse to tell us why a God who wants total control is not “human” whereas a God who wants a free-for-all is “very human”.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 18:27 (44 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never gloss over God designing all new species, and driving the new complexities in new stages of evolution. My premises all fit following an acceptance that God runs evolution and all of history. No need to re-explain.

dhw: Your premises do not fit if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design humans plus food supply and so he first had to design millions of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans.

I believe God chose tov evolve us. All of my theory follows logically after that decision.


Theodicy
DAVID: You can have your God, I'll have mine. Since we imagine God from His works we are each free to form an opinion. In my opinion your God is very human. Free-rein is an unguided evolutionary process on its own, my God would not wish.

dhw: And you still refuse to answer my question as to why a God who wants to remain in total control is less “human” than a God who wants to give free rein. Instead you repeat the above, and add: “It means your God is not purposeful in arriving finally at humans. Under your approach we might never have arrived. Do you like that result?” ... it is your rigid adherence to one interpretation of life’s history and your God’s purpose, and your refusal to consider others, that keeps this discussion going round in circles. It may be worthwhile to repeat some of the options.
1) It is indeed possible that evolution could have unfolded without our arrival, and indeed without the arrival of the brontosaurus, the weaverbird and the duckbilled platypus. I suspect most atheists would agree, but 4) offers a theistic variation.
2) If God exists, it is possible that he wanted to design a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own, but he needed to experiment in order to create one (hence all the different life forms that came and went.)
3) It is possible that he enjoyed creating things, and in the course of his creating the ever changing bush of life, he had a new idea: how about designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his own? (2 & 3 preclude your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for all evolutionary innovations, strategies etc., but they allow for dabbles at any time, and for the specialness of humans.)
4) It is possible that your God started out simply with the intention of inventing a mechanism that would produce life with the autonomous ability to reproduce and to restructure itself in an infinite variety of ways. No particular species in mind. He might then watch with interest to see what it produces – or, who knows? – he might prefer not to watch, but to focus on new creations elsewhere in the universe.
5) Your God started out with the intention of designing a being with thought patterns, emotions and attributes similar to his own, knew exactly how to do it, was in total control, and then directly designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, before he directly designed a series of non-sapiens humans before directly putting the finishing touches to the only one he actually wanted to design.

I’ll leave you and others to decide which of these logically explains the vast bush of life and also solves the problem of theodicy.

DAVID: I'll accept (5) as the only reasonable, non-humanizing God theory. I don't find (4) as reasonably theistic. I would like a group of folks to vote on your elect-a-theory list.

Taken from "ID explained" under “Miscellany”:
DAVID: My thoughts are my thoughts expressed in two books. I don't run a religion and have no known followers. Do you have some to support agnosticism?

dhw: Your books present a masterly case for design. I don’t recall them ever setting out your theory of evolution as under 5), but you would know! This discussion is about evolution, not religion, and I too would love to know if any folks at all would vote for No. 5. And I‘m surprised that you think I’m the only agnostic in the world. One prominent name that springs to mind is Charles Darwin.

dhw: Meanwhile, you still refuse to tell us why a God who wants total control is not “human” whereas a God who wants a free-for-all is “very human”.

I've explained before: it depends on one's view of God's personality and his purposes. A free-for-all implies a God who gives up a marked degree of control over His creations. Humans as an end goal could easily be lost. Such a God is a humanized God, not a purposeful, powerful God in full control of His evolution, and who knows exactly what the outcome would be. My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 11:41 (43 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My premises all fit following an acceptance that God runs evolution and all of history. No need to re-explain.

dhw: Your premises do not fit if you insist that your God’s only purpose was to design humans plus food supply and so he first had to design millions of life forms and food supplies that had no connection with humans.

DAVID: I believe God chose to evolve us. All of my theory follows logically after that decision.

You believe God chose to evolve – by which you mean design – EVERY species, and you have left out the fact that you believe God’s only purpose in creating life was to “evolve us” (and our food supply), and so it does NOT follow logically that before evolving/designing the only species (plus food supply) that he wanted to design, he designed millions of life forms that had no connection with us. Please stop playing these word games. :-(

dhw: Meanwhile, you still refuse to tell us why a God who wants total control is not “human” whereas a God who wants a free-for-all is “very human”.

DAVID: I've explained before: it depends on one's view of God's personality and his purposes. A free-for-all implies a God who gives up a marked degree of control over His creations.

I know what a free-for-all implies.

DAVID: Humans as an end goal could easily be lost.

If humans were indeed his “end goal”, he could always dabble if he wanted to, but this is totally irrelevant to the question of why a totalitarian God is not human, whereas a free-for-all God is “very human”.

DAVID: Such a God is a humanized God, not a purposeful, powerful God in full control of His evolution, and who knows exactly what the outcome would be.

You are simply repeating your own preconception. I am asking why a purposeful powerful God who knows that the outcome will be H. sapiens is not human, whereas a purposeful, powerful God who knows that the outcome will be a free-for-all is “very human”.

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 18:33 (43 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I believe God chose to evolve us. All of my theory follows logically after that decision.

dhw: You believe God chose to evolve – by which you mean design – EVERY species, and you have left out the fact that you believe God’s only purpose in creating life was to “evolve us” (and our food supply), and so it does NOT follow logically that before evolving/designing the only species (plus food supply) that he wanted to design, he designed millions of life forms that had no connection with us. Please stop playing these word games. :-(

dhw: Meanwhile, you still refuse to tell us why a God who wants total control is not “human” whereas a God who wants a free-for-all is “very human”.

DAVID: I've explained before: it depends on one's view of God's personality and his purposes. A free-for-all implies a God who gives up a marked degree of control over His creations.

dhw: I know what a free-for-all implies.

But you don't consider it as I do as it relates to a purposeful God.


DAVID: Humans as an end goal could easily be lost.

dhw: If humans were indeed his “end goal”, he could always dabble if he wanted to, but this is totally irrelevant to the question of why a totalitarian God is not human, whereas a free-for-all God is “very human”.

A free-for-all God lacks purpose and is not the image of God I have. The use of totalitarian is bastardizing this discussion as it is not an applicable term in the context you are using. You do not understand how you humanize God in your imagination of Him.


dhw: You are simply repeating your own preconception. I am asking why a purposeful powerful God who knows that the outcome will be H. sapiens is not human, whereas a purposeful, powerful God who knows that the outcome will be a free-for-all is “very human”.

Free-for-all is lack of control. I repeat, my view of God is a designer in full control


DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

The word 'unpredictable' makes your God weak. My version of God is as above, a creator who knows exactly where He is headed in creating. Note the precisely designed fine-tuning of the universe to allow life to appear on a very special Earth on which it happened. Seems like precise designing to me. Why would stop that precision during evolving life? Your view of God is inconsistent with the history of His works.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, April 01, 2021, 11:56 (42 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I believe God chose to evolve us. All of my theory follows logically after that decision.

dhw: You believe God chose to evolve – by which you mean design – EVERY species, and you have left out the fact that you believe God’s only purpose in creating life was to “evolve us” (and our food supply), and so it does NOT follow logically that before evolving/designing the only species (plus food supply) that he wanted to design, he designed millions of life forms that had no connection with us. Please stop playing these word games. :-(

dhw: Meanwhile, you still refuse to tell us why a God who wants total control is not “human” whereas a God who wants a free-for-all is “very human”.

DAVID: I've explained before: it depends on one's view of God's personality and his purposes. A free-for-all implies a God who gives up a marked degree of control over His creations.

dhw: I know what a free-for-all implies.

DAVID: But you don't consider it as I do as it relates to a purposeful God.

If your God designed a free-for-all, his purpose was to design a free-for-all. You normally refuse to speculate on his purpose for creating humans and their food supply – his one and only goal – so we needn’t bother to ask why he wanted to create a free-for-all (though I have taken up your certainty that he enjoys creating, and have suggested that enjoyment of creation might therefore be his purpose).

DAVID: Humans as an end goal could easily be lost.

dhw: If humans were indeed his “end goal”, he could always dabble if he wanted to, but this is totally irrelevant to the question of why a totalitarian God is not human, whereas a free-for-all God is “very human”.

DAVID: A free-for-all God lacks purpose and is not the image of God I have. The use of totalitarian is bastardizing this discussion as it is not an applicable term in the context you are using. You do not understand how you humanize God in your imagination of Him.

The lack of purpose argument is a non-starter, as I have shown above. I know you have a different theory. I have no idea what you mean by “bastardizing”, since you insist your God wants to be and is in total control (except when he isn’t, but that’s not his fault) – and I understand perfectly how YOU humanize God (i.e. endow him with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours) in a different way from me, as is made abundantly clear from the next exchange:

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

DAVID: The word 'unpredictable' makes your God weak. My version of God is as above, a creator who knows exactly where He is headed in creating.

There is nothing weak about a God who deliberately creates something unpredictable. You have missed my point and have totally ignored my now bolded question. Please answer.

DAVID: Note the precisely designed fine-tuning of the universe to allow life to appear on a very special Earth on which it happened. Seems like precise designing to me. Why would stop that precision during evolving life? Your view of God is inconsistent with the history of His works.

If he exists (and for the sake of this discussion, I am assuming that he does), then of course the design is precise! That is not the subject of our discussion, which is your insistence that he had only one goal in mind (humans) and so proceeded to precisely design millions of life forms, 99% of which had nothing to do with humans.

Subduction
DAVID: Now we know subduction started very early to make this planet just perfect for life. God doesn't always waste time. Sometimes He seems to but that is a humanizing complaint about Him. His timing is obviously what He prefers since He is always in total control. And that easily explains Why God gave us a big brain much earlier than its full use finally happened. Why deny that God knows what He is doing.

You just did. On the same day: “he is always in total control “, and “It is possible God did not recognize exactly how we would learn to use our brain. We are beyond His control so here is your example of free-rein in action!” But even if he was fully in control, that does not explain why he would have given us extra cells which would prove to be redundant!

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 01, 2021, 17:49 (42 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I know what a free-for-all implies.

DAVID: But you don't consider it as I do as it relates to a purposeful God.

dhw: If your God designed a free-for-all, his purpose was to design a free-for-all. You normally refuse to speculate on his purpose for creating humans and their food supply – his one and only goal – so we needn’t bother to ask why he wanted to create a free-for-all (though I have taken up your certainty that he enjoys creating, and have suggested that enjoyment of creation might therefore be his purpose).

Same reason below:


DAVID: Humans as an end goal could easily be lost.

dhw: If humans were indeed his “end goal”, he could always dabble if he wanted to, but this is totally irrelevant to the question of why a totalitarian God is not human, whereas a free-for-all God is “very human”.

DAVID: A free-for-all God lacks purpose and is not the image of God I have. The use of totalitarian is bastardizing this discussion as it is not an applicable term in the context you are using. You do not understand how you humanize God in your imagination of Him.

dhw: The lack of purpose argument is a non-starter, as I have shown above. I know you have a different theory. I have no idea what you mean by “bastardizing”, since you insist your God wants to be and is in total control (except when he isn’t, but that’s not his fault) – and I understand perfectly how YOU humanize God (i.e. endow him with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours) in a different way from me,

I only assume He night have those attributes, while you act as if they are real!


DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

DAVID: The word 'unpredictable' makes your God weak. My version of God is as above, a creator who knows exactly where He is headed in creating.

dhw: There is nothing weak about a God who deliberately creates something unpredictable. You have missed my point and have totally ignored my now bolded question. Please answer.

Unpredictable mean uncertain. My purposeful God won't do that. An unpredictable purpose is only that with no foreseen end point or goal. Why can't God have goals?


DAVID: Note the precisely designed fine-tuning of the universe to allow life to appear on a very special Earth on which it happened. Seems like precise designing to me. Why would stop that precision during evolving life? Your view of God is inconsistent with the history of His works.

dhw: If he exists (and for the sake of this discussion, I am assuming that he does), then of course the design is precise! That is not the subject of our discussion, which is your insistence that he had only one goal in mind (humans) and so proceeded to precisely design millions of life forms, 99% of which had nothing to do with humans.

Same old illogical complaint. "The Difference of Man and the Difference it Makes" is the full answer.


Subduction
DAVID: Now we know subduction started very early to make this planet just perfect for life. God doesn't always waste time. Sometimes He seems to but that is a humanizing complaint about Him. His timing is obviously what He prefers since He is always in total control. And that easily explains Why God gave us a big brain much earlier than its full use finally happened. Why deny that God knows what He is doing.

dhw: You just did. On the same day: “he is always in total control “, and “It is possible God did not recognize exactly how we would learn to use our brain. We are beyond His control so here is your example of free-rein in action!” But even if he was fully in control, that does not explain why he would have given us extra cells which would prove to be redundant!

Minor quibble. God knew exactly what He was doing in granting total free will. The extra cells allowed a more exact complexification process is a reasonable view, considering God is a thorough designer as proven by the complexities of living biochemistry .

Back to theodicy and David's theories:fixing genome mistakes

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 01, 2021, 23:54 (42 days ago) @ David Turell

Returning vision with an RNA injection in the eye:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210401112532.htm

"A Penn Medicine patient with a genetic form of childhood blindness gained vision, which lasted more than a year, after receiving a single injection of an experimental RNA therapy into the eye.

***

"The treatment was designed for patients diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) -- an eye disorder that primarily affects the retina -- who have a CEP290 mutation, which is one of the more commonly implicated genes in patients with the disease. Patients with this form of LCA suffer from severe visual impairment, typically beginning in infancy.

"'Our results set a new standard of what biological improvements are possible with antisense oligonucleotide therapy in LCA caused by CEP290 mutations," said co-lead author Artur V. Cideciyan, PhD, a research professor of Ophthalmology. "Importantly, we established a comparator for currently-ongoing gene editing therapies for the same disease, which will allow comparison of the relative merits of two different interventions."

***

"One reason why antisense oligonucleotide has proven successful in treating this rare disease, according to the researchers, is that these tiny RNA molecules are small enough to get into the cell nucleus, but are not cleared very quickly, so they remain long enough to do their work.

"'There are now, at least in the eye field, a series of clinical trials using antisense oligonucleotides for different genetic defects spawned by the success of the work in CEP290-associated LCA from Drs. Cideciyan and Jacobson," said Joan O'Brien, MD, chair of Ophthalmology in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Scheie Eye Institute."

Comment: Here is proof of my thought that our God-given brains can correct biochemical genomic errors beyond God's control systems. Perhaps that was His reason for The enormous ability of our brains, far beyond survival needs, an observati9n you can't answer meaningfully.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, April 02, 2021, 14:19 (41 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: A free-for-all God lacks purpose and is not the image of God I have. The use of totalitarian is bastardizing this discussion as it is not an applicable term in the context you are using. You do not understand how you humanize God in your imagination of Him.

dhw: The lack of purpose argument is a non-starter, as I have shown above. I know you have a different theory. I have no idea what you mean by “bastardizing”, since you insist your God wants to be and is in total control (except when he isn’t, but that’s not his fault) – and I understand perfectly how YOU humanize God (i.e. endow him with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to ours) in a different way from me.

DAVID: I only assume He might have those attributes, while you act as if they are real!

I offer you different theories, which entail him having different attributes from those which you attribute to him, but it is you who insist that yours are real. Hence your continued avoidance of the argument bolded below.

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

DAVID: Unpredictable mean uncertain. My purposeful God won't do that. An unpredictable purpose is only that with no foreseen end point or goal. Why can't God have goals?

Your purposeful God, like any human designer, knows exactly what he wants for his endpoint, but according to you, that is NOT human. A purposeful God who creates because he enjoys creating is not acceptable to you, because that is "very human". Of course your God can have goals. So do tell us what you think was his goal when – after designing millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans – he finally got down to designing humans? And while you’re at it, what was his goal in designing bad bugs and viruses? And in making survival depend on organisms eating one another in a constant war? (See “Nasty butterflies”.)


DAVID: Now we know subduction started very early to make this planet just perfect for life. God doesn't always waste time. Sometimes He seems to but that is a humanizing complaint about Him. His timing is obviously what He prefers since He is always in total control. And that easily explains Why God gave us a big brain much earlier than its full use finally happened. Why deny that God knows what He is doing.

dhw: You just did. On the same day: “he is always in total control “, and “It is possible God did not recognize exactly how we would learn to use our brain. We are beyond His control so here is your example of free-rein in action!” But even if he was fully in control, that does not explain why he would have given us extra cells which would prove to be redundant!

DAVID: Minor quibble. God knew exactly what He was doing in granting total free will.

Our subject here is not free will, but since you keep hammering on about purpose. and then grumbling when I try to identify possible purposes, what exactly do you think he was doing in granting free will, i.e. what do you think was his purpose?

DAVID: The extra cells allowed a more exact complexification process is a reasonable view, considering God is a thorough designer as proven by the complexities of living biochemistry.

Your explanation of the “extra cells” is unreasonable, because the extra cells proved to be unnecessary.

QUOTE: Carpediemonas is the first eukaryote known to have lost this large suite of conserved complexes, suggesting that it has a highly unusual cell cycle and that unlike any other known eukaryote, it must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it. Common descent doesn't always result in sameness. We study mice because there is much that is the same with us.

Yes indeed, if common descent always resulted in sameness, there wouldn’t have been much evolution, would there? :-) Good to hear you talk of “how the organism does it” in the context of its novel set of mechanisms.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, April 02, 2021, 17:13 (41 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

Your 'God' is a weak form of mine, allowing a free-for-all which has no predictable ending.


DAVID: Unpredictable mean uncertain. My purposeful God won't do that. An unpredictable purpose is only that with no foreseen end point or goal. Why can't God have goals?

dhw: Your purposeful God, like any human designer, knows exactly what he wants for his endpoint, but according to you, that is NOT human. A purposeful God who creates because he enjoys creating is not acceptable to you, because that is "very human". Of course your God can have goals. So do tell us what you think was his goal when – after designing millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans – he finally got down to designing humans? And while you’re at it, what was his goal in designing bad bugs and viruses? And in making survival depend on organisms eating one another in a constant war? (See “Nasty butterflies”.)

God certainly allowed a war between organisms, since all have to eat. As for God's possible human attributes, of course, there are obvious comparisons at a superficial level, since we deal with God's personality in allegorical terms. As for His goal, we are it.


DAVID: Minor quibble. God knew exactly what He was doing in granting total free will.

dhw: Our subject here is not free will, but since you keep hammering on about purpose. and then grumbling when I try to identify possible purposes, what exactly do you think he was doing in granting free will, i.e. what do you think was his purpose?

He didn't make us automatons, because in that way we would never have shown progress in our development. Freedom of thought allows us to advance by ourselves. In that way we would come to recognize Him, not for adulation which He doesn't need or want, but understanding what He has created. I believe that is enough for Him.


DAVID: The extra cells allowed a more exact complexification process is a reasonable view, considering God is a thorough designer as proven by the complexities of living biochemistry.

dhw: Your explanation of the “extra cells” is unreasonable, because the extra cells proved to be unnecessary.

Extra cells allowed for a more exact form of complexification, by allowing a larger variety of axonal connections from a larger variety if neurons.


QUOTE: Carpediemonas is the first eukaryote known to have lost this large suite of conserved complexes, suggesting that it has a highly unusual cell cycle and that unlike any other known eukaryote, it must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it. Common descent doesn't always result in sameness. We study mice because there is much that is the same with us.

Yes indeed, if common descent always resulted in sameness, there wouldn’t have been much evolution, would there? :-) Good to hear you talk of “how the organism does it” in the context of its novel set of mechanisms.

Well, it has some sort of God-given mechanism yet to be discovered. ;-)

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, April 03, 2021, 09:23 (40 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My God, from the point of starting this universe fine-tuned-for-life, knew what the endpoint would be.

dhw: Most human designers start out with a purpose and know what the endpoint will be. So how does this come to mean that God the know-all designer is not “human”, whereas a power that designs a mechanism that will produce an endless and unpredictable variety of life forms, developments, events etc. is “very human”?

DAVID: Your 'God' is a weak form of mine, allowing a free-for-all which has no predictable ending.

He is not “my” God – I am offering an explanation for the vast variety of life forms that have been and gone, and for the problem of theodicy. If your God decided to create an endlessly changing world with an unpredictable variety of life forms and events, he got what he wanted! Why is that “weak”? And you STILL refuse to tell us why a God who, just like human designers, starts out with a single endpoint in mind is NOT “human”, whereas a God who designs an endlessly varied and unpredictable system is “very” human.

DAVID: Why can't God have goals?

dhw: A purposeful God who creates because he enjoys creating is not acceptable to you, because that is "very human". Of course your God can have goals. So do tell us what you think was his goal when – after designing millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans – he finally got down to designing humans? And while you’re at it, what was his goal in designing bad bugs and viruses? And in making survival depend on organisms eating one another in a constant war? (See “Nasty butterflies”.)

DAVID: God certainly allowed a war between organisms, since all have to eat. As for God's possible human attributes, of course, there are obvious comparisons at a superficial level, since we deal with God's personality in allegorical terms. As for His goal, we are it.

There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

dhw: […] what exactly do you think he was doing in granting free will, i.e. what do you think was his purpose?

DAVID: He didn't make us automatons, because in that way we would never have shown progress in our development. Freedom of thought allows us to advance by ourselves.

I know what it does. Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: In that way we would come to recognize Him, not for adulation which He doesn't need or want, but understanding what He has created. I believe that is enough for Him.

So he wanted to create a being that would recognize and understand what he had created. But you, my dear friend David Turell, happen to know that he didn’t want us to praise him or worship him, that he gets no pleasure from our recognition and understanding, and that he gets no pleasure from the creation which he wants us to recognize and understand. I wonder why he wants us to recognize and understand what he created, just as I wonder why he created all those 99% of life forms unconnected with humans, and why you are so determined to reject the perfectly logical idea that a God who enjoys creating might create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

QUOTE: Carpediemonas […] must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it. Common descent doesn't always result in sameness. We study mice because there is much that is the same with us.

dhw: Yes indeed, if common descent always resulted in sameness, there wouldn’t have been much evolution, would there? :-) Good to hear you talk of “how the organism does it” in the context of its novel set of mechanisms.

DAVID: Well, it has some sort of God-given mechanism yet to be discovered. ;-)

Yes, with my theist’s hat on, I find it much more likely that your God would have given carpediemonas (I love the name: seize the day!) the means of doing it, rather than having to preprogramme all this 3.8 billion years ago or popping in to do a dabble.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 03, 2021, 18:27 (40 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your 'God' is a weak form of mine, allowing a free-for-all which has no predictable ending.

dhw: He is not “my” God – I am offering an explanation for the vast variety of life forms that have been and gone, and for the problem of theodicy. If your God decided to create an endlessly changing world with an unpredictable variety of life forms and events, he got what he wanted! Why is that “weak”? And you STILL refuse to tell us why a God who, just like human designers, starts out with a single endpoint in mind is NOT “human”, whereas a God who designs an endlessly varied and unpredictable system is “very” human.

My view of God is that He is determined to reach his specific goals, as shown by the specific evolution of the universe to fine-tuning for life, the evolution of the Earth itself to allow life while a humanized God who allows a free-for-all has no expectation for where it is going, and living organisms are endlessly varied under the God we have.


DAVID: Why can't God have goals?

DAVID: God certainly allowed a war between organisms, since all have to eat. As for God's possible human attributes, of course, there are obvious comparisons at a superficial level, since we deal with God's personality in allegorical terms. As for His goal, we are it.

dhw: There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past. As for God's attributes, all theologians insist we must use allegorical terms.


dhw: […] what exactly do you think he was doing in granting free will, i.e. what do you think was his purpose?

DAVID: He didn't make us automatons, because in that way we would never have shown progress in our development. Freedom of thought allows us to advance by ourselves.

dhw: I know what it does. Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps tp help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.


DAVID: In that way we would come to recognize Him, not for adulation which He doesn't need or want, but understanding what He has created. I believe that is enough for Him.

dhw: So he wanted to create a being that would recognize and understand what he had created. But you, my dear friend David Turell, happen to know that he didn’t want us to praise him or worship him, that he gets no pleasure from our recognition and understanding, and that he gets no pleasure from the creation which he wants us to recognize and understand. I wonder why he wants us to recognize and understand what he created, just as I wonder why he created all those 99% of life forms unconnected with humans, and why you are so determined to reject the perfectly logical idea that a God who enjoys creating might create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

You can't seem to take in the idea of a God who creates for the sake of creation, and Who needs nothing from it..


QUOTE: Carpediemonas […] must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it. Common descent doesn't always result in sameness. We study mice because there is much that is the same with us.

dhw: Yes indeed, if common descent always resulted in sameness, there wouldn’t have been much evolution, would there? :-) Good to hear you talk of “how the organism does it” in the context of its novel set of mechanisms.

DAVID: Well, it has some sort of God-given mechanism yet to be discovered. ;-)

dhw: Yes, with my theist’s hat on, I find it much more likely that your God would have given carpediemonas (I love the name: seize the day!) the means of doing it, rather than having to preprogramme all this 3.8 billion years ago or popping in to do a dabble.

Major DNA changes is a "Shapiroian" thought. But this is bigger than a bacteria.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, April 04, 2021, 11:04 (39 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view of God is that He is determined to reach his specific goals, as shown by the specific evolution of the universe to fine-tuning for life, the evolution of the Earth itself to allow life while a humanized God who allows a free-for-all has no expectation for where it is going, and living organisms are endlessly varied under the God we have.

If God exists (and for the sake of our discussions, I am accepting that he does), then of course he created all the conditions for life. No dispute. But that does NOT mean that he directly designed every single life form with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Nor does it mean that a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all in life is any more “humanized” than a God who wants total control over his creations.

DAVID: God certainly allowed a war between organisms, since all have to eat. As for God's possible human attributes, of course, there are obvious comparisons at a superficial level, since we deal with God's personality in allegorical terms. As for His goal, we are it.

dhw: There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

DAVID: I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past.

Then why do you insist that his sole purpose in creating life was to design H. sapiens, and all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”? If you can make such illogical guesses, which you know as well as I do cannot be “unveiled” by research, why should the rest of us not make guesses about his purposes – especially if they provide logical explanations for the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: As for God's attributes, all theologians insist we must use allegorical terms.

There is nothing “allegorical” about attributes such as interest, enjoyment, having a purpose, wanting something such as total control or a free-for-all. You keep using these terms – so what do they stand for if they’re “allegorical”? Either he wants something or he doesn’t.

dhw: Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps to help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.

I like your use of “perhaps”, and wish you would apply it to such theories as your God wanting and having total control. Nice of him perhaps to want us to enjoy our own creations, which we might take as a parallel to himself enjoying his creations; recognition in a literal sense is impossible, since he doesn’t show himself to us, but perhaps you mean acknowledgement of his wonderful powers? Indeed, why not? In that respect, I’d say that we have inherited from him what you would call a “human” attribute.

DAVID: You can't seem to take in the idea of a God who creates for the sake of creation, and Who needs nothing from it.

You can’t seem to take in the idea that a power that enjoys creating (you yourself used “enjoy” and “like” ) might create BECAUSE he wants to create something he will like/enjoy.

QUOTE: Carpediemonas […] must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it.

dhw: Yes, with my theist’s hat on, I find it much more likely that your God would have given carpediemonas …the means of doing it, rather than having to preprogramme all this 3.8 billion years ago or popping in to do a dabble.

DAVID: Major DNA changes is a "Shapiroian" thought. But this is bigger than a bacteria.

Shapiro does not limit his theory to bacteria, much as you strive to distort his own writings. Calling it “Shapiroian” does not in any way reduce the logic of a conclusion drawn by many distinguished scientists in the field: namely, that cells are intelligent. Nor does it reduce the logic of a theory of evolution based on that conclusion.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 04, 2021, 19:13 (39 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If God exists (and for the sake of our discussions, I am accepting that he does), then of course he created all the conditions for life. No dispute. But that does NOT mean that he directly designed every single life form with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Nor does it mean that a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all in life is any more “humanized” than a God who wants total control over his creations.

Free-for-all means no planned destination for evolution. I believe I've given proof of the need for design. Your humanized God doesn't seem to know where He is going.

dhw: There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

DAVID: I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past.

dhw: Then why do you insist that his sole purpose in creating life was to design H. sapiens, and all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”? If you can make such illogical guesses, which you know as well as I do cannot be “unveiled” by research, why should the rest of us not make guesses about his purposes – especially if they provide logical explanations for the history of life as we know it?

It all depends upon the invent =ed version of God you are using. I have mine vastly different from yours


DAVID: As for God's attributes, all theologians insist we must use allegorical terms.

dhw: There is nothing “allegorical” about attributes such as interest, enjoyment, having a purpose, wanting something such as total control or a free-for-all. You keep using these terms – so what do they stand for if they’re “allegorical”? Either he wants something or he doesn’t.

The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.


dhw: Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps to help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.

I like your use of “perhaps”, and wish you would apply it to such theories as your God wanting and having total control. Nice of him perhaps to want us to enjoy our own creations, which we might take as a parallel to himself enjoying his creations; recognition in a literal sense is impossible, since he doesn’t show himself to us, but perhaps you mean acknowledgement of his wonderful powers? Indeed, why not? In that respect, I’d say that we have inherited from him what you would call a “human” attribute.

He made us human. He is not. See 'allegorical' above

QUOTE: Carpediemonas […] must rely on a novel set of mechanisms to carry out these fundamental processes.

DAVID: Nothing to add except it will require research to find out how the organism does it.

dhw: Yes, with my theist’s hat on, I find it much more likely that your God would have given carpediemonas …the means of doing it, rather than having to preprogramme all this 3.8 billion years ago or popping in to do a dabble.

DAVID: Major DNA changes is a "Shapiroian" thought. But this is bigger than a bacteria.
His theory is
dhw: Shapiro does not limit his theory to bacteria, much as you strive to distort his own writings. Calling it “Shapiroian” does not in any way reduce the logic of a conclusion drawn by many distinguished scientists in the field: namely, that cells are intelligent. Nor does it reduce the logic of a theory of evolution based on that conclusion. His theory is still only a recognizable extrapolation as his research still only applies to bacteria.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, April 05, 2021, 11:41 (38 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If God exists (and for the sake of our discussions, I am accepting that he does), then of course he created all the conditions for life. No dispute. But that does NOT mean that he directly designed every single life form with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, although 99% of them had no connection with humans. Nor does it mean that a God who deliberately creates a free-for-all in life is any more “humanized” than a God who wants total control over his creations.

DAVID: Free-for-all means no planned destination for evolution. I believe I've given proof of the need for design. Your humanized God doesn't seem to know where He is going.

You keep telling me what free-for-all means. I know. I have no problem with your argument for design: a God who designs a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own designing is not a denial of design! A God who decides to give free rein to evolution (though he can always dabble if he wants to) knows precisely where he is going: i.e. to the production of the huge variety of life forms that characterize the history of evolution. If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going? And for the umpteenth time, please tell us why a God who – just like the designer of the motor car – knows what he wants to create and creates it, is not “humanized”, whereas a God who – just like the inventor of the kaleidoscope – knows what he wants and creates it, is “humanized”.

dhw: There is nothing superficial in discussing God’s possible human attributes, and they are not “allegorical”. If he created our attributes, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that he does not share any of them! Meanwhile, you have not told us what was his goal in designing humans or in designing bad bugs and viruses. There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes!

DAVID: I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past.

dhw: Then why do you insist that his sole purpose in creating life was to design H. sapiens, and all other life forms were “part of the goal of evolving humans”? If you can make such illogical guesses, which you know as well as I do cannot be “unveiled” by research, why should the rest of us not make guesses about his purposes – especially if they provide logical explanations for the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: It all depends upon the invented version of God you are using. I have mine vastly different from yours.

If it is OK for you to invent a God who has only one purpose and is in total control (except when he isn’t), why do you regard it as “superficial” and “allegorical” for me to suggest that he has a different purpose and is prepared to give up total control? And why do you regard your dependence on some vague future research as a justification for rejecting explanations which you yourself agree are logical?

DAVID: As for God's attributes, all theologians insist we must use allegorical terms.

dhw: There is nothing “allegorical” about attributes such as interest, enjoyment, having a purpose, wanting something such as total control or a free-for-all. You keep using these terms – so what do they stand for if they’re “allegorical”? Either he wants something or he doesn’t.

DAVID: The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.

So when you say your God only wanted only to design humans and their food supply, and he enjoys creating, what do these descriptions represent? Or are you and your mysterious theologians (do you really know them ALL?) trying to tell us that God himself is an allegory? If so, please tell us what he is meant to stand for.

dhw: Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps to help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.

dhw: I like your use of “perhaps”, and wish you would apply it to such theories as your God wanting and having total control. Nice of him perhaps to want us to enjoy our own creations, which we might take as a parallel to himself enjoying his creations; recognition in a literal sense is impossible, since he doesn’t show himself to us, but perhaps you mean acknowledgement of his wonderful powers? Indeed, why not? In that respect, I’d say that we have inherited from him what you would call a “human” attribute.

DAVID: He made us human. He is not. See 'allegorical' above.

I have never said he is human. “Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. Meanwhile, why do you regard it as impossible that a God who creates a being who thinks about things and responds positively or negatively to them, might also be capable of thinking about things and responding positively or negatively to them?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, April 05, 2021, 18:37 (38 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Free-for-all means no planned destination for evolution. I believe I've given proof of the need for design. Your humanized God doesn't seem to know where He is going.

dhw: A God who decides to give free rein to evolution (though he can always dabble if he wants to) knows precisely where he is going: i.e. to the production of the huge variety of life forms that characterize the history of evolution.

Preposterous. How does your God know if humans will appear if at all?

dhw: If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going?

Terrible analogy. Your goal is a kaleidoscope, nothing more. What is your next planned step?

dhw: And for the umpteenth time, please tell us why a God who – just like the designer of the motor car – knows what he wants to create and creates it, is not “humanized”, whereas a God who – just like the inventor of the kaleidoscope – knows what he wants and creates it, is “humanized”.

God must be described allegorically. God's goals are no different than human goals in the sense of the word 'goal'. That God has goals does not humanize Him.


dhw: There is no point in telling us how purposeful he is if you refuse to discuss his purposes![/i]

DAVID: I haven't refused, I've told you research will unveil His purposes, as we have in the past.

DAVID: It all depends upon the invented version of God you are using. I have mine vastly different from yours.

dhw: If it is OK for you to invent a God who has only one purpose and is in total control (except when he isn’t), why do you regard it as “superficial” and “allegorical” for me to suggest that he has a different purpose and is prepared to give up total control? And why do you regard your dependence on some vague future research as a justification for rejecting explanations which you yourself agree are logical?

It all depends on whose version of God's personality attributes is used in analyzing God's possible intentions. When you don your theistic hat, it has no resemblance to mine so we differ and will not change each other's conclusions.


DAVID: The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.

dhw: So when you say your God only wanted only to design humans and their food supply, and he enjoys creating, what do these descriptions represent? Or are you and your mysterious theologians (do you really know them ALL?) trying to tell us that God himself is an allegory? If so, please tell us what he is meant to stand for.

The creator, who must be described allegorically when using common terms that describe us.


dhw: Why do you think he wanted us to have freedom in our development?

DAVID: Why not? Perhaps to recognize Him; perhaps to help with metabolic errors; perhaps to let us enjoy our development of abstractions: books, plays, movies, etc.

dhw: I like your use of “perhaps”, and wish you would apply it to such theories as your God wanting and having total control. Nice of him perhaps to want us to enjoy our own creations, which we might take as a parallel to himself enjoying his creations; recognition in a literal sense is impossible, since he doesn’t show himself to us, but perhaps you mean acknowledgement of his wonderful powers? Indeed, why not? In that respect, I’d say that we have inherited from him what you would call a “human” attribute.

DAVID: He made us human. He is not. See 'allegorical' above.

dhw: I have never said he is human. “Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. Meanwhile, why do you regard it as impossible that a God who creates a being who thinks about things and responds positively or negatively to them, might also be capable of thinking about things and responding positively or negatively to them?

Allegorical definition: words describing God analogously; "Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method (exegesis) that assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the moral (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense, as opposed to the literal sense." (my bold)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretation_of_the_Bible

You never avoid the literal sense in thinking about God.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, April 06, 2021, 13:02 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Free-for-all means no planned destination for evolution. I believe I've given proof of the need for design. Your humanized God doesn't seem to know where He is going.

dhw: A God who decides to give free rein to evolution (though he can always dabble if he wants to) knows precisely where he is going: i.e. to the production of the huge variety of life forms that characterize the history of evolution.

DAVID: Preposterous. How does your God know if humans will appear if at all?

I always add that he can dabble if he wants to. That is a possible answer to your question. But who says he had humans in mind from the start? If that was his only purpose, why – yet again! – did he have to design all the millions of life forms, econiches, lifestyles etc. that had no connection with humans? I have given you two possible explanations that allow for purposeful design of humans: experimentation or a new idea hatched as evolution proceeded.

dhw: If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going?

DAVID: Terrible analogy. Your goal is a kaleidoscope, nothing more. What is your next planned step?

The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

As usual, you have dodged this question.

DAVID: God must be described allegorically. God's goals are no different than human goals in the sense of the word 'goal'. That God has goals does not humanize Him.

Thank heavens, the word “goal” is therefore not an allegory! So if you say God’s goal was to design H. sapiens, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him. So if I say God’s goal was to design a vast and ever changing variety of life forms, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him.

dhw: If it is OK for you to invent a God who has only one purpose and is in total control (except when he isn’t), why do you regard it as “superficial” and “allegorical” for me to suggest that he has a different purpose and is prepared to give up total control? And why do you regard your dependence on some vague future research as a justification for rejecting explanations which you yourself agree are logical?

DAVID: It all depends on whose version of God's personality attributes is used in analyzing God's possible intentions. When you don your theistic hat, it has no resemblance to mine so we differ and will not change each other's conclusions.

Agreed. And your theory leaves you with no idea how to reconcile goal with methods, or how to solve the problem of theodicy, but you hope that future research will prove the rest of your theory to be correct. Mine, though of course unproven, at least has the merit of fitting purpose to life’s history and of solving the problem of theodicy. Your only objection to it is that it endows your God with human attributes which he probably/possibly has.

DAVID: The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.[…]

dhw: […]“Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. […]

DAVID: Allegorical definition: words describing God analogously; "Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method (exegesis) that assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the moral (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense, as opposed to the literal sense." (David’s bold)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretation_of_the_Bible
You never avoid the literal sense in thinking about God.

They are talking about interpreting a literary work called the Bible! QUOTE: “As a literary device, an allegory is a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.”

How on earth is this meant to be applied to your belief that your God had only one goal – to design H. sapiens? Or to my proposal that your God wanted the vast variety of life forms that make up life’s history? Or to my questioning why your God would have deliberately designed a system which contained disease-causing errors which he tried to correct, and disease-causing bugs and viruses? What is the “allegory”? Your use of the word is a pointless digression.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 06, 2021, 22:11 (37 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going?

DAVID: Terrible analogy. Your goal is a kaleidoscope, nothing more. What is your next planned step?

dhw: The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

The bold states your God does not know where the end point will be. Yes it is purposeful without a desired end point, so your God is goalless in that approach.

DAVID: God must be described allegorically. God's goals are no different than human goals in the sense of the word 'goal'. That God has goals does not humanize Him.

dhw: Thank heavens, the word “goal” is therefore not an allegory! So if you say God’s goal was to design H. sapiens, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him. So if I say God’s goal was to design a vast and ever changing variety of life forms, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him.

DAVID: It all depends on whose version of God's personality attributes is used in analyzing God's possible intentions. When you don your theistic hat, it has no resemblance to mine so we differ and will not change each other's conclusions.

dhw:Agreed. And your theory leaves you with no idea how to reconcile goal with methods, or how to solve the problem of theodicy, but you hope that future research will prove the rest of your theory to be correct. Mine, though of course unproven, at least has the merit of fitting purpose to life’s history and of solving the problem of theodicy. Your only objection to it is that it endows your God with human attributes which he probably/possibly has.

We cannot know if God has any human attributes, the reason for allegorical word interpretation.


DAVID: The attributes are not allegorical within themselves as descriptions, but as applied to God they have to be used allegorically, as all theologians demand.[…]

dhw: […]“Allegorical” means nothing until you tell us WHAT is allegorical and what it is meant to represent. […]

DAVID: Allegorical definition: words describing God analogously; "Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method (exegesis) that assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the moral (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense, as opposed to the literal sense." (David’s bold)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretation_of_the_Bible
You never avoid the literal sense in thinking about God.

dhw: They are talking about interpreting a literary work called the Bible! QUOTE: “As a literary device, an allegory is a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.”

dhw: How on earth is this meant to be applied to your belief that your God had only one goal – to design H. sapiens? Or to my proposal that your God wanted the vast variety of life forms that make up life’s history? Or to my questioning why your God would have deliberately designed a system which contained disease-causing errors which he tried to correct, and disease-causing bugs and viruses? What is the “allegory”? Your use of the word is a pointless digression.

My interpretation of God's human goal is obviously not allegorical. My assumptions as to how He might have arrived, in His thoughts, at that goal must be

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, April 07, 2021, 11:19 (36 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If I design a huge kaleidoscope because I want a vast and unpredictable variety of patterns, does that mean I don’t know where I’m going?

DAVID: Terrible analogy. Your goal is a kaleidoscope, nothing more. What is your next planned step?

dhw: The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

DAVID: The bold states your God does not know where the end point will be. Yes it is purposeful without a desired end point, so your God is goalless in that approach.

Playing with words. If my goal is to enjoy every moment of my life, how does that come to mean that my life is goalless? Your God can also have a purpose/goal and not have a desired end point but simply be interested in what his amazing invention will lead to. And still you avoid telling us why wanting humans is not “humanizing” but wanting a free-for-all is.

DAVID: God must be described allegorically. God's goals are no different than human goals in the sense of the word 'goal'. That God has goals does not humanize Him.

dhw: Thank heavens, the word “goal” is therefore not an allegory! So if you say God’s goal was to design H. sapiens, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him. So if I say God’s goal was to design a vast and ever changing variety of life forms, it is not an allegory and does not humanize him. […] [My theory],though of course unproven, at least has the merit of fitting purpose to life’s history and of solving the problem of theodicy. Your only objection to it is that it endows your God with human attributes which he probably/possibly has.

DAVID: We cannot know if God has any human attributes, the reason for allegorical word interpretation.

I do not regard attributes such as logic, interest, enjoyment as “allegories”. You go on to quote an article about interpretation of the Bible, which contains allegories.

dhw: How on earth is this meant to be applied to your belief that your God had only one goal – to design H. sapiens? Or to my proposal that your God wanted the vast variety of life forms that make up life’s history? Or to my questioning why your God would have deliberately designed a system which contained disease-causing errors which he tried to correct, and disease-causing bugs and viruses? What is the “allegory”? Your use of the word is a pointless digression.

DAVID: My interpretation of God's human goal is obviously not allegorical. My assumptions as to how He might have arrived, in His thoughts, at that goal must be.

Even if you say that maybe he designed humans so that they could recognize or enjoy his work, what does such a statement represent “allegorically”? If wanting to create sapiens is not an allegory, why is wanting to create a free-for-all an allegory, and how is it allegorical to question why he might have deliberately designed bad bugs and viruses? This is a pointless digression, but for you perhaps a useful way to avoid answering awkward questions.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 07, 2021, 19:40 (36 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

DAVID: The bold states your God does not know where the end point will be. Yes it is purposeful without a desired end point, so your God is goalless in that approach.

dhw: Playing with words. If my goal is to enjoy every moment of my life, how does that come to mean that my life is goalless? Your God can also have a purpose/goal and not have a desired end point but simply be interested in what his amazing invention will lead to. And still you avoid telling us why wanting humans is not “humanizing” but wanting a free-for-all is.

I'm deadly serious, not word playing. How you live your life has nothing to do with having distinct goals in a future. A free-for-all advance is goalless in itself. It doesn't know where it is going nor does God watching it. Yours is a humanizing approach to God as I view it. God purposely creates, apparently something about Him you don't understand, as your free-for-all can wander in any direction.


DAVID: We cannot know if God has any human attributes, the reason for allegorical word interpretation.

I do not regard attributes such as logic, interest, enjoyment as “allegories”. You go on to quote an article about interpretation of the Bible, which contains allegories.

dhw: How on earth is this meant to be applied to your belief that your God had only one goal – to design H. sapiens? Or to my proposal that your God wanted the vast variety of life forms that make up life’s history? Or to my questioning why your God would have deliberately designed a system which contained disease-causing errors which he tried to correct, and disease-causing bugs and viruses? What is the “allegory”? Your use of the word is a pointless digression.

DAVID: My interpretation of God's human goal is obviously not allegorical. My assumptions as to how He might have arrived, in His thoughts, at that goal must be.

dhw: Even if you say that maybe he designed humans so that they could recognize or enjoy his work, what does such a statement represent “allegorically”? If wanting to create sapiens is not an allegory, why is wanting to create a free-for-all an allegory, and how is it allegorical to question why he might have deliberately designed bad bugs and viruses? This is a pointless digression, but for you perhaps a useful way to avoid answering awkward questions.

Nothing in your entry has anything to do with the use of allegorical terms in describing God.
Allegorical terms are used to describe God, Himself as an allegorical personage, not His intentions or plans. The difference is very clear.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, April 08, 2021, 13:50 (35 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The analogy has nothing to do with planned steps. You keep telling us that a God who designs everything for one specific purpose (H. sapiens) is not “human”, whereas a God who designs a free-for-all (an ever changing variety of life forms) is “very human” and doesn’t know where he’s going. If I set out to design something unpredictable, I know where I’m going: the kaleidoscope and the ever changing variety are both precisely what I want. Once more: why is this “very human”, whereas wanting and creating nothing but humans plus food supply is not at all “human”?

DAVID: The bold states your God does not know where the end point will be. Yes it is purposeful without a desired end point, so your God is goalless in that approach.

dhw: Playing with words. If my goal is to enjoy every moment of my life, how does that come to mean that my life is goalless? Your God can also have a purpose/goal and not have a desired end point but simply be interested in what his amazing invention will lead to. And still you avoid telling us why wanting humans is not “humanizing” but wanting a free-for-all is.

DAVID: I'm deadly serious, not word playing. How you live your life has nothing to do with having distinct goals in a future. A free-for-all advance is goalless in itself. It doesn't know where it is going nor does God watching it. Yours is a humanizing approach to God as I view it. God purposely creates, apparently something about Him you don't understand, as your free-for-all can wander in any direction.

Some humans live their lives with very specific goals for their future: to become rich, to raise a family, to play football for England, to write a successful novel….some even have goals for each day. It is a very human trait to have a goal (and is probably a darn sight healthier than just drifting aimlessly through life!). But I’ll take one of the above goals, as an illustration of the point as well as offering the chance of a pun or two if you want word play! In a football match, the goal is to score goals and win the game. But what would be the point if you already knew the result? The inventor of the sport did not want anyone including himself to know the result beforehand. He “purposely created” an activity that was open-ended – apparently something you don’t understand: that open-endedness can be a purpose in itself. Your own example could be your always-in-total-control God’s creation of free will, but I never hear you talk of this "purposely created" “free-for-all” behaviour as “humanizing” God. In brief, if your God WANTED a free-for-all (unpredictable football match) instead of a puppet show in which he pulled all the strings, he would have "purposely created" it, and the one is no more and no less "human" than the other.

DAVID: My interpretation of God's human goal is obviously not allegorical. My assumptions as to how He might have arrived, in His thoughts, at that goal must be.

dhw: Even if you say that maybe he designed humans so that they could recognize or enjoy his work, what does such a statement represent “allegorically”? If wanting to create sapiens is not an allegory, why is wanting to create a free-for-all an allegory, and how is it allegorical to question why he might have deliberately designed bad bugs and viruses? This is a pointless digression, but for you perhaps a useful way to avoid answering awkward questions.

DAVID: Nothing in your entry has anything to do with the use of allegorical terms in describing God. Allegorical terms are used to describe God, Himself as an allegorical personage, not His intentions or plans. The difference is very clear.

Nothing in this whole discussion has anything to do with allegorical terms, unless you regard the analogies we use to illustrate our theories as allegories. This thread only concerns your theory of evolution and the problem of theodicy, both of which hinge on his intentions or plans. All this talk of “allegory” with your long quote about interpreting the Bible is nothing but a red herring. Please get back to issues and tell us at last why it is not humanizing for your God to want only to create humans, to enjoy creating and possibly to want recognition, but it is “very human” for him want to create a free-for-all and to create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 08, 2021, 19:31 (35 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm deadly serious, not word playing. How you live your life has nothing to do with having distinct goals in a future. A free-for-all advance is goalless in itself. It doesn't know where it is going nor does God watching it. Yours is a humanizing approach to God as I view it. God purposely creates, apparently something about Him you don't understand, as your free-for-all can wander in any direction.

dhw: Some humans live their lives with very specific goals for their future: to become rich, to raise a family, to play football for England, to write a successful novel….some even have goals for each day. It is a very human trait to have a goal (and is probably a darn sight healthier than just drifting aimlessly through life!). But I’ll take one of the above goals, as an illustration of the point as well as offering the chance of a pun or two if you want word play! In a football match, the goal is to score goals and win the game. But what would be the point if you already knew the result? The inventor of the sport did not want anyone including himself to know the result beforehand. He “purposely created” an activity that was open-ended – apparently something you don’t understand: that open-endedness can be a purpose in itself. Your own example could be your always-in-total-control God’s creation of free will, but I never hear you talk of this "purposely created" “free-for-all” behaviour as “humanizing” God.

Totally off point: human free will is no part of creating new organisms through a process of evolution Your free-will-evolution is a guideless process of creation.

dhw: In brief, if your God WANTED a free-for-all (unpredictable football match) instead of a puppet show in which he pulled all the strings, he would have "purposely created" it, and the one is no more and no less "human" than the other.

My God had a goal of creating humans through a process of designed evolution. He would not want an unguided process.


DAVID: Nothing in your entry has anything to do with the use of allegorical terms in describing God. Allegorical terms are used to describe God, Himself as an allegorical personage, not His intentions or plans. The difference is very clear.

dhw: Nothing in this whole discussion has anything to do with allegorical terms, unless you regard the analogies we use to illustrate our theories as allegories. This thread only concerns your theory of evolution and the problem of theodicy, both of which hinge on his intentions or plans. All this talk of “allegory” with your long quote about interpreting the Bible is nothing but a red herring. Please get back to issues and tell us at last why it is not humanizing for your God to want only to create humans, to enjoy creating and possibly to want recognition, but it is “very human” for him want to create a free-for-all and to create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

To repeat: "My God had a goal of creating humans through a process of designed evolution. He would not want an unguided process." And allegory is important in thinkin g of God's motives. His 'enjoyment' of creating is understood allegorically, since we theists don't think of God as creating solely for His own enjoyment or doing it for a sense of required enjoyment. A free-for-all is rudderless. Of course an all-powerful God is capable of doing that if He wished, but why would a purposeful God wish that, losing control?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, April 09, 2021, 08:42 (34 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In a football match, the goal is to score goals and win the game. But what would be the point if you already knew the result? The inventor of the sport did not want anyone including himself to know the result beforehand. He “purposely created” an activity that was open-ended – apparently something you don’t understand: that open-endedness can be a purpose in itself. Your own example could be your always-in-total-control God’s creation of free will, but I never hear you talk of this "purposely created" “free-for-all” behaviour as “humanizing” God.

DAVID: Totally off point: human free will is no part of creating new organisms through a process of evolution Your free-will-evolution is a guideless process of creation.

Free will is an example of your God deliberately giving up control. And yes, my free-for-all means that your God chose to design a system that would provide unpredictable variety. You keep telling us ad nauseam that your God would not give up control. He gave it up when he gave us free will. You keep telling us ad nauseam that giving up control makes God “human”, and I keep asking ad nauseam why wanting to give up control is more human than wanting to have total control. Your only answer is:

DAVID: My God had a goal of creating humans through a process of designed evolution. He would not want an unguided process.

First of all, how do you know? Secondly, if his only goal was to create humans, why the 99% of organisms that had no connection with humans? Thirdly, why does not wanting an unguided process make him less human than wanting an unguided process?

DAVID: Nothing in your entry has anything to do with the use of allegorical terms in describing God. Allegorical terms are used to describe God, Himself as an allegorical personage, not His intentions or plans. The difference is very clear.

dhw: Nothing in this whole discussion has anything to do with allegorical terms, unless you regard the analogies we use to illustrate our theories as allegories. This thread only concerns your theory of evolution and the problem of theodicy, both of which hinge on his intentions or plans. All this talk of “allegory” with your long quote about interpreting the Bible is nothing but a red herring. Please get back to issues and tell us at last why it is not humanizing for your God to want only to create humans, to enjoy creating and possibly to want recognition, but it is “very human” for him want to create a free-for-all and to create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

DAVID: To repeat: "My God had a goal of creating humans through a process of designed evolution. He would not want an unguided process."

You don’t need to repeat it. Please just answer the questions.

DAVID: And allegory is important in thinking of God's motives. His 'enjoyment' of creating is understood allegorically, since we theists don't think of God as creating solely for His own enjoyment or doing it for a sense of required enjoyment.

What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

DAVID: A free-for-all is rudderless.

Correct. How many more times are you going to explain the meaning of a free-for-all? How does this come to mean that he didn’t want a free-for-all?

DAVID: Of course an all-powerful God is capable of doing that if He wished, but why would a purposeful God wish that, losing control?

Because maybe your purposeful God wanted to create something he would enjoy, and there is more enjoyment to be had from watching the unpredictable than from watching the predictable. And before you cry: “humanizing”, why is that more “humanizing” than a God who enjoys exercising total control as he pulls the puppets’ strings? And for good measure, let us not forget your claim that he enjoys creating, in which case why would he enjoy creating the bad bugs and viruses?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, April 09, 2021, 19:39 (34 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Totally off point: human free will is no part of creating new organisms through a process of evolution Your free-will-evolution is a guideless process of creation.

dhw: Free will is an example of your God deliberately giving up control. And yes, my free-for-all means that your God chose to design a system that would provide unpredictable variety.

Total muddle. Free will is what we do as living beings. A free-for-all evolution relates only to the mode of evolutionary progression not the same comparison in any sense. God cannot give up evolutionary control if He wants to reach a goal He desires.


DAVID: My God had a goal of creating humans through a process of designed evolution. He would not want an unguided process.

dhw: First of all, how do you know? Secondly, if his only goal was to create humans, why the 99% of organisms that had no connection with humans? Thirdly, why does not wanting an unguided process make him less human than wanting an unguided process?

Same muddled reasoning. First, our arrival according to Adler's philosophy, secondly, the 99% are simply evolutionary steps on the way to us, and thirdly, an unguided process has no guarantee of reaching a desired goal.5


DAVID: Nothing in your entry has anything to do with the use of allegorical terms in describing God. Allegorical terms are used to describe God, Himself as an allegorical personage, not His intentions or plans. The difference is very clear.

dhw: All this talk of “allegory” with your long quote about interpreting the Bible is nothing but a red herring. Please get back to issues and tell us at last why it is not humanizing for your God to want only to create humans, to enjoy creating and possibly to want recognition, but it is “very human” for him want to create a free-for-all and to create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON ONE'S VIEW OF GOD'S PERSONALITY. YOURS IS NOT MINE. WE CAN'T KNOW IF HE ENJOYS CREATING, AND HE MAY NOT DO IT FOR HIS OWN ENJOYMENT. HE MAY SIMPLY DO IT TO DO IT, NOTHING MORE. I WILL NOT APPLY HUMAN THOUGHT TO HIM, AS IT IS ALL GUESS WORK.

DAVID: And allegory is important in thinking of God's motives. His 'enjoyment' of creating is understood allegorically, since we theists don't think of God as creating solely for His own enjoyment or doing it for a sense of required enjoyment.

DHW: What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

You still don't get it. All of God's thoughts must be considered from an allegorical viewpoint and interpretation.


DAVID: A free-for-all is rudderless.

dhw: Correct. How many more times are you going to explain the meaning of a free-for-all? How does this come to mean that he didn’t want a free-for-all?

DAVID: Of course an all-powerful God is capable of doing that if He wished, but why would a purposeful God wish that, losing control?

dhw: Because maybe your purposeful God wanted to create something he would enjoy, and there is more enjoyment to be had from watching the unpredictable than from watching the predictable. And before you cry: “humanizing”, why is that more “humanizing” than a God who enjoys exercising total control as he pulls the puppets’ strings? And for good measure, let us not forget your claim that he enjoys creating, in which case why would he enjoy creating the bad bugs and viruses?

How do you know God 'needs' enjoyment? The bold was a possibility I suggested but not ever sure of. You pounce on every possible morsel in finding me agreeing with you about your distorted humanized view of God. God may not have any human attributes as a personage like no other human person. God is not you or any of us in some ethereal form.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, April 10, 2021, 17:10 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Totally off point: human free will is no part of creating new organisms through a process of evolution Your free-will-evolution is a guideless process of creation.

dhw: Free will is an example of your God deliberately giving up control. And yes, my free-for-all means that your God chose to design a system that would provide unpredictable variety.

DAVID: Total muddle. Free will is what we do as living beings.

If your God gave us free will, it means he deliberately gave up control. If he is prepared to give up control over human behaviour for whatever reason, who is to say that he is not prepared to give up control over evolution for whatever reason?

DAVID[…] God cannot give up evolutionary control if He wants to reach a goal He desires.

Perhaps the goal he desires is an unpredictable history, with his great invention constantly producing amazing and unexpected wonders, including humans with their own almost unlimited capacity for invention. Just a theory. In order to achieve this goal, he can and must give up evolutionary control.

dhw: […] Please get back to issues and tell us at last why it is not humanizing for your God to want only to create humans, to enjoy creating and possibly to want recognition, but it is “very human” for him want to create a free-for-all and to create BECAUSE he enjoys creating.

DAVID: IT ALL DEPENDS ON ONE'S VIEW OF GOD'S PERSONALITY. YOURS IS NOT MINE. WE CAN'T KNOW IF HE ENJOYS CREATING, AND HE MAY NOT DO IT FOR HIS OWN ENJOYMENT. HE MAY SIMPLY DO IT TO DO IT, NOTHING MORE. I WILL NOT APPLY HUMAN THOUGHT TO HIM, AS IT IS ALL GUESS WORK.

Then there is no point in proposing or discussing any theories – yours or mine – since they are all “guess work” and we can’t know the truth.

DAVID: And allegory is important in thinking of God's motives. His 'enjoyment' of creating is understood allegorically, since we theists don't think of God as creating solely for His own enjoyment or doing it for a sense of required enjoyment.

dhw: What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

DAVID: You still don't get it. All of God's thoughts must be considered from an allegorical viewpoint and interpretation.

No, I don’t get it. An allegory represents something. For instance in Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian has two very nice companions whose names are Faithful and Hopeful, and they encounter some nasty characters like Lord Hategood and Giant Despair. That is an allegory. When you tell us that you are sure God enjoys creating, what does his enjoyment of creating symbolize?

DAVID: A free-for-all is rudderless.

dhw: Correct. […] How does this come to mean that he didn’t want a free-for-all?

DAVID: Of course an all-powerful God is capable of doing that if He wished, but why would a purposeful God wish that, losing control?

dhw: Because maybe your purposeful God wanted to create something he would enjoy, and there is more enjoyment to be had from watching the unpredictable than from watching the predictable. And before you cry: “humanizing”, why is that more “humanizing” than a God who enjoys exercising total control as he pulls the puppets’ strings? And for good measure, let us not forget your claim that he enjoys creating, in which case why would he enjoy creating the bad bugs and viruses?

DAVID: How do you know God 'needs' enjoyment? The bold was a possibility I suggested but not ever sure of.

I did not say he needed it, but I proposed that maybe he wanted it. Just a theory, tying in with your statement on Sunday March 6th, when you wrote on this thread: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating”, which you confirmed on Monday March 8: “God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” Good reasoning.

DAVID: You pounce on every possible morsel in finding me agreeing with you about your distorted humanized view of God.

In our search for logical explanations of life’s mysteries, we both present theories and we test them. I don’t know why you object to my quoting you when you agree with my logic. My proposal is no more and no less humanized than your own, and what possible grounds can you have for saying it is distorted when nobody knows the truth? I only ask for your acceptance that the theory is possible. The fact that nobody knows the truth does not make my theory impossible.

DAVID: God may not have any human attributes as a personage like no other human person. God is not you or any of us in some ethereal form.

Very true. God may not even exist at all, but that never stopped you from proposing theories about him.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 10, 2021, 19:54 (33 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If your God gave us free will, it means he deliberately gave up control. If he is prepared to give up control over human behaviour for whatever reason, who is to say that he is not prepared to give up control over evolution for whatever reason?

A weak take: the only control He have up was over behaviour, not the direction of evolution.


DAVID[…] God cannot give up evolutionary control if He wants to reach a goal He desires.

dhw: Perhaps the goal he desires is an unpredictable history, with his great invention constantly producing amazing and unexpected wonders, including humans with their own almost unlimited capacity for invention. Just a theory. In order to achieve this goal, he can and must give up evolutionary control.

Don't you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain? Much m ore control not less. Your namby-pamby God just reappeared.


dhw: What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

DAVID: You still don't get it. All of God's thoughts must be considered from an allegorical viewpoint and interpretation.

dhw: No, I don’t get it. An allegory represents something. When you tell us that you are sure God enjoys creating, what does his enjoyment of creating symbolize?

His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: Because maybe your purposeful God wanted to create something he would enjoy, and there is more enjoyment to be had from watching the unpredictable than from watching the predictable. And before you cry: “humanizing”, why is that more “humanizing” than a God who enjoys exercising total control as he pulls the puppets’ strings? And for good measure, let us not forget your claim that he enjoys creating, in which case why would he enjoy creating the bad bugs and viruses?

DAVID: How do you know God 'needs' enjoyment? The bold was a possibility I suggested but not ever sure of.

dhw: I did not say he needed it, but I proposed that maybe he wanted it. Just a theory, tying in with your statement on Sunday March 6th, when you wrote on this thread: “I’m sure God enjoys his work at creating”, which you confirmed on Monday March 8: “God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” Good reasoning.

But again God's enjoyment must be viewed allegorically as explained.


DAVID: You pounce on every possible morsel in finding me agreeing with you about your distorted humanized view of God.

dhw: In our search for logical explanations of life’s mysteries, we both present theories and we test them. I don’t know why you object to my quoting you when you agree with my logic. My proposal is no more and no less humanized than your own, and what possible grounds can you have for saying it is distorted when nobody knows the truth? I only ask for your acceptance that the theory is possible. The fact that nobody knows the truth does not make my theory impossible.

I view His attributes allegorically and you misuse my statements which I hope you now realize are symbolic.


DAVID: God may not have any human attributes as a personage like no other human person. God is not you or any of us in some ethereal form.

dhw: Very true. God may not even exist at all, but that never stopped you from proposing theories about him.

Or you.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, April 11, 2021, 13:56 (32 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If your God gave us free will, it means he deliberately gave up control. If he is prepared to give up control over human behaviour for whatever reason, who is to say that he is not prepared to give up control over evolution for whatever reason?

DAVID: A weak take: the only control He gave up was over behaviour, not the direction of evolution.

You insist on missing the point. Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? The fact that you believe he controlled everything else does not make your belief into a fact, although you state it as if it were.

DAVID: Don't you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain? Much m ore control not less. Your namby-pamby God just reappeared.

Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

dhw: What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

DAVID: You still don't get it. All of God's thoughts must be considered from an allegorical viewpoint and interpretation.

dhw: No, I don’t get it. An allegory represents something. When you tell us that you are sure God enjoys creating, what does his enjoyment of creating symbolize?

DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

What is enjoyment a symbol of? The rest of your post repeats the same dodge. You say you are sure your God enjoys creating, and your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and I'm sorry, but I have no idea how such statements can be regarded as allegorical or symbolic, and you obviously can’t explain to me what else these statements can possibly stand for, other than what they say. And so when I propose that God might have created life because he wanted to create something he could enjoy, and when you tell us you are sure that he enjoys creating and it is probable/possible that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, I hope you will understand why I find it impossible to regard it as a logical objection to my theory when you say you use these terms allegorically and symbolically.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 11, 2021, 16:08 (32 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: If your God gave us free will, it means he deliberately gave up control. If he is prepared to give up control over human behaviour for whatever reason, who is to say that he is not prepared to give up control over evolution for whatever reason?

DAVID: A weak take: the only control He gave up was over behaviour, not the direction of evolution.

dhw: You insist on missing the point. Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? The fact that you believe he controlled everything else does not make your belief into a fact, although you state it as if it were.

You are fuzzy. God's job is running evolution to suit His specific goals. It requires exact control, which He would not give up granting that He is creating with purpose. Our having free will has no effect on the desired direction of evolution.


DAVID: Don't you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain? Much more control not less. Your namby-pamby God just reappeared.

Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.


dhw: What is the allegory? You believe he enjoys creating, but you don’t believe he creates because he wants to enjoy creating. There is no allegory here!

DAVID: You still don't get it. All of God's thoughts must be considered from an allegorical viewpoint and interpretation.

dhw: No, I don’t get it. An allegory represents something. When you tell us that you are sure God enjoys creating, what does his enjoyment of creating symbolize?

DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: What is enjoyment a symbol of? The rest of your post repeats the same dodge. You say you are sure your God enjoys creating, and your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and I'm sorry, but I have no idea how such statements can be regarded as allegorical or symbolic, and you obviously can’t explain to me what else these statements can possibly stand for, other than what they say. And so when I propose that God might have created life because he wanted to create something he could enjoy, and when you tell us you are sure that he enjoys creating and it is probable/possible that he has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, I hope you will understand why I find it impossible to regard it as a logical objection to my theory when you say you use these terms allegorically and symbolically.

We are so apart we will never meet in the middle. It is why you don't understand your humanized God. Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies..

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, April 12, 2021, 11:37 (31 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: If your God gave us free will, it means he deliberately gave up control. If he is prepared to give up control over human behaviour for whatever reason, who is to say that he is not prepared to give up control over evolution for whatever reason?

DAVID: A weak take: the only control He gave up was over behaviour, not the direction of evolution.

dhw: You insist on missing the point. Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? The fact that you believe he controlled everything else does not make your belief into a fact, although you state it as if it were.

DAVID: You are fuzzy. God's job is running evolution to suit His specific goals. It requires exact control, which He would not give up granting that He is creating with purpose. Our having free will has no effect on the desired direction of evolution.

And if his specific goal or purpose is to create a free-for-all, then he will deliberately give up control. Just as according to you he has given up control over the human will.

DAVID: Don't you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain? Much more control not less. Your namby-pamby God just reappeared.

dhw: Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

DAVID: Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.

Indeed it is. Please read my reply, now bolded.

DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: What is enjoyment a symbol of? The rest of your post repeats the same dodge. You say you are sure your God enjoys creating, and your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and I'm sorry, but I have no idea how such statements can be regarded as allegorical or symbolic, and you obviously can’t explain to me what else these statements can possibly stand for, other than what they say. [...]

DAVID: We are so apart we will never meet in the middle. It is why you don't understand your humanized God. Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies.

But you won’t/can’t tell us what “enjoyment” and “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours” might symbolize! You say our concept of enjoyment may not “fully apply to him”, so when you say you are sure he enjoys creating, do you actually mean you think he doesn’t enjoy creating? Of course you don’t. How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, April 12, 2021, 16:32 (31 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You insist on missing the point. Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? The fact that you believe he controlled everything else does not make your belief into a fact, although you state it as if it were.

DAVID: You are fuzzy. God's job is running evolution to suit His specific goals. It requires exact control, which He would not give up granting that He is creating with purpose. Our having free will has no effect on the desired direction of evolution.

dhw: And if his specific goal or purpose is to create a free-for-all, then he will deliberately give up control. Just as according to you he has given up control over the human will.

If God gives up 'control' over evolution humans might never appear. I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.


DAVID: Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.

dhw: Indeed it is. Please read my reply, now bolded.

Where? If in other 'evolution' thread, answered.


DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: What is enjoyment a symbol of? The rest of your post repeats the same dodge. You say you are sure your God enjoys creating, and your God probably has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, and I'm sorry, but I have no idea how such statements can be regarded as allegorical or symbolic, and you obviously can’t explain to me what else these statements can possibly stand for, other than what they say. [...]

DAVID: We are so apart we will never meet in the middle. It is why you don't understand your humanized God. Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies.

dhw: But you won’t/can’t tell us what “enjoyment” and “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours” might symbolize! You say our concept of enjoyment may not “fully apply to him”, so when you say you are sure he enjoys creating, do you actually mean you think he doesn’t enjoy creating? Of course you don’t. How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

Actually, yes!

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 11:47 (30 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Do you regard your God’s giving up control over behaviour as “weak”? If so, why? If not, why not? And if he WANTED to give up control over evolution, why is that “weak”? […]

DAVID: You are fuzzy. God's job is running evolution to suit His specific goals. It requires exact control, which He would not give up granting that He is creating with purpose.

dhw: And if his specific goal or purpose is to create a free-for-all, then he will deliberately give up control. Just as according to you he has given up control over the human will.

DAVID: If God gives up 'control' over evolution humans might never appear. I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.

According to you, the exceptionalism of all life forms, strategies, natural wonders ranging from ant bridges to weaverbirds’ nests cannot be explained any other way than by God directly designing them. It is certainly true that if your God exists and gave up control, none of these might have appeared – in which case, lucky old us, ants and weaverbirds. But there are alternatives. I have always emphasized that he could dabble if he wanted to. One of my proposals was that the idea for humans came into his mind late on in life’s history. Or I have even conceded that from the start he did want to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his - though you keep trying to wriggle out of your own use of these terms - and all the other designs were part of a great experiment as he looked for ways of creating such a being. But you insist – inexplicably – that in order to specially design humans he had first to specially design millions of life forms, strategies, lifestyles, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.

dhw: Indeed it is. Please read my reply, now bolded.

DAVID: Where? If in other 'evolution' thread, answered.

This was the reply:
dhw: Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

DAVID: His whole personage must be viewed symbolically. His form of enjoyment may not be exactly like our personal experience.

dhw: What is enjoyment a symbol of? [...]

DAVID: […] Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies.

dhw: But you won’t/can’t tell us what “enjoyment” and “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours” might symbolize! You say our concept of enjoyment may not “fully apply to him”, so when you say you are sure he enjoys creating, do you actually mean you think he doesn’t enjoy creating? Of course you don’t. How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

DAVID: Actually, yes!

Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 15:35 (30 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If God gives up 'control' over evolution humans might never appear. I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.

dhw: I have always emphasized that he could dabble if he wanted to. One of my proposals was that the idea for humans came into his mind late on in life’s history. Or I have even conceded that from the start he did want to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his - though you keep trying to wriggle out of your own use of these terms - and all the other designs were part of a great experiment as he looked for ways of creating such a being.

Again you have humanized God as wandering in the wilderness of His uncertain mind, not knowing how to go forward. I view God as specifically knowing exactly what to do according to His plan which neve changed from the beginning.

dhw: But you insist – inexplicably – that in order to specially design humans he had first to specially design millions of life forms, strategies, lifestyles, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans.

God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. The 99% were necessary steps not inexplicable to the rational mind.


DAVID: Our brain is very special because of its special form with very large frontal lobes for abstract thought.

dhw: Indeed it is. Please read my reply, now bolded.

DAVID: Where? If in other 'evolution' thread, answered.

This was the reply:
dhw: Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest. And there is nothing namby-pamby about a God who may have designed a system which in turn can produce every special feature of every special life form and every special natural wonder in the history of life on Earth.

Of course special design was required, and it is that obvious design that keeps you agnostic


DAVID: […] Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him. That proviso always applies.

dhw: But you won’t/can’t tell us what “enjoyment” and “thought patterns and emotions similar to ours” might symbolize! You say our concept of enjoyment may not “fully apply to him”, so when you say you are sure he enjoys creating, do you actually mean you think he doesn’t enjoy creating? Of course you don’t. How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

DAVID: Actually, yes!

dhw: Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

You did more humanizing above.

Back to theodicy and David's theories: Ed Feser's take

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 21:44 (30 days ago) @ David Turell

Feser is a theological philosopher who follows Thomism. This essay away the problem of evil and discusses proper allegorical treatment of God. There is no way I can edit it into a valuable summary. I'll give a few snippets, but warn you it takes 20+ minutes to read all of it. But it does explain how I view God the way I do. Also I do not agree with all of his theology, but my approach to thinking about God is very similar. Note the reference to ecosystems, animals do what animals do.

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/12/4/268/htm

For the Thomist, when one properly understands what God is and what morality and moral agents are, it simply makes no sense to think of God as less than perfectly good or as morally obligated to prevent the evil that exists.

***

For Thomists God is utterly distinct from the natural order of things, creating and sustaining it in being ex nihilo while being in no way affected by it in turn. But the “logical problem of evil” implicitly presupposes that God is himself part of the natural order, or at least causally related to it in something like the way that entities within that order are related to one another.

***

Goodness or badness as general features of the world are, on this account, to be analyzed in terms of how fully a substance actualizes the potentials which, given its nature, it needs to actualize in order to be a flourishing instance of its kind.

***

Sometimes what is good for one kind of physical substance, given its nature, will be bad for another kind, given its different nature. For example, it is good for beavers to gnaw at and fell trees. They cannot flourish as the kinds of things they are without doing so. But obviously, their doing so is not good for trees. Now, a natural order with both beavers and trees in it has more kinds of goodness in it than a natural order without both. Hence, an increase in the amount of goodness in the world can in some cases entail also an increase in certain kinds of badness as a necessary concomitant.

***

Now, where does God fit into this picture? The answer is that he does not fit into it at all. He is no more a part of the natural order—and thus no more part of the moral order that is a segment of the natural order—than an author is part of a novel or than a painter is part of a painting. Rather, he is the necessary precondition of there being any natural order at all, just as an author is the necessary precondition of there being any novel at all and a painter is a necessary precondition of there being any painting at all. And conceiving of God on the model of a natural substance is like conceiving of an author as an additional character in a novel, or conceiving of a painter as one of the images in a painting.

***

When a natural substance brings about an effect, it works through parts (such as the hand you use to move a stick) and itself undergoes change over time as it does so (as when your arm flexes and changes position when moving the stick). Nothing like this happens with divine causality, since God is non-composite, immutable, and eternal. When a natural substance exercises causal power, it does so in accordance with the laws of nature that describe its characteristic mode of behaving. But God is not governed by laws of nature, since those laws are themselves precisely among the things he causes in creating the natural order that the laws describe.
For these reasons, the Thomist holds that the language we use when describing God and his causal relationship to the world must be understood in an analogical way, where analogy is a middle ground sort of usage lying between the univocal and equivocal uses of terms.

***

The “god of the gaps” approach is indeed feeble, but it has nothing to do with the arguments of Thomists and other classical theists. They are not trying to fill explanatory gaps within the natural order studied by science, but rather explaining what empirical science itself presupposes but cannot account for—namely, the fact that there is any natural order at all in the first place. The “god of the gaps” approach is like supposing that to say that a painting presupposes a painter amounts to positing an as-yet unseen person lurking somewhere in the image (“Where’s Waldo?” style), or that to say that a novel presupposes an author amounts to positing a character in the story who somehow escaped the reader’s notice on a first reading

***
Since God cannot possibly be in danger and has no appetites, he cannot intelligibly be said to possess virtues like courage and temperance. More generally, God is not subject to the natural law, any more than he is subject to physical laws.

***

More generally, if you are going to create a natural order with all the specific kinds of goodness that ours exhibits—the goodness of lions, gazelles, birds, worms, bacteria, and so on—then, given their natures, certain sorts of badness (gazelles eaten by lions, worms eaten by birds, diseases caused by bacteria, etc.) are going to be a concomitant. The overall order is good, and the badness that accompanies it is a necessary part of that good, without which that particular kind of good could not exist. You might have a world with things that looked like lions but did not eat gazelles, but they would not be lions. If you want lions, the occasional dead gazelle is part of the package.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 14:28 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I maintain we are His primary goal. Our exceptionalism cannot be explained any other way, or that exceptionalism must be denied.

dhw: I have always emphasized that he could dabble if he wanted to. One of my proposals was that the idea for humans came into his mind late on in life’s history. Or I have even conceded that from the start he did want to create a being with thought patterns, emotions and other attributes similar to his - though you keep trying to wriggle out of your own use of these terms - and all the other designs were part of a great experiment as he looked for ways of creating such a being.

DAVID: Again you have humanized God as wandering in the wilderness of His uncertain mind, not knowing how to go forward. I view God as specifically knowing exactly what to do according to His plan which never changed from the beginning.

I don’t know why you think experimentation or new ideas mean wandering in the wilderness of an uncertain mind. You make it sound as if our inventors and experimental scientists and novelists and artists are all raving lunatics with no idea what they’re doing. You needn’t repeat your own view, which inevitably leads to the next exchange:

dhw: But you insist – inexplicably – that in order to specially design humans he had first to specially design millions of life forms, strategies, lifestyles, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. The 99% were necessary steps not inexplicable to the rational mind.

Then please use your rational mind to explain why a God whose sole purpose was to specially design H. sapiens found it necessary to first specially design countless life forms, econiches, strategies and natural wonders, although 99% of them had no direct connection to H. sapiens.

DAVID: Don’t you realize the appearance of humans requires very special design of the brain?

dhw: Don’t you realize that the appearance of dogs requires very special design of the nose? And don’t you realize that every form of life, including the single cell, requires very special design? Of course you do – that is your most potent argument for the existence of your God. Yes, our brain is special, and so is the dog’s nose, and so is the weaverbird’s nest.

DAVID: Of course special design was required, and it is that obvious design that keeps you agnostic.

Another of your glorious non sequiturs! Why pretend that humans are the only “special” creation when you lay so much emphasis on your belief that your God specially designed EVERY life form etc? Our specialness does not explain why their specialness somehow makes them “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”!

DAVID: […] Every time I apply a term to God's possible thoughts or attitudes, I think of it in an allegorical meaning, since God is not a human person, and an exact application of the term's human meaning may not fully apply to Him.

dhw: […] How about this then, for a theory: You are sure that in his own way your God enjoys creating, and therefore it is possible that he created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy? Better now?

DAVID: Actually, yes!

dhw: Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

DAVID: You did more humanizing above.

I’m happy to have you accept that your God might have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. However, is it not also possible that your God was experimenting in his own way, or that he was constantly thinking up new ideas in his own way, just as in your theory he controlled everything in his own way, which entailed giving up control over free will, and having no control over the errors resulting from the life system he designed, and designing killer bugs and viruses which might be good for us but currently aren't?

Ed Feser’s take
FESER: “I defend the Thomistic view that when one properly understands the nature of God and of his relationship to the world, this so-called logical problem of evil does not arise.”

I’m sorry, but I’m going to opt out of this. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to cover every philosopher’s “take” on every subject we discuss, and I would rather discuss your beliefs with you than start discussing Feser’s beliefs. I will simply comment that the above sentence is enough to put me off anyway: nobody even knows if God exists, let alone what constitutes a “proper” understanding of his nature.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 19:32 (29 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But you insist – inexplicably – that in order to specially design humans he had first to specially design millions of life forms, strategies, lifestyles, econiches etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. The 99% were necessary steps not inexplicable to the rational mind.

dhw: Then please use your rational mind to explain why a God whose sole purpose was to specially design H. sapiens found it necessary to first specially design countless life forms, econiches, strategies and natural wonders, although 99% of them had no direct connection to H. sapiens.

The 99% have a direct connection to humans as steps in an evolutionary process. Can you describe evolution in any other way? You implication, as over the years, is obviously why didn't God directly create us? The answer is a large bush of food supply, but perhaps you wish He snapped His fingers and bush and humans appeared presto all at once.


DAVID: Of course special design was required, and it is that obvious design that keeps you agnostic.

dhw: Another of your glorious non sequiturs! Why pretend that humans are the only “special” creation when you lay so much emphasis on your belief that your God specially designed EVERY life form etc? Our specialness does not explain why their specialness somehow makes them “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”!

Your usual total distortion of my thoughts! Evolution of us required each step, but the unexplained amazing giant step was our bodily dexterity and our special brain, not anticipated in apes. We are of a special design. Evolution works is steps, small and giant.


dhw: Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

DAVID: You did more humanizing above.

dhw: I’m happy to have you accept that your God might have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. However, is it not also possible that your God was experimenting in his own way, or that he was constantly thinking up new ideas in his own way, just as in your theory he controlled everything in his own way, which entailed giving up control over free will, and having no control over the errors resulting from the life system he designed, and designing killer bugs and viruses which might be good for us but currently aren't?

The suppositions you present above about God apply only to a very human God, unsure of
Himself. Free will is part of His design of special humans. His control over evolution had to be precise and giving up free will is not comparable, as you strain to create the impression it somehow applies to our discussion.


Ed Feser’s take
FESER: “I defend the Thomistic view that when one properly understands the nature of God and of his relationship to the world, this so-called logical problem of evil does not arise.”

dhw: I’m sorry, but I’m going to opt out of this. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to cover every philosopher’s “take” on every subject we discuss, and I would rather discuss your beliefs with you than start discussing Feser’s beliefs. I will simply comment that the above sentence is enough to put me off anyway: nobody even knows if God exists, let alone what constitutes a “proper” understanding of his nature.

Fine. I had hoped you might learn how not to humanize God by studying how theists see Him. It forms my views.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, April 15, 2021, 10:56 (28 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God chose to evolve humans from bacteria. The 99% were necessary steps not inexplicable to the rational mind.

dhw: Then please use your rational mind to explain why a God whose sole purpose was to specially design H. sapiens found it necessary to first specially design countless life forms, econiches, strategies and natural wonders, although 99% of them had no direct connection to H. sapiens.

DAVID: The 99% have a direct connection to humans as steps in an evolutionary process. Can you describe evolution in any other way?

Every different life form was a step in an evolutionary process, and 99% of them had no connection with humans! There is no direct line from the brontosaurus to H. sapiens. You have said so yourself. (Do you want the quotes again?)

DAVID: You implication, as over the years, is obviously why didn't God directly create us? The answer is a large bush of food supply, but perhaps you wish He snapped His fingers and bush and humans appeared presto all at once.

There is no direct connection between 99% of past food bushes and our food bush. You have said so yourself. (Do you want the quotes again?) I am not promoting the Genesis view of creation, in which God snaps his fingers etc. I believe in evolution. But I do not believe that if God exists, he would have specially designed millions of life forms and food bushes etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, in order to specially design one life form and its food bush.

dhw: Our specialness does not explain why their specialness somehow makes them “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”!

DAVID: Your usual total distortion of my thoughts! Evolution of us required each step, but the unexplained amazing giant step was our bodily dexterity and our special brain, not anticipated in apes. We are of a special design. Evolution works is steps, small and giant.

So how does that come to mean that the brontosaurus, which had no direct connection with humans, was “part of the goal of evolving (= specially designing) humans”. This is not a distortion but a quotation. 99% of the small steps and the giant steps were irrelevant, if – as you have just told us – your God SPECIALLY DESIGNED our amazing dexterity and brain!

dhw: Problem solved. No more of this “allegory” and “symbol” nonsense, and you now accept the reasonableness of the theory that your God may have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. I have taken note of this, and will refer to it if you should ever again object to my theories on the grounds that they “humanize” your God more than your own theories do. I must simply add “in his own way”. Thank you.

DAVID: You did more humanizing above.

dhw: I’m happy to have you accept that your God might have created life because he wanted to create something which in his own way he could enjoy. However, is it not also possible that your God was experimenting in his own way, or that he was constantly thinking up new ideas in his own way, just as in your theory he controlled everything in his own way, which entailed giving up control over free will, and having no control over the errors resulting from the life system he designed, and designing killer bugs and viruses which might be good for us but currently aren't?

DAVID: The suppositions you present above about God apply only to a very human God, unsure of Himself.

Dealt with in the previous post: purposeful experimentation and openness to new ideas do not mean “unsure of himself”. And neither of these is more human than wanting full control.

DAVID: Free will is part of His design of special humans. His control over evolution had to be precise and giving up free will is not comparable, as you strain to create the impression it somehow applies to our discussion.

Free will is an example of his willingness to give up control. If he wanted a free-for-all, then he did not want precise control of evolution!

Ed Feser’s take
dhw: I’m sorry, but I’m going to opt out of this. […]

DAVID: Fine. I had hoped you might learn how not to humanize God by studying how theists see Him. It forms my views.
I would expect you to be able to defend your views without asking me to read somebody else’s views.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 15, 2021, 19:06 (28 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You implication, as over the years, is obviously why didn't God directly create us? The answer is a large bush of food supply, but perhaps you wish He snapped His fingers and bush and humans appeared presto all at once.

dhw: There is no direct connection between 99% of past food bushes and our food bush...I am not promoting the Genesis view of creation, in which God snaps his fingers etc. I believe in evolution. But I do not believe that if God exists, he would have specially designed millions of life forms and food bushes etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, in order to specially design one life form and its food bush.

If God chose to evolve us, that is exactly what He had to do starting from bacteria, as history shows. Do you want to change history to fit your views?


dhw: Our specialness does not explain why their specialness somehow makes them “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”!

DAVID: Your usual total distortion of my thoughts! Evolution of us required each step, but the unexplained amazing giant step was our bodily dexterity and our special brain, not anticipated in apes. We are of a special design. Evolution works is steps, small and giant.

dhw: So how does that come to mean that the brontosaurus, which had no direct connection with humans, was “part of the goal of evolving (= specially designing) humans”. This is not a distortion but a quotation. 99% of the small steps and the giant steps were irrelevant, if – as you have just told us – your God SPECIALLY DESIGNED our amazing dexterity and brain!

All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

DAVID: The suppositions you present above about God apply only to a very human God, unsure of Himself.

dhw: Dealt with in the previous post: purposeful experimentation and openness to new ideas do not mean “unsure of himself”. And neither of these is more human than wanting full control.

God has full control to to advance evolution He cannot give it up, or humans might not appear


DAVID: Free will is part of His design of special humans. His control over evolution had to be precise and giving up free will is not comparable, as you strain to create the impression it somehow applies to our discussion.

dhw: Free will is an example of his willingness to give up control. If he wanted a free-for-all, then he did not want precise control of evolution!

God has full control to to advance evolution. He cannot give it up, or humans might not appear. God is not human in any way.


Ed Feser’s take
dhw: I’m sorry, but I’m going to opt out of this. […]

DAVID: Fine. I had hoped you might learn how not to humanize God by studying how theists see Him. It forms my views.

dhw: I would expect you to be able to defend your views without asking me to read somebody else’s views.

I gave you snippets of Feser's philosophy/theology to show my thinking. I've read many theologians and their concept of God. We've discussed the allegorical necessity in describing Him. You do not understand how you humanize Him when you give us your idea about His thoughts and purposes.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, April 16, 2021, 12:21 (27 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] I do not believe that if God exists, he would have specially designed millions of life forms and food bushes etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, in order to specially design one life form and its food bush.

DAVID: If God chose to evolve us, that is exactly what He had to do starting from bacteria, as history shows. Do you want to change history to fit your views?

History only shows that there have been millions of extinct life forms etc. prior to our own. And for those of us who believe in evolution, history shows that ALL life forms descended from bacteria. Why do you pretend that history shows (a) that your God exists, and (b) that humans were his only purpose, and (c) that he specially designed millions of life forms etc., (as opposed to giving them the means of doing their own designing), and (d) that he "had to" specially design even the 99% (plus food supplies) that had no connection with humans, because otherwise he couldn't have specially designed humans (plus our food supply)?

DAVID: Your usual total distortion of my thoughts! Evolution of us required each step, but the unexplained amazing giant step was our bodily dexterity and our special brain, not anticipated in apes. We are of a special design. Evolution works is steps, small and giant.

dhw: So how does that come to mean that the brontosaurus, which had no direct connection with humans, was “part of the goal of evolving (= specially designing) humans”? This is not a distortion but a quotation. 99% of the small steps and the giant steps were irrelevant, if – as you have just told us – your God SPECIALLY DESIGNED our amazing dexterity and brain!

DAVID: All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

You simply refuse to listen to yourself! Here we go yet again. In your own words (including the capital letters): “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Today you draw our attention to the following:

Special design of a very long neck
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210414113508.htm

QUOTE: "Little is known about azhdarchid pterosaurs, gigantic flying reptiles with impressive wingspans of up to 12 meters. […] their thin neck vertebrae got their strength from an intricate internal structure unlike anything that's been seen before."

DAVID: In my view very careful exacting design was required before this strange creature could take to the skies. Did not appear by Darwinian stepwise evolution.

So do tell us why the azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be specially designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply.

DAVID: The suppositions you present above about God apply only to a very human God, unsure of Himself.

dhw: Dealt with in the previous post: purposeful experimentation and openness to new ideas do not mean “unsure of himself”. And neither of these is more human than wanting full control.

DAVID: God has full control to advance evolution He cannot give it up, or humans might not appear. God is not human in any way.

Even if it was true that humans were his one and only purpose, both experimentation and new ideas would account for the vast variety of life forms that had no connection with humans. Your objection was that experimenting or having new ideas meant he was “unsure of himself” and that this made him more “human” than a God who wanted full control, as if there was no such being as a human who wants full control. And how do you know that a God who, in your own words, probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours does not have thought patterns and emotions similar to ours? Why, in your own theory, which has him wanting only to create humans, is it inconceivable that he wanted to create a being with at least some thought patterns and emotions similar to his?

Ed Feser’s take

DAVID: I had hoped you might learn how not to humanize God by studying how theists see Him. It forms my views.

dhw: I would expect you to be able to defend your views without asking me to read somebody else’s views.

DAVID: I gave you snippets of Feser's philosophy/theology to show my thinking.

I’d say you’ve given me enough of your philosophy/theology to show your thinking.

DAVID: You do not understand how you humanize Him when you give us your idea about His thoughts and purposes.

I am fully aware that I “humanize him” as much as you do when I propose my various theistic explanations of life’s history. If he exists, I find it perfectly logical that aspects of his mind would be echoed in our own. For instance, your idea of his having a special purpose and wanting total control of all the events that would lead to his accomplishing his purpose, and of enjoying all his acts of creation, would be as typically human as our desire for variety and surprises, and our own enjoyment of creation. “You do not understand” that when you say he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you are putting forward a perfectly reasonable probability/possibility.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, April 16, 2021, 22:35 (27 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If God chose to evolve us, that is exactly what He had to do starting from bacteria, as history shows. Do you want to change history to fit your views?

dhw: Why do you pretend that history shows (a) that your God exists, and (b) that humans were his only purpose, and (c) that he specially designed millions of life forms etc., (as opposed to giving them the means of doing their own designing), and (d) that he "had to" specially design even the 99% (plus food supplies) that had no connection with humans, because otherwise he couldn't have specially designed humans (plus our food supply)?

Nonsense. If God chose to evolve us from bacteria, you have described the exact history of what had to happen. Adler and I have shown God's obvious purpose.

DAVID: All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

dhw: You simply refuse to listen to yourself! Here we go yet again. In your own words (including the capital letters): “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” “Extinct life has no role in current time.

Different bushes for different consecutive periods after periods. Do dinosaurs play with us now?

dhw: Today you draw our attention to the following:

Special design of a very long neck
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210414113508.htm

QUOTE: "Little is known about azhdarchid pterosaurs, gigantic flying reptiles with impressive wingspans of up to 12 meters. […] their thin neck vertebrae got their strength from an intricate internal structure unlike anything that's been seen before."

DAVID: In my view very careful exacting design was required before this strange creature could take to the skies. Did not appear by Darwinian stepwise evolution.

dhw: So do tell us why the azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be specially designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply.

All part of necessary ecosystems at that time in evolution

DAVID: God has full control to advance evolution He cannot give it up, or humans might not appear. God is not human in any way.

dhw: Even if it was true that humans were his one and only purpose, both experimentation and new ideas would account for the vast variety of life forms that had no connection with humans. Your objection was that experimenting or having new ideas meant he was “unsure of himself” and that this made him more “human” than a God who wanted full control, as if there was no such being as a human who wants full control. And how do you know that a God who, in your own words, probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours does not have thought patterns and emotions similar to ours? Why, in your own theory, which has him wanting only to create humans, is it inconceivable that he wanted to create a being with at least some thought patterns and emotions similar to his?

See below:


Ed Feser’s take

DAVID: You do not understand how you humanize Him when you give us your idea about His thoughts and purposes.

dhw: I am fully aware that I “humanize him” as much as you do when I propose my various theistic explanations of life’s history. If he exists, I find it perfectly logical that aspects of his mind would be echoed in our own. For instance, your idea of his having a special purpose and wanting total control of all the events that would lead to his accomplishing his purpose, and of enjoying all his acts of creation, would be as typically human as our desire for variety and surprises, and our own enjoyment of creation. “You do not understand” that when you say he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you are putting forward a perfectly reasonable probability/possibility.

I view God in fully allegorical terms, as explained, but I never consider Him experimenting, changing His mind in mid stream as you do, looking for things to enjoy, wanting a free-for-all without a purposeful end point, all humanizing proposals

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, April 17, 2021, 11:47 (26 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If God chose to evolve us, that is exactly what He had to do starting from bacteria, as history shows. Do you want to change history to fit your views?

dhw: Why do you pretend that history shows (a) that your God exists, and (b) that humans were his only purpose, and (c) that he specially designed millions of life forms etc., (as opposed to giving them the means of doing their own designing), and (d) that he "had to" specially design even the 99% (plus food supplies) that had no connection with humans, because otherwise he couldn't have specially designed humans (plus our food supply)?

DAVID: Nonsense. If God chose to evolve us from bacteria, you have described the exact history of what had to happen. Adler and I have shown God's obvious purpose.

Repeating Adler’s name does not prove that God’s obvious purpose was to create H. sapiens, let alone that his method of doing so was first to create millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. It is patently absurd to say that your God “had to” specially design all these millions “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when even you can find no direct connection.

DAVID: All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

dhw: You simply refuse to listen to yourself! Here we go yet again. In your own words (including the capital letters): “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” “Extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: Different bushes for different consecutive periods after periods. Do dinosaurs play with us now?

You are agreeing with me! Past bushes and life forms had no connection with us! They were not “necessary” for the creation of us and our current bush! Thank you.

dhw: … do tell us why the azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be specially designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply.

DAVID: All part of necessary ecosystems at that time in evolution.

Fine. No connection whatsoever with our current ecosystems and our current food supply, so why did your God “have to” design them in order to design us?

DAVID: You do not understand how you humanize Him when you give us your idea about His thoughts and purposes.

dhw: I am fully aware that I “humanize him” as much as you do when I propose my various theistic explanations of life’s history. If he exists, I find it perfectly logical that aspects of his mind would be echoed in our own. For instance, your idea of his having a special purpose and wanting total control of all the events that would lead to his accomplishing his purpose, and of enjoying all his acts of creation, would be as typically human as our desire for variety and surprises, and our own enjoyment of creation. “You do not understand” that when you say he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you are putting forward a perfectly reasonable probability/possibility.

DAVID: I view God in fully allegorical terms, as explained, but I never consider Him experimenting, changing His mind in mid stream as you do, looking for things to enjoy, wanting a free-for-all without a purposeful end point, all humanizing proposals.

You have never explained what you mean by “allegorical”. What do God, his purposes, his methods, his wishes, his possible nature symbolize? One small correction: I have never had him changing his mind in midstream. New ideas do not = mind change, so please stick to what I HAVE proposed. However, you have summed up your approach to the subject very succinctly: you never consider him having any of the humanizing thought patterns I propose. You only consider him having the humanizing thought patterns you propose: one purpose, total control, enjoyment and interest that are nothing like human enjoyment and interest...I’m sorry, but the fact that you have never considered any alternatives does not make them any less likely than the proposals which you stick to with such rigidity.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 17, 2021, 19:48 (26 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Nonsense. If God chose to evolve us from bacteria, you have described the exact history of what had to happen. Adler and I have shown God's obvious purpose.

dhw: Repeating Adler’s name does not prove that God’s obvious purpose was to create H. sapiens, let alone that his method of doing so was first to create millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. It is patently absurd to say that your God “had to” specially design all these millions “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when even you can find no direct connection.

Same repeated illogical position. God didn't have to do anything. but as Creator He chose to evolve us. History is a result of God's creation. A study of history solves your confusion.


DAVID: All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

dhw: You simply refuse to listen to yourself! Here we go yet again. In your own words (including the capital letters): “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” “Extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: Different bushes for different consecutive periods after periods. Do dinosaurs play with us now?

dhw: You are agreeing with me! Past bushes and life forms had no connection with us! They were not “necessary” for the creation of us and our current bush! Thank you.

No thank you. Past bushes are not time connected, but connected as stages in progressive evolution.


DAVID: You do not understand how you humanize Him when you give us your idea about His thoughts and purposes.

dhw: I am fully aware that I “humanize him” as much as you do when I propose my various theistic explanations of life’s history. If he exists, I find it perfectly logical that aspects of his mind would be echoed in our own. For instance, your idea of his having a special purpose and wanting total control of all the events that would lead to his accomplishing his purpose, and of enjoying all his acts of creation, would be as typically human as our desire for variety and surprises, and our own enjoyment of creation. “You do not understand” that when you say he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, you are putting forward a perfectly reasonable probability/possibility.

DAVID: I view God in fully allegorical terms, as explained, but I never consider Him experimenting, changing His mind in mid stream as you do, looking for things to enjoy, wanting a free-for-all without a purposeful end point, all humanizing proposals.

dhw: You have never explained what you mean by “allegorical”. What do God, his purposes, his methods, his wishes, his possible nature symbolize? One small correction: I have never had him changing his mind in midstream. New ideas do not = mind change, so please stick to what I HAVE proposed. However, you have summed up your approach to the subject very succinctly: you never consider him having any of the humanizing thought patterns I propose. You only consider him having the humanizing thought patterns you propose: one purpose, total control, enjoyment and interest that are nothing like human enjoyment and interest...I’m sorry, but the fact that you have never considered any alternatives does not make them any less likely than the proposals which you stick to with such rigidity.

Allegorical has a meaning that never changes. When I say God thinks it doesn't mean He thinks like we do, but in a God-like way. His interests may not be like our interests. The difference must always be recognized. I have to use human words and their meanings in our sense but God is different and the words are not fully adequate. I think you have never recognized this issue in its fullest sense which results in your constant humanizing.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, April 18, 2021, 12:44 (25 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: [...] If God chose to evolve us from bacteria, you have described the exact history of what had to happen. Adler and I have shown God's obvious purpose. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Repeating Adler’s name does not prove that God’s obvious purpose was to create H. sapiens, let alone that his method of doing so was first to create millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. It is patently absurd to say that your God “had to” specially design all these millions “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when even you can find no direct connection.

DAVID: Same repeated illogical position. God didn't have to do anything. but as Creator He chose to evolve us. History is a result of God's creation. A study of history solves your confusion.

See above for another "had to". Three days ago:
dhw: […] I do not believe that if God exists, he would have specially designed millions of life forms and food bushes etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans, in order to specially design one life form and its food bush.

DAVID: If God chose to evolve us, that is exactly what he had to do starting from bacteria, as history shows.

On Friday I asked you why azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply, and was told that it was “all part of necessary ecosystems at that time” – i.e. no connection with our human time! A study of history shows that there is nothing but confusion in your theory of evolution.

DAVID: All early branches evolved into the necessary current giant bush of food supply.

dhw: You simply refuse to listen to yourself! Here we go yet again. In your own words (including the capital letters): “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” “Extinct life has no role in current time.”

DAVID: Different bushes for different consecutive periods after periods. Do dinosaurs play with us now?

dhw: You are agreeing with me! Past bushes and life forms had no connection with us! They were not “necessary” for the creation of us and our current bush! Thank you.

DAVID: No thank you. Past bushes are not time connected, but connected as stages in progressive evolution.

Please explain how azhdarchid pterosaur and his food bush are connected “as stages” with H. sapiens and our food bush.

DAVID: I view God in fully allegorical terms, as explained, but I never consider Him experimenting, […] looking for things to enjoy, wanting a free-for-all without a purposeful end point, all humanizing proposals.

dhw: You have never explained what you mean by “allegorical”. What do God, his purposes, his methods, his wishes, his possible nature symbolize? […] However, you have summed up your approach to the subject very succinctly: you never consider him having any of the humanizing thought patterns I propose. You only consider him having the humanizing thought patterns you propose: one purpose, total control, enjoyment and interest that are nothing like human enjoyment and interest...I’m sorry, but the fact that you have never considered any alternatives does not make them any less likely than the proposals which you stick to with such rigidity.

DAVID: Allegorical has a meaning that never changes. When I say God thinks it doesn't mean He thinks like we do, but in a God-like way. His interests may not be like our interests. The difference must always be recognized.

Thank you for using the word “may”. This quite rightly leaves open the possibility that his interests and his thinking “may” be like ours. The possibility “must always be recognized”.

DAVID: I have to use human words and their meanings in our sense but God is different and the words are not fully adequate. I think you have never recognized this issue in its fullest sense which results in your constant humanizing.

Of course if your God exists, he is different. But when you say he had only one purpose (us), knew exactly what he was doing, was always in control, may have had a good reason for designing bad bacteria and viruses etc., in what way do you think the meanings of these words might be different from what we mean by having one purpose, knowing what we’re doing, always being in control, and maybe having good reasons for our actions? If it’s OK for you to use such human terms, why is not OK for me to use human terms that denote something contrary to your human terms?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 18, 2021, 16:31 (25 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: On Friday I asked you why azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply, and was told that it was “all part of necessary ecosystems at that time” – i.e. no connection with our human time! A study of history shows that there is nothing but confusion in your theory of evolution.

Your confused view of evolution as chopped in segments continues. There is a continuous flow from one early step to the next more advanced stage. The azhdarchid pterosaur had some DNA similar to ours, so we work with similar genome codes, so explain how you manage to believe in common descent if we can't have some relationship?

DAVID: Different bushes for different consecutive periods after periods. Do dinosaurs play with us now?

dhw: You are agreeing with me! Past bushes and life forms had no connection with us! They were not “necessary” for the creation of us and our current bush! Thank you.

DAVID: No thank you. Past bushes are not time connected, but connected as stages in progressive evolution.

dhw: Please explain how azhdarchid pterosaur and his food bush are connected “as stages” with H. sapiens and our food bush.

The flow of the theory of evolution as common descent explained above, while you continue to split up the flow of evolution into segments.


DAVID: Allegorical has a meaning that never changes. When I say God thinks it doesn't mean He thinks like we do, but in a God-like way. His interests may not be like our interests. The difference must always be recognized.

dhw: Thank you for using the word “may”. This quite rightly leaves open the possibility that his interests and his thinking “may” be like ours. The possibility “must always be recognized”.

The bold does not necessarily follow. The difference must be consistently recognized. Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.


DAVID: I have to use human words and their meanings in our sense but God is different and the words are not fully adequate. I think you have never recognized this issue in its fullest sense which results in your constant humanizing.

dhw: Of course if your God exists, he is different. But when you say he had only one purpose (us), knew exactly what he was doing, was always in control, may have had a good reason for designing bad bacteria and viruses etc., in what way do you think the meanings of these words might be different from what we mean by having one purpose, knowing what we’re doing, always being in control, and maybe having good reasons for our actions? If it’s OK for you to use such human terms, why is not OK for me to use human terms that denote something contrary to your human terms?

Of course we must use our terms. There are no others. The God you describe is not sure of Himself, experimenting, wanting free-for-all to advance evolution from one lower stage to a higher one, no goal in sight. It is not the terms we both use, it is your giving God your humanized thinking applied to him.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, April 19, 2021, 10:26 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God didn’t have to do anything.

I reproduced the most recent quote in which you told us what your God “had to” do. Just one of many occasions in which your all-powerful, always-in-control God had no choice (the most telling of which I would say is his inability to control the “errors” resulting from his design of the system that gives us life.)

dhw: On Friday I asked you why azhdarchid pterosaur “had to” be designed in order for your God to specially design H. sapiens and our specially designed food supply, and was told that it was “all part of necessary ecosystems at that time” – i.e. no connection with our human time! A study of history shows that there is nothing but confusion in your theory of evolution.

DAVID: Your confused view of evolution as chopped in segments continues. There is a continuous flow from one early step to the next more advanced stage.

There is no chopping and there is no continuous flow. The bush of life diversified into vast numbers of different branches, which continued for millions of years to diversify into new different branches. Why are you now hiding behind generalizations, when the theory which is under attack is your blinkered insistence that every single life form on every single branch of the great bush (plus food supply, plus lifestyle, plus strategy, plus natural wonder) was specially designed by your God as “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

DAVID: The azhdarchid pterosaur had some DNA similar to ours, so we work with similar genome codes, so explain how you manage to believe in common descent if we can't have some relationship?

ALL cellular life has DNA! How does that come to mean that your God specially designed every single branch of cellular life “as part of the goal of evolving [=specially designing] humans”? Please stop all this silly dodging.

DAVID: Allegorical has a meaning that never changes. When I say God thinks it doesn't mean He thinks like we do, but in a God-like way. His interests may not be like our interests. The difference must always be recognized.

dhw: Thank you for using the word “may”. This quite rightly leaves open the possibility that his interests and his thinking “may” be like ours. The possibility “must always be recognized”.

DAVID: The bold does not necessarily follow. The difference must be consistently recognized. Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes. Any similarity to our thinking can only be theoretical, and that applies just as much to your “humanizing” theory as to mine. So why don’t you just get on with the task of finding logical flaws in my interpretation of life’s history, as I have patiently done with your own? ;-)

dhw: […] when you say he had only one purpose (us), knew exactly what he was doing, was always in control, may have had a good reason for designing bad bacteria and viruses etc., in what way do you think the meanings of these words might be different from what we mean by having one purpose, knowing what we’re doing, always being in control, and maybe having good reasons for our actions? If it’s OK for you to use such human terms, why is not OK for me to use human terms that denote something contrary to your human terms?

DAVID: Of course we must use our terms. There are no others. The God you describe is not sure of Himself, experimenting, wanting free-for-all to advance evolution from one lower stage to a higher one, no goal in sight. It is not the terms we both use, it is your giving God your humanized thinking applied to him.

Good – that gets rid of your “allegorical” obfuscation. I reject two of your interpretations of my alternatives: 1) I have never said he is not sure of himself. I not regard experimentation or having new ideas as signs of psychological insecurity. 2) I have no doubt that if God exists, he had a purpose in creating life, and you have never explained why you think that although he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations, he could not possibly create things in order to give himself something to enjoy and be interested in. Meanwhile, you totally ignore my point that your own view of God is every bit as humanized as my various alternatives. Same again under “Miscellany”.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, April 19, 2021, 17:45 (24 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your confused view of evolution as chopped in segments continues. There is a continuous flow from one early step to the next more advanced stage.

dhw: There is no chopping and there is no continuous flow. The bush of life diversified into vast numbers of different branches, which continued for millions of years to diversify into new different branches. Why are you now hiding behind generalizations, when the theory which is under attack is your blinkered insistence that every single life form on every single branch of the great bush (plus food supply, plus lifestyle, plus strategy, plus natural wonder) was specially designed by your God as “part of the goal of evolving humans”?

God designed all stages of evolution to reach the most complex form of all, the human brain. The huge bush of life is required to give the required food supply. All must eat.


DAVID: The azhdarchid pterosaur had some DNA similar to ours, so we work with similar genome codes, so explain how you manage to believe in common descent if we can't have some relationship?

dhw: ALL cellular life has DNA! How does that come to mean that your God specially designed every single branch of cellular life “as part of the goal of evolving [=specially designing] humans”? Please stop all this silly dodging.

I'm not dodging. I believe God did it, and you don't. Why are you continuously dodging God?


DAVID: The bold does not necessarily follow. The difference must be consistently recognized. Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

dhw: If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes.

What is meaningless is that we cannot know His exact thoughts So we must accept that we must use allegory or symbolism when inferring what se think His thoughts might be.


DAVID: Of course we must use our terms. There are no others. The God you describe is not sure of Himself, experimenting, wanting free-for-all to advance evolution from one lower stage to a higher one, no goal in sight. It is not the terms we both use, it is your giving God your humanized thinking applied to him.

dhw: Good – that gets rid of your “allegorical” obfuscation. I reject two of your interpretations of my alternatives: 1) I have never said he is not sure of himself. I not regard experimentation or having new ideas as signs of psychological insecurity.

Experimentation says testing out a new approach or alternatives. This certainly implies a weak God who not sure of His next step and has to try out various approaches. Maybe He tried out several different universes until He got to the appropriate fine-tuned one. Not my God. who knows exactly what He is doing and what goals He has in mind. And unlike your constant humanizing guesses as to His reasoning, I don't guess reasons, I accept His results.

dhw: 2) I have no doubt that if God exists, he had a purpose in creating life, and you have never explained why you think that although he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations, he could not possibly create things in order to give himself something to enjoy and be interested in. Meanwhile, you totally ignore my point that your own view of God is every bit as humanized as my various alternatives.

Same humanizing. God does not need entertainment or enjoyment of His creations. He is the business of creation, nothing more. That He may have feelings about what He does is known only to Him. We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 12:04 (23 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God designed all stages of evolution to reach the most complex form of all, the human brain. The huge bush of life is required to give the required food supply. All must eat.

Why are you using the word “stage” here? Was every life form on every diverging branch of life’s bush, plus every econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc., 99% of which had no connection with the human brain, a “stage” on the way to specially designing the human brain, i.e. “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”? And yes, all must eat, but how does that mean that the azharchid pterosaur’s breakfast was part of the goal of designing your breakfast? Please stop dodging!

DAVID: I'm not dodging. I believe God did it, and you don't. Why are you continuously dodging God?

Yet another silly dodge. All my alternatives allow for God, and your other get-out is that they present a “humanized” view of God, as below. How can that mean I am continuously dodging God?

DAVID: Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

dhw: If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes.

DAVID: What is meaningless is that we cannot know His exact thoughts So we must accept that we must use allegory or symbolism when inferring what we think His thoughts might be.

The statement that we cannot know his exact thoughts is not meaningless, and any speculation as regards his purpose is an attempt to read his mind. There is nothing symbolic or allegorical in your theory – in all its blatant illogicality – that he knew exactly what he wanted, was always in control, specially designed all the extinct, irrelevant-to-humans life forms, natural wonders etc., and did so for the sole purpose of specially designing the human brain.

DAVID: Of course we must use our terms. There are no others. The God you describe is not sure of Himself, experimenting, wanting free-for-all to advance evolution from one lower stage to a higher one, no goal in sight. It is not the terms we both use, it is your giving God your humanized thinking applied to him.

dhw: Good – that gets rid of your “allegorical” obfuscation. I reject two of your interpretations of my alternatives: 1) I have never said he is not sure of himself. I not regard experimentation or having new ideas as signs of psychological insecurity.

DAVID: Experimentation says testing out a new approach or alternatives. This certainly implies a weak God who not sure of His next step and has to try out various approaches. Maybe He tried out several different universes until He got to the appropriate fine-tuned one. Not my God. who knows exactly what He is doing and what goals He has in mind. And unlike your constant humanizing guesses as to His reasoning, I don't guess reasons, I accept His results.

If your definition of “weak” is a God who does not know everything in advance and is eager to try out new things, then so be it. However, I’m not surprised that you don’t guess at the reasons why a God who knows exactly what he is doing, and has only one goal (the human brain), would first design millions of organisms etc. that have no connection with humans. That reading of his mind defies all reason. If all you want to do is focus on results, you have a vast, diversified bush of life, 99% of which has died out, and of which humans are the latest species. That would be the end of our discussion.

dhw: 2) I have no doubt that if God exists, he had a purpose in creating life, and you have never explained why you think that although he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations, he could not possibly create things in order to give himself something to enjoy and be interested in. Meanwhile, you totally ignore my point that your own view of God is every bit as humanized as my various alternatives.

DAVID: Same humanizing. God does not need entertainment or enjoyment of His creations. He is the business of creation, nothing more. That He may have feelings about what He does is known only to Him. We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation, so why do you regard it as impossible that he should create things because he wants (forget “needs”) to create something he will enjoy? Of course we don’t “know” anything – we don’t even know if he exists. But if you can make “humanizing guesses”, then so can I.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 18:15 (23 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God designed all stages of evolution to reach the most complex form of all, the human brain. The huge bush of life is required to give the required food supply. All must eat.

dhw: Why are you using the word “stage” here? Was every life form on every diverging branch of life’s bush, plus every econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc., 99% of which had no connection with the human brain.... And yes, all must eat, but how does that mean that the azharchid pterosaur’s breakfast was part of the goal of designing your breakfast? Please stop dodging!

You are the dodger!!! Humans are clearly the endpoint of a continuous process that went through consecutive stages.


DAVID: Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

dhw: If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes.

DAVID: What is meaningless is that we cannot know His exact thoughts So we must accept that we must use allegory or symbolism when inferring what we think His thoughts might be.

dhw: The statement that we cannot know his exact thoughts is not meaningless, and any speculation as regards his purpose is an attempt to read his mind. There is nothing symbolic or allegorical in your theory –

Your total misunderstanding of the allegorical needs causes much of our debate about God.

DAVID: Experimentation says testing out a new approach or alternatives. This certainly implies a weak God who not sure of His next step and has to try out various approaches. Maybe He tried out several different universes until He got to the appropriate fine-tuned one. Not my God. who knows exactly what He is doing and what goals He has in mind. And unlike your constant humanizing guesses as to His reasoning, I don't guess reasons, I accept His results.

dhw: If your definition of “weak” is a God who does not know everything in advance and is eager to try out new things, then so be it...If all you want to do is focus on results, you have a vast, diversified bush of life, 99% of which has died out, and of which humans are the latest species. That would be the end of our discussion.

All we can see is results. God's own views must be approached allegorically, which you fiercely resist as it severely limits your desired humanization of God.


dhw: 2) I have no doubt that if God exists, he had a purpose in creating life, and you have never explained why you think that although he enjoys creating and is interested in his creations, he could not possibly create things in order to give himself something to enjoy and be interested in. Meanwhile, you totally ignore my point that your own view of God is every bit as humanized as my various alternatives.

DAVID: Same humanizing. God does not need entertainment or enjoyment of His creations. He is the business of creation, nothing more. That He may have feelings about what He does is known only to Him. We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

dhw: Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation,

Why do you twist my opinions about God? I said it is possible, even probable, He enjoys creating or He might stop, but on the other hand He doesn't feel a need for enjoyment so it isn't likely He would ever stop for any reason. Where is the word certain? Just your wishful interpretations as usual.

dhw: so why do you regard it as impossible that he should create things because he wants (forget “needs”) to create something he will enjoy? Of course we don’t “know” anything – we don’t even know if he exists. But if you can make “humanizing guesses”, then so can I.

Nothing above in my statement humanizes God, notice? I simply enforced His selflessness. Why don't you try it?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 13:33 (22 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God designed all stages of evolution to reach the most complex form of all, the human brain. The huge bush of life is required to give the required food supply. All must eat.

dhw: Why are you using the word “stage” here? Was every life form on every diverging branch of life’s bush, plus every econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc., 99% of which had no connection with the human brain.... And yes, all must eat, but how does that mean that the azharchid pterosaur’s breakfast was part of the goal of designing your breakfast? Please stop dodging!

DAVID: You are the dodger!!! Humans are clearly the endpoint of a continuous process that went through consecutive stages.

But what about all the other life forms which also went through consecutive stages, since they all originated from bacteria, but 99% of which HAD NO CONNECTION WITH HUMANS? You continue to edit out those bits of your theory that make no sense. Please, please stop it.

DAVID: Any similarity to our thinking must stay at the level of a possible presumption and seen always as allegorical.

dhw: If you say his interests “may not” be like ours, then you are implicitly acknowledging that they may be – and that is all I ask of you. “Possible presumption” is meaningless, since “presumption” means something you already believe is true. The theory must stay at the level of possibility, since no one can actually know. “Allegorical” is meaningless unless you can tell us what God’s way of thinking symbolizes.

DAVID: Your total misunderstanding of the allegorical needs causes much of our debate about God.

What allegorical “needs”? What does God’s possible motive, purpose and possible method of achieving his purpose symbolize? […]

DAVID: All we can see is results. God's own views must be approached allegorically, which you fiercely resist as it severely limits your desired humanization of God.

The results are a vast diversity of life forms, natural wonders etc., 99% of which are extinct, with humans as the latest species to appear. That’s it. But you keep telling us that your God’s only purpose was humans, that he knew everything in advance, that he was always in control (except when he wasn’t), that he is selfless etc. You fiercely resist any alternative view of him. You are severely limited in your desired humanization of your God. And you still haven’t explained what any of these humanized attributes symbolize.

DAVID: […] We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

dhw: Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation...

DAVID: Why do you twist my opinions about God? I said it is possible, even probable, He enjoys creating or He might stop, but on the other hand He doesn't feel a need for enjoyment so it isn't likely He would ever stop for any reason. Where is the word certain? Just your wishful interpretations as usual.

Your exact words (I quoted them on March 9) were: “God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” Your usual authoritative statement. No possible or probable. But even if you now wish to dilute that to possible or probable, you have not answered my question about selflessness, and in your next response you still refuse to tell us why his possible/probable enjoyment of creation could not possibly provide a motive for his creating life in the first place.

dhw: …so why do you regard it as impossible that he should create things because he wants (forget “needs”) to create something he will enjoy? Of course we don’t “know” anything – we don’t even know if he exists. But if you can make “humanizing guesses”, then so can I.

DAVID: Nothing above in my statement humanizes God, notice? I simply enforced His selflessness. Why don't you try it?

“Enforced his selflessness”? HOW DO YOU KNOW GOD IS SELFLESS? You have even speculated in the past that he created our special brains so that we could recognize him and admire his works. And how can you claim you are not humanizing your God when you say he has only one purpose, wants total control, and you think he must have good reasons for creating bad things? And when you tell us that he is “full of purposeful activity to create what he desires [your word] to create”, how can you assume that although he desires to create and probably/possibly enjoys creating certain things, he is not motivated by the desire to create things he will enjoy creating?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 18:48 (22 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are the dodger!!! Humans are clearly the endpoint of a continuous process that went through consecutive stages.

dhw: But what about all the other life forms which also went through consecutive stages, since they all originated from bacteria, but 99% of which HAD NO CONNECTION WITH HUMANS? You continue to edit out those bits of your theory that make no sense. Please, please stop it.

I edit nothing. All evolved forms come from previous required evolved forms, and the branching bush provides food for all through ecosystems. Please stop objecting to logic.


DAVID: Your total misunderstanding of the allegorical needs causes much of our debate about God.

What allegorical “needs”? What does God’s possible motive, purpose and possible method of achieving his purpose symbolize? […]

DAVID: All we can see is results. God's own views must be approached allegorically, which you fiercely resist as it severely limits your desired humanization of God.

dhw: The results are a vast diversity of life forms, natural wonders etc., 99% of which are extinct, with humans as the latest species to appear. That’s it. But you keep telling us that your God’s only purpose was humans, that he knew everything in advance, that he was always in control (except when he wasn’t), that he is selfless etc. You fiercely resist any alternative view of him. You are severely limited in your desired humanization of your God. And you still haven’t explained what any of these humanized attributes symbolize.

Please stop humanizing God.


DAVID: […] We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

dhw: Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation...

DAVID: Why do you twist my opinions about God? I said it is possible, even probable, He enjoys creating or He might stop, but on the other hand He doesn't feel a need for enjoyment so it isn't likely He would ever stop for any reason. Where is the word certain? Just your wishful interpretations as usual.

dhw: Your exact words (I quoted them on March 9) were: “God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” Your usual authoritative statement. No possible or probable. But even if you now wish to dilute that to possible or probable, you have not answered my question about selflessness, and in your next response you still refuse to tell us why his possible/probable enjoyment of creation could not possibly provide a motive for his creating life in the first place.

God does not need enjoyment, a totally human need. Accept that God creates, and suppose nothing more about His possible emotional feelings. He may have none is the best way to think about Him.


dhw: …so why do you regard it as impossible that he should create things because he wants (forget “needs”) to create something he will enjoy? Of course we don’t “know” anything – we don’t even know if he exists. But if you can make “humanizing guesses”, then so can I.

DAVID: Nothing above in my statement humanizes God, notice? I simply enforced His selflessness. Why don't you try it?

dhw: “Enforced his selflessness”? HOW DO YOU KNOW GOD IS SELFLESS? You have even speculated in the past that he created our special brains so that we could recognize him and admire his works. And how can you claim you are not humanizing your God when you say he has only one purpose, wants total control, and you think he must have good reasons for creating bad things? And when you tell us that he is “full of purposeful activity to create what he desires [your word] to create”, how can you assume that although he desires to create and probably/possibly enjoys creating certain things, he is not motivated by the desire to create things he will enjoy creating?

You have reviewed all of my/our guesses about God's possible human side. All guesswork on His possible human feelings, which may fully well not exist at all. Religions tell us God loves us. How do they know? I'm not use at all and neither was Adler, a religious philosopher believer. If Adler was of that opinion, why are you?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, April 22, 2021, 08:52 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are the dodger!!! Humans are clearly the endpoint of a continuous process that went through consecutive stages.

dhw: But what about all the other life forms which also went through consecutive stages, since they all originated from bacteria, but 99% of which HAD NO CONNECTION WITH HUMANS? You continue to edit out those bits of your theory that make no sense. Please, please stop it.

DAVID: I edit nothing. All evolved forms come from previous required evolved forms, and the branching bush provides food for all through ecosystems. Please stop objecting to logic.

What do you mean by “previously required” evolved forms? Required for what? Yes, for those of us who believe in evolution, all evolved forms come from previous evolved forms. But you believe they were all required “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”. And since 99% of them had no connection with humans, your statement is completely illogical. And yes, the bush provided and provides food for all organisms, past and present. How does that make them all part of the goal of evolving us humans and our food supply?

DAVID: All we can see is results. God's own views must be approached allegorically, which you fiercely resist as it severely limits your desired humanization of God.

dhw: The results are a vast diversity of life forms, natural wonders etc., 99% of which are extinct, with humans as the latest species to appear. That’s it. But you keep telling us that your God’s only purpose was humans, that he knew everything in advance, that he was always in control (except when he wasn’t), that he is selfless etc. You fiercely resist any alternative view of him. You are severely limited in your desired humanization of your God. And you still haven’t explained what any of these humanized attributes symbolize.

DAVID: Please stop humanizing God.

Please stop assuming that your own humanization of your God is not a humanization of your God, and that although it is probable/possible that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, it is not probable or possible.

DAVID: […] We can try to make humanizing guesses, all of which are allegorical from the start. Remember we humans always try to satisfy ourselves, while God is selfless.

dhw: Um….how do you know God is selfless? You are certain that he enjoys creation...

DAVID: […] Where is the word certain? Just your wishful interpretations as usual.

dhw: Your exact words (I quoted them on March 9) were: “God is in the business of creation and enjoys doing it or I think he would stop.” Your usual authoritative statement. No possible or probable. But even if you now wish to dilute that to possible or probable, you have not answered my question about selflessness, and in your next response you still refuse to tell us why his possible/probable enjoyment of creation could not possibly provide a motive for his creating life in the first place.

DAVID: God does not need enjoyment, a totally human need. Accept that God creates, and suppose nothing more about His possible emotional feelings. He may have none is the best way to think about Him.

I did not use the word “need” and asked you to drop it. I have no idea why you think the best way to think about your God is to imagine that he has no thought patterns or emotions similar to ours. I don’t even know why it is so important to you to prove that he exists if you think we should all regard him as an impersonal splodge of pure energy. Why are you hoping that his creation of bad viruses and bugs will turn out to have good reasons? Why do you insist that he tried to provide us with solutions to some of the problems caused by his design of life’s systems? And if he really is so impersonal, wouldn’t that fit in far better with his allowing an evolutionary free-for-all rather than exercising total control over everything (and enjoying doing so)?

DAVID: You have reviewed all of my/our guesses about God's possible human side. All guesswork on His possible human feelings, which may fully well not exist at all. Religions tell us God loves us. How do they know? I'm not use at all and neither was Adler, a religious philosopher believer. If Adler was of that opinion, why are you?

Yes, your interpretations of a possible God’s possible purpose, along with his possible method and possible desire for total control and possible selflessness and possible lack of feelings are guesswork, as are all my alternatives. I didn’t know that Adler was the ultimate authority on all things connected with God, but I only know his beliefs through you, so it’s your guesswork that we are discussing.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 22, 2021, 20:35 (21 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I edit nothing. All evolved forms come from previous required evolved forms, and the branching bush provides food for all through ecosystems. Please stop objecting to logic.

dhw: What do you mean by “previously required” evolved forms? ... And yes, the bush provided and provides food for all organisms, past and present. How does that make them all part of the goal of evolving us humans and our food supply?

'Previously required' is a reference to the point every new stage of evolutionary complexity is built upon the past forms and biological processes.


DAVID: All we can see is results. God's own views must be approached allegorically, which you fiercely resist as it severely limits your desired humanization of God.

dhw: The results are a vast diversity of life forms, natural wonders etc., 99% of which are extinct, with humans as the latest species to appear. That’s it. But you keep telling us that your God’s only purpose was humans, that he knew everything in advance, that he was always in control (except when he wasn’t), that he is selfless etc. You fiercely resist any alternative view of him. You are severely limited in your desired humanization of your God. And you still haven’t explained what any of these humanized attributes symbolize.

DAVID: Please stop humanizing God.

dhw: Please stop assuming that your own humanization of your God is not a humanization of your God, and that although it is probable/possible that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, it is not probable or possible.

Your confusions continues: All the terms I use are specifically meant as allegories. God is not human so human terms applied to him are special.

DAVID: God does not need enjoyment, a totally human need. Accept that God creates, and suppose nothing more about His possible emotional feelings. He may have none is the best way to think about Him.

dhw: I did not use the word “need” and asked you to drop it. I have no idea why you think the best way to think about your God is to imagine that he has no thought patterns or emotions similar to ours. I don’t even know why it is so important to you to prove that he exists if you think we should all regard him as an impersonal splodge of pure energy. Why are you hoping that his creation of bad viruses and bugs will turn out to have good reasons? Why do you insist that he tried to provide us with solutions to some of the problems caused by his design of life’s systems? And if he really is so impersonal, wouldn’t that fit in far better with his allowing an evolutionary free-for-all rather than exercising total control over everything (and enjoying doing so)?

There you go again. We don't know if God every creates anything for His own enjoyment. Everything is done for His own reasons, presumably somehow for our benefit, since He bothered to create us. I can't go further but as in the past will offer guesses when you ask. Just don't overinterpret the ideas I give.


DAVID: You have reviewed all of my/our guesses about God's possible human side. All guesswork on His possible human feelings, which may fully well not exist at all. Religions tell us God loves us. How do they know? I'm not use at all and neither was Adler, a religious philosopher believer. If Adler was of that opinion, why are you?

dhw: Yes, your interpretations of a possible God’s possible purpose, along with his possible method and possible desire for total control and possible selflessness and possible lack of feelings are guesswork, as are all my alternatives. I didn’t know that Adler was the ultimate authority on all things connected with God, but I only know his beliefs through you, so it’s your guesswork that we are discussing.

My current judgements about God and theism come from reading many books and articles as I started out at ground zero as a 'soft' agnostic, someone who hadn't thought about it much and His existence really didn't matter, until the question of whether it really mattered occurred to me as a decision I needed to research. I needed to come to some conclusion if what I found convinced me one way or the other. I had a neutral start, what about you?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, April 23, 2021, 13:31 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I edit nothing. All evolved forms come from previous required evolved forms, and the branching bush provides food for all through ecosystems. Please stop objecting to logic.

dhw: What do you mean by “previously required” evolved forms? Required for what?... And yes, the bush provided and provides food for all organisms, past and present. How does that make them all part of the goal of evolving us humans and our food supply?

DAVID: 'Previously required' is a reference to the point every new stage of evolutionary complexity is built upon the past forms and biological processes.

We are in total agreement that all life forms except the first are descended from other life forms, and all life forms have to eat. Nothing whatsoever to do with your belief that every life form was specially designed as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. You have yet again edited out the illogical part of your theory.

DAVID: Please stop humanizing God.

dhw: Please stop assuming that your own humanization of your God is not a humanization of your God, and that although it is probable/possible that your God has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, it is not probable or possible.

DAVID: Your confusions continues: All the terms I use are specifically meant as allegories. God is not human so human terms applied to him are special.

So when you “specifically” and “specially” say he had only one purpose, was always in control, knew in advance what was going to happen, is selfless, enjoys creating in his own way, and probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, do you not actually mean what you say? It’s all symbolic of…what?

DAVID: God does not need enjoyment, a totally human need. Accept that God creates, and suppose nothing more about His possible emotional feelings. He may have none is the best way to think about Him.

dhw: I did not use the word “need” and asked you to drop it. I have no idea why you think the best way to think about your God is to imagine that he has no thought patterns or emotions similar to ours. I don’t even know why it is so important to you to prove that he exists if you think we should all regard him as an impersonal splodge of pure energy. Why are you hoping that his creation of bad viruses and bugs will turn out to have good reasons? Why do you insist that he tried to provide us with solutions to some of the problems caused by his design of life’s systems? And if he really is so impersonal, wouldn’t that fit in far better with his allowing an evolutionary free-for-all rather than exercising total control over everything (and enjoying doing so)?

DAVID: There you go again. We don't know if God ever creates anything for His own enjoyment. Everything is done for His own reasons, presumably somehow for our benefit, since He bothered to create us. I can't go further but as in the past will offer guesses when you ask. Just don't overinterpret the ideas I give.

“There you go again.” We don’t even “know” if he exists. And yet you dare to presume it’s for our benefit, since he created us. You seem to have forgotten that in your theory he specially created every other life form as well. And this whole website revolves around different guesses concerning all the mysteries nobody has yet solved. And when you guess that your God designed all life forms for the sole purpose of designing humans and our food supply, I don’t know what there is to “overinterpret”, and I don’t know why you think it right to offer your humanized guesses about God’s intentions but somehow it’s pointless for me to offer alternatives to your own guesses on the grounds that we can’t “know” the truth.

DAVID: My current judgements about God and theism come from reading many books and articles as I started out at ground zero as a 'soft' agnostic, someone who hadn't thought about it much and His existence really didn't matter, until the question of whether it really mattered occurred to me as a decision I needed to research. I needed to come to some conclusion if what I found convinced me one way or the other. I had a neutral start, what about you?

I don’t know what this is meant to prove, but since you ask: I was brought up as a Liberal Jew, rebelled in my early teens and briefly became an atheist, was “converted” in my late teens to agnosticism by Darwin (an unusual twist, I know), read voraciously in my search for answers, but by my mid-twenties resigned myself to the fact that nobody knows any of the answers, no matter how eloquently they defend their beliefs. That does not stop me from wanting to know more – hence this website. In the early days (we started up 13 years ago), I learnt a lot from a lot of people, whereas today you are the only one of my “teachers” to have remained faithful all through! This I appreciate more than words can say. But as you will have gathered, despite the expansion of my knowledge, I still see no clear solution to any of the aforesaid mysteries!

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, April 23, 2021, 19:56 (20 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 'Previously required' is a reference to the point every new stage of evolutionary complexity is built upon the past forms and biological processes.

dhw: We are in total agreement that all life forms except the first are descended from other life forms, and all life forms have to eat. Nothing whatsoever to do with your belief that every life form was specially designed as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. You have yet again edited out the illogical part of your theory.

Evolution with a giant bush of food energy for an eventual huge human population is fully logical when viewed by a logical mind keeping God's role in mind..


DAVID: Please stop humanizing God.

DAVID: Your confusions continues: All the terms I use are specifically meant as allegories. God is not human so human terms applied to him are special.

dhw: So when you “specifically” and “specially” say he had only one purpose, was always in control, knew in advance what was going to happen, is selfless, enjoys creating in his own way, and probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, do you not actually mean what you say? It’s all symbolic of…what?

It is symbolic of my knowing as I present those personal thoughts of mine about God, they allegorically imply His possible human comparisons, since He is not human and a person like no other person.

DAVID: There you go again. We don't know if God ever creates anything for His own enjoyment. Everything is done for His own reasons, presumably somehow for our benefit, since He bothered to create us. I can't go further but as in the past will offer guesses when you ask. Just don't overinterpret the ideas I give.

dhw: “There you go again.” We don’t even “know” if he exists. And yet you dare to presume it’s for our benefit, since he created us. You seem to have forgotten that in your theory he specially created every other life form as well. And this whole website revolves around different guesses concerning all the mysteries nobody has yet solved. And when you guess that your God designed all life forms for the sole purpose of designing humans and our food supply, I don’t know what there is to “overinterpret”, and I don’t know why you think it right to offer your humanized guesses about God’s intentions but somehow it’s pointless for me to offer alternatives to your own guesses on the grounds that we can’t “know” the truth.

DAVID: My current judgements about God and theism come from reading many books and articles as I started out at ground zero as a 'soft' agnostic, someone who hadn't thought about it much and His existence really didn't matter, until the question of whether it really mattered occurred to me as a decision I needed to research. I needed to come to some conclusion if what I found convinced me one way or the other. I had a neutral start, what about you?

dhw: I don’t know what this is meant to prove, but since you ask: I was brought up as a Liberal Jew, rebelled in my early teens and briefly became an atheist, was “converted” in my late teens to agnosticism by Darwin (an unusual twist, I know), read voraciously in my search for answers, but by my mid-twenties resigned myself to the fact that nobody knows any of the answers, no matter how eloquently they defend their beliefs. That does not stop me from wanting to know more – hence this website. In the early days (we started up 13 years ago), I learnt a lot from a lot of people, whereas today you are the only one of my “teachers” to have remained faithful all through! This I appreciate more than words can say. But as you will have gathered, despite the expansion of my knowledge, I still see no clear solution to any of the aforesaid mysteries!

I never really rebelled. I passively accepted a "Jewish father" role to raise my kids with a Jewish wife as reformed Jews. I never like Hewish liturgy as overfly repetitive of Biblical thought, without really answering any real questions. When I finally dug into it, the intricacies of living biochemistry appearing for no good natural reason, and opposite to you, no help from Darwin theory to provide some logic about evolutionary design, I realized God had to exist. Darwin didn't have to prove to me we evolved. That is obvious. Since the steps in evolution are so complex and obviously require design, it was an easy step. The explanation is satisfying as it makes sense.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, April 24, 2021, 12:54 (19 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 'Previously required' is a reference to the point every new stage of evolutionary complexity is built upon the past forms and biological processes.

dhw: We are in total agreement that all life forms except the first are descended from other life forms, and all life forms have to eat. Nothing whatsoever to do with your belief that every life form was specially designed as “part of the goal of evolving humans”. You have yet again edited out the illogical part of your theory.

DAVID: Evolution with a giant bush of food energy for an eventual huge human population is fully logical when viewed by a logical mind keeping God's role in mind.

How can the past “giant bush of food energy” be “for” an eventual huge human population? In your own words, for the umpteenth time: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Please stop pretending that your Alice in Wonderland nonsense about past food bushes being “for” present humans is God’s logic.

DAVID: All the terms I use are specifically meant as allegories. God is not human so human terms applied to him are special.

dhw: So when you “specifically” and “specially” say he had only one purpose, was always in control, knew in advance what was going to happen, is selfless, enjoys creating in his own way, and probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours, do you not actually mean what you say? It’s all symbolic of…what?

DAVID: It is symbolic of my knowing as I present those personal thoughts of mine about God, they allegorically imply His possible human comparisons, since He is not human and a person like no other person.

So do you allegorically and symbolically believe that in his own non-human way he had only one purpose, was always in control etc. etc., or don’t you?

This thread then digressed to our personal backgrounds, which may or may not be of interest to anyone who reads our posts.

DAVID: I never really rebelled. I passively accepted a "Jewish father" role to raise my kids with a Jewish wife as reformed Jews. I never like Hewish liturgy as overfly repetitive of Biblical thought, without really answering any real questions. When I finally dug into it, the intricacies of living biochemistry appearing for no good natural reason, and opposite to you, no help from Darwin theory to provide some logic about evolutionary design, I realized God had to exist. Darwin didn't have to prove to me we evolved. That is obvious. Since the steps in evolution are so complex and obviously require design, it was an easy step. The explanation is satisfying as it makes sense.

We were both born into a world in which evolution was increasingly being accepted as a fact. In Darwin’s day (and in some circles even today), that was far from being the case, one reason being precisely that it contradicted the biblical version of direct creation of species. Your version of evolution in fact constitutes an uneasy attempt to combine the two versions, since you insist on direct creation, but propose that your version of God either preprogrammed or dabbled every new species to emerge from previous species. It’s Genesis plus common descent. My own motive for reading Origin in the first place was that I thought it would provide confirmation of my early teenage atheism. Only when I read it did I realize that it did no such thing (shame upon atheists who misuse it for their own ends – and shame upon theists who do the same). Like you, I came to see the astonishing complexity of life, and was amazed to note that in this book Darwin explicitly avoided the question of its origin, and indeed in my edition of it, he actually attributed life itself to the Creator. I never quite understood this until George Jelliss wrote in to inform me that these references to God were added later. (Some authors suggest that this was an attempt to avoid offending his Christian wife.) But long, long ago I had discovered that Darwin regarded himself as an agnostic. Certainly Origin was the key to my rejection of atheism, although I also found it impossible to believe in a God. I guess “theodicy” may have played a role in this too.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 24, 2021, 16:36 (19 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Evolution with a giant bush of food energy for an eventual huge human population is fully logical when viewed by a logical mind keeping God's role in mind.

dhw: How can the past “giant bush of food energy” be “for” an eventual huge human population? In your own words, for the umpteenth time: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.Please stop pretending that your Alice in Wonderland nonsense about past food bushes being “for” present humans is God’s logic.

My quotes above are fully logical. You are muddled about evolution as a continuous process from one level of complexity to the next, constantly building on innovations from the past. The above bold is your nonsense twist of my opinion.


DAVID: It is symbolic of my knowing as I present those personal thoughts of mine about God, they allegorically imply His possible human comparisons, since He is not human and a person like no other person.

dhw: So do you allegorically and symbolically believe that in his own non-human way he had only one purpose, was always in control etc. etc., or don’t you?

I am the same. God's purpose was to produce us, and was in control to achieve that goal.


This thread then digressed to our personal backgrounds, which may or may not be of interest to anyone who reads our posts.

DAVID: I never really rebelled. I passively accepted a "Jewish father" role to raise my kids with a Jewish wife as reformed Jews. I never liked Jewish liturgy as overfly repetitive of Biblical thought, without really answering any real questions. When I finally dug into it, the intricacies of living biochemistry appearing for no good natural reason, and opposite to you, no help from Darwin theory to provide some logic about evolutionary design, I realized God had to exist. Darwin didn't have to prove to me we evolved. That is obvious. Since the steps in evolution are so complex and obviously require design, it was an easy step. The explanation is satisfying as it makes sense.

dhw: We were both born into a world in which evolution was increasingly being accepted as a fact. In Darwin’s day (and in some circles even today), that was far from being the case, one reason being precisely that it contradicted the biblical version of direct creation of species. Your version of evolution in fact constitutes an uneasy attempt to combine the two versions, since you insist on direct creation, but propose that your version of God either preprogrammed or dabbled every new species to emerge from previous species. It’s Genesis plus common descent. My own motive for reading Origin in the first place was that I thought it would provide confirmation of my early teenage atheism. Only when I read it did I realize that it did no such thing (shame upon atheists who misuse it for their own ends – and shame upon theists who do the same). Like you, I came to see the astonishing complexity of life, and was amazed to note that in this book Darwin explicitly avoided the question of its origin, and indeed in my edition of it, he actually attributed life itself to the Creator. I never quite understood this until George Jelliss wrote in to inform me that these references to God were added later. (Some authors suggest that this was an attempt to avoid offending his Christian wife.) But long, long ago I had discovered that Darwin regarded himself as an agnostic. Certainly Origin was the key to my rejection of atheism, although I also found it impossible to believe in a God. I guess “theodicy” may have played a role in this too.

The major background difference in us is first my drifting along until my 50's, as I accepted God without question before medical school and afterward accepted evolution as replacing Him. As I looked into Darwin I found he had nothing but common descent to offer. The second is my biochemical training which made me finally recognize life was/is designed by a magnificent mind. Theodicy is our human criticism of what seems wrong, and as proven over and over may be right. I've offered many examples.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, April 25, 2021, 09:25 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Evolution with a giant bush of food energy for an eventual huge human population is fully logical when viewed by a logical mind keeping God's role in mind.

dhw: How can the past “giant bush of food energy” be “for” an eventual huge human population? In your own words, for the umpteenth time: “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms.” And “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Please stop pretending that your Alice in Wonderland nonsense about past food bushes being “for” present humans is God’s logic.

DAVID: My quotes above are fully logical.

They certainly are, and they make nonsense of the claim that the past bushes of food were part of the goal of evolving humans.

DAVID: You are muddled about evolution as a continuous process from one level of complexity to the next, constantly building on innovations from the past. The above bold is your nonsense twist of my opinion.

Your usual blatant editing of your own theory. A couple of days ago you were agreeing that evolution is “a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction”, i.e. there is NOT one direct line from bacteria to humans. All branches and twigs build on innovations from the past, but you insist that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.” Please stop this attempt to gloss over the very parts of your theory which render it illogical. You know I will point them out again every time you do it.

DAVID: It is symbolic of my knowing as I present those personal thoughts of mine about God, they allegorically imply His possible human comparisons, since He is not human and a person like no other person.

dhw: So do you allegorically and symbolically believe that in his own non-human way he had only one purpose, was always in control etc. etc., or don’t you?

DAVID: I am the same. God's purpose was to produce us, and was in control to achieve that goal.

You insist that he only had one purpose and was in total control. I point out the utter illogicality of combining this theory with the theory that he deliberately designed every extinct life form, 99% of which formed the branches and twigs that went in all directions except that of H. sapiens. So what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?


Our personal backgrounds:
dhw: …long, long ago I had discovered that Darwin regarded himself as an agnostic. Certainly Origin was the key to my rejection of atheism, although I also found it impossible to believe in a God. I guess “theodicy” may have played a role in this too.

DAVID: The major background difference in us is first my drifting along until my 50's, as I accepted God without question before medical school and afterward accepted evolution as replacing Him. As I looked into Darwin I found he had nothing but common descent to offer. The second is my biochemical training which made me finally recognize life was/is designed by a magnificent mind. Theodicy is our human criticism of what seems wrong, and as proven over and over may be right. I've offered many examples.

I’m surprised to hear that you accepted evolution as “replacing” God. If you had read Origin, you would have realized that it does no such thing. It does not deal with the origin of life itself, but only excludes the Genesis version of the origin of species. That is why “common descent” was such a huge step forward. But if you were sceptical about random mutations as the mechanism for innovation, I can totally understand it and I share it. As regards theodicy, you have only offered examples of what some folk consider to be bad design which have turned out to be good design. That is nothing like the problem caused by bad bacteria and viruses, which you insist were also specially designed and which cause immeasurable suffering and death. I take these as an example of what we call good and evil, which seem to me to create insurmountable obstacles to belief in a loving, caring God. Even you denounce religions for promoting such an image, though paradoxically you continue to hope for evidence that he had a “good” reason for designing “bad” things, and you try to find evidence that he does care. The problem goes far deeper than this, however. Life continues with its great mixture of sheer beauty and goodness balanced by sheer ugliness and evil, and this throws open the whole question of a possible God’s purpose, method, nature and attitude. Hence all the different theories on the subject and our own interminable discussions. Or there is no God at all, and the great free-for-all that to me is obvious throughout life’s history, was generated by an extraordinary piece of luck arising out of an eternal swirl of energy and matter. I suppose I’d better repeat that I remain agnostic.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 25, 2021, 17:58 (18 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My quotes above are fully logical.

dhw: They certainly are, and they make nonsense of the claim that the past bushes of food were part of the goal of evolving humans.

DAVID: You are muddled about evolution as a continuous process from one level of complexity to the next, constantly building on innovations from the past. The above bold is your nonsense twist of my opinion.

dhw: Your usual blatant editing of your own theory. A couple of days ago you were agreeing that evolution is “a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction”, i.e. there is NOT one direct line from bacteria to humans. Please stop this attempt to gloss over the very parts of your theory which render it illogical. You know I will point them out again every time you do it.

DAVID: I am the same. God's purpose was to produce us, and was in control to achieve that goal.

Your tortured dissection of a continuous evolutionary process in to bits and parts of segments continues totally illogically. You accept the huge bush is necessary for food supply and then ignore it.


dhw: You insist that he only had one purpose and was in total control. I point out the utter illogicality of combining this theory with the theory that he deliberately designed every extinct life form, 99% of which formed the branches and twigs that went in all directions except that of H. sapiens. So what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

To try and help you see how blind you are about your constant humanizing of God.

Our personal backgrounds:
dhw: …long, long ago I had discovered that Darwin regarded himself as an agnostic. Certainly Origin was the key to my rejection of atheism, although I also found it impossible to believe in a God. I guess “theodicy” may have played a role in this too.

DAVID: The major background difference in us is first my drifting along until my 50's, as I accepted God without question before medical school and afterward accepted evolution as replacing Him. As I looked into Darwin I found he had nothing but common descent to offer. The second is my biochemical training which made me finally recognize life was/is designed by a magnificent mind. Theodicy is our human criticism of what seems wrong, and as proven over and over may be right. I've offered many examples.

dhw: I’m surprised to hear that you accepted evolution as “replacing” God. If you had read Origin, you would have realized that it does no such thing. It does not deal with the origin of life itself, but only excludes the Genesis version of the origin of species. That is why “common descent” was such a huge step forward. But if you were sceptical about random mutations as the mechanism for innovation, I can totally understand it and I share it. As regards theodicy, you have only offered examples of what some folk consider to be bad design which have turned out to be good design. That is nothing like the problem caused by bad bacteria and viruses, which you insist were also specially designed and which cause immeasurable suffering and death. I take these as an example of what we call good and evil, which seem to me to create insurmountable obstacles to belief in a loving, caring God. Even you denounce religions for promoting such an image, though paradoxically you continue to hope for evidence that he had a “good” reason for designing “bad” things, and you try to find evidence that he does care. The problem goes far deeper than this, however. Life continues with its great mixture of sheer beauty and goodness balanced by sheer ugliness and evil, and this throws open the whole question of a possible God’s purpose, method, nature and attitude. Hence all the different theories on the subject and our own interminable discussions. Or there is no God at all, and the great free-for-all that to me is obvious throughout life’s history, was generated by an extraordinary piece of luck arising out of an eternal swirl of energy and matter. I suppose I’d better repeat that I remain agnostic.

A great description of your views, ignoring the problems of obvious biochemical design which makes you hesitant to be fully atheistic. But you are primarily atheistic in your views.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, April 26, 2021, 08:42 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My quotes above are fully logical.

dhw: They certainly are, and they make nonsense of the claim that the past bushes of food were part of the goal of evolving humans.

DAVID: Your tortured dissection of a continuous evolutionary process in to bits and parts of segments continues totally illogically. You accept the huge bush is necessary for food supply and then ignore it.

The continuous evolutionary process has resulted in what you called ““a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction”. There is not one continuous line from bacteria to humans, and that is why it is absurd to claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.” All bushes past and present were/are necessary for food supply, but you continue to ignore your own agreement that PAST bushes were for the PAST, not the present, and extinct life has no role to play in current life. Please stop constantly editing your theory in your attempt to gloss over its illogicality.

dhw: You insist that he only had one purpose and was in total control. I point out the utter illogicality of combining this theory with the theory that he deliberately designed every extinct life form, 99% of which formed the branches and twigs that went in all directions except that of H. sapiens. So what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: To try and help you see how blind you are about your constant humanizing of God.

How does that remove the sheer illogicality of your theory of evolution? And why should my “humanizing” be any less valid than your own, especially in the light of your agreement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions and also logic similar to ours? And indeed, having said that, why do you now regard it as impossible for a creator to create a conscious being which might in some way reflect his own consciousness (“in his own image”, as the Bible puts it)?

Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

dhw: [...] Life continues with its great mixture of sheer beauty and goodness balanced by sheer ugliness and evil, and this throws open the whole question of a possible God’s purpose, method, nature and attitude. Hence all the different theories on the subject and our own interminable discussions. Or there is no God at all, and the great free-for-all that to me is obvious throughout life’s history, was generated by an extraordinary piece of luck arising out of an eternal swirl of energy and matter. I suppose I’d better repeat that I remain agnostic.

DAVID: A great description of your views, ignoring the problems of obvious biochemical design which makes you hesitant to be fully atheistic. But you are primarily atheistic in your views.

I have always accepted the logic of the design argument, as you well know, and this whole website grew out of my dissatisfaction with Dawkins’ attempts to dismiss God as a delusion. You frequently attempt to brand me atheistic in your attempts to divert attention from the illogicality of your own “humanized” and totally illogical interpretation of your God’s purposes and methods and character in relation to the history of evolution. Sorry, but I really am an agnostic. Perhaps you should read the “brief guide”, which was the starting point of this website.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, April 26, 2021, 18:43 (17 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your tortured dissection of a continuous evolutionary process in to bits and parts of segments continues totally illogically. You accept the huge bush is necessary for food supply and then ignore it.

dhw: The continuous evolutionary process has resulted in what you called ““a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction”. There is not one continuous line from bacteria to humans, and that is why it is absurd to claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

There is a continuous line we can trace from bacteria to us. Just search for it. For example, mammals were there with the dinosaurs, and guess who survived. The giant bush comes from branches and twigs in all directions As econiche food suppply.

dhw: All bushes past and present were/are necessary for food supply, but you continue to ignore your own agreement that PAST bushes were for the PAST, not the present, and extinct life has no role to play in current life.

Surprisingly evolution has a past and a present in a continuity you insist upon chopping up into seemingly unrelated segments.

dhw: Please stop constantly editing your theory in your attempt to gloss over its illogicality.

You try to edit me into your irrational views.


dhw: You insist that he only had one purpose and was in total control. I point out the utter illogicality of combining this theory with the theory that he deliberately designed every extinct life form, 99% of which formed the branches and twigs that went in all directions except that of H. sapiens. So what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: To try and help you see how blind you are about your constant humanizing of God.

dhw: How does that remove the sheer illogicality of your theory of evolution? And why should my “humanizing” be any less valid than your own, especially in the light of your agreement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions and also logic similar to ours?

Allegorically similar, but means may not be the exact same.

dhw: And indeed, having said that, why do you now regard it as impossible for a creator to create a conscious being which might in some way reflect his own consciousness (“in his own image”, as the Bible puts it)?

I've never said your thought about God creating us 'in His own image' was impossible. His 'image' is fully allegorical you must agree.


Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

dhw: [...] Life continues with its great mixture of sheer beauty and goodness balanced by sheer ugliness and evil, and this throws open the whole question of a possible God’s purpose, method, nature and attitude. Hence all the different theories on the subject and our own interminable discussions. Or there is no God at all, and the great free-for-all that to me is obvious throughout life’s history, was generated by an extraordinary piece of luck arising out of an eternal swirl of energy and matter. I suppose I’d better repeat that I remain agnostic.

DAVID: A great description of your views, ignoring the problems of obvious biochemical design which makes you hesitant to be fully atheistic. But you are primarily atheistic in your views.

dhw: I have always accepted the logic of the design argument, as you well know, and this whole website grew out of my dissatisfaction with Dawkins’ attempts to dismiss God as a delusion. You frequently attempt to brand me atheistic in your attempts to divert attention from the illogicality of your own “humanized” and totally illogical interpretation of your God’s purposes and methods and character in relation to the history of evolution. Sorry, but I really am an agnostic. Perhaps you should read the “brief guide”, which was the starting point of this website.

I know you are somewhat agnostic in accepting that God is perhaps possible, but there are degrees of agnostic, just as Dawkins pointed out degrees of atheism. I am not a full theist, since I try to ignore all religious opinionated teachings about God's personage. All positions have wandering/flexible boundaries of reasoning.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 11:28 (16 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The continuous evolutionary process has resulted in what you called ““a huge bush, all branches and twigs in every direction”. There is not one continuous line from bacteria to humans, and that is why it is absurd to claim that all life forms were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: There is a continuous line we can trace from bacteria to us. Just search for it. For example, mammals were there with the dinosaurs, and guess who survived.

Of course there is a continuous line. My fault for not spelling it out clearly enough. Evolution is a huge bush that spreads out in all directions – it is not one continuous line from bacteria to humans, but thousands of lines, 99% of which do NOT lead to humans.

DAVID: The giant bush comes from branches and twigs in all directions. As econiche food supply.

All econiches require food. All econiches do not supply food for humans. It is therefore absurd to claim that all life forms and econiches etc. were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

dhw: All bushes past and present were/are necessary for food supply, but you continue to ignore your own agreement that PAST bushes were for the PAST, not the present, and extinct life has no role to play in current life.

DAVID: Surprisingly evolution has a past and a present in a continuity you insist upon chopping up into seemingly unrelated segments.

For the umpteenth time, they are not chopped up. Each of the thousands of lines is continuous, but only one of them leads to humans. Please stop making me repeat the same old answer to the same old objection, based on your distorted use of language. And please stop trying to gloss over your totally illogical theory that all 99% of the lines that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of designing humans.

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: To try and help you see how blind you are about your constant humanizing of God.

dhw: How does that remove the sheer illogicality of your theory of evolution? And why should my “humanizing” be any less valid than your own, especially in the light of your agreement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions and also logic similar to ours?

DAVID: Allegorically similar, but means may not be the exact same.

There is no allegory in the statement that he may have thought patterns etc. similar to ours though they may not be the same. They may be the same. Nobody knows. You build your theory on what you think are his thought patterns and logic, and your theory is illogical by human standards and maybe by his standards too. You agree that my alternatives are logical, and my logic may be the same as his. Nobody knows. But personally I’d have more faith in a theory that seems to us humans to be logical than one which seems to us humans to be illogical.

dhw: And indeed, having said that, why do you now regard it as impossible for a creator to create a conscious being which might in some way reflect his own consciousness (“in his own image”, as the Bible puts it)?

DAVID: I've never said your thought about God creating us 'in His own image' was impossible. His 'image' is fully allegorical you must agree.

You are playing with the word image. An allegory is indeed an image: The character of Giant Despair in Pilgrim’s Progress symbolizes despair. “In his own image” does not symbolize anything; it means that we resemble him in some way.

Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

DAVID: […] you are primarily atheistic in your views.

dhw: I have always accepted the logic of the design argument, as you well know, and this whole website grew out of my dissatisfaction with Dawkins’ attempts to dismiss God as a delusion. You frequently attempt to brand me atheistic in your attempts to divert attention from the illogicality of your own “humanized” and totally illogical interpretation of your God’s purposes and methods and character in relation to the history of evolution. Sorry, but I really am an agnostic. Perhaps you should read the “brief guide”, which was the starting point of this website.

DAVID: I know you are somewhat agnostic in accepting that God is perhaps possible, but there are degrees of agnostic, just as Dawkins pointed out degrees of atheism. I am not a full theist, since I try to ignore all religious opinionated teachings about God's personage. All positions have wandering/flexible boundaries of reasoning.

Theism does not depend on religion. Either you fully believe in God or you don’t. What type of God is up to you. But I agree that there are degrees of theism and atheism: anyone who has no doubts at all must be intellectually completely blind. I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 16:28 (16 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: All bushes past and present were/are necessary for food supply, but you continue to ignore your own agreement that PAST bushes were for the PAST, not the present, and extinct life has no role to play in current life.

DAVID: Surprisingly evolution has a past and a present in a continuity you insist upon chopping up into seemingly unrelated segments.

dhw: For the umpteenth time, they are not chopped up. Each of the thousands of lines is continuous, but only one of them leads to humans. Please stop making me repeat the same old answer to the same old objection, based on your distorted use of language. And please stop trying to gloss over your totally illogical theory that all 99% of the lines that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of designing humans.

Umpteenth time: God chose to evolve us and history shows the pattern of evolution God created as He finally reached the design of humans, His final goal. Each aspect of evolution has been explained to you with rational theories of God's reasons.


dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: Allegorically similar, but means may not be the exact same.

dhw: There is no allegory in the statement that he may have thought patterns etc. similar to ours though they may not be the same. They may be the same. Nobody knows. You build your theory on what you think are his thought patterns and logic, and your theory is illogical by human standards and maybe by his standards too.

Each statement I make about God is allegorical.

dhw: You agree that my alternatives are logical, and my logic may be the same as his. Nobody knows.

Not what I said about you. What I have granted is your humanized God reaches conclusions logically based on His humanized personality. Your God is not my God as I perceive God.

DAVID: I've never said your thought about God creating us 'in His own image' was impossible. His 'image' is fully allegorical you must agree.

dhw: You are playing with the word image. An allegory is indeed an image: The character of Giant Despair in Pilgrim’s Progress symbolizes despair. “In his own image” does not symbolize anything; it means that we resemble him in some way.

Yes, in some way. Allegorical meaning.


Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

DAVID: […] you are primarily atheistic in your views.

dhw: I have always accepted the logic of the design argument, as you well know, and this whole website grew out of my dissatisfaction with Dawkins’ attempts to dismiss God as a delusion. You frequently attempt to brand me atheistic in your attempts to divert attention from the illogicality of your own “humanized” and totally illogical interpretation of your God’s purposes and methods and character in relation to the history of evolution. Sorry, but I really am an agnostic. Perhaps you should read the “brief guide”, which was the starting point of this website.

DAVID: I know you are somewhat agnostic in accepting that God is perhaps possible, but there are degrees of agnostic, just as Dawkins pointed out degrees of atheism. I am not a full theist, since I try to ignore all religious opinionated teachings about God's personage. All positions have wandering/flexible boundaries of reasoning.

dhw: Theism does not depend on religion. Either you fully believe in God or you don’t. What type of God is up to you. But I agree that there are degrees of theism and atheism: anyone who has no doubts at all must be intellectually completely blind. I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 11:14 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All bushes past and present were/are necessary for food supply, but you continue to ignore your own agreement that PAST bushes were for the PAST, not the present, and extinct life has no role to play in current life.

DAVID: Surprisingly evolution has a past and a present in a continuity you insist upon chopping up into seemingly unrelated segments.

dhw: For the umpteenth time, they are not chopped up. Each of the thousands of lines is continuous, but only one of them leads to humans. Please stop making me repeat the same old answer to the same old objection, based on your distorted use of language. And please stop trying to gloss over your totally illogical theory that all 99% of the lines that had no connection with humans were part of the goal of designing humans.

DAVID: Umpteenth time: God chose to evolve us and history shows the pattern of evolution God created as He finally reached the design of humans, His final goal. Each aspect of evolution has been explained to you with rational theories of God's reasons.

Umpteenth time: If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms, and the pattern of evolution is of thousands of different twigs and branches, only one of which led to humans. You have never ever managed to offer a rational theory to explain why a God whose ONLY goal was to design humans proceeded to design thousands of now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans. The only reason you have ever given is that they all provide food for one another, which does not mean that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: Allegorically similar, but means may not be the exact same.

dhw: There is no allegory in the statement that he may have thought patterns etc. similar to ours though they may not be the same. They may be the same. Nobody knows. You build your theory on what you think are his thought patterns and logic, and your theory is illogical by human standards and maybe by his standards too.

DAVID: Each statement I make about God is allegorical.

You just keep repeating the word as if it provided an explanation. Do you or do you not believe that your God exists, that he had one purpose (humans), that he specially designed every life form etc.? If so, what does God’s existence, purpose etc. symbolize?

dhw: You agree that my alternatives are logical, and my logic may be the same as his. Nobody knows.

DAVID: Not what I said about you. What I have granted is your humanized God reaches conclusions logically based on His humanized personality. Your God is not my God as I perceive God.

I do not have God reaching conclusions. I offer alternative interpretations of his possible nature based on the facts of life’s history. Your own humanized version of God (“My God is fully purposeful, knows exactly what He is doing and never deviates from his goals”) when applied to life’s history results in the absurd conclusion that he never deviated from his goal of designing humans, which he achieved by designing thousands and thousands of life forms and econiches and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: I've never said your thought about God creating us 'in His own image' was impossible. His 'image' is fully allegorical you must agree.

dhw: You are playing with the word image. An allegory is indeed an image: The character of Giant Despair in Pilgrim’s Progress symbolizes despair. “In his own image” does not symbolize anything; it means that we resemble him in some way.

DAVID: Yes, in some way. Allegorical meaning.

“In some way” is not an allegory. Please give us your definition of the word.

Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

Wrong again. The logic of my arguments starts with the world as I see it. I then try to extrapolate what kind of God - if he exists - might have created that world. You, on the other hand, start with a fixed image of your God and try to impose it on life’s history. “Theodicy” is a prime example. You pretend that you do not “humanize” him, but you hope to find an explanation of “bad” bacteria and viruses that will show his “good” intentions, and you even have him trying to find ways of correcting the errors resulting from the system of life that he designed.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 15:59 (15 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Umpteenth time: God chose to evolve us and history shows the pattern of evolution God created as He finally reached the design of humans, His final goal. Each aspect of evolution has been explained to you with rational theories of God's reasons.

dhw: Umpteenth time: If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms, and the pattern of evolution is of thousands of different twigs and branches, only one of which led to humans. You have never ever managed to offer a rational theory to explain why a God whose ONLY goal was to design humans proceeded to design thousands of now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans. The only reason you have ever given is that they all provide food for one another, which does not mean that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

Unless living things eat they die. I know you eat every day.


dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: Each statement I make about God is allegorical.

dhw: You just keep repeating the word as if it provided an explanation. Do you or do you not believe that your God exists, that he had one purpose (humans), that he specially designed every life form etc.? If so, what does God’s existence, purpose etc. symbolize?

When we use human descriptive terms about God and His thinking, since He is no human, they must be allegorical.


dhw: You agree that my alternatives are logical, and my logic may be the same as his. Nobody knows.

DAVID: Not what I said about you. What I have granted is your humanized God reaches conclusions logically based on His humanized personality. Your God is not my God as I perceive God.

dhw: I do not have God reaching conclusions. I offer alternative interpretations of his possible nature based on the facts of life’s history. Your own humanized version of God (“My God is fully purposeful, knows exactly what He is doing and never deviates from his goals”) when applied to life’s history results in the absurd conclusion that he never deviated from his goal of designing humans, which he achieved by designing thousands and thousands of life forms and econiches and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

Your conclusions of God's nature are distinctly not mine. That humans are here as a result of God's works is not an absurd conclusion, and deny your distortions of history as created by God.


DAVID: I've never said your thought about God creating us 'in His own image' was impossible. His 'image' is fully allegorical you must agree.

dhw: You are playing with the word image. An allegory is indeed an image: The character of Giant Despair in Pilgrim’s Progress symbolizes despair. “In his own image” does not symbolize anything; it means that we resemble him in some way.

DAVID: Yes, in some way. Allegorical meaning.

dhw: “In some way” is not an allegory. Please give us your definition of the word.

"In His image" is allegorical is 't it?


Our personal backgrounds:
(No need to repeat our earlier posts.)

dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

dhw: Wrong again. The logic of my arguments starts with the world as I see it. I then try to extrapolate what kind of God - if he exists - might have created that world. You, on the other hand, start with a fixed image of your God and try to impose it on life’s history. “Theodicy” is a prime example. You pretend that you do not “humanize” him, but you hope to find an explanation of “bad” bacteria and viruses that will show his “good” intentions, and you even have him trying to find ways of correcting the errors resulting from the system of life that he designed.

I do not see God as human in any way. You do not see the world as I do. I am extremely conservative in my views and you seem to me to be very liberal. Different conclusions will result.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, April 29, 2021, 08:45 (14 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Umpteenth time: God chose to evolve us and history shows the pattern of evolution God created as He finally reached the design of humans, His final goal. Each aspect of evolution has been explained to you with rational theories of God's reasons.

dhw: Umpteenth time: If God exists, he chose to evolve ALL life forms, and the pattern of evolution is of thousands of different twigs and branches, only one of which led to humans. You have never ever managed to offer a rational theory to explain why a God whose ONLY goal was to design humans proceeded to design thousands of now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans. The only reason you have ever given is that they all provide food for one another, which does not mean that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: Unless living things eat they die. I know you eat every day.

Undeniable. How does that prove that your God created every single life form and menu as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when you know perfectly well that 99% of them had no connection with humans?

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: Each statement I make about God is allegorical.

dhw: You just keep repeating the word as if it provided an explanation. Do you or do you not believe that your God exists, that he had one purpose (humans), that he specially designed every life form etc.? If so, what does God’s existence, purpose etc. symbolize?

DAVID: When we use human descriptive terms about God and His thinking, since He is no human, they must be allegorical.

I have already asked you to define the word. Your reply was: "'In His image’ is allegorical isn't it?” No, it isn’t. In his image means resembling him, not symbolizing him, and it does not provide a definition. Here is a conventional definition of “allegory”:”1. a story, play, poem, picture etc. in which the characters represent moral or spiritual ideas or messages. 2. Symbolism of this sort.” Please give me a definition that will explain how terms such as “purposeful, in control, knows what he is doing” can be “allegorical”.

dhw: I offer alternative interpretations of his possible nature based on the facts of life’s history. Your own humanized version of God (“My God is fully purposeful, knows exactly what He is doing and never deviates from his goals”) when applied to life’s history results in the absurd conclusion that he never deviated from his goal of designing humans, which he achieved by designing thousands and thousands of life forms and econiches and natural wonders, 99% of which had no connection with humans.

DAVID: Your conclusions of God's nature are distinctly not mine. That humans are here as a result of God's works is not an absurd conclusion, and deny your distortions of history as created by God.

The usual dodge. If God exists, then the fact that ALL life forms were or are here as a result of his works is a perfectly logical conclusion. It is not a logical conclusion that humans were his only goal if you insist that he specially designed thousands and thousands of other, now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans or our food supply. Please stop all this silly dodging.

Our personal backgrounds:
dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

dhw: Wrong again. The logic of my arguments starts with the world as I see it. I then try to extrapolate what kind of God - if he exists - might have created that world. You, on the other hand, start with a fixed image of your God and try to impose it on life’s history. “Theodicy” is a prime example. You pretend that you do not “humanize” him, but you hope to find an explanation of “bad” bacteria and viruses that will show his “good” intentions, and you even have him trying to find ways of correcting the errors resulting from the system of life that he designed.

DAVID: I do not see God as human in any way.

Stop kidding yourself. The only way you can justify such a statement is by viewing God as a totally featureless blob, whereas you believe he is conscious, purposeful, in control, knows what he’s doing etc. And are you now denying that you hope the future will reveal his good intentions in personally designing “bad” bugs?

DAVID: You do not see the world as I do. I am extremely conservative in my views and you seem to me to be very liberal. Different conclusions will result.

We see the same world, past and present: a vast variety of life forms extinct and extant. From this I extrapolate a range of logical “humanized” theistic interpretations, whereas you stick rigidly to one illogical “humanized” theistic interpretation. And it might be worth pointing out that even among your fellow theists, whether conservative or liberal, there is a wide range of interpretations.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, April 29, 2021, 17:11 (14 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Unless living things eat they die. I know you eat every day.

dhw: Undeniable. How does that prove that your God created every single life form and menu as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when you know perfectly well that 99% of them had no connection with humans?

The connection is God evoled all of them


dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: When we use human descriptive terms about God and His thinking, since He is no human, they must be allegorical.

dhw: I have already asked you to define the word. Your reply was: "'In His image’ is allegorical isn't it?” No, it isn’t. In his image means resembling him, not symbolizing him, and it does not provide a definition. Here is a conventional definition of “allegory”:”1. a story, play, poem, picture etc. in which the characters represent moral or spiritual ideas or messages. 2. Symbolism of this sort.” Please give me a definition that will explain how terms such as “purposeful, in control, knows what he is doing” can be “allegorical”.

I use the word allegorical only in its symbolic sense as it relates to discussions of God.


DAVID: Your conclusions of God's nature are distinctly not mine. That humans are here as a result of God's works is not an absurd conclusion, and deny your distortions of history as created by God.

dhw: The usual dodge. If God exists, then the fact that ALL life forms were or are here as a result of his works is a perfectly logical conclusion. It is not a logical conclusion that humans were his only goal if you insist that he specially designed thousands and thousands of other, now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans or our food supply. Please stop all this silly dodging.

Please stop your silly twisting. All of evolution is/was God's work to produce his final goal of humans.


Our personal backgrounds:
dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: The logic of your arguments must start with the kind of God you envision.

dhw: Wrong again. The logic of my arguments starts with the world as I see it. I then try to extrapolate what kind of God - if he exists - might have created that world. You, on the other hand, start with a fixed image of your God and try to impose it on life’s history. “Theodicy” is a prime example. You pretend that you do not “humanize” him, but you hope to find an explanation of “bad” bacteria and viruses that will show his “good” intentions, and you even have him trying to find ways of correcting the errors resulting from the system of life that he designed.

DAVID: I do not see God as human in any way.

dhw: Stop kidding yourself. The only way you can justify such a statement is by viewing God as a totally featureless blob, whereas you believe he is conscious, purposeful, in control, knows what he’s doing etc. And are you now denying that you hope the future will reveal his good intentions in personally designing “bad” bugs?

All God's works are for the good. God is not a blob, but since you insist upon one definition we must view him symbolically.


DAVID: You do not see the world as I do. I am extremely conservative in my views and you seem to me to be very liberal. Different conclusions will result.

dhw: We see the same world, past and present: a vast variety of life forms extinct and extant. From this I extrapolate a range of logical “humanized” theistic interpretations, whereas you stick rigidly to one illogical “humanized” theistic interpretation. And it might be worth pointing out that even among your fellow theists, whether conservative or liberal, there is a wide range of interpretations.

I know. I'm allowed to use mine.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, April 30, 2021, 12:39 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Unless living things eat they die. I know you eat every day.

dhw: Undeniable. How does that prove that your God created every single life form and menu as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” when you know perfectly well that 99% of them had no connection with humans?

DAVID: The connection is God evolved all of them.

So how does that prove that ALL of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Why design a thousand branches of the bush if you only want to design one?

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: When we use human descriptive terms about God and His thinking, since He is no human, they must be allegorical.

dhw: […] Please give me a definition that will explain how terms such as “purposeful, in control, knows what he is doing” can be “allegorical”.

DAVID: I use the word allegorical only in its symbolic sense as it relates to discussions of God.

We now have the word “allegorical” being used allegorically. Please define what you mean by “allegorical”.

DAVID: Your conclusions of God's nature are distinctly not mine. That humans are here as a result of God's works is not an absurd conclusion, and deny your distortions of history as created by God.

dhw: The usual dodge. If God exists, then the fact that ALL life forms were or are here as a result of his works is a perfectly logical conclusion. It is not a logical conclusion that humans were his only goal if you insist that he specially designed thousands and thousands of other, now extinct life forms that had no connection with humans or our food supply. Please stop all this silly dodging.

DAVID: Please stop your silly twisting. All of evolution is/was God's work to produce his final goal of humans.

The silly twisting is entirely yours. Taken from “Miscellany”: “I cannot know His reasons for His chose of evolving us from bacteria, answered many times.” You have no idea why he evolved us from bacteria, and you have no idea why he found it necessary to achieve his goal (do his “work”) of evolving us (i.e. specially designing us) by first specially designing vast numbers of life forms, 99% of which had no connection with us except that he designed them. Whenever I ask for an explanation, you come up with dodges like the one above, or the great non sequitur that everyone has to eat.

Our personal backgrounds:

dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: I do not see God as human in any way.

dhw: Stop kidding yourself. The only way you can justify such a statement is by viewing God as a totally featureless blob, whereas you believe he is conscious, purposeful, in control, knows what he’s doing etc. And are you now denying that you hope the future will reveal his good intentions in personally designing “bad” bugs?

DAVID: All God's works are for the good. God is not a blob, but since you insist upon one definition we must view him symbolically.

I don’t insist on one definition! You do! According to you, at one moment your God is a non-human blob with no human attributes. But then he is no longer a blob with no human attributes. We learn that everything he does is for “the good”, and he had just one purpose – to create us, presumably for some special “good” – always knew exactly what he wanted, was always in total control, and even specially designed what we call “bad” bacteria and viruses, but these too must be for the good. But any other human attributes are unacceptable to you, and so your God becomes a non-human blob again.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Friday, April 30, 2021, 19:40 (13 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The connection is God evolved all of them.

dhw: So how does that prove that ALL of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Why design a thousand branches of the bush if you only want to design one?

Ask God. He chose to evolve us, and I don't question His reasons, although you do.

dhw: … what is all this nonsense about allegory and symbolism?

DAVID: I use the word allegorical only in its symbolic sense as it relates to discussions of God.

dhw: We now have the word “allegorical” being used allegorically. Please define what you mean by “allegorical”.

We must think of God's thoughts as symbolically different from us in every description. I use the symbolic sense of allegory.


DAVID: Please stop your silly twisting. All of evolution is/was God's work to produce his final goal of humans.

dhw: The silly twisting is entirely yours. Taken from “Miscellany”: “I cannot know His reasons for His chose of evolving us from bacteria, answered many times.” You have no idea why he evolved us from bacteria, and you have no idea why he found it necessary to achieve his goal (do his “work”) of evolving us (i.e. specially designing us) by first specially designing vast numbers of life forms, 99% of which had no connection with us except that he designed them. Whenever I ask for an explanation, you come up with dodges like the one above, or the great non sequitur that everyone has to eat.

Same answer as above: "Ask God. He chose to evolve us, and I don't question His reasons, although you do." I cannot have you extract from me an answer I cannot give, nor have you impose our curiosity on me. I have simply accepted what I see God did although somehow you want more, and I can't give it. Not as dodge, a position of theistic belief.


Our personal backgrounds:

dhw: I’d count myself as 50/50, but it doesn’t matter if you think I’m 40/60 or whatever, so long as you don’t pretend that this has a bearing on the logic of my arguments.

DAVID: I do not see God as human in any way.

dhw: Stop kidding yourself. The only way you can justify such a statement is by viewing God as a totally featureless blob, whereas you believe he is conscious, purposeful, in control, knows what he’s doing etc. And are you now denying that you hope the future will reveal his good intentions in personally designing “bad” bugs?

DAVID: All God's works are for the good. God is not a blob, but since you insist upon one definition we must view him symbolically.

dhw: I don’t insist on one definition! You do! According to you, at one moment your God is a non-human blob with no human attributes. But then he is no longer a blob with no human attributes. We learn that everything he does is for “the good”, and he had just one purpose – to create us, presumably for some special “good” – always knew exactly what he wanted, was always in total control, and even specially designed what we call “bad” bacteria and viruses, but these too must be for the good. But any other human attributes are unacceptable to you, and so your God becomes a non-human blob again.

God is not human in any sense, so we must grant any human attributes in a symbolic sense. Unfortunately we are trapped in discussions of Him at our human level. You can snicker all your want, but it is a major problem for you if interpreted so directly human as you pick apart my thoughts. I am forced to use human concepts/words in any discussion.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Saturday, May 01, 2021, 11:47 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The connection is God evolved all of them.

dhw: So how does that prove that ALL of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Why design a thousand branches of the bush if you only want to design one?

DAVID: Ask God. He chose to evolve us, and I don't question His reasons, although you do. And later: I cannot have you extract from me an answer I cannot give, nor have you impose your curiosity on me. I have simply accepted what I see God did although somehow you want more, and I can't give it. Not as dodge, a position of theistic belief.

Same old dodge. The question is not why he chose to evolve [specially design] us, but why – if we were his only goal – he chose to evolve [specially design] vast numbers of life forms, ecosystems etc. which had no connection with us. I am not questioning his reasons but your illogical theory, and clearly you have no idea why he would choose the method you impose on him in order to achieve the purpose you impose on him. But this is your fixed “theistic belief”, so we should leave it at that rather than you repeating the same string of dodges and me repeating the same string of responses to the dodges.

DAVID: I use the word allegorical only in its symbolic sense as it relates to discussions of God.

dhw: We now have the word “allegorical” being used allegorically. Please define what you mean by “allegorical”.

DAVID: We must think of God's thoughts as symbolically different from us in every description. I use the symbolic sense of allegory.

Still no definition. The symbolic sense of allegory would mean that when you say God’s thoughts are of just one purpose, of having total control, of always knowing what he is doing, and of doing everything for “good” reasons, all these terms represent something other than themselves. What else could they “symbolize”? Please stop pretending that by calling your belief in these human attributes “allegorical” you can mysteriously remove their “humanized” connotations, whereas if I propose that he might possibly experiment, or learn as he goes along, or want a free-for-all as opposed to a puppet show, you try to dismiss such alternatives as “humanizing”.

DAVID: God is not human in any sense, so we must grant any human attributes in a symbolic sense. Unfortunately we are trapped in discussions of Him at our human level. You can snicker all your want, but it is a major problem for you if interpreted so directly human as you pick apart my thoughts. I am forced to use human concepts/words in any discussion.

I am not “snickering”. When you give us your “humanized” interpretation of God’s nature, and his one and only purpose and method of achieving it, either you mean what you say or you don’t. If you can’t find an answer to my questions, you can hardly expect me to withdraw because we are both forced to use human language – especially since you feel free to use human language in order to try and dismiss alternatives to your interpretations, even though you agree that they are logical!

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 01, 2021, 19:33 (12 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So how does that prove that ALL of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Why design a thousand branches of the bush if you only want to design one?

DAVID: Ask God. He chose to evolve us, and I don't question His reasons, although you do. And later: I cannot have you extract from me an answer I cannot give, nor have you impose your curiosity on me. I have simply accepted what I see God did although somehow you want more, and I can't give it. Not as dodge, a position of theistic belief.

dhw: Same old dodge. The question is not why he chose to evolve [specially design] us, but why – if we were his only goal – he chose to evolve [specially design] vast numbers of life forms, ecosystems etc. which had no connection with us. I am not questioning his reasons but your illogical theory, and clearly you have no idea why he would choose the method you impose on him in order to achieve the purpose you impose on him. But this is your fixed “theistic belief”, so we should leave it at that rather than you repeating the same string of dodges and me repeating the same string of responses to the dodges.

Given God is the creator, and we evolved from bacteria, how can you question my theory as as dodge? It doesn't fit the way you try to think about God which never appears to be a thorough exploration. I don't think hou appreciate the complexity of living biochemical reactions.

dhw: We now have the word “allegorical” being used allegorically. Please define what you mean by “allegorical”.

DAVID: We must think of God's thoughts as symbolically different from us in every description. I use the symbolic sense of allegory.

dhw: Still no definition. The symbolic sense of allegory would mean that when you say God’s thoughts are of just one purpose, of having total control, of always knowing what he is doing, and of doing everything for “good” reasons, all these terms represent something other than themselves. What else could they “symbolize”? Please stop pretending that by calling your belief in these human attributes “allegorical” you can mysteriously remove their “humanized” connotations, whereas if I propose that he might possibly experiment, or learn as he goes along, or want a free-for-all as opposed to a puppet show, you try to dismiss such alternatives as “humanizing”.

This statement misses the point. My version of God's personality, based on analyzing His total works from big Bang onward, tells me He is an exact purposeful planner with definite goals in mind. Note I must use human meanings in the words I use. I don't know if He does it for enjoyment or experimentation, your humanizing guesses. You guess, I don't try to.


DAVID: God is not human in any sense, so we must grant any human attributes in a symbolic sense. Unfortunately we are trapped in discussions of Him at our human level. You can snicker all your want, but it is a major problem for you if interpreted so directly human as you pick apart my thoughts. I am forced to use human concepts/words in any discussion.

dhw: I am not “snickering”. When you give us your “humanized” interpretation of God’s nature, and his one and only purpose and method of achieving it, either you mean what you say or you don’t. If you can’t find an answer to my questions, you can hardly expect me to withdraw because we are both forced to use human language – especially since you feel free to use human language in order to try and dismiss alternatives to your interpretations, even though you agree that they are logical!

Your 'probing' questions are unanswerable, requiring guesswork beyond what we can analyze from His total works. They are your problem leading to confusion in interpreting God's actions and thus agnosticism.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Sunday, May 02, 2021, 12:20 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Why design a thousand branches of the bush if you only want to design one?

DAVID: Ask God. He chose to evolve us, and I don't question His reasons, although you do. [And later:] I cannot have you extract from me an answer I cannot give, nor have you impose your curiosity on me. I have simply accepted what I see God did although somehow you want more, and I can't give it. Not as dodge, a position of theistic belief.

dhw: Same old dodge. The question is not why he chose to evolve [specially design] us, but why – if we were his only goal – he chose to evolve [specially design] vast numbers of life forms, ecosystems etc. which had no connection with us. I am not questioning his reasons but your illogical theory, and clearly you have no idea why he would choose the method you impose on him in order to achieve the purpose you impose on him. But this is your fixed “theistic belief”, so we should leave it at that rather than you repeating the same string of dodges and me repeating the same string of responses to the dodges.

DAVID: Given God is the creator, and we evolved from bacteria, how can you question my theory as a dodge?

Your theory is not a dodge. The dodge is your blinkered emphasis on what we both accept – namely, that we evolved from bacteria – while you keep omitting your acceptance that all the other life forms also evolved from bacteria, 99% of them had no connection with humans, and yet you go on insisting that all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: It doesn't fit the way you try to think about God which never appears to be a thorough exploration. I don't think you appreciate the complexity of living biochemical reactions.

My exploration leads to various alternative views. I have always totally accepted the complexity of life, which is relevant to belief in a designer but has absolutely no relevance to your theory that all species were specially designed “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”, even though 99% of them had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God should choose such a method, and that is why you keep dodging. This illogical theory, however, is your fixed belief, so by all means stick to it, and let’s leave it at that.

dhw: The symbolic sense of allegory would mean that when you say God’s thoughts are of just one purpose, of having total control, of always knowing what he is doing, and of doing everything for “good” reasons, all these terms represent something other than themselves. What else could they “symbolize”? Please stop pretending that by calling your belief in these human attributes “allegorical” you can mysteriously remove their “humanized” connotations, whereas if I propose that he might possibly experiment, or learn as he goes along, or want a free-for-all as opposed to a puppet show, you try to dismiss such alternatives as “humanizing”.

DAVID: This statement misses the point. My version of God's personality, based on analyzing His total works from big Bang onward, tells me He is an exact purposeful planner with definite goals in mind. Note I must use human meanings in the words I use. I don't know if He does it for enjoyment or experimentation, your humanizing guesses. You guess, I don't try to.

Thank you for finally jettisoning your meaningless use of the word “allegorical”, which you refuse to define. We both agree that if God exists, he must have had a purpose for creating life. I have dealt with your own theory above, and I have drawn attention to all the “humanizing” aspects of your “version of God’s personality” (purposeful, always in control, knowing what he’s doing, doing it all for “the good” etc.), which fit in with your earlier acknowledgement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. Nobody knows the truth, but you have agreed that all my (theistic) alternatives fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. And so I have no idea why this discussion is still going on.

DAVID: Your 'probing' questions are unanswerable, requiring guesswork beyond what we can analyze from His total works. They are your problem leading to confusion in interpreting God's actions and thus agnosticism.

My probing questions concern the logic of your particular theory of evolution, which you yourself cannot explain. I offer you alternatives which you accept as being logical. The only confusion I can discern in these discussions is your own, since you cannot find the logic behind your own theory. My agnosticism is irrelevant. All my theories allow for the existence of God. I am not an atheist.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 02, 2021, 22:26 (11 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Given God is the creator, and we evolved from bacteria, how can you question my theory as a dodge?

dhw: Your theory is not a dodge. The dodge is your blinkered emphasis on what we both accept – namely, that we evolved from bacteria – while you keep omitting your acceptance that all the other life forms also evolved from bacteria, 99% of them had no connection with humans, and yet you go on insisting that all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

The connection is the necessary food supply. I fully understand the line of inheritance we followed. There is more than one aspect to the process of evolving humans who then dominate the Earth with a huge population which must eat to survive. Take off your blinkers.


DAVID: It doesn't fit the way you try to think about God which never appears to be a thorough exploration. I don't think you appreciate the complexity of living biochemical reactions.

dhw: My exploration leads to various alternative views. I have always totally accepted the complexity of life, which is relevant to belief in a designer but has absolutely no relevance to your theory that all species were specially designed “as part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”, even though 99% of them had no connection with humans. You have no idea why your God should choose such a method, and that is why you keep dodging. This illogical theory, however, is your fixed belief, so by all means stick to it, and let’s leave it at that.

Fully and logically explained above. A specially designed food supply cannot be denied.


DAVID: This statement misses the point. My version of God's personality, based on analyzing His total works from big Bang onward, tells me He is an exact purposeful planner with definite goals in mind. Note I must use human meanings in the words I use. I don't know if He does it for enjoyment or experimentation, your humanizing guesses. You guess, I don't try to.

dhw: Thank you for finally jettisoning your meaningless use of the word “allegorical”, which you refuse to define. We both agree that if God exists, he must have had a purpose for creating life. I have dealt with your own theory above, and I have drawn attention to all the “humanizing” aspects of your “version of God’s personality” (purposeful, always in control, knowing what he’s doing, doing it all for “the good” etc.), which fit in with your earlier acknowledgement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. Nobody knows the truth, but you have agreed that all my (theistic) alternatives fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. And so I have no idea why this discussion is still going on.

Your use of my terms in a human sense simply confuses the issue. The God I envision is not human, does not do 'humanizing' actions although His actions and purposes must be defined in human terms, as in the bold you quoted. His thought patterns and emotions are sheer guess work and again must be described in human terms. You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it.


DAVID: Your 'probing' questions are unanswerable, requiring guesswork beyond what we can analyze from His total works. They are your problem leading to confusion in interpreting God's actions and thus agnosticism.

dhw: My probing questions concern the logic of your particular theory of evolution, which you yourself cannot explain.

My thought that God chose to evolve us is a valid explanation you refuse tov accept.

dhw: I offer you alternatives which you accept as being logical. The only confusion I can discern in these discussions is your own, since you cannot find the logic behind your own theory. My agnosticism is irrelevant. All my theories allow for the existence of God. I am not an atheist.

The logic is I see God as the creator in charge of our reality, so what we see is what He wanted and did. Your theories allow for a strange humanized form of God.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Monday, May 03, 2021, 13:09 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The dodge is your blinkered emphasis on what we both accept – namely, that we evolved from bacteria – while you keep omitting your acceptance that all the other life forms also evolved from bacteria, 99% of them had no connection with humans, and yet you go on insisting that all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: The connection is the necessary food supply. I fully understand the line of inheritance we followed. There is more than one aspect to the process of evolving humans who then dominate the Earth with a huge population which must eat to survive. Take off your blinkers. […] Fully and logically explained above. A specially designed food supply cannot be denied.

What I deny is that there is one iota of logic in your belief that God specially designed food supplies for every single extinct form of life for the sole purpose of specially designing a food supply for H. sapiens. And you agreed when you wrote that “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” and “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Why do you continue to trot out the same attempts at justification of your illogical theory that you yourself have already demolished. Please let’s move on.

dhw: We both agree that if God exists, he must have had a purpose for creating life. I have dealt with your own theory above, and I have drawn attention to all the “humanizing” aspects of your “version of God’s personality” (purposeful, always in control, knowing what he’s doing, doing it all for “the good” etc.), which fit in with your earlier acknowledgement that he probably/possibly has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. Nobody knows the truth, but you have agreed that all my (theistic) alternatives fit in logically with the history of life as we know it. And so I have no idea why this discussion is still going on.

DAVID: Your use of my terms in a human sense simply confuses the issue. The God I envision is not human, does not do 'humanizing' actions although His actions and purposes must be defined in human terms, as in the bold you quoted. His thought patterns and emotions are sheer guess work and again must be described in human terms.

Yes, your vision of God is pure guesswork and is defined in human terms. There is no other way we can discuss the subject. So do you or do you not believe that he is purposeful, always in control, knows what he is doing, does it all for "the good" etc.? If you do, why do you consider it to be more “humanizing” to suggest that although he is purposeful, he may not always be in control or even want to be in control, might enjoy experimenting, might not be doing it all for the good? Indeed why should he even have such concepts as “good” and “bad”? Your whole approach reeks of double standards. It’s OK for you to guess at a “humanized” vision of your God, despite its illogicalities, but it’s not OK for me to guess at logical alternatives, because these are all “humanized”, just like yours.

DAVID: You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it.

Of course I understand that my alternatives are not acceptable to you because you already have a fixed vision of your God. I do not understand why you think you have a monopoly on “humanizing” guesswork, and I do not understand why you should consider alternative purposes as “purposeless”! And why should I accept your highly personal judgement that allowing freedom of choice, or experimenting, or learning new things constitute weakness – especially when you agree that all of these fit in logically with the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: My thought that God chose to evolve us is a valid explanation you refuse to accept.

Same old dodge. By evolve you mean specially design, and you cannot explain why, if humans were his only purpose, he specially designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. Your only reason appears to be that he specially designed all past food supplies for us, although they too had no connection with our food supplies. And this is supposed to be a logical explanation.:-(

DAVID: The logic is I see God as the creator in charge of our reality, so what we see is what He wanted and did. Your theories allow for a strange humanized form of God.

I have no doubt that if God exists, what we see is what he wanted and did. Your one theory allows for a particular “humanized” form of God who pursued the illogical course bolded above, and you have no idea why. All my own “humanized” forms of God offer descriptions of what he may have wanted, and you agree that every one of them fits logically into the history of what he did. Just stick to your fixed belief, and let's leave it at that, shall we?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Monday, May 03, 2021, 18:04 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The connection is the necessary food supply. I fully understand the line of inheritance we followed. There is more than one aspect to the process of evolving humans who then dominate the Earth with a huge population which must eat to survive. Take off your blinkers. […] Fully and logically explained above. A specially designed food supply cannot be denied.

dhw: What I deny is that there is one iota of logic in your belief that God specially designed food supplies for every single extinct form of life for the sole purpose of specially designing a food supply for H. sapiens. And you agreed when you wrote that “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” and “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Why do you continue to trot out the same attempts at justification of your illogical theory that you yourself have already demolished. Please let’s move on.

I recognized there were different time frames for different segments of evolutionary history. I won't move on as long as you insist upon a segmented history of evolution as you try to tell me I am illogical, when you are.

DAVID: Your use of my terms in a human sense simply confuses the issue. The God I envision is not human, does not do 'humanizing' actions although His actions and purposes must be defined in human terms, as in the bold you quoted. His thought patterns and emotions are sheer guess work and again must be described in human terms.

dhw: Yes, your vision of God is pure guesswork and is defined in human terms. There is no other way we can discuss the subject. So do you or do you not believe that he is purposeful, always in control, knows what he is doing, does it all for "the good" etc.? If you do, why do you consider it to be more “humanizing” to suggest that although he is purposeful, he may not always be in control or even want to be in control, might enjoy experimenting, might not be doing it all for the good? Indeed why should he even have such concepts as “good” and “bad”? Your whole approach reeks of double standards. It’s OK for you to guess at a “humanized” vision of your God, despite its illogicalities, but it’s not OK for me to guess at logical alternatives, because these are all “humanized”, just like yours.

Your logical humanized God is a weak form of the God I envision. Please accept our Gods are totally different and we can move on.


DAVID: You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it.

dhw: Of course I understand that my alternatives are not acceptable to you because you already have a fixed vision of your God. I do not understand why you think you have a monopoly on “humanizing” guesswork, and I do not understand why you should consider alternative purposes as “purposeless”! And why should I accept your highly personal judgement that allowing freedom of choice, or experimenting, or learning new things constitute weakness – especially when you agree that all of these fit in logically with the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: My thought that God chose to evolve us is a valid explanation you refuse to accept.

dhw: Same old dodge. By evolve you mean specially design, and you cannot explain why, if humans were his only purpose, he specially designed millions of life forms etc., 99% of which had no connection with humans. Your only reason appears to be that he specially designed all past food supplies for us, although they too had no connection with our food supplies. And this is supposed to be a logical explanation.:-(

DAVID: The logic is I see God as the creator in charge of our reality, so what we see is what He wanted and did. Your theories allow for a strange humanized form of God.

dhw: I have no doubt that if God exists, what we see is what he wanted and did. Your one theory allows for a particular “humanized” form of God who pursued the illogical course bolded above, and you have no idea why. All my own “humanized” forms of God offer descriptions of what he may have wanted, and you agree that every one of them fits logically into the history of what he did. Just stick to your fixed belief, and let's leave it at that, shall we?

I've agreed your very humanized God fits your theories logically. We can leave it at that. The initial premise each of us has about God differs and we will always differ.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Tuesday, May 04, 2021, 10:45 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The connection is the necessary food supply. I fully understand the line of inheritance we followed. There is more than one aspect to the process of evolving humans who then dominate the Earth with a huge population which must eat to survive. Take off your blinkers. […] Fully and logically explained above. A specially designed food supply cannot be denied.

dhw: What I deny is that there is one iota of logic in your belief that God specially designed food supplies for every single extinct form of life for the sole purpose of specially designing a food supply for H. sapiens. And you agreed when you wrote that “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms” and “Extinct life has no role in current time.” Why do you continue to trot out the same attempts at justification of your illogical theory that you yourself have already demolished. Please let’s move on.

DAVID: I recognized there were different time frames for different segments of evolutionary history. I won't move on as long as you insist upon a segmented history of evolution as you try to tell me I am illogical, when you are.

You recognize different times for different segments, but you don’t recognize different segments, and that is supposed to be logical. I have never used the word “segments” anyway – that was another of your straw men. I use “branches”, because evolution is a continuous process of life forms branching out in different directions from their bacterial “roots”, but 99% of those branches (plus food supply) had no connection with humans, although – with an illogicality which you continually try to dodge – you claim that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

dhw: Your whole approach reeks of double standards. It’s OK for you to guess at a “humanized” vision of your God, despite its illogicalities, but it’s not OK for me to guess at logical alternatives, because these are all “humanized”, just like yours.

DAVID: You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it. And:
DAVID: Your logical humanized God is a weak form of the God I envision. Please accept our Gods are totally different and we can move on.

dhw: Of course I understand that my alternatives are not acceptable to you because you already have a fixed vision of your God. I do not understand why you think you have a monopoly on “humanizing” guesswork, and I do not understand why you should consider alternative purposes as “purposeless”! And why should I accept your highly personal judgement that allowing freedom of choice, or experimenting, or learning new things constitute weakness – especially when you agree that all of these fit in logically with the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: I've agreed your very humanized God fits your theories logically. We can leave it at that. The initial premise each of us has about God differs and we will always differ.

Another dodge and distortion which I cannot accept. In my alternative theories, my “humanized” God always fits in logically with the history of life. In your own theory, bolded above, your “humanized” God does not fit in logically with the history of life, but that is what you believe and so we can leave it at that.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 05, 2021, 19:23 (8 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I recognized there were different time frames for different segments of evolutionary history. I won't move on as long as you insist upon a segmented history of evolution as you try to tell me I am illogical, when you are.


dhw: You recognize different times for different segments, but you don’t recognize different segments, and that is supposed to be logical. I have never used the word “segments” anyway – that was another of your straw men. I use “branches”, because evolution is a continuous process of life forms branching out in different directions from their bacterial “roots”, but 99% of those branches (plus food supply) had no connection with humans, although – with an illogicality which you continually try to dodge – you claim that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

Same old, same old. I am referring to time segments which I know includes huge new branching's. Now is not then. Humans now need the huge branching bush for food. Earlier humans, and before humans, eating animals needed an adequate bush of some necessary size for that period

DAVID: You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it. And:
DAVID: Your logical humanized God is a weak form of the God I envision. Please accept our Gods are totally different and we can move on.

dhw: Of course I understand that my alternatives are not acceptable to you because you already have a fixed vision of your God. I do not understand why you think you have a monopoly on “humanizing” guesswork, and I do not understand why you should consider alternative purposes as “purposeless”! And why should I accept your highly personal judgement that allowing freedom of choice, or experimenting, or learning new things constitute weakness – especially when you agree that all of these fit in logically with the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: I've agreed your very humanized God fits your theories logically. We can leave it at that. The initial premise each of us has about God differs and we will always differ.

dhw: Another dodge and distortion which I cannot accept. In my alternative theories, my “humanized” God always fits in logically with the history of life. In your own theory, bolded above, your “humanized” God does not fit in logically with the history of life, but that is what you believe and so we can leave it at that.

The bold is your confused and seemingly forced misinterpretation. It is logical my God knew humans would become a huge population and needed a huge current bush for food. Yours should also. Evolution is God's continuum from God's designed start of life with Archaea to finally introduce sapiens. With your skewed theistic hat you never see the sort of God I do. That difference will continue the discussion. The 99% gone are necessarily gone. But you must admit they played a necessary design role.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Thursday, May 06, 2021, 12:48 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I recognized there were different time frames for different segments of evolutionary history. I won't move on as long as you insist upon a segmented history of evolution as you try to tell me I am illogical, when you are.

dhw: You recognize different times for different segments, but you don’t recognize different segments, and that is supposed to be logical. I have never used the word “segments” anyway – that was another of your straw men. I use “branches”, because evolution is a continuous process of life forms branching out in different directions from their bacterial “roots”, but 99% of those branches (plus food supply) had no connection with humans, although – with an illogicality which you continually try to dodge – you claim that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: Same old, same old. I am referring to time segments which I know includes huge new branching's.

Same old, same old. You accused me of segmenting evolution, but evolution, like time, is a continuum. And since you know that it branched off in all directions, why do you persist in telling us that every branch “was part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans", when 99% of the branches had no connection with humans?

DAVID: Now is not then. Humans now need the huge branching bush for food.

Now is indeed not then. Humans do not need the huge branching bushes of food that PRECEDED their existence!

DAVID: Earlier humans, and before humans, eating animals needed an adequate bush of some necessary size for that period.

Yes, and 99% of them had no connection with humans, so why do you persist in telling us that the huge bushes of the past were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Please stop this silly dodging game so that we can put an end to the repetition.

DAVID: You have never understood how your free-for-all loving, experimenting God is weak and purposeless and not acceptable to me as a valid view of God. We will never agree on it. And:
DAVID: Your logical humanized God is a weak form of the God I envision. Please accept our Gods are totally different and we can move on.

dhw: Of course I understand that my alternatives are not acceptable to you because you already have a fixed vision of your God. I do not understand why you think you have a monopoly on “humanizing” guesswork, and I do not understand why you should consider alternative purposes as “purposeless”! And why should I accept your highly personal judgement that allowing freedom of choice, or experimenting, or learning new things constitute weakness – especially when you agree that all of these fit in logically with the history of life as we know it?

DAVID: I've agreed your very humanized God fits your theories logically. We can leave it at that. The initial premise each of us has about God differs and we will always differ.

dhw: Another dodge and distortion which I cannot accept. In my alternative theories, my “humanized” God always fits in logically with the history of life. In your own theory, bolded above, your “humanized” God does not fit in logically with the history of life, but that is what you believe and so we can leave it at that.

DAVID: The bold is your confused and seemingly forced misinterpretation. It is logical my God knew humans would become a huge population and needed a huge current bush for food. Yours should also.

It is not logical that your God created millions of past food bushes that had no connection with humans if his only purpose was to provide a food bush for humans.

DAVID: Evolution is God's continuum from God's designed start of life with Archaea to finally introduce sapiens. With your skewed theistic hat you never see the sort of God I do. That difference will continue the discussion. The 99% gone are necessarily gone. But you must admit they played a necessary design role.

Evolution in your theory is not ONE continuum from Archeae to humans, but thousands of branches, only ONE of which is a continuum from Archaea to humans. I do not admit that the 99% of life forms which had no connection with humans were necessary for your God to design humans!!! You have admitted that you have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing millions of life forms and food bushes that had no connection with humans, so why are you continuing this discussion?

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 06, 2021, 19:41 (7 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same old, same old. I am referring to time segments which I know includes huge new branching's.

dhw: Same old, same old. You accused me of segmenting evolution, but evolution, like time, is a continuum. And since you know that it branched off in all directions, why do you persist in telling us that every branch “was part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans", when 99% of the branches had no connection with humans?

99% had to die away, but at last we can discuss evolution as a continuum with constant branching, providing a giant food supply for the now huge human population. God plans well for the present and the future.

dhw: Humans do not need the huge branching bushes of food that PRECEDED their existence!

Of course not. The huge bush is for now. Earlier bushed were much smaller.


DAVID: Earlier humans, and before humans, eating animals needed an adequate bush of some necessary size for that period.

dhw: Yes, and 99% of them had no connection with humans, so why do you persist in telling us that the huge bushes of the past were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans?” Please stop this silly dodging game so that we can put an end to the repetition.

God chose to evolve us. Over time all had to eat so all that happened was part of God's chosen process to evolve us.


DAVID: I've agreed your very humanized God fits your theories logically. We can leave it at that. The initial premise each of us has about God differs and we will always differ.

dhw: Another dodge and distortion which I cannot accept. In my alternative theories, my “humanized” God always fits in logically with the history of life. In your own theory, bolded above, your “humanized” God does not fit in logically with the history of life, but that is what you believe and so we can leave it at that.

DAVID: The bold is your confused and seemingly forced misinterpretation. It is logical my God knew humans would become a huge population and needed a huge current bush for food. Yours should also.

dhw: It is not logical that your God created millions of past food bushes that had no connection with humans if his only purpose was to provide a food bush for humans.

I thought we agreed above evolution is a continuum. God was purposeful all through the process of designed evolution.


DAVID: Evolution is God's continuum from God's designed start of life with Archaea to finally introduce sapiens. With your skewed theistic hat you never see the sort of God I do. That difference will continue the discussion. The 99% gone are necessarily gone. But you must admit they played a necessary design role.

dhw: Evolution in your theory is not ONE continuum from Archeae to humans, but thousands of branches, only ONE of which is a continuum from Archaea to humans. I do not admit that the 99% of life forms which had no connection with humans were necessary for your God to design humans!!! You have admitted that you have no idea why he chose to design humans by first designing millions of life forms and food bushes that had no connection with humans, so why are you continuing this discussion?

Only because you accuse me of illogical thought about God's conduct of evolution. It is quite logical to me even if you stay confused in understanding how I view God's work. Your view of God has no relatio nship to my view.

Back to theodicy and David's theories

by dhw, Friday, May 07, 2021, 12:37 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Same old, same old. I am referring to time segments which I know includes huge new branching's.

dhw: Same old, same old. You accused me of segmenting evolution, but evolution, like time, is a continuum. And since you know that it branched off in all directions, why do you persist in telling us that every branch “was part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans", when 99% of the branches had no connection with humans?

DAVID: 99% had to die away, but at last we can discuss evolution as a continuum with constant branching, providing a giant food supply for the now huge human population. God plans well for the present and the future.

I really don’t know why you think you can keep dodging and it won’t be noticed. The 99% of life forms and food bushes that branched off from bacteria and eventually died away had no connection with the present food supply for humans. Therefore it makes no sense to claim that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”.

dhw: Humans do not need the huge branching bushes of food that PRECEDED their existence!

DAVID: Of course not. The huge bush is for now. Earlier bushes were much smaller.

So please would you finally agree that the 99% which died away and had no connection with humans were NOT “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”, and you have no idea why he specially designed the 99% and their food bushes if his only goal was to design us humans and our food bush. It won’t hurt you to say it explicitly, and then we can put an end to this discussion.

The rest of your post merely continues the dodging game.