Evolution and humans: Neanderthal lungs larger (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, November 12, 2018, 13:14 (1930 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You are, of course, free to reject the concept of cellular intelligence – even though you agree that it has a 50/50 chance of being correct – and to reject its possible link to the advancement of evolution. But you certainly don’t integrate either hypothesis into your illogical argument that your God’s purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, and so he specially designed every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of evolution.

DAVID: What is illogical to you is logical to me. Labeling it constantly as illogical is simply name-calling with no reference other than your mind is set against my logic.

Please give me your logical explanation for your God’s special design of 50,000 spider webs and Neanderthal lungs (plus every other innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder extant and extinct) as a means of fulfilling his purpose to create H. sapiens. And please don’t tell me that without life there can be no life (see our next exchange). And while you’re at it, please tell me why you keep insisting that your God’s logic is different from ours, if you consider your explanation to be logical.

DAVID: Again, blithely skipping over the need for balance of nature which supplies the energy for life to last and evolve over 3.5+ billion years of time.

The “balance of nature” is constantly changing, and all forms of life need and supply energy! That would be true even if there had never been a single human being on Earth, and so the level of this logic is that if there was no life, there would be no life. This argument offers no logical explanation for your God specially designing 50,000 spiders’ webs, Neanderthal lungs etc. etc. although his purpose was to create H. sapiens. So what IS your logical explanation?

dhw: As regards humans, you have just agreed that Lucy was a transitional form, so please distinguish between “chance” and stepwise. Transitions are steps. Organisms which adapt themselves to new environments have to make changes which are not by chance. You have your God (apologies for the repetition) changing the organisms before they confront new conditions, whereas I suggest (theistic version) that he provided them with the mechanism to change IN RESPONSE to new conditions. […]

DAVID: Lucy, as a transitional form, is not the tiny step you are trying to imply. That giant step requires a transformed pelvis that allows bipedal walking. Her feet are very different but can still grip to some degree. Her shoulders are changed but still allows a degree of swinging from branch to branch. She is a giant step with a transformed pelvis for bipedal posture for walking that requires a very different way of giving birth. We have discussed the obstetrical dilemma present in studying the evolution of humans.

Where have I said it was a “tiny” step? Lucy exemplifies the transition from tree life to life on the ground. Yes, we have discussed the anatomical changes, and you have agreed that exercise changes the brain and the body. All major anatomical changes, human or otherwise, are part of the “dilemma” of speciation, and nobody has yet solved the mystery, which is why discussion continues.

DAVID: If we never find a way to fill the gaps, we are left with personal judgment as to how they happened. They require design in anticipation of use.

This is why atheists seize on the “God of the gaps” argument. No, the gaps do not “require” design in anticipation of use. They require an understanding of the mechanisms of evolution, which nobody knows but which - with or without God - I suggest (and I don’t think I am alone) work IN RESPONSE to needs and opportunities and not in advance of them.

DAVID: That requires a designing mind. That is always my point. Therefore that mind has to exist and be active. Your excuse that God might have to give organisms the ability to self design simply is a statement that God is required even if secondhand. Note, either way God is required! How can you avoid this conclusion? In this way the chasm awaits. It doesn't take a big jump.

It is not an excuse, and it is not secondhand. It is a “design” hypothesis which even you have recognized provides a perfect fit with the history of life as we know it. And of course my hypothesis must include the POSSIBILITY of your God. I am an agnostic, not an atheist (see my post under “God of the Gaps”). But you continuously conflate two separate arguments. What would appear to require advance planning is the MECHANISM for life, reproduction, adaptation and innovation. Therein lies the strength of the design = God argument. But this has nothing whatsoever to do with why or how your God may have “designed” evolution itself. My theistic hypothesis on this subject offers a coherent and logical interpretation of his purpose and method that is different from your own long-held and seemingly entrenched opinion (purpose = humans, method = design every innovation etc. himself). I can therefore quite understand why you lash out against my desire for logic, but you can hardly expect me to leap across this particular chasm in your reasoning.

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