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Mass_Driver comments on An Alien God - Less Wrong

80 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 November 2007 06:57AM

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Comment author: Mass_Driver 11 April 2010 06:32:00AM 12 points [-]

This is stupid. I'm a theist and I think it's stupid. I didn't downvote you because -8 points is probably enough to get the point across, but let me explain what I dislike about your argument.

First, you're seizing on one small fact that the author didn't even bring up in order to dismiss an entire article. The article says nothing about how bacterial life evolved; as far as this article is concerned, we can go ahead and agree that God created bacterial life. Your blanket assertion that evolution is "irrelevant to the whole discussion" is rude, and pretty much has things backward -- it's not "Darwinian Evolution" that's irrelevant to a discussion about how wasps and elephants evolved; it's bacterial evolution that's irrelevant. Wasps and elephants are exactly the sort of thing Darwin studied, whereas Darwin barely knew anything and barely said anything about bacteria.

Second, suppose you're right. Suppose DNA and the molecular machinery that lets it reproduce were intelligently designed by a benevolent, Judeo-Christian God. The problem is that history and biology still show us a world that's full of apparently unnecessary suffering, inefficiency, and cruelty. Yes, there is a staggering amount of complexity and beauty. So what? Why did God design DNA that He knew would in turn design wasps that eat their prey alive from the inside out? Isn't that a really, really weird thing for a benevolent, all-powerful God to do? Doesn't it surprise you that He apparently did that? Doesn't that surprise lead you to wonder if maybe you got one of your assumptions wrong?