DM: John's major point, from a scientific point of view, is that there is no specific necessity on the part of a God to apply a homology which restricts the "best features" from each lineage from being packaged into one.
SH: Your attempt to salvage Loftus’ original argument would be a mite more persuasive if your editorial gloss bore any tangible resemblance to what he actually wrote.
Instead, your ex post facto reinterpretation represents an extrinsic improvement over the original formulation.
DM: I've never held that evolutionary biology disproves God's existence. It just disproves creationism.
SH: It disproves creationism assuming that evolutionary biology is true.
JL: That was funny! What was also funny is how you did a little dance around whether or not God can do what I asked. I call what you did logical gerrymandering.
i) He says it was logical gerrymandering, but he doesn’t show that it was logical gerrymandering.
Instead of rebutting anything I actually said, Loftus resorts to a tendentious characterization.
ii) To distinguish between creation, miracle, and providence is not logical gerrymandering. Rather, it’s an axial principle of Reformed theology.
iii) Even more to the point, what I did in my reply was to utilize certain distinctions which Loftus himself chose to draw.
Loftus was the one who began by asking what is naturally possible, in his original post—then shifted gears to what is omnipotently possible.
When I answer him on his own level, he calls what I do “logical gerrymandering.”
If so, then my logical gerrymandering is pegged ever step of the way to his logical gerrymandering.
JL: I am a philosophically minded person and he learns from me.
SH: A philosophically-minded person would know how to classify different models of agency, and clearly distinguish between one and another.
JL: While I have singled out just one feature that could've been different (wings), my real point is about how there is unneccesary suffering in our world that could have been averted had God changed certain features (wings being but one example).
SH: Other issues aside, attaching a pair of wings to fallen creatures would not ameliorate the quality or quantity of suffering in the world. Winged sinners would use their enhanced aptitude to commit otherwise impossible sins.
JL: I have over a dozen things God could've done differently to avert a great amount of human suffering. I'm just arguing for this one at this time.
SH: If this “improvement” is at all representative of Loftus’ other “improvements,” the Christian apologist has nothing to lose any sleep over.
JL: Together I think Daniel and I are like a good one two punch.
SH: More like two frat boys who’ve imbibed too much spiked punch, and are in a resultant state of mental and motor impairment.
JL: What really surprizes me here is that Steve prefers to opt for the "Omnipotence isn't like a genie in a bottle" defense. What an amazing concession to my argument, coming as it does from someone who believes God creates the laws of nature with the universe, especially when I'm asking about why God created such a universe with these laws in the first place. Steve's defense is that God just couldn't do it, and that's utterly amazing to me. That's right. God couldn't do it. Hmmmm. I thought the word "omnipotence" meant something. But I guess not.
So once again, in order to defend God's purported creation, Steve resorts to the God cannot do it response.
There is a much more thoughful and better answer than that from the Christian perspective, and I'm ready for it whenever you think of it. But why Stev continues to say God couldn't do it amazes me....it really does.
Steve, just what can your God do? :-)
SH: Loftus sees what he wants to see.
What I did was to give a qualified answer, utilizing his own qualifiers.
What he did in response was to drop all the qualifiers, and collapse my qualified answer into an unqualified answer.
This is a systematic distortion of what was actually said, and said in painstaking detail.
But that’s typical of Loftus. He will post an ill-focused piece.
I’ll reply with a point-by-point rebuttal.
Then he’ll respond, not with any attempt to demonstrate a flaw in my counterargument, but with a mischaracterization of what was said.
But that’s fine. If he could defend himself, he would defend himself. He does not because he cannot.