Smart animals (Animals)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 13:04 (250 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have said you regard human specialness as proof of God's planning or intervention, but since you believe every innovation and natural wonder is proof of God's planning or intervention, why keep harping on about humans?
DAVID: Because you keep denigrating the leap to humans, which is part of my conclusive evidence for me.

I have never denied the vast gap between human capabilities and those of our fellow animals. However, I see it as the product of a natural progression through our enhanced consciousness, which has enabled us to develop on a massive scale attributes we have inherited from them: the need to eat, reproduce, educate, communicate, explore, protect ourselves etc. Every innovation and natural wonder is “conclusive evidence” for you, though you can't reconcile the need for your God to design each one either with your theory that his purpose was to produce humans or with the higgledy-piggledy history of life on Earth.

David's comment (under “tap dancing”): Stamp your foot to get attention? I don't understand what just-so story would explain why this instinct develops in evolution. Nothing demands this appear.
dhw: What “just-so” story are you thinking of? That God taught them how to tap dance? If we regard evolution as a process in which different organisms do things in their own particular way, and if we stop imagining that God has planned everything or that only humans know what they're doing, the whole higgledy-piggledy history of life on earth begins to make sense.
DAVID: No, I'm referencing Darwinists invention of just-so stories to explain something which has no explanation.God gave them tap-dancing? Who knows? Perhaps a learned instinct. It is not a complex weaver nest issue.

Please tell us the Darwinists' just-so story concerning tap-dancing. As far as I know, the Darwinist theory is that any form of behaviour which conveys some sort of advantage will survive. If tap-dancing gets you a mate, then that's just as good as a bunch of flowers or a love poem.

David's comment on “tree communication”: I view these reactions as automatic and amazing. They require some biochemical planning, not as complex as speciation. I'm not sure if God helped or they learned to do it on their own.

dhw: Trees are cell communities, just like every other organism, but you view all manifestations of intelligence as being automatic unless they are performed by a cell community with a brain (although paradoxically you believe that consciousness can exist independently of the brain, as in NDEs). On the other hand, your last sentence seems to open the door to autonomous intelligence: how do you learn to do something on your own if you don't know what you're doing?...

DAVID: I honestly don't know but my inclination is that it is coded in their genome with God's help.

I wish you would stick to this tentative inclination instead of categorically refusing to accept the possibility of autonomous cellular intelligence.

dhw (under “Video”): But now you try to fudge the issue again by replacing guidance with “guidelines”.

DAVID: I'm not fudging. I've always consistently thought of inventive mechanisms as having guidance or guidelines, which are one and the same to me.

An inventive mechanism already provided with your God's instructions (guidance/guidelines) telling organisms what to do, is the polar opposite of organisms having the ability to invent for themselves, on their own, of their own accord, autonomously, i.e. without instructions or guidance or guidelines. But you have categorically agreed that you ONLY believe in preprogramming and/or dabbling, and so there really is no point in your making statements like: “I couldn't agree more that God may have given organisms the ability to ‘work it out for themselves'.” Working it out for themselves does not mean being guided by God. That is fudging.

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