Smart animals (Animals)

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 22, 2016, 20:13 (424 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Good just-so story. Might be correct.

dhw: Certainly no more “just-so” than your God teaching weaverbirds to build a nest, or monarchs to migrate in order to provide a balance of nature allowing time for humans to evolve - though apparently they didn't “evolve” as such anyway, because God had to intervene in order to produce them.

Your comment is not at the level of just-so stories (Kipling), which are made up tales to explain evolution, like the giraffe stretching its neck to eat tree leaves.

DAVID: I won't because I don't believe early life can invent intelligence by itself.

dhw; My hypothesis does not entail early life inventing intelligence. It entails the possibility of your God inventing intelligence, and intelligence working out means of communicating etc.

I like the way you use your agnostic position to blithely drag God in when you need him!

DAVID: I see nothing wrong with looking at it as activating a mechanism with guidlelines, the activation being triggered by the organism under their own volition. This is how 'they work it out for themselves'. They have the choice of triggering the mechanism or not.

dhw: So God supplies the first cells with computer programmes for weaverbird nest-building, tree communication, monarch migration, cuttlefish camouflage, and these get passed down till there are weaverbirds, trees, monarchs, cuttlefish, and then they all decide whether to switch the programme on or not, and if they do, we can say they worked out for themselves how to build the nest, communicate, migrate, camouflage themselves. And you think the survival of advantageous behaviour is a just-so story.

Advantageous behavior is not a just-so story. It is necessary for life to survive.It is the convoluted contorted explanations of how the behaviour might have developed which are the just-so stories.


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