Natures wonders: Crocodile tools (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 06:03 (2396 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You juggle with two types of information: information in the genetic code, and information we absorb and process from our contact with the outside world. Whenever I want to discuss the mechanism (intelligence) which deals with the latter, you switch to the former and ask for its source.

David: That is because I want you to clearly make the distinction. I know there are both kinds of information as you do, but I am insisting that in the simple organisms, what looks like intelligence is really programs running on information in the genome, and those programs respond to information the sensory mechanism pick up.

Even a simple computer program can learn new routines.

dhw; Once again, it is the non-instinctive element that I am focusing on. We agree that human intelligence is vastly more developed than that of other organisms, but that does not mean other organisms are not intelligent.

David: At the advanced level like corvids, dogs, apes, yes they have some simple intelligence.

At about the same level of some computer programs. Corvids display basic facial recognition software, others display basic varieties of pathfinding or flocking software, all of which can be pre-programmed to account for changing conditions.

dhw: Of course you have every right to dismiss the research of those specialists who believe bacteria to be intelligent. Any concessions for my friends the ant-teachers?

David: I agree they instruct, but perhaps by instinct only.

Again, look at basic computer AI, none of which comes remotely close to simulating the degree of intelligence found in humans.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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