Animal Minds; how much can we learn about them? (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 11:55 (1351 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: No, I've agreed they might have an onboard inventive mechanism.
dhw: But you have never agreed that the mechanism might be autonomous. That is why you like to have your God “guiding” the weaverbird, the wasp and the monarch. If God does the guiding, the inventive mechanism is not inventive.

DAVID: I'll try explaining my version of semi-autonomous again: the organism invents a modificiation which is allowed by onboard restrictions instructions. Basically, " you an try this but not that".

Modifications are not inventions, and the major question would be how the proto-pattern originates. Modifications also require intelligence, but I'm afraid your “onboard restriction instructions” simply take us back to what the nature of the organism allows, plus the restrictions imposed by the environment. There is nothing inventive in such instructions. “You can try this but not that” seems to offer the weaverbird a list of options: a twiggy nest, a leafy nest, a flat/round/simple/complicated nest, but not a brick or corrugated iron nest, or a spiral staircase/sliding roof/double glazed nest. Again, not what I would call inventiveness. I agree that Wally's nest is a modification, and that makes it all the more surprising to me that you should think he is not intelligent enough to design it without God's “guidance”. But I am inclined to think that the earliest birds would also have had the autonomous intelligence to invent their proto-nests, later modified by Wally and others, rather than God having to preprogramme them or give them private tuition.

DAVID: It's funny but the ID scientists haven't cracked either.
dhw: I really don't know what this has to do with ID.
DAVID: Because I follow their theories and am in agreement with them and I present it here.

As a matter of interest, do your ID scientists specifically claim that God preprogrammed the first cells so that evolution would produce human beings plus multiple other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders whose purpose would be to feed humans? And do they claim that God created bacteria as automatons and not autonomous beings? Those are the two theories we are discussing.

DAVID: I'm with Bbella. Non-living substances could not make life without intelligence leading the way.
dhw: But BBella is not with you, as she does not view “intelligence” as a single, self-aware mind that created ATI. However, she and I are still discussing what is meant by “intelligence” in her concept of ATI.
DAVID: My agreement with her is simply that intelligence is required to create our reality. We can all debate the type and source of it, but intelligence is required.

I agree too, and the type and source of intelligence are indeed the subject of our debate.


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