Explaining natural wonders (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, September 15, 2016, 13:04 (761 days ago) @ dhw

Thank you for another superb collection of natural wonders. I have collated your various comments, though I wouldn't want this to detract from the marvellous education you are giving us!

David's comment: Animals with bright brains can learn, develop simple tool techniques which then become instinct, as this study appears to show. No where near as complex as tying weaver nests, but an interesting comparison.

David's comment: All organisms have enemies and counteractive responses to them. The trees show complex automatic chemical responses recognizing deer. Bacteria, molds and fungi produce antibiotics against their enemies. Humans and other animals with similar response systems modify cellular DNA to produce antibodies to experienced attacks. These are very complex reactions, which chance is very unlikely to produce through Darwinian evolutionary theory.

QUOTE: "That said, ant farmers are not directly comparable to people. They're not consciously manipulating their fungi (indeed, Schultz said, you can imagine a scenario in which the fungi rule the relationship, bending millions of tiny ant servants to their will). Ant agriculture is a product of natural selection, of innumerable accumulated genetic accidents. New strategies aren't learned, they're evolved. (David's bold)

David's comment: Ants and fungi are an evolved, learned symbiotic relationship, but the key point is an integrated society acts like a giant single organism in ants and in humans with amazing productivity. My bolded statements make the point. There is the usual vast difference in kind in how quickly humans learned agriculture compared to ants.

QUOTE: [b]This suggests that cells have evolved adaptive signalling pathways to adjust proteasome assembly to arising needs, but how this is achieved is unknown[/b]. (My [David's] bold suggests a feedback mechanism for tight control.)

David's comment: A high speed continuous process. We stay alive because the garbage is spotted, removed or destroyed, at 99.99% efficiency. Otherwise we die! Cells are in constant production of product or replacement molecules of cell structure. Developed by chance? Never!

Every example draws forth the same comments from you and/or from Peregrine: all these complex forms of behaviour “evolved”, are “automatic”, (except when humans are involved, because we are so special), and could not have come about by chance, but neither of you stops to ask how they might have originated. “Animals with bright brains can learn” is the key. It seems to be anathema to you to even consider the possibility that as well as learning, animals, insects and even plants may be able to invent. At some time, a crow used a stick as a tool, a tree found a way of combating the threat from deer, ants found a way of manipulating fungi, cells found a way of removing garbage. Whether the action begins with one particular individual making the discovery or with a community working it out together makes no difference. It had to start somewhere. I agree that it couldn't have happened by chance. I suggest that it happened through intelligence (perhaps God-given). It is possible that certain forms of behaviour do originate through a chance discovery, but even then it takes intelligence to recognize the importance of the discovery, to use it, and to pass it on. Not human, self-aware intelligence, but their own crow/ant/tree/cell intelligence. What you might call “different in kind”.

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