Smart animals (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, September 22, 2016, 16:22 (514 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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: You did not accept my reconciliation of the h-p bush with a required balance of nature to provide food energy for all of life to continue, as a constant energy supply is a solid requirement for life to continue, allowing time for humans to evolve.

We know that all forms of life require food to supply energy. That does not explain why God had to specially design them all so they could come and go until humans arrived.

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.

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

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.

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: Same answer, onboard IM with guidelines.

They learned to do it on their own with God telling them how to do it because they couldn't do it on their own.

DAVID: I honestly don't know but my inclination is that it is coded in their genome with God's help.
dhw: I wish you would stick to this tentative inclination instead of categorically refusing to accept the possibility of autonomous cellular intelligence.

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

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.

dhw: 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.
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.

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.

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