Explaining natural wonders (Animals)

by dhw, Monday, September 26, 2016, 12:35 (1208 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I know you have made your choice. I am merely clarifying the point that a) autonomous intelligence does not mean doing what God tells you, and b) I cannot understand why you absolutely refuse to contemplate the possibility that God may have given organisms autonomous intelligence (though allowing himself the option to dabble - which he may have exercised in the case of humans). The fact that one cannot tell the difference from the outside offers no support to either option.

DAVID: Again, you demand absolute proof. Its a 50/50 proposition. I took my choice, but the uncertainty makes me also suggest pre-planning and dabbling, as you posit.

Why “also”? Pre-planning and dabbling are what YOU posit! In an unguarded moment (“Ruminations on multiverses; Another view”, 7 September at 15.30) you wrote: “I couldn't agree more that God may have given organisms the ability to ‘work it out for themselves'. I would just like proof that such a mechanism exists. Until then pre-planning or dabble.” Before you decided to fudge the meaning of intelligence, you recognized it as an ALTERNATIVE to your pre-planning and dabbling, but it was you who explicitly demanded proof. If it's a 50/50 proposition and proof is not possible, I remain mystified - not because you have made your choice, but because you consider yourself to be in a position authoritatively to reject outright the other 50%, as you do yet again under “stimuli”:

dhw: You refuse to accept the possibility of autonomous (i.e. without divine guidance) cellular intelligence as the driving force of evolution because, according to you, cells cannot be conscious as they do not have a brain. You believe consciousness IS possible without a brain, as shown by NDE research, but you believe it is NOT possible without a brain, as in autonomous cellular intelligence. I see that as a contradiction.
(NB, just to avoid repetition of earlier discussions, consciousness does not mean human levels of self-awareness. It means sentience, plus the autonomous ability to absorb and process information, communicate, cooperate, take decisions etc.)

DAVID: In regard to cells, the only sentience I see is the reception of stimuli, and the responses are a series of algorithmic automatic mechanisms, based on information in their genome. All cells I have ever studied act that way.

You reject the 50/50 possibility, although you repeatedly acknowledge that one cannot tell the difference from the outside. This means that every cell you have ever studied has acted as if it might be intelligent, but somehow you have the inside knowledge that although it acts as if it is intelligent, it is not. Added to your illogical insistence that consciousness is a separate entity from the brain, but cells can't be conscious because they do not have a brain, we now have two contradictions in your approach. I don't have a problem with your faith in your own subjective interpretations, but I do have a problem with your absolute refusal to accept that in what you call a 50/50 proposition, both propositions have to be possible.

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