Explaining natural wonders (Animals)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 14:45 (783 days ago) @ David Turell

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.
dhw: 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.

DAVID: In studies of unicellular animals each of its responses to stimuli are a series of chemical molecular reactions to achieve the result, triggered by the specific stimulus. An amoeba gets a chemical whiff of food and moves toward it, all automatic. The same for bacteria, and the evolved cell in a multicellular human reacts in exactly the same way. Back to Shapiro. He tells us bacteria can rewrite their DNA to develop new ways of reaction, which reactions become automatic. This is the inventive mechanism that we have been discussing. Either first life invented it or it is God-given with his invention of life. You know my choice. I'm trapped by my background in physiology. (My bold)

Thank you for confirming the process I keep trying to describe. Shapiro tells us that bacteria are sentient, cognitive, intelligent beings. That means they deliberately rewrite their DNA to develop new ways of reaction. That is the core of my evolutionary hypothesis. Once the new way/natural wonder/physiological innovation has been established, the cells follow the procedure automatically until perhaps something goes wrong: that is the point of experiments in which researchers set problems to disrupt the automatic behaviour and thereby test the INTELLIGENCE of the organism. It is the ability to rewrite DNA to develop new ways of reaction/new organs that constitutes the inventive mechanism, and according to Shapiro that ability is conscious. But perhaps you have found a passage somewhere in which he states that cells were preprogrammed 3.7 billion years ago, or what appears to be intelligence is in fact God dabbling. However, you are right to repeat what I have repeated ad nauseam: Either it emerged with first life (I wouldn't call that “invention”) or it was God-given along with his invention of life.

DAVID's comment on the parasitical fly: I judge God's help in these situations by looking at the complexity involved. By that standard I think God may have helped the flies learn how to parasitize ants, but the beetles eating behaviour may well be a learned epigenetic instinct.

I can't help wondering why God felt he had to help the fly to parasitize the ant in order to balance nature in order to supply food in order to keep life going in order for humans to appear. Is it not possible that the fly and the beetle both found out what to do all by themselves? I find it hard to believe that your background in physiology traps you into rejecting the latter explanation.

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