Smart animals: bees trained to push a ball for food (Animals)

by dhw, Saturday, February 25, 2017, 11:31 (358 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: A tiny brain can still learn with training. But the untrained bees could not innovate, showing that training is required.

dhw: Yet more evidence that insects are intelligent. Not as intelligent as humans, of course, and applying their intelligence only to what is useful for survival. For innovation, we would have to go back to the origins of bee society and bee behaviour – long, long, long before humans came on the scene. Either they worked it all out for themselves, or your God provided the first cells with a special bee-behaviour programme, or your God dabbled with an existing species (wasp?) to show them what to do. I wonder which you think is most likely.

DAVID: Animals with brains can have intelligence as bees show. The hexagonal forms in their hives are shown to be due to physical properties of the materials they create. They don't know geometry. To answer your question I wish I knew how instinctual behavior is developed or how much God does to create it.

The experiment has proved that their behaviour is not confined to instinct. They can solve problems, and there is no reason to suppose that their intelligent ability to cope with and/or exploit new conditions was not the creative force that first invented the now established social, architectural and behavioural patterns that have enabled them to survive.So although of course we all wish we knew the answers to all the difficult questions, since you are generally opposed to fence-sitting, do please tell us which of these options you think most likely (you don't have to believe it). Bee behaviour: preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, personally dabbled by your God, or the consequence of autonomous intelligence?

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