Natures wonders: ants farm fungus for food (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, April 15, 2017, 12:47 (974 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Great. There is virtually no environmental problem a bacterium can’t solve. So at last we have brained organisms (which include ants) capable of solving virtually all the problems posed by the environment, and it is only bacteria that need to have been preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or personally instructed by your God. Thank you for this massive concession to animal intelligence.
DAVID: You didn't note this comment by me: "Ant planning ( they have brains) with or without God's help? Hard to know for sure." Yes ants have a 'mound mind' and bees have a 'hive mind'. Organized societal controls.

Your comment was preceded by: “The relationship to climate changes shows the adaptability of ants.” My reply was: “The adaptability of bacteria is even more astonishing, since they seem to be able to thrive in virtually every type of environment. But in their case you are quite sure God has not even “helped” – he has preprogrammed or personally dabbled every single decision they take. Brained organisms chauvinism.” You then wrote:
A brain can program and produce a DNA that can answer any problem a bacteria might face, and that can fool an outside observer into thinking a bacteria is intrinsically intelligent of its own.” If that is the case, since ants have brains, you have answered your own question: your God gave ants brains to solve environmental problems – he did not have to help – and the same should apply to all organisms with brains. No “help” needed. Congratulations to the monarch, the cuttlefish, and maybe even those fish that first tested out life on dry land.

DAVID: You cannot get around the fact that seemingly intelligent activity can be the result of intelligent controls offered by well-designed DNA.
Dhw: So it is quite possible that you and I are a form of Stepford wife.
DAVID: Yeah, with copious free will, or haven't you noticed. You jumped the discussion from bacterial lifestyle to human lifestyle, which is an effective debate trick, but that is all it is.

Once again you have missed the point. I had given free will as an example of your God creating a system whereby he did not exercise control. Under “Purpose and design” I made this perfectly clear: "(Free will would illustrate the same principle - unless you believe your God has made us variants of the Stepford wives)". Giving an example is not a debate trick. If you insist that intelligent behaviour could be a cover for automatism, the principle must be valid for all forms of intelligence - which is why some people deny that we have free will. Through this example you have inadvertently confirmed that God is willing and able to sacrifice control.

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