Natures wonders: ants farm fungus for food (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, April 17, 2017, 23:30 (970 days ago) @ dhw

dhw:I thought you were referring to brains in general, because you believe that only brainy organisms are intelligent whereas brainless organisms have been preprogrammed.

Brainy organisms are intelligent to some degree. Bacteria are automatically controlled by their genomes.

DAVID: How do you know that bacterial lives are more complex than butterflies? Extremophiles are fully adapted to their environments and handle them in a simple matter as a result.

dhw: That is my point! I did not say their lives were more complex. I am talking about the range of problems they can solve – extremophiles being the most “extreme” example. Brainless bacteria can solve virtually every environmental problem thrown at them. Brainy monarch butterflies would not be able to live in those extreme environments.

The mechanisms given them for automatic adaptation and the simplicity of their lifestyles make bacteria adapt to extreme conditions. Butterflies are too fragile to do that.

dhw: I am disputing the suggestion that every single one of them had to be personally designed by your God in order to keep life going until he produced humans.

I know that.


Dhw (re the jumping spider): With my theist hat on, I can’t help wondering why a brain given by your God (whose sole purpose was to produce humans) which can solve any of the problems bacteria solve, should be unable to design its own variation on existing methods and mechanisms for capturing its prey.
DAVID: Your theist hat is wildly askew. You skipped my comment about bit by bit. Either a jumping spider can plot its leap trajectory from the beginning of its life or it doesn't eat. This is design at its finest.

dhw: Two possible answers: firstly, I don’t think it’s impossible for the spider to have caught its prey by other means before it perfected its jumping techniques. Secondly, as organisms can sometimes change their own structure very rapidly in order to adapt, I don’t think it’s impossible for them to do the same in order to innovate, using their possibly God-given intelligence.

Yes they might have had simplistic techniques for hunting early on. Did they rapidly add so many eyes, and train their brain in calculus to make their jumps accurate? Very unlikely. Saltation is a better concept.


DAVID: I agree we have free will given by God […] Predestination is a real stretch, which implies knowing which specific human will rape or murder. Individual free will denies that capability.

dhw: And therefore illustrates the principle that your God is willing to create a system whereby his creations are free to do their own thing. If he does it for humans, he might also have done it for the whole evolutionary process (with the option of dabbling).

Free will involves brains that can plan. You are stretching that to include planning an evolution in phenotype! Not at all likely.


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