Explaining natural wonders (Animals)

by David Turell @, Sunday, May 07, 2017, 15:42 (943 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't care if I cannot follow every biologic change in my neurons. I am fully in control of the conclusions of my intentional actions.

dhw: Our discussion is not about whether you do or don’t have free will, but about the possibility that bacteria are autonomously intelligent. You argue that seemingly intelligent behaviour can in fact be automatic, i.e. dictated by in-built factors over which the doer has no control. You are convinced that YOU are in control, but others can argue that you are not. You are convinced that bacteria are not in control, but others can argue that they are. All you are doing in this discussion is telling me that in both cases you are right and they are wrong. Here are your other responses in relation to bacteria:

DAVID: But it is either-or, nothing else. all one can do is make an intelligent choice and every metabolic step in bacteria can be carefully outlined as molecules automatically react, without sign of mental direction.

dhw: Yes, it is either-or, but you are insisting that since intelligent behaviour CAN be interpreted as automatic, the “intelligent choice” is that they ARE automatic. So your choice is intelligent, whereas the choice made by Shapiro and others is what - stupid? A third intelligent choice might be to keep an open mind.

You know there are conceptually only two choices, and all of us outside the bacteria cannot tell whether bacteria can act intelligently or whether they follow intelligently supplied instructions to act automatically. I've made a choice. We can never know what it is like to be an E. coli. Of what importance is bacterial intelligence to you? Where does it lead you philosophically? I believe you are trying to produce a bottom up source for intelligence and consciousness from the start of life on a rocky Earth. I totally reject that approach.

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