Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by dhw, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, 12:34 (507 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 1) so please tell me if the following is a correct reading of your hypothesis: A) 3.8 billion years ago, your God preprogrammed some bacteria to create diseases. B) Humans (presumably not preprogrammed) use existing materials to kill the bacteria that create those diseases. C) 3.8 billion years ago your God preprogrammed some bacteria to use existing “pathways” to combat current human use of existing materials that kill bacteria.
DAVID: I take exception to the wording of A. God did not purposefully design disease bacteria. The disease they cause are a result of their natural lifestyle taking them to the wrong place for them to live. This is accidental.

So although 3.8 billion years ago your God deliberately preprogrammed some bacteria to combat current human use of materials to kill them, he didn’t know they were going to create the circumstances in which they would need to be preprogrammed to combat current human use of materials to kill them.

dhw: 2) I accept that we do not “know” if bacteria are intelligent or not – it is a hypothesis – but please tell me why it makes no sense to argue that they might use their intelligence to solve problems, as opposed to the equally unproven 1).
DAVID: Because the source of intelligence when first life appeared is totally a pipedream to me, if it supposedly appeared de novo by chance. I view chance or design as the only alternatives. A designing mind is required.

Sorry, I forgot that you would forget: why does it make no sense to argue that bacteria might use their (possibly God-given) intelligence to solve problems, as opposed to the equally unproven 1)?

DAVID: I used 'run wild' as an expression of exuberance. […]
dhw: […] This makes a lot more sense than the hypothesis that his sole purpose was to create humans and everything else was related to it. […] I am delighted at this sudden rapprochement.
DAVID: I'm simply exploring newly thought of possibilities. Humans are always the goal. Complexity has always been the evolutionary drive. Creating complexity beautifully explains those darn whales.

You are exploring the possibility that I have been hammering away at year after year: that all the species, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct may NOT be related to the one and only purpose of creating humans. The rich diversity of life, with all its comings and goings, may be a purpose in itself – the result of your God’s "exuberance", and a source of pleasure to him.

dhw: Forget your blind prejudice against any word of Darwin’s and please note that there are TWO driving forces mentioned above: the drive for survival and/or improvement or complexity. And there are TWO major influences on the outcome: competition and/or cooperation. Whether this whole process was devised by a god is an open question, and does not in any way affect either Darwin’s concept of the evolutionary process or my own (which differs from his in several aspects).
DAVID: You have again repeated Darwin. Competition and cooperation may have no role to play. This is unproven theorizing. Bacteria tell us survival can be easy. We are attempting to find a reason why life advanced beyond them, and we have no reasonable answer, so we theorize.

Please stop moaning about Darwin and stick to the arguments. We are ALL theorizing, and you and I have theorized that the reason life advanced beyond bacteria is a drive for improvement (me) or complexity (you). Personally I believe that competition and cooperation have had an enormous role to play in the history of evolution: the reference to carnivores (under “Earth’s environmental role”) illustrates the effect of competition, and evolution would have been impossible without cell communities cooperating with one another to form new structures, whether guided by God or not. But if you reject such theories, so be it.


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