Natures wonders: ant rafts and towers (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 08:38 (792 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw Individual ants are communities of cells and are also complex factories, and their astonishing architectural achievements can only be the product of intelligence. You have not responded to my question whether you think your God preprogrammed the first raft/tower-building ants or gave them lessons.

DAVID: Re-read the article. Each ant does what it can do under the circumstances automatically.

That is what I am (partly) disputing! The question is how such astonishing architectural feats originated, and I suggest that the source was the intelligence of ant communities and not a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or God giving ants private lessons. Once the pattern has been established, it may well be that there is a degree of automaticity in the work, although their collective intelligence will still need to make decisions according to the circumstances of the moment. Factory workers (before automation) would have done the same, but would have had to use their intelligence if things went wrong.

dhw: I accept that in many cases cells operate automatically following instructions they have been given, but I am suggesting that those instructions come from the (possibly God-given) intelligence of the cell communities themselves - just like the instructions for raft and tower-building coming from the intelligence of the ant community - and not from a divine 3.8 billion-year-old computer programme for every natural wonder in the history of life, or from your God giving private lessons.

DAVID: You have again repeated what the study does not say about towers and rafts. Which is why I noted that their nests are instinctual (in contrast) and you note possibly God instructed.

I am (partly) disagreeing with the authors’ interpretation, and I didn’t/don’t know why you mentioned nests. Ants’ nests can be astonishingly complex, and once again I see them as manifestations of ant intelligence, not as part of your God’s great plan to produce human beings by preprogramming or dabbling ants’ nests.


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