autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, March 03, 2018, 13:26 (284 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have missed the point. What is imperious is the assumption that they don’t know what they’re doing and are merely following instructions.
DAVID: Homeostasis is following instructions. See new entry on feedback loops.

DAVID:[re feedback loops] You may think my brain is rigid, but in medical school I was raised on feedback loops. That is how life works, and it creates reactions and responses that are automatic even as environmental challenges change.[…] But the entire structure is designed to work harmoniously by God.

I’m not denying that the material world works through feedback loops! As usual, you forget you are a dualist. If humans and our fellow animals use their s/s/c to respond to problems such as environmental challenges, using their material selves to implement their thoughts, why do you imperiously assume that microorganisms cannot do the same (though to a vastly different degree)? And you can still believe your God creating the entire autonomous structure.

TONY: Sounds a lot like game design to me. The field of biology has benefitted tremendously from the inclusion of engineering as a discipline, […] Besides, those who already view life as being engineered and designed don't have to wade through all the mental hurdles needed to rationalize Darwinism.

How about combining design and Darwinism? Your God may have designed a mechanism that would enable the first living cells to combine in an ever increasing variety of ways, thereby evolving from the comparatively simple to the exceedingly complex?

dhw: [to David] You seem to have God saying to himself:” I need this beetle camouflage trick because otherwise life might die out before I can give the sap his brain.” I find this increasingly absurd. Why can’t your God have endowed all these creatures with the autonomous means of devising their own strategies?
DAVID: God may have endowed them with an IM. You have always objected to my assertion that the IM has God's guidelines. And again,as usual, you brush off balance of nature, which must exist to support a lengthy evolutionary process, the only one history provides. I'll use your deist reasoning: if God exists He obviously used a long evolutionary process.

Evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years, whether you’re a theist, a deist, or an atheist. Your "balance of nature" merely means life keeps going until it stops, regardless of which forms survive – totally irrelevant to our discussion. My hypothesis is an AUTONOMOUS IM, i.e. the weaverbird worked out how to build its nest without any instructions from your God, and with absolutely no role to play in the production of the human brain.

QUOTE [from ant post]: “'We describe army ants as simple, but we don’t even understand what they’re doing. Yes, they’re simple, but maybe they’re not as simple as people think,” said Melvin Gauci, a researcher at Harvard University."
DAVID’s comment: Each ant follows a built-in algorithm, but there could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.

Not as simple as some people think. Maybe ants think. And maybe bacteria think. Intelligent behaviour in humans and dogs and crows is attributed to autonomous intelligence. So maybe we might just consider the possibility that intelligent behaviour in other organisms can also be attributed to autonomous intelligence, if only we could put our 'large organisms chauvinism' (Shapiro) behind us.


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