autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, March 04, 2018, 11:56 (285 days ago) @ David Turell

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.
dhw: 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?
DAVID: Your 'may have' has no evidence in the facts of living biochemistry which show automatic loops.

I am not disputing that there are automatic loops. Our own bodies are full of them, but that doesn’t mean we are not conscious, sentient, decision-making beings. And perhaps I should point out that the facts of living biochemistry have not explained speciation and offer no evidence that an unknown universal intelligence preprogrammed or personally dabbled every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life for the sole purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens.

Tony: Why not from prototypes? From a design standpoint, prototypes make more sense and are more in agreement with the fossil record.

I don’t have a problem with that. Nor did Darwin, who talks of life “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one.” My own hypothesis of cellular intelligence would certainly not preclude the design of prototypes, with different cell communities coming up with different “patterns” (David’s term) that can subsequently be re-used with variations.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: But balance of nature allowed the stretch of 3.8 billion years. You constantly forget the time factor.

How can I have forgotten it when I’ve just pointed out that evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years? Balance of nature didn’t “allow” anything. Living organisms and changing environments have gone on producing an ever changing balance of nature all this time, and will continue to do so until there is no life left.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: Look at the knots. Even you would have trouble tying them.

I would also have trouble flying, climbing trees, living underwater, and doing the vast majority of things our fellow organisms do naturally. And they would have trouble typing messages to you. To each his own. It doesn’t mean God had to teach the weaverbird to tie complicated knots so that life could go on until he produced 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.
dhw: 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.
DAVID: Read the whole article, not my summary. The experimentation clearly proved the individual ant was totally automatic. Talk of close minded!

Read Gauci: “Maybe they’re not as simple as people think.” Read Turell: “There could be a degree of group think not yet uncovered.” Have you forgotten that all organs and organisms are groups of cells?


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