bacterial intelligence: they signal electrically in biofilm (Animals)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 12:22 (267 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have stated that free will exists in humans who have brains. Don't try to stretch my point to single-celled animals; it won't work.

dhw: You complained that I wanted God to be only partially in charge. My point was that he CHOSE to be only partially in charge if he gave humans free will. I am not discussing the mechanisms of free will here, but the fact that your God is prepared NOT to be in full charge. An evolutionary free-for-all would also be in keeping with your own theory that he watches with interest.

DAVID: God was obviously prepared when He gave humans the degree of consciousness we have. You can't extrapolate that willingness to anything before He achieved his goal.

Nor can you assume that he did not have that willingness before humans came on the scene. These are two different theistic hypothesis – God in complete control until evolution reached Homo sapiens, or God deliberately allowing evolution to run its own course (though of course he could dabble if he wanted to). The latter fits perfectly with the higgledy-piggledy bush of comings and goings, and you cannot claim you know that your God did not willingly relinquish control.

dhw: If one believes in God, then of course the mechanism would have stemmed from him, and there is no reason to assume that the mechanism is not an autonomous form of cognition. I like the idea of bacterial electricity presaging neurons – it establishes a clear evolutionary progression. Whether your God directed that progression or watched it evolve through the mechanism he had invented (allowing for occasional dabbles) is as open to debate as the question of your God’s existence.

DAVID: It all follows my thought about using patterns of development.

The patterns of development are clear, and form the basis of Darwin’s theory of common descent. He even attributes the patterns to your God in later editions of Origin, though as an agnostic he would in fact have kept an open mind.


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