An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, August 01, 2018, 12:47 (474 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Ever notice that most thread on biology get bogged down in this same debate?
Dhw, unless I am mistaken, David agrees that cells behave intelligently, but thinks that appearance of intelligence is more akin to a highly developed chemical response system, rather than on par with the creative intelligence of humans. And make know doubt, they would need a self-awareness, an analytical intelligence, and a creative intelligence, and the ability to perform such huge knowledge leaps in a single cellular lifespan.

I have repeatedly said that cellular intelligence is not to be compared with human intelligence. But yes, a particular kind of analytical, creative intelligence would certainly be necessary, though I don’t know why you say it has to be in the lifespan of a single cell. Even our own cell communities renew themselves at different intervals, but their information is passed on. You seem to have missed what some of the experts tell us (see my post of 30 July). For example: Shapiro: ”Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth, and proliferation. They possess corresponding sensory, communication, information-processing, and decision-making capabilities." McClintock even goes so far as to say they are self-aware. But as I keep saying, I am offering a hypothesis – namely that this intelligence is also capable of innovation. There is no evidence that it is, just as there is no evidence for any of the hypotheses you and David come up with.

TONY: The problem in this discussion, as I have seen it rehashed a dozen times, is a matter of limitations and perhaps some ambiguity on not what qualifies as intelligence, but rather what qualifies as self-reflection and abstract reasoning.

No ambiguity. I have explicitly stated that I regard sentience, cognition, memory, communication, decision-making, problem-solving etc. as attributes of intelligence, but I do not believe for one minute that individual cells are capable of self-reflection and abstract reasoning. I say there are DEGREES of intelligence. However, many people believe that a certain combination of cells has created precisely the human capabilities you have mentioned. See all our discussions on dualism versus materialism in relation to the human brain.

TONY: An artificial intelligence can, quite successfully I might add, handle basic I/O and generate such a variety of choices that it can challenge a human mind..a some ways. Do cells show a level of intelligence and reason more advanced than our best A.I. Systems?

Yes of course they do. No AI system has yet proved intelligent enough to devise ways of autonomously reproducing itself, healing itself, creating variations of itself, devising new programmes for itself etc. That doesn’t mean the cells/cell communities think and reason as we do, but even our advanced intelligence is not capable of producing what cells produce. And this is why you and David quite understandably push your design theory, which I also find unanswerable. Only with my theist’s hat on, I do not accept your rejection of the idea that your God could have designed cells in such a way that they have their own autonomous “sensory, communication, information-processing, and decision-making capabilities” (Shapiro), which may even extend as far as the creativity required for evolutionary innovation.

DAVID: The scientists dhw quotes simply say the cells react intelligently. Of course they do. Research shows the molecular reactions, nothing more. Intelligently planned reactions, noting no mental action is implied, is the logical conclusion.

dhw: Your “simply say” leaves out the all-important fact that they say their research shows that mental action IS required. I have corrected this error in your post by quoting what the scientists actually do say.

DAVID: And I have said that is their interpretation of what research shows. You are touting interpretations, not any proven reality. My interpretation is just as valid as theirs. Their research shows nothing of the sort!

Your remark was addressed to Tony, and my complaint was against your telling him that the scientists I quote in support of my hypothesis “simply say the cells react intelligently…”, and the research shows nothing more than molecular reactions. That is not what they simply say. Of course their logical conclusions – based on a lifetime of research – are an interpretation, but theirs is as valid as yours, and so I have made it clear that the scientists I quote go far beyond “molecular reactions”, and explicitly support the concept of cellular intelligence – a fact which is entirely missing from your statement.

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