Natures wonders: ant group actions; individuals programmed (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 09, 2018, 19:18 (406 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I’m glad you’ve now omitted the inverted commas round ‘knew’. So an organism knows it has a problem, communicates with its mates to try and solve the problem, but knowing you have a problem and communicating with others in order to find a solution does not require thought. And elsewhere you have dismissed as “hyperbole” the very idea that communication and problem-solving require thought. “No way,” you said. He who thinks he sees all, sees not his own blinkers (new Taunton proverb).

DAVID: You are right: no thought involved, just receiving a stimulus and automatically responding.

dhw: So when humans have a problem and discuss it and come up with a solution, they think, and even animals and birds do the same, and maybe insects like ants do the same – though they’re a bit small, so I’m never sure whether you believe they think or not – but you know that bacteria don’t. They don’t have brains like ours and they’re much too small. A fine example of what Shapiro calls “Large organisms chauvinism”.

Quoting Shapiro, whose work I applaud, proves nothing .


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