Back to David's theory of evolution of abstract thought (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 13:55 (382 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: Abstraction is the ability to think in terms of universals instead of just particulars. It is the hallmark of the human mind, and of the human soul, and it corresponds to the spiritual nature of the human soul. Non-human animals also have minds and souls (as any dog owner knows—you don’t need two PhD’s) but non-human animals only think concretely. (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Same old story: the bees must do abstract thinking to connect biting leaves to later more immediate flowering.

This is not abstract thinking "in terms of universals"! It is "just particulars", in this case the ability to link cause and effect, which in animals involves observing and learning from and about concrete events, connected in some way with survival. You have simply ignored all the examples I have given, which can only have arisen through observation and experience: when the cold weather comes, the organism knows there’ll be a shortage of food so it needs to store some now, or needs to fly away now; if it farms this creature, it will provide food; if the cub wanders off on its own, it will be easy prey for Mr Nasty. Non-human animals observe, experience, remember, and act upon what they have learned and remembered. But I agree with the article: we can think abstractly at a level way, way, way beyond that of our fellow animals.

DAVID: I know your brain is an exceptional human brain, based on your debating techniques of distortion and twists of my statements, and also upon your very clever prose (books I've read) and poetry. But the bee brain is nothing like our prefrontal and frontal cortex in volume and complexity. Habilis could barely conceptualize, compared to us. It took 600 more cc's of complexity! Human brain function exceptionalism is not an accident of chance. As Adler states it proves God beyond a reasonable doubt. You are joined at the hip with all those distressed folks who want to purposely get rid of the exceptionalism. The campaign is obvious and a gross distortion of the difference. Read his article in which he describes how he handle his dog, Pippa. Similar to my horse discussion.

I have ALWAYS agreed that we are exceptional, and your persistent efforts to claim otherwise are a gross distortion of my beliefs. And I do not believe that bees have our brain or intellectual capacity or ability to philosophize and conceptualize and analyse. Nor do I have a problem with Adler using our brain as evidence for the existence of God. Once again, you erect a straw man in order to dodge the issue between us, which is your insistence that your all-powerful God directly designed every non-human life form etc. in the history of life although his sole purpose was to directly design H. sapiens.

dhw: You asked why your God “couldn’t program it all in the beginning”. I would suggest that your image of unpacking is woefully out of kilter. According to you, the suitcase is already packed with every single life form, lifestyle, natural wonder etc. in the history of life. And so when your God wants only to produce a leaf biting bee, he chucks out every other item in the suitcase.

DAVID: Woefully misinterpreted. In my an analogy I imagine unpacking one article at a time as I put them in the closet or drawer in my motel room.

I am baffled by your image. Now instead of your God discarding one programme at a time until he is left only with the programme for a leaf-biting bee, we have him picking the leaf-biting bee programme out of the suitcase/cells, leaving the other few billions inside the suitcase/cells until it’s time for him to pick out, say, the weaverbird’s nest.

Under “Earwig wing folding”:
"'Nature has consistently been an everlasting source of inspiration," says Prof Zhong You, from Oxford University's Department of Engineering Science and co-author of the work. "Bioinspired technologies keep offering some of the most efficient and sustainable ways to meet many of the challenges of the future.[/i]'" (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Nature continues to be smarter than we are, or might I say the designer is smarter.

So in order to specially design H. sapiens, your God specially designed the folding wing of the earwig, presumably as part of the food supply we need. And the programme for earwig wing-folding was already contained in the first living cells, and all God had to do was remove the other billions of programmes, or pick this one out from among the billions, firstly so that the earwig could exist, and secondly so that it could fold its wings. And this is a more likely explanation than your God giving cell communities the intelligence to work out their own designs. But I would emphasize that this is a different kind of intelligence from ours. It does not entail abstract thinking "in terms of universals". It entails finding concrete ways to improve chances of survival.

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