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

by dhw, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 11:42 (387 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: 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... 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: The bite/earlier flowering of course is obvious to us. For the bee is requires the same degree of conceptual thought that we use. You are implying reasoning ability to bees they do not have. they only think concretely.

I really don’t know how you can regard bite/flower as thinking “in terms of universals”. Our “conceptual thought” extends to concepts of universals, such as your God, so how does linking a bitten leaf to the flowering of a plant require the same degree of conceptual thought as ours? Clearly bees have a reasoning ability that enables them to deal with concrete matters such as acquiring food, and yes, they only think concretely.

DAVID: […] 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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Same tired illogical complaint about my theory and Adler's. You want an impatient God!

I have no quarrel with those aspects of Adler’s theory you have explained to us, I have never “got rid” of our exceptionalism, and I do not want an impatient God. Please stop manufacturing excuses for dodging the issue between us, which is bolded above.

Under “Earwig wing folding”:
dhw: 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 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.

DAVID: You are still describing Brainy Cells that are designed by God to follow His instructions, nothing more.

I am describing brainy cells whose autonomous intelligence may have been designed by your God – as opposed to “following God’s instructions”, which means switching on a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for earwig wing folding, or your God stepping in to design the earwig and then perhaps to give it a course in wing folding.

DAVID (under “brain expansion”): You use programs like a dirty word. You never like the concept of God's implanted instructions/information. IDer's deal with it at great length.

dhw: I don’t use program as a dirty word, but I simply find it impossible to believe that your God would pack the first cells with programs for every single life form etc.

DAVID: We are stuck with Behe's evidence that DNA (Darwin) devolves.

Wrong pronoun. Not “we”. You are stuck with your belief that your God provided the first cells with programmes for every undabbled life form and natural wonder etc. in the history of the world. I am discussing this with you, not with Behe.

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