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

by dhw, Monday, July 27, 2020, 10:52 (87 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have not defined the contrast between “abstract” and “concrete” (the article defined it as “universals” versus “particulars”). You have substituted “analytic” for “abstract” – but it really doesn’t matter. I am quite happy to accept that the link requires analytic or abstract thought. The difference between us is your insistence that bees and other non-human life forms are incapable of such “analysis”, and therefore God must have programmed leaf-biting 3.8 billion years ago or given bees direct lessons.

DAVID: Agreed: bees cannot have abstract or analytic thought.

You are agreeing with yourself, not with me!

DAVID: Observing cause and effect over time requires conceptual analysis that reaches a conclusion. My theories about God are at the same degree of conceptual thought. Conceptual thought ability cannot be graded into levels.

dhw: Do please explain the difference between a degree of conceptual thought and a level of conceptual thought.

DAVID: All the same. Conceptual/abstract thought is not concrete thought, which is what limits bees.

Once more: you have not defined the difference between abstract and concrete. Meanwhile, if degree and level are the same, do you believe that the leaf-biting/plant-flowering observation of cause and effect demands the same degree or level of conceptual thinking as is required for your own observations of life and the universe that have led to your belief in an eternal God?

DAVID: We have it, animals don't. As for universals and particulars, we can think in universals, animals don't, ever. I'll stick with the authors of "Natures' IQ". God is in charge.

dhw: What do we have that animals don’t have? According to you, they don’t have the ability to link two events and conclude that one is the cause of the other. God must preprogramme each link for them, or he must give them lessons on each individual cause and effect. That is where you and I part company. But of course I agree that “universals” demand a degree or level of thought which animals do not have.

DAVID: Thank you. Without it bees cannot correlate bites ad later earlier-blooming flowers.

I don’t know why you are thanking me. I do not for one second accept your contention that if a bee can’t think about God and the universe, it can’t correlate leaf-biting and early flowering.

dhw: On what has become one of my favourite organisms – the slime mold:

dhw: I have no objection at all to the argument that the source of this intelligence may be your God. The difference between us – as with the bees above – is your insistence that these obvious demonstrations of intelligence and cognition do NOT denote the intelligence and cognition of the organisms concerned, but all their intelligent actions must either have been divinely preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or taught directly through private lessons delivered by your dabbling God.

DAVID: Without the ability to get beyond concrete thoughts, God has to help.

Yet again, you have not defined the difference between abstract and concrete. The article distinguished between the universal and the particular. I would regard the actions of the bees and the slime mold as being limited to the particular, whereas you seem to think they embrace the universal. I find this as unconvincing as the forms of God’s “help” bolded above.


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