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

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 18:10 (56 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Where does a first time mare mother et the intelligence to work with her colt or filly? Of course she has an implanted instinct. As a newborn herself she was handled properly by her mother, but learned nothing from it.

dhw: What is the relevance of this comment to mine? I gave you the example of the parent predator using her intelligence, experience and observation to train the cubs so they can grasp the link between causes and effects (as in hunting), just as you do to train your dog and horses and children.

DAVID: What gave the female mother predator the instinct to care for her cubs? It is all by repetition, not abstract thought by mother and cubs. And later:
DAVID: Can you explain instincts? My position remains they were implanted by God as the authors of 'Nature's IQ' posit. Concrete observations, without abstract recognition of the connections cannot lead by themselves to instinct.

dhw: Human mothers and babies also have instincts. Does this prove that humans are incapable of linking cause and effect? Of course observations without recognition of the connections cannot lead to any new form of behaviour. (We don’t need to complicate the discussion by using terms like concrete and abstract, which require definition.) Once a beneficial form of behaviour has been established, it may well become instinctive, but such instincts must have an origin. I say the bee had the intelligence to link the leaf-biting to the early flowering, and mother lions have the intelligence to teach their cubs what causes produce what effects when they go hunting, and your dog has the intelligence to connect the raising of your leg to the action of kicking him and causing him pain. You say they don’t have the intelligence to make the connections, and so God has to preprogramme all these examples or to give the bee, lion or dog private lessons (“implanted by God”). And just to complete the picture, all such programmes and private lessons throughout the history of life have been “part of the goal of creating humans”. Of course you are entitled to your beliefs.

Repetition is the basis of all animal training. They eventually understand what you wish but not through conceptualizing, but by rote habituation from memory. They do remember, but not correlate events as we do. Concrete and abstract do no need any further definition for this discussion. Bees observe the rose bush concretely, but cannot correlate time lapsed relationships, except through constant repetitive observation over a long period of time, which then becomes a memorize habituation.


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