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

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 06, 2020, 19:33 (360 days ago) @ dhw

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.

DAVID: 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.

dhw: You say they do not correlate events as we do. If you mean they are not capable of linking cause to effect, I disagree. If you mean they don’t create universal abstract principles and theories out of their observations, I agree. Your last sentence lays all the emphasis on time. You are now saying that they CAN correlate time lapsed relationships, but they need time and repeated observations. Well, even we can’t correlate brand new time lapsed relationships except through repeated observations over time! Where does that leave us? I agree that once the link between cause and effect has been established as beneficial, the activity will become habitual, but the bottom line now apparently is that you don’t believe bees have the intelligence to link cause and effect except if they take a long time and do lots and lots of repetitions, which apparently they can't do, and so God had to programme their leaf-biting behaviour or give them private lessons. I think we should leave it at that.


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