Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, March 21, 2021, 12:25 (132 days ago) @ David Turell

POSSUMS
DAVID: Wow: possums talk!!! My point is exactly about communication, and possums don't speak. It must be spread by exact example. Thank you for an obvious non-answer.

dhw: This is getting more and more absurd. All life forms have means of communication – how else could they survive? By coincidence, an article in yesterday’s Times: “Whales schooled one another in how to avoid harpoons”. The researchers concluded that “whales learnt new behaviours…that must have been rapidly shared….It does suggest that there is a capacity for social learning on a much larger scale than anticipated…” You have presented us with hundreds of examples of communication, even between cells, and yet you still seem to think that communication is confined to humans.

DAVID: Don't you recognize your non-answer? The whales demonstrated to teach. Fine. Now tell us how the possums did it with the timing issue risk of dying?

dhw: The whales actually used various methods, including long-distance “clicks”, “communicating danger within the social group”, groups meeting and then dispersing….but that is not the point. What is this “timing issue risk of dying”? Pete started it. The little genius lay there till the coast was clear (maybe he opened his left eye and peeped to see if the eagle had flown away), and told his family and mates, who passed it on to their family and mates, and it was passed on to generation after generation, just as all organisms pass on information concerning strategies and lifestyles and most of the natural wonders you tell us about. Why are you suddenly convinced that our fellow creatures are incapable of communication? This is “large organisms chauvinism” run riot.

DAVID: The bold still has possums talking. Dead possum trick still has to be taught by demonstration.

You continue, quite absurdly, to deny that our fellow animals communicate. Do you honestly think I meant that Pete used human language?

Giraffes
DAVID: […] How did a naturally occurring chance set of mutations find the perfect gene? It is much easier for me to propose the designer did it.

dhw: Alternatively (theistic version), your God gave cell communities the intelligence to cooperate in changing structures. The process of “pleiotropy” fits in very neatly with this theory.

DAVID: It does.

dhw: Thank you. It is always heartening to have you agreeing that my theory fits in with the facts!

DAVID: Sorry, in my short reply I didn't agree with your whole theory, but with the sole fact that "The process of “pleiotropy” fits in very neatly with this theory."

dhw: I was only welcoming your acknowledgement that my theory fits in with the facts. All I ever ask is for you to acknowledge the logic and feasibility of the explanations I propose as alternatives to your own theories.

DAVID: Your theories do seem logical in some circumstances, especially as your humanized God acts.

You have never yet come up with a single flaw in the logic of my theories, which is why you go on desperately trying to avoid the implications of your own acknowledgement that your God possibly (and earlier it was probably) has thought patterns and emotions similar to ours. You even repeated this just over a month ago: “His thought patterns and emotions are possibly similar, but that possibility cannot be used to give Him human desires”. I would certainly agree that he is unlikely to have human desires for sex, money, chocolate etc, but you later wrote: “He seems to me to be full of purposeful activity to create what he desires to create with no other motive than the creation themselves”. I can well imagine him desiring to create, and have no idea why even though you are certain that he has that desire, he could not possibly have done his creating BECAUSE he had the desire to create.

Bird migration
QUOTE: "Many birds routinely migrate across half the globe or more. Godwits, for instance, can fly up to 7,200 miles nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand."

DAVID: The full article is not fully on line, so I cannot copy some of the other journeys described, but the problem for me remains, how do birds learn how to do this? The first bird to try any of this had no idea of his destination if nature is the only source of guidance. I would offer God's instructions.

Thank you for more truly amazing wonders. I would suggest that the first birds to do it would have been trying to escape from inhospitable conditions. Of course they wouldn’t have known where they were heading. But eventually they found a suitable place, and the information was passed on to other birds and later generations. I reckon if your God had planned anything, he’d have directed them to somewhere closer, but if that is indeed where he told the first birds to go, what happened later? If they were incapable of passing on the information, is he still giving them all instructions, or are you saying that in order to design humans, he had to insert a flight schedule and route map into the genes of every individual migrating bird to be passed on to subsequent generations?


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