Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 11:53 (46 days ago) @ David Turell

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

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

DAVID: A non-answer. Obviously possums must demonstrate what they do to fool predators. Please answer. […]

I’m quite happy to include demonstration as one means of communication whereby the trick eventually became standard practice. So why do you think your God had to preprogramme the trick or teach it?

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: […] 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.

dhw: […]. 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? bbbIf 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? [David's bold] […]

DAVID: […] How was the information for a 7,000 miles flight told to the other birds back home, if the first bird found his way back somehow? Flapping his wings in code? Your usual suppositions with a usual non-answer result. God implants these instincts.

dhw: How? Please answer my bolded questions.

DAVID: Usual answer. God designs. Bird migration has to be demonstrated by first bird to others if he survives. God has all birds of a species do it.

You asked how birds learned to migrate, and concluded “I would offer God’s instructions”. My proposal for all these wonders is that once they had been initiated (whether by luck or skill), the respective organisms were able to communicate the strategy to others of their species. Now all of a sudden you have fixed on one mode of communication – demonstration - as if somehow that negated birds’ ability to teach their young! You apply the same weird comment to spider nets:

dhw: Demonstration is just one of many forms of communication used by us and our fellow organisms. Spiders have offspring, you know, and they’ve been around for well over 300 million years, so who knows how many other tricks they might have invented and passed on?

DAVID: Finally, yes demonstration is required if speech doesn't exist. Apply to possums.

Of course they use demonstration. Our fellow animals also use other forms of communication, including sounds. The point here is you now agree that once the first wonder has been performed – whether through intelligence, luck, new discovery, experimentation etc. – the information will be passed on. So why does your God have to preprogramme the wonders, or give instructions?

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