Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, July 10, 2021, 08:03 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

Ant raft movements
DAVID: The 'strategies' are human interpretations resulting from the limited individual specified actions. I look at it from the ant viewpoint. This discussion started with swarming bacteria and birds. No purpose just movement. Ant swarms are the same. Individual ants float. Do you think they know about rafts? I doubt it. I view ant bridges as human interpretations.

This discussion started with an article on ant raft movements – if I remember rightly, with videos of them combining to build their rafts or bridges – from which I quoted the following, which you yourself had bolded: “Alone, a fire ant is nothing spectacular. But lump them together, and the insects behave with what is called swarm intelligence; individuals work as a team, obeying simple rules to give rise to far more complex collective behaviour.” Does this mean ant rafts and complex behaviour have “no purpose just movement”? I pointed out that this could be an exact reflection of the way our own intelligent cells cooperate in producing new ideas and implementing them. Since then you have tried desperately to dodge even the mention of “swarm intelligence”, and you also avoid confirming that your only alternative explanation for such strategies is your God having preprogrammed ant rafts and bridges 3.8 billion years ago, or having given ants courses on how to build rafts and bridges.

Bacterial motors 1
dhw: The article claimed that the motors could not have evolved. I quoted another article that explained how they could have evolved. You said there was not a smidgen of proof for this theory, and I pointed out that there was not a smidgen of proof for your theory either, and the only fact we have is a machine that works.

DAVID: And thinking humans can recognize it was designed.

dhw: Thinking humans can theorize that a God preprogrammed or dabbled the machine, motorless bacteria underwent random mutations, or intelligent motorless bacteria came up with a good idea. No proof available for any of these theories, so there is no point in your dismissing those that differ from yours just because there isn’t a smidgen of proof.

DAVID: Non-answer. Looks designed, doesn't it? Keeps you agnostic.

Your only answer to the alternative theory was that there was no proof. I pointed out that there was no proof for any of the theories, including your own, and so if the fact that there is no proof leads you to dismiss one theory, logically you should dismiss other theories too. I do not ask you to do so. I only ask you to open your mind to other possibilities than your own opinion. I might add that the theory of (possibly God-given) cellular intelligence as the designer of ant rafts and bacterial motors is a theory of intelligent design.

Phase precession
DAVID: I'm just pointing out how evolution must work, which you reject when you tell me my theory is irrational.

dhw: I have just agreed with your statement that “early working designs appear later in more advanced designs in more advanced forms”. Your irrational theory is that every single design and advancement was specially created as part of your God’s one and only goal to design humans (plus lunch), although 99% of them had no connection with humans (plus lunch).

DAVID: You have again described how God evolved us and then objected to his process of creation.

I have done no such thing! I have agreed that early designs appear later in advanced forms! The brontosaurus is more advanced than the bacterium. That is not a description of how your God evolved (by which you mean designed) humans! And I have no objection to any of the alternative means by which your God may have seen to it that early forms later became more advanced: e.g. by experiment, by learning as he went along, or by giving organisms the intelligence to improve themselves. I only object to your non sequiturs bolded above.

Otters
QUOTE: "It’s not yet clear if otters inherit this trait or develop it with exposure to cold water.” (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: How did otters develop this? Hypothermia kills quickly. Two possibilities: otters developed in warm seas and changed/adapted as seas cooled. Or God designed them that way.

dhw: A theist might suggest that God designed the intelligent cells that designed the adaptation.

DAVID: Yes, the possibility of gradual epigenetic adaptation was presented by me above.

Does your “yes” mean that at last you agree that epigenetic adaptation is brought about by the intelligence of cells? This is a wonderful step forward. After all, if they have the intelligence to reconstruct themselves in order to meet the demands of new conditions, who knows to what other, even more advanced developments their intelligence might lead them? First the otter, then – who knows – the whale?

Dying cells protect living ones
QUOTE: "These observations are important as they illustrate the incredible self-organizing ability of biological tissues, a property that enables them to withstand stressful conditions. So there is no need for a conductor to orchestrate where and when the cells should die; everything is based on highly local communications between neighboring cells," adds Romain Levayer.

Self-organizing and communicating with one another. Some would say these are signs of intelligence.


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