Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, July 11, 2021, 12:46 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

Ant raft movements
dhw: 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.

DAVID: As I have studied ant articles, as in describing termite mounds, what I think God designed was the organization of those mounds, while rafts and bridges are simple results of individual ants limited responses, clearly described in the articles, over-emphasized by human interpretations.

You yourself regard the rafts and bridges as “wonders”, but when authors attribute them to “swarm intelligence”, they become simple responses. How, in such examples, you can believe in a divine 3.8-billion-year old programme for ant speciation, mounds, rafts and bridges - or divine courses in mound/raft/bridge-building - and totally dismiss a divine invention of formic intelligence, remains a mystery to me.

Bacterial motors 1
DAVID: Non-answer. Looks designed, doesn't it? Keeps you agnostic.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: So you propose little minds can make great designs. Not logical.

Are you talking about size or quality? Of course that is what I'm proposing, in both senses. Your comment epitomizes Shapiro’s complaint about “large organisms chauvinism”. If, as you believe, your God can create big human minds that build big cities and fly rockets to the moon and beyond, why do you think he is incapable of creating little animal minds that can build their own little cities and their own little rockets to “fly” them to the nearest source of food?

Phase precession
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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: The non-sequiturs are your invention, slicing and dicing evolution, while it is obviously a continuous process. God evolved us from bacteria is a simple concept, easy to understand.

It is indeed a simple concept to understand. The non-sequiturs are that God only wanted to design humans and lunch (= evolve us from bacteria), and therefore he designed all the life forms and lunches that had no connection with humans. And you don’t know why.

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.

dhw: Does your “yes” mean that at last you agree that epigenetic adaptation is brought about by the intelligence of cells?

DAVID: Cells are simply following instructions for epigenetic changes.

The suggestion was that intelligent cells designed the adaptation, and you said yes. Now you are saying no. Please clarify what your "yes" refers to.

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."

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

DAVID: Or intelligently designed processes.

I can understand the argument that the tools for self-organization and communication may have been designed, but perhaps you can explain how do-it-yourselfers’ actions, plus all the necessary messages between all the doers, can have been designed beforehand. The article itself says there is no need for a conductor to give instructions – so that would leave you with your 3.8-billion-year-programme for every dying cell to come. A little far-fetched even for you?

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