Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, September 19, 2021, 10:31 (34 days ago) @ David Turell

Opossums
dhw: […] Oh good heavens, how would humans survive if the opossum didn’t know how to feign death?

DAVID: As usual you forget the importance of organized ecosystems. The possum has a role in its system.

dhw: Every organism has a role in every ecosystem, and according to you, every ecosystem is/was “part of the goal of evolving humans” and their food. I’m simply amazed at the idea of your God planning the opossum’s strategy 3.8 billion years ago and putting the programme into the first cells – along with programmes for every other life form and strategy for the rest of life’s history. And I find it equally gob-smacking to think of him popping in to give courses or to plant instructions for every innovation and strategy the moment his crystal ball tells him what’s coming. And I remain utterly bemused by the idea that every life form and strategy throughout the whole history of life, right from the start, including opossums feigning death, was geared to the production and feeding of humans.

DAVID: You have covered my theories quite well. I have God as designer and try to understand how He did it. Your attempts in no way fit mine.

I’m glad you accept my coverage of your theories. And I agree that my own proposal (the first opossum to use the strategy was either very clever, or discovered it by accident, and then passed it on to others who passed it on….) in no way fits yours. But I have to admit, I actually find it more believable than your theories!

dhw: The authors wrote: “We now have solid evidence of culture, morality, rationality, and even rudimentary forms of linguistic communication.” Our body form and our brains can also be traced back to our animal ancestors. In that sense we are NOT exceptional. But the degree to which we have developed our brains, our culture, our morality, our rationality and our language do make us exceptional.

DAVID: So you agree we are exceptional.

dhw: I’ve just said so. […] I am calling for a balanced view, so why have you picked on only one part of the balance?

DAVID: Not balanced. Yes we have animal bodies, but our bodies can make exceptional moves (gymnastics) and our brains are extraordinary. Stop diminishing the differences.

How can I be diminishing the differences when I say that the degree of development etc. makes us exceptional? You only want to point out the differences, while I point out the similarities and the differences. You need two things to balance, and you only want to focus on one.


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