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Author Topic:   Spiders are intelligent
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 1 of 147 (444674)
12-30-2007 10:13 AM


In order to determine if and where intelligence impacts the development of life forms we must first have a consistent understanding of what intelligence is.

Current science differentiates intrinsically between instinct and intelligence. The scientific basis for this distinction does not appear to be very clear or consistent.

I believe that there is no proven intrinsic difference between instinct and intelligence.

By an intrinsic difference I mean a difference in the nature of their processes (and, e.g, not a difference in their supposed origins).

I would like to debate this with reference to a specific central example of a spider building a web.

I assert that this is an intelligent process.

For those of you who assert that it is an intrinsically different process called 'instinct', please present evidence of the intrinsic difference.

(Not for debate, but I actually believe that the supposed distinction arises only as a result of human desire for philosophical separation from animals. As such, it is a hang over from the biblical notion of man being made special by God and having dominion over the creatures).

I do not wish to discuss whether or not this intelligence is divine. However, I do propose that this topic goes in the Intelligent Design Forum.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by AdminNosy, posted 01-01-2008 11:53 AM sinequanon has responded
 Message 7 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 2:32 PM sinequanon has responded
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 01-01-2008 3:59 PM sinequanon has not yet responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 2 of 147 (445143)
01-01-2008 10:33 AM


Why no feedback?
Bump

Administrators, is my proposal being ignored?

Edited by sinequanon, : No reason given.


  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 3 of 147 (445158)
01-01-2008 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by sinequanon
12-30-2007 10:13 AM


What forum?
I don't see that this belongs in the ID forum. It may be discussing what intelligence is but that really doesn't have much that I can see to do with the topic of ID as it is used today.

Maybe miscellaneous topics?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sinequanon, posted 12-30-2007 10:13 AM sinequanon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 1:33 PM AdminNosy has responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 4 of 147 (445192)
01-01-2008 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by AdminNosy
01-01-2008 11:53 AM


Re: What forum?
Miscellaneous topics would be OK, I suppose.

However, I think it would be fair to say, "the topic of ID as it is misused today". Design + intelligence = intelligent design. I think the hijacking of the term is being condoned by scientists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by AdminNosy, posted 01-01-2008 11:53 AM AdminNosy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by AdminNosy, posted 01-01-2008 2:21 PM sinequanon has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 5 of 147 (445213)
01-01-2008 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by sinequanon
01-01-2008 1:33 PM


Re: What forum?
As long as you keep to your own topic this can be promoted.

The definition and determination of what is and is not "intelligence" is a tough one all by itself.

If anyone starts off answering the extras you put into msg 4 I will suspend them for a short time. It might make an interesting new topic in it's own right however.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 1:33 PM sinequanon has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 6 of 147 (445216)
01-01-2008 2:21 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1627 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 7 of 147 (445220)
01-01-2008 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by sinequanon
12-30-2007 10:13 AM


The philosopher E. Kant argued just the opposite of what you are saying, that intelligence (or free will) is the ability to suppress one's instinct and perhaps even do the opposite. For example, when a creature like us or a racoon is hungry and there is food right there with no perceivable danger in sight, the instinct would tell us or it to eat the food. What seperates intelligent creatures like us from a racoon is that we can choose not to eat the food.


Owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have occasionally used the academic jargon generator to produce phrases that even I don't fully understand. The jargons are not meant to offend anyone or to insult anyone's intelligence!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sinequanon, posted 12-30-2007 10:13 AM sinequanon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 3:29 PM Taz has responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 8 of 147 (445238)
01-01-2008 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
01-01-2008 2:32 PM


If other choices are available, like mate, or find water, or find shelter etc., then the racoon may not take the food.

Similarly, if a hungry human refused food it would be because of some preference. Why else would you refuse food when you are hungry?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 2:32 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 6:21 PM sinequanon has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5587
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 9 of 147 (445243)
01-01-2008 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by sinequanon
12-30-2007 10:13 AM


In order to determine if and where intelligence impacts the development of life forms we must first have a consistent understanding of what intelligence is.

Lots of luck with that. There is no consensus on what we mean by "intelligence", and there is a wide diversity of views.

Current science differentiates intrinsically between instinct and intelligence.

I think it mainly differentiates by using "instinct" in its terminology, but by avoiding "intelligence" except in informal usage. And this is about what you would expect, if there is no consensus on the meaning of "intelligence."

I believe that there is no proven intrinsic difference between instinct and intelligence.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) people might agree with you. But many people, myself included, would disagree.

By an intrinsic difference I mean a difference in the nature of their processes ...

But now you have introduced "nature of processes" as another confusing term. Unless you are able to give a clear definition of that, I don't see how it helps.

I would like to debate this with reference to a specific central example of a spider building a web.

I assert that this is an intelligent process.


Now we get to the nitty gritty.

Some people use "intelligence" in a strong sense, where it requires consciousness and thoughtful deliberation. And, typically, such people mean consciousness at the level of humans. Those who use "intelligence" in this strong sense would usually deny that a guide dog can be intelligent.

Then there is what we could call a weak sense of "intelligence" that might allow that a dog could be intelligent. But you seem to be going for what might be called a very weak sense of "intelligence", by even allowing that spider web building is intelligent. Personally, I accept a weak sense of "intelligence", but I'm not sure that I would go so far as to consider spider web building as intelligent. On the other hand, I haven't studied web building, and if I did perhaps I might come to agree with you.

(Not for debate, but I actually believe that the supposed distinction arises only as a result of human desire for philosophical separation from animals. As such, it is a hang over from the biblical notion of man being made special by God and having dominion over the creatures).

I'll comment, but I won't debate this. I agree that it has to do with a desire for separation from animals. But I suspect that this desire is found also in cultures that have not depended on the bible, so it is perhaps a mistake to consider it as coming from biblical notions.

If you accept a weak or very weak sense of "intelligence", then it is entirely possible that evolution itself should be consider intelligent, thus a system of intelligent design. However, the proponents of teaching of intelligent design are using a strong sense of "intelligence."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sinequanon, posted 12-30-2007 10:13 AM sinequanon has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1627 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 10 of 147 (445281)
01-01-2008 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by sinequanon
01-01-2008 3:29 PM


sine writes:

If other choices are available, like mate, or find water, or find shelter etc., then the racoon may not take the food.


Then the racoon would still be following its instinct by mating or finding shelter. Intelligence, according to Kant, is involved when a creature has certain instinct to do something but is capable of not following through. Can a racoon simply decide to not build a dam and go on a pilgrimage to find Allah? Yes, the racoon has some choices to choose, but it is forever limited to just those choices.

Similarly, if a hungry human refused food it would be because of some preference. Why else would you refuse food when you are hungry?

Do we always need a reason? Are you saying that you are absolutely incapable of choosing not to eat just because there is no particular reason?

Hint: try to think outside the box rather than think in a linear fashion.

A webbing spider's instinct is to create a web in a particular pattern. It doesn't have a choice. A webbing spider can't just one day decide to turn into a hunting spider. It is forever trapped in its own instinctual behavior.

PS I don't particularly agree with Kant, but since he's a christian and you're a christian I thought it's a good place to start.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 3:29 PM sinequanon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 7:14 PM Taz has responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 11 of 147 (445314)
01-01-2008 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Taz
01-01-2008 6:21 PM


"Going to find Allah" is a choice.

Try answering the question. Name something that YOU do without reason.

If I am hungry and I choose not to eat it is because I have made a choice to do something else.

A webbing spider's instinct is to create a web in a particular pattern. It doesn't have a choice. A webbing spider can't just one day decide to turn into a hunting spider. It is forever trapped in its own instinctual behavior.

You can't just one day start to live in water like a fish. As with the webbing spider, you are not equipped for the change.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 6:21 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 7:34 PM sinequanon has responded
 Message 13 by molbiogirl, posted 01-01-2008 7:40 PM sinequanon has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1627 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 12 of 147 (445329)
01-01-2008 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by sinequanon
01-01-2008 7:14 PM


sine writes:

Try answering the question. Name something that YOU do without reason.


Any number of things. I just stood up and sat down again on my chair. There was absolutely no reason for me to do that. I just looked up to the ceiling. There was no reason for me to do that.

If I am hungry and I choose not to eat it is because I have made a choice to do something else.

Answer the question. Are you absolutely incapable of simply choosing to not eat when you are hungry? Try it and tell me if you are capable of simply choosing not to eat or not.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 7:14 PM sinequanon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by sinequanon, posted 01-02-2008 4:23 AM Taz has responded

  
molbiogirl
Member (Idle past 977 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007


Message 13 of 147 (445333)
01-01-2008 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by sinequanon
01-01-2008 7:14 PM


You can't just one day start to live in water like a fish. As with the webbing spider, you are not equipped for the change.

Technically, I could. Sure, I would have to use scuba equipment, but still and all, I could do it.

Besides. You're mucking up Taz's example.

A proper analogy would be: Humans can change the way in which they find food. Spiders can't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by sinequanon, posted 01-01-2008 7:14 PM sinequanon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by sinequanon, posted 01-02-2008 4:33 AM molbiogirl has responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 14 of 147 (445397)
01-02-2008 4:23 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Taz
01-01-2008 7:34 PM


Any number of things. I just stood up and sat down again on my chair. There was absolutely no reason for me to do that. I just looked up to the ceiling. There was no reason for me to do that.

I'd say the reason you did it was to try to prove your point, thereby failing. But, as always with such examples, you are better placed to know (just like someone who insists he saw a ghost. :))

Answer the question. Are you absolutely incapable of simply choosing to not eat when you are hungry? Try it and tell me if you are capable of simply choosing not to eat or not.

The experiment would fail because I would have a reason, i.e proving that I need not eat.

It's a bit like asking me if I am incapable of choosing to have no choice. The question itself is a contradiction. My actions are defined by what I do, not by what I don't do. There are an infinite number of things that I don't do. But unless incapacitated, I am always doing something, and it is always a choice I have made.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Taz, posted 01-01-2008 7:34 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Taz, posted 01-02-2008 11:03 AM sinequanon has responded

  
sinequanon
Member (Idle past 1200 days)
Posts: 331
Joined: 12-17-2007


Message 15 of 147 (445399)
01-02-2008 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by molbiogirl
01-01-2008 7:40 PM


I don't know the history of scuba diving equipment but I don't think it was invented in a day. All you can actually do is make small adaptations to behaviours and capabalities that humans evolved over a stretch of time. Spiders are also able to change their habits otherwise they could not have adapted into the hundreds of various types.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by molbiogirl, posted 01-01-2008 7:40 PM molbiogirl has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by molbiogirl, posted 01-02-2008 5:43 PM sinequanon has responded

  
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