Animal minds Intelligent Design

At the Scientist: The spider web as a “giant engineered ear”

As Dan Robitzki puts it, they “outsource” their hearing to the web (like the web was a microphone?) Quoted at The Scientist: “Evolutionarily speaking, spiders are just weird animals,” Jessica Petko, a Pennsylvania State University York biologist who didn’t work on the new study, writes in an email to The Scientist. “While it has been long known that spiders sense sound vibration with sensory hairs on their legs, this paper is the first to show that orb weaving spiders can amplify this sound by building specialized web structures.”

Animal minds Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: For Ants, Building a Bridge Is No “Simple” Task

Richard Stevens: Cassell shows that animal algorithms must be designed top-down starting with a goal, fashioning the data input sensors, developing the necessary procedures, and implementing them in software to direct hardware. Yet the Quanta Magazine piece reported that Panamanian army ants’ procedures for building bridges of living ants is accomplished using a “simple algorithm.”

Animal minds Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Panpsychism

At Mind Matters News: Why panpsychism is starting to push out naturalism

Panpsychism eliminates the crudities of Darwinism. For example, if consciousness is assumed to be a natural development in the most complex life forms, human consciousness would have happened, whether it improved survival or not. Darwinian controversies on the topic become pointless or anyway, much less significant. Perhaps that’s why a classical Darwinian, who needs to see human consciousness as a simple but controversial accident, views panpsychism with hostility.

Animal minds Darwinism Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: The intelligence birds and bees naturally have — and we don’t

Richard W. Stevens: You’re aiming to find your childhood friend’s home in a new city. A map helps; GPS is better. Accessing all that previously-acquired mapmakers’ knowledge, employing all of that satellite, radio and computing technology, you’ll probably (although not certainly) reach your goal. Could some “dumb bird” do any better? Way better, actually.