THE FIFTH
MIRACLE OF NATURE

The Fifth Miracle of Nature is this:

THAT CERTAIN SPECIES BECAME CAPABLE OF
COMPLEX INSTINCTUAL BEHAVIOR

No thought is involved when a muscle contracts because of an electrical shock. That is pure "stimulus and response" and can be explained in terms of electrochemistry. It is not related to the Fifth Miracle.

If a worm contracts upon touch, is it the same? Who knows, but maybe there's at least the beginning of something beyond "stimulus and response."

A bird building a nest that is right for its species, even though the bird has never seen such a nest and hasn't been taught to do so, is using its mind in a way far beyond "stimulus and response."  Information on how the nest should be built is encoded in the bird's DNA molecules -- encoded in terms of atom positions on the molecules.

It is miraculous that mere physical position of atoms on molecules can give rise to abstract notions in certain living species, and that the abstractions can be so vivid in the creature's mind that they can enter the real world through the creature's behavior.


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