Smart animals: bees trained to pull strings for treat (Animals)

by David Turell @, Friday, October 07, 2016, 22:02 (347 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Your comments on partial immunity were on a different thread and concerned the Tasmanian devil. The first few colonies in the E.coli experiment actually died. Not much immunity there.

DAVID: In e. coli experiment advances paused. If all colonies died there would have been no experiment.

I presume the researchers replaced the first colonies with new ones.

No, the colonies paused and then advanced.


DAVID: My memory may not be reliable about my previous responses. I have trouble finding previous statements on this site. Tell me how do you do it?

dhw:The Tasmanian devil fiendishly burrowed its way into my memory, as did our exchanges on partial immunity. I actually remembered your E.coli explanation and my own scepticism, though it took me a while to find it. I have as much trouble as you locating statements. Ah, David, we are getting old! ":-("

Perhaps Neil could provide a better search mechanism. The current one is the problem or he might have suggestion how to use it better.


DAVID: If alternative pathways are on-board switching is not difficult, just like changing gears in your car. Main response blocked, use the secondary backup. Not all bacteria contain them due to individual variability, but some do and survive, and in the end all have the ability to survive.

dhw: Obviously they vary since some die, obviously some survive, and obviously when all the dead are dead and all the survivors have survived, the survivors must have the ability to survive. Bearing in mind that they are all supposed to be following built-in instructions from your God, this doesn't explain why automatons have to make an effort and why God failed to preprogramme all those that died.

The observed situation is that all organisms vary on the bell-shaped curve in how strong their characteristics are, in this case resistance to antibiotics. This is what allows evolution to advance in Darwin's view, the better variations survive. But what the E. coli story shows is minor adaptation in an existing species. All we know so far is epigenetic adaptation against the problem of speciation.


DAVID: Simply explained above. Alternative metabolic pathways are a proven fact.

dhw: Too simple for me. But I do understand that there has to be more than one way to approach a problem, and it could even be that it requires intelligence to work out the right solution. And I love your image of mindless bacteria not having a clue what they're doing but somehow knowing that they need to change gear (though apparently it takes some time and effort). Especially when they're driving along a route they've never taken before.

Cute analogy. Bacteria have the capacity to try the alternate pathways as they strive to live, a characteristic of life.


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