Bacterial electrical communication (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, September 09, 2017, 10:30 (42 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (under “bacterial gene fusion”:) A new study finds it helps with survivability and produces new protein:
https://phys.org/news/2017-09-bacteria-genes-fuse-production-proteins.html

DAVID's comment: This study supports Shapiro's work on bacteria manipulating their DNA. It does not explain the underlying mechanism which I think is existing informational instructions in the genome.

"Existing informational instructions in the genome" is a fine-sounding piece of science-speak, but if we translate it into terms of Turellian theory, it actually means you believe the mechanism is a form of computer programme that your God planted in cells 3.8 billion years ago. This passed on every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder, including bacteria automatically and unknowingly switching on the right part of their own special programme whenever a new problem arose, presumably for the whole of life's history past, present and future. That doesn’t sound quite so scientific, does it? Shapiro on the other hand, who has done all this research and has observed the behaviour of bacteria, is convinced that they are intelligent.

QUOTE: Shapiro is not afraid of bold hypotheses: He has argued that bacterial colonies might be capable of a form of cognition. But he approaches analogies between neurons and bacteria with caution. The potassium-mediated behaviors Süel has demonstrated so far are simple enough that they don’t require the type of sophisticated circuitry brains have evolved, Shapiro said. “It’s not clear exactly how much information processing is going on.'”

DAVID’s comment: Using potassium ions is basic in advanced biology. Not surprising an early form is in bacteria. They are the starting point for evolution. Note Shapiro's comment.

He has argued that bacterial colonies ARE capable of a form of cognition, and anyone who rejects that does so out of “large organisms chauvinism”, but of course that doesn’t mean cognition on a human scale, and it can never be clear just to what EXTENT bacteria are intelligent, since we can’t enter their minds.


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