Bacterial electrical communication (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, September 10, 2017, 13:43 (41 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: "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.

DAVID: He knows they appear intelligent. I agree. With provided instructions the outward appearance is the same!

One can only judge intelligence by outward behaviour. You might as well argue (as some determinists do) that we are also robots.

QUOTE: Shapiro said. “It’s not clear exactly how much information processing is going on.'” [/b]

DAVID: My bolds point to Shapiro's uncertainty.

His uncertainty concerns the degree. I pointed that out in my next comment:
dhw: 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.

DAVID: Yes, it is not clear.

So I hope it is clear to you that Shapiro, who has spent a lifetime studying the subject, believes in bacterial intelligence.


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