Natures wonders: Ant colony food finding (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, May 29, 2014, 17:11 (1938 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The process of adaptation and innovation through cooperation between cells and cell communities has to entail a pooling of knowledge through communication. Maybe the ants' foraging can be seen as parallel to experimentation by cell communities (just as the cells of our individual organs must work out how best to deal with whatever changes our bodies are subjected to).

DAVID: Again to the kidney. Those cells evolved to do complex work, but their sudden appearance in the Cambrian denies your cooperation theory. They suddenly worked together. Where was the time for negotiation and testing cooperation?

If innovations don't work, they won't survive. "Punctuated equilibrium" suggests sudden bursts of activity, and clearly the Cambrian Explosion was one ... but "sudden" is a relative term. The period lasted for about 50 million years, which allows for quite a few generations! Either the cell communities cooperated to invent these new organs within the given time frame, or you are going to have reject evolution and revert to special creation, or to your God pre-programming every single innovation in the first few forms of life, to be passed down through billions of generations of billions of species.

dhw: And while the individual brain cell may not be "smart", put it together with a few billion others and between them they can produce a Shakespeare, a Beethoven, an Einstein. Of course, each brain is different, and some are "smarter" than others. Ditto ants, and ditto the cell communities that innovate.

DAVID: First part of your comment is right on. Brain cells are so pliable they can produce. Cell commmunities, no. They are automatically in tight control of their productive capacities. They are production-line factories.

Once the organ has been invented, the cells will certainly follow the established patterns, just as ants do, but I have specified the cell communities that innovate. This takes us back to my comment above. Are you arguing for special creation, or for the very first forms of life being preprogrammed with billions of innovations to be passed down etc.?


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