Natures wonders: ant colony complexity (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:30 (1516 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: "It would be interesting to see if, after the predicted El Niño, harvester ants build deeper chambers than they have in previous years."'

dhw: That will be a good test. I predict that they will go deeper, thus illustrating how organisms of all shapes and sizes learn from experience, store information and process it prior to taking their decisions: all characteristics of autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: Ants have brains and can learn I'm sure, just as my dog learns. Of course, 'autonomous intelligence'. Does that explain development of instinct?

When does learned behaviour become instinct? Once behaviour is established as beneficial, no doubt it does become instinctive, but instinct gives way to learning when there are problems to be solved or new opportunities to be exploited. This ability to absorb and process new information, and adjust behaviour accordingly (possibly even to the extent of inventing new behaviours that lead to new structures), may well extend from ourselves right down to the molecular level. This is in line with the ideas of thinkers such as Shapiro, Talbott and Barham among many others, though alas they do not include Dr. D. Turell!


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