Natures wonders: ant rafts have set crews! (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 19:25 (1333 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm sure there was a first time and instinct developed with a degree of adaptability for the size of a crowd of brood passengers, since saving the brood is a necessity. I suspect the development of instinct is a God-given property.

dhw: I am also sure there was a first time, and I suspect that the first time was an act of intelligence, just like subsequent adaptations and reorganizations. The wonderful post on slime mold (many thanks again) suggests a very early stage of such intelligence.

I don't know if any intelligence is involved with slime mold. They solve the maze by checking every passage and then automatically pick the shortest route which can be done by feed back loop chemistry.

dhw: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/slime-molds-are-smarter-than-you-think...
QUOTE: "Even more amazing, when they sexually reproduce they break into individual amoeba-like cells and organize themselves into beautiful stalks and knobby spore-containing tops; the spores live but stalk cells altruistically sacrifice themselves."

dhw: Not human type intelligence, but rudimentary awareness to the point of taking decisions.

Again, it can all be automatic as in bacteria.

David's comment: No question animals have to be aware of their environment and are consciously aware, but they do not have the introspection of humans, the ability to conceptualize. It is a vast difference.

dhw: I am glad there is no question now, and so when you talk about ants and even about bacteria, perhaps you could drop talk of “instinct” and “automaticity” and recognize that all organisms have a degree of conscious awareness.

Still a question re bacteria. It can all be automatic and I'll stick with that.


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