slime mold intelligence transfers (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 13:13 (1317 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Slime molds can solve mazes and now are shown to transfer what they learn to another mold it becomes joined to:

QUOTE: "It isn't an animal, a plant, or a fungus. The slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) is a strange, creeping, bloblike organism made up of one giant cell. Though it has no brain, it can learn from experience, as biologists have demonstrated. Now the same team of scientists has gone a step further, proving that a slime mold can transmit what it has learned to a fellow slime mold when the two combine.

David’s comment: dhw and I will have the same battle when he returns from his Christmas fun. Is this process a series of automatic chemical reactions which a taught mold teaches to a naïve mold or is here some sort of nebulous 'intelligence' at work here, with no evidence apparent in the cellular chemistry.

Yes indeed, the battle continues, but thank you again for your integrity in presenting yet another example of cellular intelligence and how it can be tested. Cellular chemistry will not reveal intelligence. Only by setting new problems and observing the response can scientists establish whether there is or is not “intelligence”. Even in your own comment you cannot avoid the obvious fact that if one mold is naïve and the other has learned a new trick, the very fact that one can teach and the other can learn indicates the desire and ability to communicate, and an increase in knowledge first by the teacher and then by the pupil – all attributes of what we call intelligence, though not to be equated with human intelligence.

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