Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 03, 2017, 01:57 (716 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your paragraph above is an interesting and incorrect interpretation of the quote. What it states is Algorithmic control runs bacteria, and that is exactly my point about bacteria. They contain information to run the algorithms and are preprogrammed. They contain programs to turn on re-writes of their DNA and respond in that way.

dhw: I did not interpret the quote. I was referring to the fact that Shapiro is a champion of cellular/bacterial intelligence, despite the fact that bacteria do not have a brain. I don’t know why he didn’t emphasize this extremely important point in his talk to the Royal Society. However, on a second reading, I realize that it is the reporter who is making the reference to Shapiro’s “algorithmic control”, and as we don’t have a transcript of the talk, it’s possible that he might also have brought in the cognitive powers of bacteria (intelligence). You will recall that when asked why these were a matter of controversy, he responded: Large organisms chauvinism, so we like to think that only we can do things in a cognitive way.

You are correct that Shapiro's talk is recounted secondhand. I've googled reviews and all I came with is the same statements as above. They seem supported.

dhw: let us not get distracted from our latest developments: God may not have geared the whole of evolution to the production of humans, and evolution advanced because organisms have an in-built (perhaps God-given) drive for improvement or complexity, which…according to me…enables them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by environmental change, whereas according to you God likes to transform them before the environment changes.

DAVID: [/i]Yes, God transforms them, and environment may or may not play a role.

dhw: Don’t forget that according to you God transforms them before the environment changes - or is it before he himself changes the environment? I never quite know how much control you assign to your God.

I think God speciates. He controls the universe, but I don't know about local weather. He certainly controlled the evolution of a living Earth.

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