bacterial intelligence shown to be DNA driven (Animals)

by dhw, Friday, October 13, 2017, 11:04 (859 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The article I presented showed that bacterial responses are dependent on DNA and when artificially changed the bacteria changed. All automatic.
dhw: If scientists were to “artificially” inject a cocktail of poisons into your system, bash your brains out with a sledgehammer, or expose you to a few nasty viruses from their laboratory, I suggest there might well be automatic changes to your behaviour. You would no doubt say that human autonomy of thought cannot be judged by what happens when the body is subjected to artificial, body-changing influences. And I say equal rights for bacteria.
DAVID: Totally misses the point. The bacteria are responding to DNA alterations of living instructions. My battered body still has an intact DNA. Comparing injury to changing instructions. Apples and oranges.

So are you telling me that if scientists were given a totally free hand to mess about with human DNA (as they can with bacteria) in whatever part of the body they chose, they would not be able to change the person concerned?

DAVID: When I say 'not beyond possibility' I'm admitting I accept the fact that I could be wrong, but I think not. Shapiro's finding that bacteria can edit their own DNA, in my view, is an automatic mechanism given to bacteria by God.
dhw: I know you think you’re right. I am only asking you to admit that you could be wrong. I know you disagree with Shapiro. And Shapiro disagrees with you. There is no consensus. Until there is, my hypothesis is not beyond possibility.
DAVID: I don't know if Shapiro really disagrees with me. He says bacteria can edit their DNA. That could be an automatic God-given mechanism. Shapiro was president of his Jewish Temple.

How often do I have to quote him? And you can add Jeffrey Stock. And belief in bacterial intelligence does not make you an atheist!

The secret life of bacteria - small, smart and thoughtful ...

Natasha Mitchell: I mean many would argue that even a basic nervous system is a prerequisite for cognition, and it's been a controversial suggestion, hasn't it, that bacteria are somehow cognitive. Why the controversy?
James Shapiro: Large organisms chauvinism, so we like to think that only we can do things in a cognitive way. […]
Natasha Mitchell: Microbiologist Professor Jeffry Stock is from Princeton University.
Jeffry Stock: They behave intelligently with respect to their environment and change themselves in response to environmental stimuli. What else is intelligence?

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