Defining sentient cells: Cell receptors (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 11:55 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It doesn’t turn out to be automatic. Whenever there is a choice of responses, there is a decision to be taken, and whenever there is a new problem to be solved, there have to be new responses of which, as you keep repeating, it is impossible to say they are intelligent or automatic. This is a matter of interpretation, and as you rightly pointed out, “my” scientists’ interpretations are just as valid as those of “your” scientists.

DAVID: How do you know there is a choice of responses? A bacterium is not a human. It senses food and moves toward it, danger and moves away, an enemy and attacks, waste products accumulate and expels. It is simplicity. All of this is automatic.

Some time ago, we discussed experiments with E-coli in which they were given a choice - but I don't remember the details. In any case, when humans devise means of killing bacteria, they are initially successful, but after billions of bacterial deaths, in due course bacteria come up with solutions. What takes them so long if the solution is already built in to be applied automatically? I don’t know why you keep raising objections when you have agreed that the opinion of pro-intelligence scientists is just as valid as your own anti-intelligence opinion. Here are some examples of bacterial intelligence listed on Wikipedia. You will say they are automatic, and others will say they are evidence of intelligence.

Microbial intelligence

Microbial intelligence (popularly known as bacterial intelligence) is the intelligence shown by microorganisms. The concept encompasses complex adaptive behaviour shown by single cells, and altruistic or cooperative behavior in populations of like or unlike cells mediated by chemical signalling that induces physiological or behavioral changes in cells and influences colony structures.
• The formation of biofilms requires joint decision by the whole colony.
• Biofilm of Bacillus subtilis can use electric signals (ion transmission) to synchronize growth so that the innermost cells of the biofilm do not starve.[3]
• Under nutritional stress bacterial colonies can organise themselves in such a way so as to maximise nutrient availability.
• Bacteria reorganise themselves under antibiotic stress.
• Bacteria can swap genes (such as genes coding antibiotic resistance) between members of mixed species colonies.
• Individual cells of myxobacteria and cellular slime moulds coordinate to produce complex structures or move as multicellular entities.
• Populations of bacteria use quorum sensing to judge their own densities and change their behaviors accordingly. This occurs in the formation of biofilms, infectious disease processes, and the light organs of bobtail squid.
• For any bacterium to enter a host's cell, the cell must display receptors to which bacteria can adhere and be able to enter the cell. Some strains of E. coli are able to internalize themselves into a host's cell even without the presence of specific receptors as they bring their own receptor to which they then attach and enter the cell.
• Under rough circumstances, some bacteria transform into endospores to resist heat and dehydration.
• A huge array of microorganisms have the ability to overcome being recognized by the immune system as they change their surface antigens so that any defense mechanisms directed against previously present antigens are now useless with the newly expressed ones.

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