Natures wonders: ant group actions; individuals programmed (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, August 02, 2018, 09:43 (499 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: The ants at the back based their behavior on the cues they received from fellow ants in the front. “No single ant is actually thinking about it,” says coauthor Nir Gov, a biophysicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “Basically they are programmed, we think, to reinforce existing motion.”

RITE OF PASSAGE
QUOTE: "The collective forces of the group decide how the food will be moved, the authors suggest. Smaller groups of ants receive weaker cues from their nestmates and spend more time vacillating near the hole, while larger groups more quickly make the collective decision to go around the barrier. In the latter case, the greater number of ants weighing in helps them find a solution faster.

David’s comment: Same finding as in bridge building. Individuals follow programmed responses.

We’ve read about similar studies before. The ants in the front make the decision, and the rest follow (= programmed to reinforce existing motion), just like most societies, in which leaders lead and followers follow. The key here is that “collective forces….make the collective decision”, and the larger the force, the quicker the decision. These are the “thinkers”, and this is why ants are my favourite example of how cell communities produce intelligence that exceeds that of the individual. From a materialist point of view, you can apply the same principle to the cell communities that make up the human brain and body. The majority of our body’s cells follow instructions issued by the leaders, and the leaders are those cells whose combined individual intelligences run the show. The dualist’s alternative is, of course, an immaterial soul.


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