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

by dhw, Monday, August 06, 2018, 13:33 (560 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The article discusses how groups of ants and individual ants react. It concludes individuals are programmed. No cells anywhere.

dhw: I used ants as an analogy to how cell communities work. The article tells us how leader groups of ants make collective decisions, and the ants at the back follow. That is how I propose cell communities also work: the “leaders” work out what is to be done, and the rest put the decision into operation. If there is a choice, a collective decision is a decision, it is not automatic behaviour.

DAVID: The automatic behavior is in the followers. A leader does make a decision of this way or that way.

Thank you. It is the decision-making that provides evidence of intelligence – in ants as in cell communities.

QUOTE: "It's interesting that these bacteria, which are so-called simple, single-cell organisms, are using a fairly sophisticated strategy to solve this community-level problem," said Larkin. "It's sophisticated enough that we humans are using it to extract oil, for example.'"

DAVID: Most likely an automatic electrochemical series of reactions from interior to exterior, passed from contiguous cell to contiguous cell.

dhw: Yes, communication entails passing information from interior to exterior by automatic electrochemical means. We humans do it all the time. But one should not confuse the means of communication with the reasons for communicating. Even so-called simple single-cell organisms may need fairly sophisticated strategies of communication because they have fairly sophisticated ideas to communicate as a consequence of their autonomous intelligence!

DAVID: Again it is either or. The hungry cells will die if they don't signal. They fell hungry and send the signal. A binary response to a definite hunger stimulus, no intelligence involved.

There is always a reason for communication. You concentrate on the automatic processes involved in the act of communication, as if they precluded any autonomous thought behind the need for it. The bacteria had a problem. They communicated with each other in order to find a solution to their problem. I suggest that if they didn’t know they had a problem, they would not have communicated with each other.

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