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

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 07, 2018, 17:46 (380 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: They 'knew' they had a problem because, like us, they recognize hunger as an automatic stimulus. Do you think about your automatic responses, or is breathing thoughtful?

dhw: Of course not. You are merely repeating what I said as if it proved your point! When I talk to you, I do not think about vibrating my vocal chords or opening and shutting my mouth or moving my tongue – these are automatic, like the bacteria signals. But I use these automatic movements to convey a message, and the message is the product of my thought. I have a problem, and I tell you about it. The bacteria have a problem and they tell each other about it. How do they know what to signal if they don’t know what they’re signalling about?

I said they knew they had a problem. Their responses don't require thought.


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