David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 10:18 (286 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] your word game concerned your attempt to make “acting cognitively” mean “obeying God’s instructions”. The confusion remains.

DAVID: No confusion if you interpret my 'acting cognitively' as 'acting as if cognitive', automaticity gives the appearance of cognitive reactions, my usual theory.

Are you now saying that “acting” meant putting on a show? The context was perfectly clear: acting meant doing things, not pretending. You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

Under “Immunity complexity: Neurons and immune cells cooperate
"Earlier this month, Dr. Isacc Chiu of Harvard Medical School proposed that it was time to time to adopt an expanded understanding of how the nervous and immune systems function synergistically. The nervous system isn't a mere watchdog that spots danger and alerts the body. The nervous system is an active participant in fighting infections, Chiu said. (dhw's bold)

And there you have it in a nutshell: different cell communities cooperate (function synergistically) in working out solutions to new problems. And so theoretically it is perfectly feasible that this ability, while clearly being responsible for adaptation, might also be responsible for innovation. The following quotes are also very interesting:

"The innate system, while capable of annihilating infiltrators, lacks "memory" the mechanism required to remember the invader should it come calling again. Without this capacity, the body can't mount a response when a pathogen re-infects."

"Adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, develops over time. When it encounters re-infection with a foreign antigen, it "remembers" having seen the infiltrator in the past. Memory T cells are part of adaptive immunity. They quickly convert swarm the invader in a rapid response based on the "memory" of a past infection.”

This is also how bacteria work. They swarm, and “acquire immunity”, and “remember” past infections once they’ve solved the problem, and yet they are single-cell and have no neurons or memory T cells. One might be tempted to believe that since the single cell is just as capable of solving new problems as cooperating cell communities, cognition and sentience and information processing and communication skills and decision-making (all hallmarks of intelligence) are not confined to organisms with a brain.


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