Cellular intelligence: Animal Algorithms reviewed (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, November 12, 2021, 08:24 (22 days ago) @ David Turell

Sensing autonomic activity
QUOTE: Rolls’ study shows “there is a driver,” he said. “There is someone who decides whether to hit the brake or the gas pedal.

DAVID: […] each stimulus has an automatic response. That is the way living biochemistry works.

dhw: According to the above, the response to each stimulus requires a decision and a decision-maker. That is the opposite of an “automatic response”.

DAVID: Stimuli are in limited number, which means all responses can well be automatic as limited in number also.

dhw: In the course of evolution, there is virtually no limit to stimuli, and different organisms have learned to cope with every kind of environment.

DAVID: If you list possible stimuli they are limited in number.

Well, OK, I’ll let you compile the list, starting on Monday, 1st January, 3.8 thousand million years ago…

Control of differentiation
DAVID: Lots of mindless activity occurs with living organisms.

dhw: Of course it does. Conscious intelligence only comes into play with the invention of new processes and/or when things go wrong.

No reply.

Animal algorithms
QUOTE: "We say honey bees and ants are not very intelligent, yet their navigation expertise is entirely non-trivial. Likewise are the many insects’ nest construction powers. Cassell observes it would take deep thought and sophisticated design techniques to build a robot to accomplish what the bees, ants and termites can do shortly after birth:”

dhw: Precisely...The crucial question, then, is how did these skills arise in the first place? I propose that the bees and ants worked it all out for themselves.

QUOTE: "Do animals exhibiting CPBs have themselves “minds” in some sense? That question is unanswered.” [dhw’’s bold]

dhw: Again, “precisely”. You say an outright no, and I suggest yes.

DAVID: Cassell applies his knowledge of AI in this analysis. These instinctual behaviors cannot develop by stepwise evolution, but require design planning.

dhw: I would suggest that natural behaviours most likely did develop stepwise, and yes, they did require design. I doubt if the very first ants built the amazingly complex nests we see today. Subsequent generations would probably have added new features. Bee navigation may well have seen variations in the rate of success, and natural selection will have ensured that ultimately, the successful ones would have passed on their superior knowledge and skills.

DAVID: You completely miss the point of the neural complexity that this AI expert denies that natural evolution could have designed it.

No he doesn’t. He asks if animals have minds, and says the question is unanswered! (See bold above)

DAVID: 'Complexity' in living biochemistry and in neural circuits can only be fully appreciated if educated in the subjects. The opinions cannot be sluffed off. Believe me the complexity requires a designing mind.

I believe you. And I believe Cassell when he says that the question whether animals have minds is unanswered.


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