Cellular intelligence: by bootstrapping??? (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 20:01 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

A really strained approach:


"While scientists are still working out the details of how the eye evolved, we are also still stuck on the question of how intelligence emerges in biology. How can a biological system ever generate coherent and goal-oriented behavior from the bottom up when there is no external designer? (my bold)

"In fact, intelligence—a purposeful response to available information, often anticipating the future—is not restricted to the minds of some privileged species. It is distributed throughout biology, at many different spatial and temporal scales. There are not just intelligent people, mammals, birds and cephalopods. Intelligent, purposeful problem-solving behavior can be found in parts of all living things: single cells and tissues, individual neurons and networks of neurons, viruses, ribosomes and RNA fragments, down to motor proteins and molecular networks. Arguably, understanding the origin of intelligence is the central problem in biology—one that is still wide open. In this piece, we argue that progress in developmental biology and neuroscience is now providing a promising path to show how the architecture of modular systems underlies evolutionary and organismal intelligence. (my bold)


"Modern biology faces a fundamental knowledge gap when trying to explain meaningful, intelligent behavior. How can a system composed of cells and electrical signals generate a well-adapted body with behavior and mental states? If cells are not intelligent, how can intelligent behavior emerge from a distributed system composed of them? This fundamental mystery permeates biology. All biological phenomena are, in a sense, “group decisions” because organisms are made of individual parts—organs, tissues, cells, organelles, molecules. What properties of living systems enable components to work together toward higher-level goals?


"The argument proceeds in three steps. The first rests on one of natural selection’s first and best design ideas: modularity. Modules are self-contained functional units like apartments in a building. Modules implement local goals that are, to some degree, self-maintaining and self-controlled. Modules have a basal problem-solving intelligence,


"The second step in the argument is that modules can be assembled in a hierarchy: lower-level modules combine to form increasingly sophisticated higher-levels modules, which then become new building blocks for even higher-level modules, and so on.


"...hierarchical modularity still does not explain how evolution, changing solely one element at a time at a lower level, can ever manipulate the upper levels. Given that the upper levels are built with lower levers, wouldn’t you still need to modify a slew of things at the same time to change an upper-level module? A third step in our argument addresses this problem: each module has a few key elements that serve as control knobs or trigger points that activate the module. This is known as pattern completion, where the activation of a part of the system turns on the entire system.


"The idea of hierarchical modularity to explain biological intelligence has been explored before by economist Herbert Simon, neuroscientist Valentino Braitenberg, computer scientist Marvin Minsky, evolutionary biologists Leo Buss, Richard Dawkins and David Haig, and philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, among many others. (known pure atheists)


"Like a ratchet, evolution can thus effectively climb the intelligence ladder, stretching all the way from simple molecules to cognition. Hierarchical modularity and pattern completion can help understand the decision-making of cells and neurons during morphogenesis and brain processes, generating well adaptive animals and behavior. Studying how collective intelligence emerges in biology not only can help us better understand the process and products of evolution and design but could also be pertinent for the design of artificial intelligence systems and, more generally for engineering and even the social sciences."

Comment: pure sophistry of thought. Skipped over is the question of how the first 'modules became intelligent The rest builds upon that enormous gap. Even dhw grants God might have given them intelligent actions. Accepting a designer is a more logical conclusion. Also dhw, please note the bold in the second paragraph!! Nercessary anticipation of the future by biological organisms is recognized even by these guys!

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