Explaining natural wonders: bacterial defences (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, January 11, 2018, 14:52 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

Three posts today, all of which demonstrate various manifestations of autonomous intelligence (including the ability to learn by experience) in brainless organisms.

DAVID: New information on bacterial protective mechanisms involving a group of enzymes to fight viruses, which do not indicate whether bacteria are intelligent:

QUOTE: “The delay bought time for the bacteria, allowing the colony to grow. Beyond an optimum size, the virus-bacteria battle became a numbers game, with more bacteria able to integrate viral DNA than be killed by it.”
"The researchers found that small bacterial colonies were much more likely than large ones to suffer high casualty rates from viral infections..."

DAVID’s comment: This is not bacterial intelligence, but a complement of giant enzymes molecules that bacteria produce to fend off viruses. I believe it is an implant of intelligently supplied molecules. […]

You begin by saying the experiment does not show whether bacteria are intelligent, and you end by saying they are not. It does not occur to you that “bacteria find united they stand, divided they fall” suggests that they might know what they are doing.
QUOTE: (under “cell memories”) “Epithelial stem cells are the first non-immune cells found to have a memory, and the findings point to “a primitive basic response to jazz up the cells quickly and make them heal the wound,” says George Cotsarelis, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine who was not involved in the study. “It changes the way people think about the skin now.'”

DAVID’s comment: That DNA (chromatin) automatically remained open indicates a logical cellular automaticity for survival, developed in the course of evolution.

In addition to immune cells which work out solutions to new problems, we now have epithelial stem cells that have memory, which also enables them to learn from experience and solve the healing problem faster than they did originally. By parroting the word “automatic”, while admitting that one cannot tell the difference between autonomous intelligence and automaticity, you do not prove automaticity.
DAVID (under “plant roots seek water”): A new study shows that root tips grow toward water. The exact cellular mechanism is not yet known:

QUOTES: "Without eyes, ears, or a central nervous system, plants can perceive the direction of environmental cues and respond to ensure their survival.”
"'We knew plants were doing this—branching toward water—but not the mechanism of how the plant was perceiving and reacting to this environmental signal," Dinneny explained.

"Using both fine-scale microdissection and mathematical modeling approaches, they found that the tip of the root where cell expansion drives growth is uniquely able to perceive and respond to moisture cues by shaping the direction in which the root branches out into the soil.

DAVID’s comment: I am sure the cells at the tip of each root have automatic stimuli receptors which then set up growth director systems, and will be discovered.

Yes, you are always sure that some sort of automatic mechanism will be discovered, and you cannot abide the idea that all living organisms – whether they have brains or not - may have some form of autonomous intelligence. Now you have your God’s 3.8-billion-year-old computer preprogramme providing the first living cells with instructions to be passed on to tree root tips.

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