[ExI] [Extropolis] evolution

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 17:28:06 UTC 2023

Continuing the anthropomorphism:

John, out of zillions of chemicals that microbes could make, how did they
decide to make something like dopamine?  How did they decide to take over
the person's temperature regulation?  bill w

On Sun, Jan 22, 2023 at 8:47 AM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 22, 2023 at 8:50 AM William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > John, let's anthropomorphize a bit here:  how would bacteria get the
>> idea to make anything our body can use, rather than just sit there and eat
>> what we put down the tubes?  bill w
> Bacteria don't have ideas but, as I have said, they can make
> neurotransmitters, and if by random mutation one of a bacteria's genes
> causes it to make more neurotransmitters than average, and if that new
> ability changes a host's behavior in such a way that it increases the
> chance the bacteria's mutated gene will get into the next generation, then
> the mutated bacteria will soon become the predominant type of bacteria in
> the host. This example is about fungus not bacteria, but it's the same
> general idea :
> How a Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds
> <https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/how-the-zombie-fungus-takes-over-ants-bodies-to-control-their-minds/545864/>
> *"When the fungus infects a carpenter ant, it grows through the insect’s
> body, draining it of nutrients and hijacking its mind. Over the course of a
> week, it compels the ant to leave the safety of its nest and ascend a
> nearby plant stem. It stops the ant at a height of 25 centimeters—a zone
> with precisely the right temperature and humidity for the fungus to grow.
> It forces the ant to permanently lock its mandibles around a leaf.
> Eventually, it sends a long stalk through the ant’s head, growing into a
> bulbous capsule full of spores. And because the ant typically climbs a leaf
> that overhangs its colony’s foraging trails, the fungal spores rain down
> onto its sisters below, zombifying them in turn."*
> It's hard to believe but the idea that morality could be found in nature
> was very popular around 1900 in the Social Darwinism movement. Ironically
> Darwin himself was not a Social Darwinist, and he lost his religious
> faith because he thought a God that sanctioned a hideously cruel process
> like Natural Selection did not deserve worship.  He writes that he was very
> disturbed at the reproductive behavior of a species of wasp that he
> discovered as a young  man. The wasp stings a spider enough to paralyze it
> but not enough to kill it,  the wasp then lays its eggs on the poor beast.
> When the eggs hatch several days later the maggots slowly consume the still
> living creature, carefully  avoiding
> vital organs for as long as possible and leaving the brain for last.
> In spite of the objections of his very religious but loving wife, Darwin says
> in his 1876  autobiography :
> * "Disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate but at last was
>     complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have
>          never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion
>              was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish
>                Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the
> text                seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this
> would              include my Father, Brother and almost all my best
> friends, will be        everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable
> doctrine." *
> John K Clark
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