[Paleopsych] from Eshel Ben jacob
HowlBloom at aol.com
HowlBloom at aol.com
Wed Nov 24 05:27:20 UTC 2004
Eshel--Before I get sidetracked by the thoughts you're inspiring, a question.
Can you or a grad student describe to us the "new direct experimental
evidences that support the picture", the ones that have emerged in the last two
years. These sound important.
Now down to thought-wandering. A wonderful statement: "in short, yes the
genome does think. But only if in the genome you include not only the sequence
but the entire gestalt (enzymes proteins etc)." The gestalt also includes
structures like the cellular skeleton, the membrane, and the external communities
within which the genome lives.
I've just been rereading portions of "Meaning-Based Natural Intelligence
Information-Based Artificial Intelligence". I've also been thinking of the
diagrams with which you showed graphically that using math, you can derive
higher orders of self from a collective.
Meaning depends on a self of sense. But there are multiple selves for any
creature. As "Meaning-Based Natural Selection" says, there is individual self,
the self that says "gimme", the selfish cell. Then there's self as a part of
a subgroup...or of many subgroups. There's also self as a sense of membership
in the ubergroup--the colony. And there may be senses of self that extend to
the entire ecosystem that keeps a bacterial colony alive.
There may even be a sense of self that applies to an entire species--or
that's the implication of the work of David Smillie, a wonderful theorist who has,
alas,retired and is no longer part of this group. But if there is a sense of
self that's chauvinistic about the survival of the species, there's also
likely to be a sense of the species membership in a vastly extended ecosystem for
whose survival individual creatures would fight. This is true among humans.
Is it true for our bacterial ancestors?
Meaning comes from which order of organism or superorganism you want to
survive and to expand. It comes from answering questions like "how do I take
advantage of, avoid, or eliminate what's come across my path?" Is the advantage
you're looking for your own, that of your subculture, that of your ubergroup,
that of your species, or that of the environment that makes it possible for your
species to survive?
These are questions we humans have been dealing with since at least the first
Earth Day in 1969. Is it anthropomorphism or truth to say that concerns of
this sort occasionally determine the choices made by our bacterial ancestors?
ps One more question, a question I've probably asked a zillion times in the
past. The work of James Shapiro points out that individual spiral arms of a
bacterial colony separate from the motherlode of population at the colony's
center, then become genetic lineages that are distinct and may even go through
separate evolutionary histories. In other words, the first generation of
bacteria moving out of the motherlode at the colony's core divide and give birth to
offspring that have never been in touch with the motherlode and that are not
in direct reproductive contact with other bacterial groups branching out in
other directions. A hundred and a thousand generations later, the bacteria in
one spiral arm have gone off in one genetic direction while bacteria in another
spiral arm have drifted (or self-reengineered) in another direction.
Is there a sense of subcultural self among these spiral arms? Do they
compete? Do they go up against each other as explorer bees do, attempting to gain
influence and resources for their particular approach to life? Do they go
through what Global Brain, my second book, calls "creative bickering"--testing out
new hypotheses on behalf of the group, then contributing to the collective
thought process by battling peacefullyt over differences?
In a message dated 11/23/2004 9:03:59 AM Eastern Standard Time,
shovland at mindspring.com writes:
Based on my observations on bacterial colonies I published a new picture of
the creative genome in which I explained that based on rational arguments it
has to be able to perform information processing, learn from experiments and
even change itself accordingly.
During last two years there are new direct experimental evidences that
support the picture.
The community is willing to accept these ideas to the extend that I was
invited to give a lecture at
a Nobel symposium meeting.
Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of
History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the
Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; Core
Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: Epic
of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder: The
Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American
Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy
of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International
Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org; executive
editor -- New Paradigm book series.
For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
for two chapters from
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History,
For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang
to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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