> Mitochondria would be a perfect example of this. All the
> evidence points to the mitochondria being an invading or
> captured entity now in an endosymbiotic relationship with the
> host cell. We couldn't live two minutes without them now, and
> yet they were once an independent life form on their own.
Chloroplasts too. Once a free living organism which evolved the capacity to harvest energy from the sun and turn it into structural sugars. They probably gravitated to colonies of primitive algae-like cells for protection and a symbiotic relationship ensued where each became completely dependent on the other.
> When we die, our composite cells die, too, and break down into
> their constituent atoms and molecules, whether they're brain
> cells, skin cells, blood cells, etc. They then flit off to
> become part of something else. Take the "bio" out of it, and it
> really is just plain chemistry.
Especially when you consider that individual cells within an organism - the self within a Universe of billions of other selves-are able to communicate with each other through electro-chemical signalling systems such as depolarization of cell membranes and chemical signals such as hormones which work on complex feedback loops.
This works to the point where certain cells, often located great distances from the target cell can signal other cells to die, and the targets cells just go right ahead and die for the good of the organism. This would seem to go against the instinct for self-preservation for individual cells but that is what happens.
All this seemingly happens without consciousness but at the molecular level where there would seem to be force driving it other than charge distribution and the drive to greater and greater disorder in the form of entropy - very mysterious.
> Maybe we should all take a moment and say thank you to all the
> hundreds of millions of cells we have. Without them, the larger
> organism couldn't function and wouldn't even exist.
Amen, saying thanks now.
> There are some things some of us aren't wired to understand. I
> think this is one of them LOL
Anyway, found this article in live science that explains some of the concepts the paper you found was presenting only this is actually written in English so it can be understood. Maybe this will help ease the head ache pain and stop the swelling from trying to read the other one. I finally gave up trying to make sense of something that was almost impossible to read. I am not sure that I agree with one of their conclusions that humans are the only self-aware species on the planet but that is for another thread.
Hope that helps, :-)
I had another thought too about what we call, for lack of a better term, instinct in animals. This seems to me to be kind of a mysterious form of behavior that would be difficult to explain without some kind of quantum cellular memory passed down through Darwinian mechanisms, which was something your paper was delving into in it's own incomprehensible way but was too poorly written to follow.
More on this later if you are interested..........
Post Edited (21-Nov-13 18:11)
~Hunter S. Thompson