> 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.
Yep. :)) Slightly out of the way, but it's interesting that it was bacteria that invented photosynthesis, not plants.
> 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.
And...it works with DNA and proteins not even speaking the same language!
> 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.
Most of the time. When it doesn't, we get cancer.
> 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.
I was going to mention entropy but thought it might be off topic. Isn't it very interesting that cells operate at near-perfect thermodynamic efficiency?
> 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, :-)
Yep, and there are those microtubules again. :)) I agree with you; I think that their rejection of the model is a tad premature: how in the world do we know that we're the only species with consciousness? Their entire conclusion is based on a piece of anthrocentric snobbery that may or may not be correct. IMO it is still a valid hypothesis until proven otherwise.
> 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.
I think we touched on this in another thread a long time ago. At what point does a behavior become instinctive--encoded in our DNA, so to speak? And how does that happen?
This was brought up in one of my Facebook groups just a few days ago as well--the example was brought up about birds in different parts of the world knowing when to migrate and where to migrate to, etc.