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 Cell Intelligence, in the classroom. 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:04 am
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Post Cell Intelligence, in the classroom.
I have been studying the presentation on Cell Intelligence from Northwestern University Medical School. ... llint0.htm

It's a must-read for everyone here. What they said about centrioles being eyes, is revolutionary. The movies of "microplasts" changing shape are excellent for seeing what powers a cell.

Schools might also be teaching the error where centrioles are viewed as needed for cell division. From these experiments, they only form in cells before they migrate where they would need eyes to see. If there is another viewpoint supported by convincing experiments like these, then please post them here.

In order to include intelligence in what is taught about organisms, students should be able to visualize an egg cell dividing into a diverse colony of intelligent cells that work together to keep the colony alive.

DNA is a long term, and short term (transposon), memory system.

Here is the link for the topic called "Transposons - Cells changing their DNA code?"

There is good evidence that inside cells a large part of our genome is being copied and rearranged. Our view that it has to go from generation to generation, with perfection, is no longer true. There is an intelligence surrounding the nucleus that makes what the DNA codes for, an entity that can wander along glass paths while occasionally probing other routes, or herding together in a migration, or form a cooperative mass to bash through something, or a lot of other things.

No longer can cells be seen as stationary entities. That's now old-school. During formation of a multicellular organism, the cells are very mobile. Connections form, from one end to the other. Tunnels are constantly made through bone behind which other cells line it for a smooth blood vessel while new bone is generated.

There is need for a "Cell Intelligence" tutorial that does a good job of explaining it. Thought it might be worth their attention so I wrote them through the Northwestern website for their advice on something for public school use.

I'm also thinking that the "Intelligence 101 + Intelligence Detection Lab" should just focus on the program to be used for modeling intelligence, the critter visiting feeders. From there go to "Intelligence 102 + Molecular Intelligence Lab" to introduce "microplasts" and a "Intelligence 103 + Cell Intelligence Lab" to model cell behavior. Then add a "Intelligence 104 + Multicellular Intelligence Lab".

Here is the current version covering several areas for review called "Intelligence 101 + Free Intelligence Detection Lab"

Each step, builds upon the last. Program from 101, is in 102, which is 103, and finally in 104 where an organism forms in the model. Be hundreds of hours of writing and programming but this needs to be done, for everyone's sake, so we don't end up with a culture war where neither side wins. Can now change the future, by having something like this ready to go.

This approach should greatly improve a students understanding of where life comes from. Include early in curriculum, when the first time locomotion of organisms is discussed. Add to the lesson a migrating cell looking for where it belongs in the developing multicellular organism, to the segmented worm movement, hopping cricket, and whatever. DNA and RNA making proteins, can come later. Genome is the recipe to make the critter with a mind of its own.

I would like everyone's opinion of this approach for teaching how organisms form. It's very reliant on "intelligence" but at this point I think you know why it has to be that way. It's not ID, it's just science everyone will find helpful in explaining how intelligent life works.

Last edited by Gary S. Gaulin on Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:47 am

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:42 am
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Location: Oakland, CA
Gary, DNA does not "like[] to rearrange large parts of itself." It rearranges, which we knew before McClintock. That's what recombination does, and it was regarded as a significant factor in the Modern Synthesis.

The fact that something happens is not the same as saying that the thing it happened to wanted it to happen. Intelligence is more than stimulus-response. Intentionality consists of more than causality. It isn't helpful to conflate the observation that A followed B with the claim that A wanted B to happen.

Finally, that cellular intelligence link is patent hogwash. The argument has all the errors I described above. He observes that A follows B, and assumes something must have wanted B to occur, then reasoned that A would cause B. He assumes the intelligence, but doesn't demonstrate it. His faculty page describes his research as showing that cell movements are non-random. Duh. A falling apple doesn't move randomly, but isn't controlled by any intelligence, either.

All of his references point to his own papers. The relevant papers to his claims about the centriole all contain some version of "speculative" in the title, indicating a lack of experimental basis for his claims. I might quibble with the argument that all light-detecting systems should be called an "eye," and there is literally no basis for your claim that it is an "error" that centrioles are involved in cell division.

Gary, who is it that you think sees "cells .. as stationary entities"? My cellular biology class discussed cell movement, and didn't need to imagine that there was some secret cellular brain. Stimulus and response between interacting systems can produce the results on that cellular intelligence page without having to invoke some mystical force.

If you had thought that cells were "stationary entities" before reading that page, it reflects your own error, not the error of science at large. The right reaction ought to be taking a course in cell biology at a local college or university, or at least finding a credible textbook to work from. Better than getting all your info from an ID flack.

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Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:59 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:59 pm
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The other night, there was a show about jellyfish. One in particular, the box jellyfish, has a couple dozen eyes that can detect objects and apparently distinguish between different colors.

Box jellies have been observed weaving their way through complex webs of reeds to get to prey.

Yet box jellies have no brain and no nervous system. So I wouldn't call their behavior "intelligent," because I imagine "intelligent" action requires volition.

Box jelly "hunting" behavior seems to be an evolutionary adaptation that increases the organism's success in finding food.

BTW, box jellies have the most powerful neurotoxin on earth. One of these clear creatures no bigger than your thumb can kill you.

Read more:

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:37 pm
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Liz, that's interesting info. I'll look for that on TV. I would want to see if has what I describe to Josh, a certain behavior that indicates a simple self-awareness. Not sure about jellyfish, would need a model showing neural function to know what kind of intelligence they have, if any. Also, cellular intelligence can still be there even if it's just a mass with no intelligence. In this case we can't logically compare cell to organism.

And thanks Josh. That is very valuable input.

Josh Rosenau wrote:
Gary, DNA does not "like[] to rearrange large parts of itself."

I agree, that does suggest DNA is conscious:

"With good evidence that DNA likes to rearrange large parts of itself,"

This looks better.

"There is good evidence that inside cells a large part of our genome is being copied and rearranged."

I ended the sentence there. Much more descriptive of what is being described, but could probably be improved.

Josh Rosenau wrote:
It rearranges, which we knew before McClintock. That's what recombination does, and it was regarded as a significant factor in the Modern Synthesis.

Some time ago I learned about "jumping genes" but it looks like it is more active than I thought. I'm now wondering how many transpositions there are per hour. Would be good to have a number on it included in that part so the reader can better judge it.

Josh Rosenau wrote:
The fact that something happens is not the same as saying that the thing it happened to wanted it to happen. Intelligence is more than stimulus-response. Intentionality consists of more than causality. It isn't helpful to conflate the observation that A followed B with the claim that A wanted B to happen.

Josh Rosenau wrote:
Finally, that cellular intelligence link is patent hogwash.

Josh!! Can't you be more pragmatic? Poor Guenter is in the shadows you know. And they want it clear that they are not ID supporters. Do though think they underestimate the value of the ID fan base I see in their future. Least they will believe.

I sure sense another big debate coming. But this time I don't want to be the one to defend it all.

Josh, from what I know, you are an experienced scientist.

Hope you don't mind me posting the link, I'll zap it out if you want. But the bio makes you look good.

I'm happy with any scientific agreement regarding the use of the word "intelligence" but this looks like a very real controversy in science. My instincts tell me that CI will more than stand the test of time. But if you can do a better job of making sense of what we see existing in levels (also compartments, fractal) I'll rewrite the "Intelligence 101" and the opening post of this topic. But it will have to be more convincing than the link and Molecular Intelligence being done in universities that I presented in another topic.

I will agree the part about the centrioles being eyes, is speculative. But it's very interesting. And I look for a photoreceptive ring-like structure like a that, when looking for that unmistakable kind of intelligence I programmed. So for me personally, this makes something very interesting to model. Only need to know the state changes of the atoms in a centriole in response to light, and what actions (if any) that sends to the radiating microtubules. If everything checks out, then there would be a cell moving on the screen instead of insect-like intelligence visiting feeders. The simple 9 sided ring (6 in the program due to it being how neurons link to form honeycombs) gives the intelligence a sense of where things are located around it. Like your automatically knowing to turn your head left or right to get something that went out of your field of vision, back in sight. That's a very powerful sense. Means you don't randomly bungle around looking the wrong way a bunch of times every time you lose sight of something. Such a sense would seem to require some big complicated brain circuit, but I found it to be possible with something very simple. When I focus on me doing it (use my own mind as a guinea pig) it checks out, connects right to my motor controls so I don't have to think which way something went to turn towards it. Memory of something going out of field is circular. What is where, around you, turns with you as you move. If you lose the position sensing needed to make sense of the memory you get "dizzy" and visual memory wobbles around in your head, sort of speak.

Josh Rosenau wrote:
If you had thought that cells were "stationary entities" before reading that page, it reflects your own error, not the error of science at large. The right reaction ought to be taking a course in cell biology at a local college or university, or at least finding a credible textbook to work from. Better than getting all your info from an ID flack.

Wow!! I just read the link! You do keep tabs on everything, don't you?

And I just noticed, they still have my self-assembly of cell membranes experiment there too! ... 00664.html

Never did though make it as a special guest. For some reason, big tent usually sees me as an amusing pest. But it's nice to see that ISCID still has it up. And while looking for an old debate at the time I posted it to help see what ISCID really was, I found Liz wondering about their hyping an evolution book: ... 170#000000

It looks like my speculation that ISCID was to be the upper end of the nonmaterialist think tank, must be true. Now I feel like posting the "Intelligence 101 + Free Intelligence Detection Lab" there after its science is fully tested. Looks like CI has things held up again, but I can take that out of it and go with the AI.

And I'm sure you noticed this, just want to make sure, I did not say "design detector" I said "intelligence detection" which is just one of the fundamental things done in this kind of AI. Rather useless to have a neural net with no way to determine what it's trying to tell you, or make something autonomous with primitive sense of environment to never see what it added to the intelligence of the system.

Getting back to Guenter, I think that you are in part prejudging because he was a featured scientist on ISCID. And I have good senses when it comes to intelligence related science, that's the area of science I am probably best at. I think that he's just a ID magnet.

I see the same problem that would come from evolution being taken out of biology. But in this case taking the intelligence out of biology leaves you with many things no longer making sense.

Intelligence is more than just a brain and that's it thing. When the wiring between the hemispheres of a human brain is severed you get two separate consciousnesses. And many things like typing require no thought at all, where the keys are is seen as muscle motor movements. There are a number of intelligent systems working together as if it were one. And it's not necessary to have them all, to still function very intelligently, like Stevie Wonder.

Only way I know how to deal with how intelligence works, is to understand each part as a contributor to the intelligence. No one part of it is much on its own but still does intelligent like move the fingers that play the piano. No good having that, without a serial memory that can output the notes needed for a number of songs. And no sense having that if you can't smile or do anything else while playing, then be no fun.

Even trying to draw the line between intelligent, and not intelligent, can make us crazy. Only thing that makes sense is it's like being pregnant, size doesn't matter, you either are our you're not. That best determined with a test that shows relative amount of intelligence. Or in other words, if a flowmeter is registering only 1% does that indicate that there is no flow? So is 1% of human intelligence, say a bee or even a mouse, an intelligence? You now need to explain where the meter registers intelligence, and what comes before it. Thousands of scientists have worked on that problem, and the consensus seems to be, even at 1% there is still a little intelligence flowing. And the program example that I used boils down to just a few simple networks that can be accomplished with neurons, molecules, as well as with transistors. When there is intelligence there, we know it, because it's recognizable. But to know what to look for you have to know what intelligence looks like.

I can tell that Guenter is looking at the right things. For example, in the cube shaped glass paths, he showed the cell probing at some of the crossroads. If it had no guidance intelligence, then it would go endlessly in a circle, straight line, not even find the path at all. And it's sometimes leaving the path is one of those things that identifies intelligence. It's not aimless wandering that they are describing.

To give you benefit of doubt, if you have a more useful way of describing the process that is casing this, then I'll go with what you have. But it has to be useful for putting this cell behavior into a molecular model of the cell in question. Science explains how something works, which means I can test it with a model. If it works then we have something useful to science.

So far Guenter is showing me what I look for, ring and all. I can work with that. Hope he finds the remaining missing pieces that will let us know for sure either way. Just need a good atom level model of centrioles and outputs. If it's a sense of it's surroundings, we should be able to see it working. But if you don't know what you're looking for, you just see electrons moving around but not the intelligence. After you detect it, you hook it up to an artificial body, and it should do what the cell does. Including very hard to model, unexpected leaving of a path, and other higher order behaviors that he very well documented.

I think I know what we are seeing, but I can't see what the electrons and whatever else can cause state changes, are doing. And even if it's not an eye, we'll know what it's doing in the cell circuit from it to the cell's motor fibers through microtubules. Either way, this is very useful science to someone like me. And if he didn't say it the way he did, then it would have been harder for me to understand what they are describing as it applies to my program that has a place for a centriole. With another at 90 degrees the program like magic can do 3D, and the new ring is thrown into the memory address without caring what goes where, intelligence on its own figures out how to use itself. When first started it quivers a little or does something stupid like run into a wall then get stuck going nowhere. Something with intelligence can learn to not do that anymore, or at least what to do when that happens. In another environment it would be better to stick to the wall, but in the version in 101 instinct tells the intelligence it's not good to bash into it.

I still see something very scientific in the CI. Parts might be speculative, but as you can see from my already long defense of it, there are good reasons for me to see this as very valuable science. And Guenter having been so elevated by ID'ers, is kinda funny. I had a feeling it would happen to him, never knew how badly it already did! He's, honestly, not wanting to do another ISCID gig, that's for sure. Could tell in what he wrote back. Don't worry about it. Just beware though if he gets thousands of ID followers then they write this in the science books then he gets the power to make temples crumble then says "cool" then wants to seek avenge for trashing his website, whew! Glad I'm not in the way of that. :shock:

Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:52 am

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 1456
Location: Massachusetts
Post Re: Cell Intelligence, in the classroom.
Since it has been almost 4 years since the above discussion, I checked the growth of information for "cellular intelligence" and was astonished by the overwhelming number of relevant links, now including even the health/beauty field and the popular Dr. Oz show!

Here are two of the many new links that now exist for it:

Cellular Intelligence / Why Can't We Behave More Like Cells?

There has been a buzz lately about Cellular Intelligence. Dr Oz mentions cellular intelligence of the body (gut instinct) in a few of his shows. This is an intriguing concept! I searched the Internet and found some scientific research and pretty complex articles with abstracts, etc. Apparently, the scientists can make amoebas from pond scum learn and jump sorta' speak. I'm not a scientist so the details made my head spin. Although, still intriguing.

Who can explain this concept in layman's terms? ... gence.html

Cellular Intelligence
by Emma Bragdon, Ph.D.

Candace Pert, PhD. is a neurobiologist, researcher and professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center. She has been a research scientist for 30 years, including 13 years at the NIH where she was Chief of Brain Biochemistry. In her recent book, Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel The Way You Feel (Simon & Shuster,1997), Dr. Pert shakes the conventionally accepted paradigm of medicine. She declares that mind is not separate from body...mind infuses the body. An information transfer system happening at the cellular level throughout the body coordinates physiology, behavior and emotion in a coherent manner. Let's call it "cellular intelligence".

Pert's new paradigm retires our previous notion that it was solely the brain which activated emotions through an electrical-chemical exchange on neural pathways. Pert and her colleague, Miles Herkenham, believe less than 2% of neuronal communication actually occurs at the synapse. Most communication happens at receptor sites on cell walls throughout the body, where specialized small proteins, called peptides, floating in the fluid surrounding cells match to specific receptor sites and infuse those cells with specific information.

What the NCSE's Josh Rosenau, compsciguy and others have been claiming, has already been so fully discredited that all who took them seriously now look like a science-dunce to even the average person who watches medical shows on TV.

Molecular Intelligence is now under fire, because of political and religious implications that it too creates. Same thing as here, it is the attempted stopping of science by ones who said they were acting in the best interest of science education.

The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
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