Biomolecular Machines (split)

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Teleological (July 31, 2009, 09:48:07 AM):
Quote
ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Bacteria know that they are too small to make an impact individually.


You're sayin' that bacteria can reason?

Mintaka

PS: Congrats on the full membership! ;D
Perception = reason?
Rigil Kent (July 31, 2009, 10:19:06 AM):
From my Oxford Concise:

Perception - the ability too see, hear or become aware of something through the senses

Reason - the power of the mind to think, understand and form judgements logically

Since
Quote
Bacteria know that they are too small to make an impact individually.

was taken from what I assume to be a scientific publication, I would interpret the statement litterally (not metaphorically). So clearly the implications of the statement are the following:

The bacterium -

1. by perception, is aware of its size
2. by reason, realizes that its diminutive proportions cannot make an impact
3. by reason, figures out that this is a problem
4. by reason, comes up with a solution to the problem

Maybe at a stretch the bacterium can be argued to perceive, but I'm doubtful about the reasoning bit.

Mintaka
Teleological (July 31, 2009, 11:03:47 AM):
Reasoning...perhaps not, that seems way too teleological not? Or is it?
How about molecular autonomous agents?

Intelligent? There is no universally accepted definition of intelligence, so lets go with what there is...
Look at artificial intelligence for example (excuse the wiki if you don't mind).

For AI, the following characterstics have been identified or associated with "intelligence".
1) Deduction, reasoning, problem solving
2) Knowledge representation
3) Planning
4) Learning
5) Natural language processing
6) Motion and manipulation
7) Perception
8 ) Social intelligence
9) Creativity
10) General intelligence

Compare the systems and machinery within cells to any intelligent AI system.

1) Deduction, reasoning, problem solving
Cells:
Deduction: No
Reasoning: No
Problem solving: Yes. E.g. (from Nature;Vol 446;12 April 2007: Quantum path to photosynthesis)
Quote
Elsewhere in this issue, Engel et al. (page 782) take a close look at how nature, in the form of the green sulphur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum, manages to transfer and trap light’s energy so effectively. The key might be a clever quantum computation built into the photosynthetic algorithm.

Quote
The process is analogous to Grover’s algorithm in quantum computing, which has been proved to provide the fastest possible search of an unsorted information database.


And in the same issue: Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems.
Quote
When viewed in this way, the system is essentially performing a single quantum computation, sensing many states simultaneously and selecting the correct answer, as indicated by the efficiency of the energy transfer.

Wait for catcalledjesus to say something lol...


AI:
Deduction: No
Reasoning: No
Problem solving: Yes. (not quantum mechanically yet...)

2) Knowledge representation
Cells:
Default reasoning and the qualification problem: No?
Unconscious knowledge: Perhaps. Stored in any or all of the cellular codes?
The breadth of common sense knowledge: No.
AI:
Default reasoning and the qualification problem: No
Unconscious knowledge: Yes. The software contains the stored information
The breadth of common sense knowledge: No


3) Planning
Cells: Yes, from post here and here:
Quote
We question whether homeostasis alone adequately explains microbial responses to environmental stimuli, and explore the capacity of intra-cellular networks for predictive behavior in a fashion similar to metazoan nervous systems. We show that in silico biochemical networks, evolving randomly under precisely defined complex habitats, capture the dynamical, multidimensional structure of diverse environments by forming internal models that allow prediction of environmental change. We provide evidence for such anticipatory behavior by revealing striking correlations of Escherichia coli transcriptional responses to temperature and oxygen perturbations—precisely mirroring the co-variation of these parameters upon transitions between the outside world and the mammalian gastrointestinal-tract. We further show that these internal correlations reflect a true associative learning paradigm, since they show rapid decoupling upon exposure to novel environments.

Microarray transcriptional profiling was employed to determine whether gene expression correlates with the observed global cellular state and physiological responses. And indeed it does.
From the study it was determined that anticipatory transcriptional reprogramming occurs in response to aerobic and anaerobic environmental changes and these anticipatory transcriptional reprogramming events are as a result an “associative learning” paradigm. Is this an example of harnessing random variation and selection that allow for predictive transcriptional reprogramming in response to environmental change that gives the illusion of foresight? Creativity?

And for this: Scientists Show Bacteria Can 'Learn' And Plan Ahead
AI: Yes if instructed to.

4) Learning
Cells: Yes: Scientists Show Bacteria Can 'Learn' And Plan Ahead
AI: Yes, certain artificial neural networks are capable of this.

5) Natural language processing
Cells: Yes and no. Yes because cells are able to communicate and process information from themselves and other cells (autocrine, paracrine, endocrine etc). No, cells do not consciously talk
AI: Yes and no. Yes because certain programs can interpret human language and systems of various platforms can communicate (Linux to Mac etc). No, AI does not consciously talk.

6) Motion and manipulation
Cells: Yes, chemotaxis...controlled movement.
Directed movement of organisms without a nervous system.....
AI: Yes

7) Perception
Cells: Yes, cells communicate with the environment through surface receptors and relays information through signal transduction which in turn affects gene expression and protein activity.
AI: Yes

8 ) Social intelligence
Cells: Yes, even bacteria interact with other bacteria and can even mimic a multicellular organism through quorum sensing.
AI: Perhaps? AI neural networks?

9) Creativity
Cells: Yes, harnessing random variation and selection to adapt. Controlled cytosine deamination and subsequent repair mechanisms determine the type of random mutation to occur. Not directed mutation, but an active search of random space for a solution. Your immune system also does it.
AI: Perhaps? An example?

10) General intelligence
Cells: No (Only in humans so far)
AI: No

When compared to our own engineered AI, even the simplest lifeforms' machinery outperforms it hands down.
Rigil Kent (July 31, 2009, 11:32:43 AM):
Mmmm .... interesting points all.

There was a young coccus called Fred
who, when considering the life that he led,
without baby-blue eyes
and of diminutive size,
kept tossing and turning in bed.

Mintaka
rwenzori (August 01, 2009, 05:28:18 AM):
Reasoning...perhaps not, that seems way too teleological not? Or is it?
How about molecular autonomous agents?

Intelligent? There is no universally accepted definition of intelligence, so lets go with what there is...
Look at artificial intelligence for example (excuse the wiki if you don't mind).



You dropping your little turds around here again?

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showpost.php?p=2888973&postcount=62
http://teleomechanist.blogspot.com/2008/07/intelligence.html

I notice that you have conveniently excised your Wikipedia definition of intelligence - was the highlighted bit a teensy-weensy problem for you LOL? -

Quote
Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.


As stated elsewhere:

"... I did glance through all that - speculative kite-flying of the worst ( read "hidden religious agenda" ) kind. No brain = no mind = no consciousness = no intelligence. Unless your beloved cells have brains hidden in their arses or somewhere."

Or, of course, they have Bebeh Jebus up their arses, directing operations.
:P :P

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