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Old 07-12-2018, 10:01 AM
Status: "Semi-Retired" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Greenville, SC (as of 9.27.18)
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I first encountered this in the writings of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 90s - he pointed out that single celled organisms exhibit behavior and choice but they don’t have nervous systems; a paramecium will bump into something, back up, and try again; an amoeba will track prey based on chemical signals. Same with plant behavior - a mimosa will fold its leaves when dropped, but apparently will learn over time that a drop isn't threatenting and stop folding its leaves. Research has shown slime molds can navigate mazes and remember things:


https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...s-slime-molds/
https://www.quantamagazine.org/slime...earn-20180709/


Penrose has suggested that the microtubule system in all living cells was responsible for this behavior - one implication is that all living things may be in some sense conscious, and consciousness is an intrinsic part of reality:


https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...71064513001188


It kind of ticks me off that the Quanta article suggests this is a brand new idea, when Penrose was writing about it some 25 years ago.

Last edited by Vasily; 07-12-2018 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:17 AM
 
Location: London, U.K.
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Hi Vasily


I love Roger Penrose for his geometry, as in Penrose Tiling, link below:-


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_tiling
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:44 PM
Status: "Semi-Retired" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Greenville, SC (as of 9.27.18)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Smith View Post
I love Roger Penrose for his geometry, as in Penrose Tiling, link below:-
Penrose Tiling is really what he was famous for before he got heavily into the consciousness mystery. One of the great mathematical minds of the 20th and 21st centuries, in my estimation. I first encountered him when I was doing my theories of computation class in graduate school.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:55 PM
 
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Although not single celled organisms, plants can exhibit behavior which might make one think they have a brain but it's more about electrical impulses, evolution, and chemicals working together to benefit a plant.
-Plants don't need brains to catch insects for food but some do
-Plants are able to turn their leaves towards light so they can produce the most food for themselves
-Plants are able to manipulate animals and insects to pollinate them by many means including rewarding the pollinator, imitating a specific species of pollinator or fooling a pollinator into thinking they are mating.

I won't go on because the examples are many but none of this means the plants are actually thinking. BTW, a mimosa isn't thinking when it closes it's leaves. It's a result of millions of years of evolution resulting in animals not eating as many mimosas because folded leaves look smaller and are more difficult to eat.

Last edited by marino760; 07-12-2018 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:27 PM
Status: "Semi-Retired" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Greenville, SC (as of 9.27.18)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I won't go on because the examples are many but none of this means the plants are actually thinking. BTW, a mimosa isn't thinking when it closes it's leaves. It's a result of millions of years of evolution resulting in animals not eating as many mimosas because folded leaves look smaller and are more difficult to eat.
Mimosas have been shown to exhibit a rudimentary form of learning - which is rather startling:

https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/springer...-in-0ZgFoH4IWe

Which shows you can have "learning" and "memory" without what we'd call thinking. Interestingly, Penrose has pointed out that anaesthetics work at the same concentrations on all living organisms - down to the single cell level. This suggests I think is that the low-level components of what we'd call thinking may go all the way back to the cellular level.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:58 PM
 
Location: PRC
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There was a good article on Keelynet.com a few years ago about a potato which could 'see'. I will try and find it.

Thinking and consciousness are different I believe, so what exactly do we mean? I think we have to define our terms.
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:51 PM
Status: "Semi-Retired" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Greenville, SC (as of 9.27.18)
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Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
There was a good article on Keelynet.com a few years ago about a potato which could 'see'. I will try and find it.

Thinking and consciousness are different I believe, so what exactly do we mean? I think we have to define our terms.
Thinking is relatively easy to define:

"Cognition [i.e., thinking] is defined as ‘the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses." (source)

Consciousness is much harder to pin down. This is weird stuff. Beside Penrose, John Searle (a philosopher) and Antonio Damasio (a neuroscientist) and others have proposed definitions that require awareness of being, and of one's existence as a being apart from other beings for something to be considered conscious. We know from our own experience that elements of our experience are in the unconscious, others are in our present awareness. We also know from fairly recent experiments that at least some animals have a degree of self awareness: the other primates, parrots, crows/ravens, elephants for example.

Cognition can exist without consciousness, and consciousness can be turned off and on with anaesthetics. A simple computer "thinks" but only a few hard AI types will claim that they are conscious of themselves. Hard AI types have believed since the 1950s that if a computer can just be built with enough power and complexity it will become self-aware. There are those like Searle, Penrose, and Damasio who argue that it goes beyond complexity in some way; brains aren't simply analogs of electrical circuits as was thought in the 1950s (the philosophical argument is expressed in the Chinese room argument). The brain is a self-modifying network of immense complexity involving electrical activity, chemical activity we're only beginning to understand, and likely quantum effects and the weirdness Penrose believes happens in cellular microtubules (that I believe is where paranormal phenomena like precognition have their existence).
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:59 PM
 
Location: PRC
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This is a most interesting article. We only have this guys word for the information he reports but it sounds very plausible.

There is no link to this article as I do not appear to find any indexes before 1996 on keelynet. Therefore I have linked to Keelynet index page

Article was on Keelynet which I copied and saved. This is all the info I have on it.
Keelynet.com - Potatoes Can See

Quote:
September 2, 1993

POTATO.ASC
This file shared with KeelyNet courtesy of Dan Davidson.
Potatoes Can See
A REPORT BY JACK SALTER
Aug.1, 1993 OF
WATERFORD MICHIGAN

In the late 60's I was working for a company, in southern Michigan, called Space Defense Corp. The company was engaged in basic research with most of the contracts being with NASA. The question of particular interest to us at the time was, "What would happen to man's biological rhythms in a long term deep space flight?"

Man has about 280 biological clocks ticking away and are more or less associated with the Planet Earth. So if we take man and send him into deep space, is he going to fall apart?

The plan was to take something simple, study its' biorhythms on earth, then shoot it into deep space, then compare the biorhythm, which would give you conjecture as to Man. After a reasonable study the Potato was elected-it was simple, lots of data in the data banks, and the life-blood of Americans. To help clarify the data we elected to only fly the eye of a potato thus reducing the size of the experiment.

Pertinent Data:

Sample size - 1/4" diameter - 3/4" long potato eye plug.
Oxygen consumption- 10 Cubic Inches in 90 days.
Oxygen transducer was used to control the partial pressure
Potato chamber was constructed entirely of aluminum to preclude the possibility of any Lumens being able to excite the eye.
The chamber was pressurized to one atmosphere and maintained to one millionth of a PSI-this is so the eye cannot sense barometric changes.
Ambient temperature was controlled to within three Degrees F


One of the first things that we noticed was that not all eyes survived the plugging operation. The potato eye would go into post operative shock as if he were trying to decide if "He" were going to live or die. He would not take a breath for 2 or 3 days, but, if the potato were plugged during the full moon the breathing would start almost immediately. Thus giving more credence to the "Farmers Almanac" saying that "if you want to have a good potato crop you should plant in the light of the full moon".

The first of the data showed that the potato would get up at sunrise and "Work"; do his thing until sundown. Then he would go into a quasi-state of low oxygen consumption (sleep) until next morning.

Then the process was repeated five more times followed by a low oxygen consumption day ;"cool it day", to put it more accurately he worked six days and rested on the seventh! Now this brought up more questions than it solved. How is it that all potatoes had the same rhythm? Why were they synchronous? When did they pick the day of rest? Was "GOD" trying to tell us something?

Over the years of study the potato appeared to be smarter and smarter. While still locked up in the can, he still could tell Spring, Winter, Fall and Summer. He knew the days of the week, the time of day and the position of the moon with respect to the sun. That potato either had a fantastic memory or was getting information through the can.

We then decided to revise the instrumentation to put a temperature probe directly into the potato eye. We reasoned that as he took a breath, the O2 would combine with the starch - this reaction would produce heat thus telling us the minute the potato took a breath.

This new instrumentation presented us with some of the old problems of grounding, shielding, and stray fields each in turn being answered by perseverance, except one.

Sporadic problems that seemingly come and go without an explanation as to reason or time are the worst and hardest type to correct. The search seemed endless. Finally we noticed that when someone new came into the lab that the potato got hyper.

That is to say, we noticed that the breathing rate increased and would stay elevated for several minutes after the arrival of any new people to the laboratory. Does this sporadic problem turn out to be Potato Memory? Can the potato SEE through the aluminum can, remember who was in the lab, then say to himself "that's a new face, what's he doing here"? Then after a few minutes, think to himself "nothing new is going on, I guess I'll go back to doing my thing".

It's time for some conjecture, what if the Potato were a super- sensitive gravity field detector? This would account for knowing the Spring, Winter, Fall and Summer, further, the position of the sun and moon could be accounted for. But, knowing the day of the week?

That's a reach, but not so much if you consider everything produces a gravity field. That the net gravitometric force is the net of all the fields around you. When Jim, Betty, and Bob are in the lab, they produce a net gravity field which is sensed by the Potato. Now lets say that Judy comes into the Lab. The gravity field must adjust which will affect the Potato as well.

Let us take this one more step, the building that houses the lab normally has about 100 people working there, but on Sunday there may be none to five. Which would give a lower net gravitational field and thus the Potato does not feel the pressure to work so hard. And all this time you thought that He wanted to go to church. One final thought. If the Potato can't see why do we say he has eyes.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:56 AM
Status: "Semi-Retired" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Greenville, SC (as of 9.27.18)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
This is a most interesting article. We only have this guys word for the information he reports but it sounds very plausible.
I remember reading about this years ago. There's a lot going on with living things that we're only starting to understand so it wouldn't surprise me if the results were as described. We suspect for example that plants communicate with each other through fungal networks:

BBC - Earth - Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus
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