The origins of intelligence

Tao_Equus

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Thank you Tao, for trying to expand a few narrow outlooks.

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I have a pretty good series of DVDs on evolution that explain the basics and give lots of examples- these are what I always use to supplement teaching for intro biological anthro to address the (incorrect) assumption that us "complex" beings could not possibly evolve from less complex beings.

When I first studied cellular biology, I was struck at how amazingly effective and complex even the most basic forms of life are- the virus and bacteria. Then I learned that there are even in-between forms of life that are only sort-of living- prions. To me, that is very good evidence of the potential of a continuum between non-living and living things (that is, life is not as clear-cut as we suppose and therefore the origins of life are not necessarily something that happened once, instantaneously, but rather things like prions can be evidence for an ongoing spectrum between non-life and life). I am always struck by the awareness that my body is, in fact, like a little ecosystem all its own... I'm made up of tons of independently living cells that do their own thing with their own kind of intelligence. In many ways, each individual organism is like an ecosystem, with fuzzy boundaries, complex interactions between interdependent but relatively individualistic beings, and an overall consciousness or force toward balance in order for the whole to survive. It's remarkable if you think about it- it defies the "logic" that our ego proposes for self-gratification, but that "logic" does not hold up to scrutiny and, in fact, we're left with the consciousness (if we so choose it) that we are a constellation of individual organisms working together, not a single entity.
 
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Thank you PoO,

We each do carry around kilos of bacteria, our DNA is latticed with viral insertions and all together each of us is not a single organism but millions of them. What these articles, and many others I have read, show is just what you point out, life is far more complex than we suppose. Yet it is wonderful that we can still see the simple beginnings.
 
Yep, to me it makes perfect and beautiful sense that each more "complex" thing carries that which it came from with it. There is something I can't quite express about how biology and ecology are integrated with my spirituality... something about the ever larger and more expansive interdependency and even interbeingness (that is, everything only exists because everything else exists)... ultimately it's that sense of unity. Just as I feel like one united being despite being composed of tons of little beings doing their own thing, I get that amazing feeling that at a larger, more expansive level, I am one of those little beings doing my own thing but am part of a larger consciousness and process.
 
Yep, to me it makes perfect and beautiful sense that each more "complex" thing carries that which it came from with it. There is something I can't quite express about how biology and ecology are integrated with my spirituality... something about the ever larger and more expansive interdependency and even interbeingness (that is, everything only exists because everything else exists)... ultimately it's that sense of unity. Just as I feel like one united being despite being composed of tons of little beings doing their own thing, I get that amazing feeling that at a larger, more expansive level, I am one of those little beings doing my own thing but am part of a larger consciousness and process.
It has a name..... Gaia ;)
 
Why microbes are smarter than you thought - life - 30 June 2009 - New Scientist
Review: Wetware by Dennis Bray - opinion - 30 June 2009 - New Scientist

For those that doubt that a creature so allegedly intelligent as a human could evolve such faculties the article and book review above demonstrate just how simple its beginnings were. If you think that a big claim to make then remember that brain chemistry is just that, chemistry.

So have these microbes written a good books lately :rolleyes:
 
That's how I relate to her. Him. What have you.

At a larger level, I feel this is true of the universe as well.

I feel a connectedness too, like everything is a part of one thing, both globally and universally. I just dont give it human character, motivations or whatever. Its like standing at the foot of and looking up at a great mountain, it has power, it evokes awe and reverence. But it is just rock thrust up by tectonic processes. Its only similarity to us that it is made of atoms and exists in the same universe. It requires no worship, homage, gifts etc. It is our sense of poetry that embellishes. It has none.
 
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters.

When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters.

But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.


Ch'uan Teng Lu, (The Way of Zen)
 
I feel a connectedness too, like everything is a part of one thing, both globally and universally. I just dont give it human character, motivations or whatever. Its like standing at the foot of and looking up at a great mountain, it has power, it evokes awe and reverence. But it is just rock thrust up by tectonic processes. Its only similarity to us that it is made of atoms and exists in the same universe. It requires no worship, homage, gifts etc. It is our sense of poetry that embellishes. It has none.

I agree it requires nothing. I don't agree that it has no sense of itself. Something does not have to be human in character or motivations or consciousness to have character, motivations, or consciousness. I am open to other beings and Being Itself... being different from me. I as a human am not the sole standard for what others might be, and I am quite limited. So I am open to the possibility of what could be, rather than defining "It" too closely in any way.

The way I see it, we have nothing of our own, not even our sense of poetry. And so our sense of poetry does not embellish, but rather reveals.

That's my take on it anyway.
 
Mystery cries out to Mystery; consciousness to Consciousness. As I used to use as a signature line long ago when it was allowed: the verse from Psalm 42: "Deep cries to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.";) earl
 
I feel a connectedness too, like everything is a part of one thing, both globally and universally. I just dont give it human character, motivations or whatever. Its like standing at the foot of and looking up at a great mountain, it has power, it evokes awe and reverence. But it is just rock thrust up by tectonic processes. Its only similarity to us that it is made of atoms and exists in the same universe. It requires no worship, homage, gifts etc. It is our sense of poetry that embellishes. It has none.
By the way, Tao, do you ever wonder why so many quantum physicists like to describe their thinking with such poetic language? ;) earl
 
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