U-of-Chicago Biochemist: All Living Cells Are Cognitive

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University of Chicago Biochemist: All Living Cells Are Cognitive

Denyse O'Leary

Quote:James Shapiro’s recent paper points out, with examples, that bacteria meet the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “cognitive”

Quote:All living cells sense and respond to changes in external or internal conditions. Without that cognitive capacity, they could not obtain nutrition essential for growth, survive inevitable ecological changes, or correct accidents in the complex processes of reproduction. Wherever examined, even the smallest living cells (prokaryotes) display sophisticated regulatory networks establishing appropriate adaptations to stress conditions that maximize the probability of survival. Supposedly “simple” prokaryotic organisms also display remarkable capabilities for intercellular signalling and multicellular coordination. These observations indicate that all living cells are cognitive.

Quote:If the cell itself does not create the intelligence it embodies, what does? Panpsychists argue that all of nature participates in some way in consciousness and humans are the most highly developed example. Theists argue that only a mind outside the universe could create something like human consciousness.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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(2021-11-10, 01:02 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: University of Chicago Biochemist: All Living Cells Are Cognitive

Denyse O'Leary

This is something I tend to believe must be true. I have sometimes posted this rather old link:


This might even form the definition of life.

However, I think the word 'cognitive' is a weasel word because it could refer to something as simple as a few logic gates. I suppose that I assume the intelligence would be something non-physical - related to the physical cell in the same way our minds are related to our physical bodies.

I suspect a lot of very interesting discoveries could be made in this field if the shackles of materialism could be put aside for a bit. "If we hypothsise that materialism is false, then the following sets of experimental results make good sense....."
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