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Hellbent

Evidence of Intelligence sans Brain/Neural Network

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We sort of assume that organisms need a brain or neural network in order to have some form of intelligence. Well check this out:

http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jan/071

Slime Molds Show Surprising Degree of Intelligence

A creature with no brain can learn from and even anticipate events.

Single-celled slime molds demonstrate the ability to memorize and anticipate repeated events, a team of Japanese researchers reported in January. The study clearly shows “a primitive version of brain function” in an organism with no brain at all. The findings of what lone cells are capable of “might be a chance to reconsider what intelligence is,” [scientist] says.

http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jan/071

Discuss!

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Somehow I can picture someone turning this news into some kind of premise for a b-movie...INVASION OF THE SLIME MOLD!!!!

Seriously, I don't know what to think.

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I've got a magnet I've "taught" to follow a metal bar around! It even anticipates the metal, moving towards it before it ever comes near!!
;)

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Chilly Willy said:

I've got a magnet I've "taught" to follow a metal bar around! It even anticipates the metal, moving towards it before it ever comes near!!
;)

Yeah, but you didn't use classical conditioning to achieve that feat. No gold star for you.

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I think he could have a silver star or at least a bronze or copper one.

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Texas Libra said:

Somehow I can picture someone turning this news into some kind of premise for a b-movie...INVASION OF THE SLIME MOLD!!!!

Seriously, I don't know what to think.

O RLY?

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boris said:
O RLY?

YA RLY

The slime mold in the article's picture looks much like the stuff in the (pre-ultimate) DOOM credit screen. Now you know where the intelligence must be coming from!

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Hellbent said:

Yeah, but you didn't use classical conditioning to achieve that feat. No gold star for you.


Darn! Thought for certain I had gotten that second gold star! :(

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Hellbent said:

Yeah, but you didn't use classical conditioning to achieve that feat. No gold star for you.

What about the memory effect in nickel cadmium batteries. Do I get a gold star for that?

myk said:

Now you know where the intelligence must be coming from!

The two Carmacks created an AI that escaped from the digital domain into what's considered the "real world"?

What's so unusual about a single-celled organism exibiting “a primitive version of brain function”? If you accept the argument that complex organisms evolved from simpler organisms then it's logical to assume that the simpler organism contains the basic building blocks required for more specialised cells to evolve.

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Yeah, I had this Nature video when I was a kid about venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants. It's really weird how they work.

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GreyGhost said:

What about the memory effect in nickel cadmium batteries. Do I get a gold star for that?


Nope! Same problem as my example: "Yeah, but you didn't use classical conditioning to achieve that feat. No gold star for you."

Darn! So close...

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Hellbent said:

We sort of assume that organisms need a brain or neural network in order to have some form of intelligence. Well check this out:

{SNIP}

Slime Molds Show Surprising Degree of Intelligence

A creature with no brain can learn from and even anticipate events.

{SNIP}

Discuss!

Polliticians. Slime. Same thing.

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Georgef551 said:

Polliticians. Slime. Same thing.


Yeah, except slime molds have one up on politicians.. they can learn from previous mistakes.

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Reminds me of the old "brain transplant" joke, where a patient's offered the brain of an astrophysicist for $20,000 or a politician for $100,000.
"Why is the politician's brain so much more expensive?" - he asks.
"Because it's never been used." - the surgeon replies.

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Creaphis said:

Since we're discussing brainless yet eerily-intelligent creatures, science fiction, and politics (somewhat), I have to post a link to Day of the Triffids.

It's only a matter of time before the slime molds take over and we all wished we owned plasma rifles....

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