Brain-Mind: Know Thyself!

maxwell mmmaxwell at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 25 13:47:03 EST 2001


..inline...
Richard Norman <rsnorman at mediaone.net> wrote in message
news:gbLZ6.18534$s25.293177 at typhoon.mw.mediaone.net...
> "RoyBoy" <aphycho at usa.net> wrote in message
> news:1BKZ6.115819$r7.15513690 at news1.busy1.on.home.com...
> > maxwell:
> > ***
> > Quickly though, just one easy one from the page:
> > "Are such protozoa more intelligent than neurons?
> > Unquestionably-- *neurons* are not very intelligent. ;~)
> > ***
> > Well in one way I understand that...and another
> > way I disagree.  I mean, a neuron is large collection
> > of stuff...not sure on the processing power though.
> >
> > But on the other hand, a protozoon has complex
> > behavior and is much bigger overall...I think, and is an
> > all in one system. :')
> >
> > After all, a neuron is very small...and requires
> > to be part of a system to do much.
> >
> > What is the size comparison between neuron
> > and a small protozoon?
> >
> > However, a neuron is specialized...and is as
> > dumb and useless by itself, as a single cog
> > in a clock.
>
> First, there really is no such thing as a "protozoan".  The
> word describes a tremendously diverse subgroup of protists
> that really don't have much in common including evolutionary
> relatedness.  Do you mean a Plasmodium (malaria parasite)
> or a radiolarian (these don't have much complex behavior) or
> do you mean an Amoeba or a Paramecium (these do)?  Looking
> at ribosomal RNA, there is far far more variability between
> different protists than there is in all the animals plus all the
> plants plus all the fungi combined.

On the website referred to, the protozoan's characteristics were
described:

"  single cell protozoan organisms are able to swim, find food,
and learn through the use of their internal cytoskeleton.
Are such protozoa more intelligent than neurons?  "

My answer was WRT the above.
>
> Second, both protists and neurons can vary tremendously
> in size with broad overlap.  The soma of either a neuron or
> a protist can vary from a few micrometers to a hundred or
> so micrometers -- perhaps five or six orders of magnitude
> range in volume. The complexity in structure and activity
> of each can also vary enormously, as do their capabilities
> in reacting and responding to their environment (or their inputs).

True, and the point inferred, and grasped by Roy,
was that complex behaviours need not be neuron-dependent.

However, though Roy made one statement that was spot-on:

" After all, a neuron is very small...and requires to be part of a
system to do much."

and one that was incorrect:

"However, a neuron is specialized...and is as
dumb and useless by itself, as a single cog
in a clock. "

There was also one question Roy asked:

" What is the size comparison between neuron
and a small protozoon? "

to which I refer you, Richard, to *your* last question:

" > Just because a group of words obeys the rules of syntax and
> ends with a question mark, does it deserve an answer? "

Okay?

We *could* even refer to Dictylostelium, (so-called "slime mould")
 activity as "social" (though not prokaryotic, of course) and we do
well
 not to limit discussion of information processing considerations
 to brains or computers, as long as we honour the constraint of
 tangibility-- does such exist, or are there reasonable extensions
 from current knowledge to suggest such may exist?
http://www.zi.biologie.uni-muenchen.de/zoologie/dicty/dicty.html

>
> Third, which is more intelligent -- your kidney or a cucumber?

Kidney.

> Just because a group of words obeys the rules of syntax and
> ends with a question mark, does it deserve an answer?

No, and no inference of triviality was made.

..I'm gone for now-- really must return to WP stuff.
-m
>
>




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