Are plants conscious?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Musika, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Synthesis is the central means/mechanism of reproduction. There's no opposition.

    Rather, it indicates your misuse of the term - and the others you are throwing around.
    You have now eliminated the last shred of possible meaning from your use of that word.
    Bollocks. They'd never reproduce if they did that.
    They don't. They produce things describable using such sequences, often, but no known plant uses numbers at all.
    Now we have restrictions "causal to" inabilities.

    My point, above, that a convenient simplification or shorthand notion such as "cause" is not useful for careful analysis in these matters, is well illustrated.
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  3. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    Yet we can still talk of synthetic urea (as opposed to biosynthetic urea) to distinguish a completely synthetic process.
    If you can't talk of the synthesis of life in a manner where you can drop the "bio", it remains that the synthesis of life is completely distinct from the synthesis of chemicals life utilizes.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not "completely", but "completely human accomplished".
    It's a useful distinction, partly because human synthesis is as yet crude and expensive compared with the more efficient bacterial or other biological processes.
    But you can - if you want to.
    How so? Synthesis is synthesis, no matter who is identified as the synthesizer.
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, it shows that parsimonious development is mathematically efficient.
    Does it ever make you wonder how it is possible that the Fibonacci Sequence is found in flowering plants as well as in the natural formation of spiral galaxies?
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Or that parsimonious efficiency is mathematical development, that parsimonious mathematics is efficient development, that mathematical development is efficiently parsimonious, that efficient development is parsimoniously mathematical, etc.
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Hmmm, I thought that the the concept of Cause and Effect was mainstream science. Am I wrong?
    And I have no desire to get into semantics. If you understand what I am trying to say, for me that is sufficient. I am not writing a formal paper for peer review. This is an informal discussion on a subject which is still a mystery to every scientist in the world.
    It seems to me that in biology a
    bio-organism has to be alive to be able to procreate.
    I agree, neither flowers nor galaxies need to know numbers or mathematics. Yet they demonstrably do use this parsimonious sequence.
    Fibonacci just discovered this sequential distribution which can be found throughout the universe.
    No, a person may well be able to walk and leave the room, IF the door was open. There is no inability to walk, circumstances forbid your use of this ability and most likely causes great distress to your system. Anybody here who wants to go to jail? Not a very satisfactory housing arrangement, IMO.
    As I said, I am not writing a formal paper and I admit my lack of deep knowledge for careful analysis, but I am fascinated by the natural phenomena of consciousness in a general sense.

    But I do recall Yazata's question how to define consciousness, which no one seems to be able to answer, including myself.
    But if I understand Penrose and Hameroff, consciousness starts at quantum level.

    If you haven't watched it yet, it is really informative in context of consciousness which, as anesthesiologist, is his area of expertise. One thing that really struck me was his use of the word "BING" in context of cognition.

    I recalled a description of MS Bing search engine.
    When I saw the slogan for the first time it did not impress me, but in context of this discussion on "consciousness", I now see the slogan in a different light.......

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    How about all of the above?
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Sure. Flip a coin.
    So is Newtonian mechanics. Lots of shorthand simplifications and heuristic concepts are very useful in human thought and comprehension.
    It's just that one's not useful in this discussion.
    All organisms sacrifice significant survival probability - often all of it - for reproduction.
    No, they don't. Humans are the only known organisms to use a Fibonacci sequence for anything.
    You mean "yes". You presented us with a restriction and described it as "causal to" an inability. I quoted you. It's an example of the confusions created by the concept of "cause" in this topic.
    Consciousness (like most things) probably will be defined as a consequence of being better understood, not before. All physical phenomena "start" at quantum level.

    Keep it simple.
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I agree, but then consider that in a human hive mind, an individual's failure is of no consequence if they managed to reprodce in the mean time. Their reproduction rate is so exponentially rapid that, say after nuclear war it might take several hundred years to replace the population, but would this would be accomplished by insects in a few months.

    But in the link I provided Hameroff demonstrates an audible noise inside the nano-tubulars responding to specific ultrasound waves an audible representation of the "music of the spheres" It's awesome, especially at the end.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I am not. Once again, there is no "banner" denoting consciousness; no finish line that you have to cross to gain that title. It is a continuum. There are things that are minimally conscious and things that are very conscious.
    So if something acts against its self interest it is not conscious?

    Given the numerous examples of people (and human-bred animals like dogs) acting against their self interest in pursuit of an externally imposed goal - or even acting out of a desire for self destruction - that's not really an argument against consciousness.
    I have a car that will do hands-off driving. It has never had to brake hard or swerve to avoid a pedestrian. It has, in the 20,000 miles I've driven it, had to make one evasive maneuver and one panic stop. Which corresponds pretty well to the rate of TCAS TA's and RA's that most pilots individually see i.e. once in a great while.
    You are saying "AI's give lawyers better tools to sue for damages and to prosecute charges." Agreed. So do police body cameras, and cockpit voice recorders, and security cameras. Again, that does not mean that cars will have to solve trolley problems.
    Probably. And if a cop is caught on camera doing something illegal, prosecutors will likely go after the cop, the cop's supervisor, the guy who wrote the training syllabus for the cop etc.

    Again, that's not because the cop didn't successfully solve the trolley problem. It's because we live in a society where everyone sues for everything.
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Why? What's the difference between synthesis and reproduction? Remember that I've been talking about arranging the chemicals exactly as they are in living things. As long as they are so arranged, how do you tell the difference between the arranged chemicals and a "real" life form? What is it that makes chemicals "alive"?
  15. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    Good question. I don’t think science has an answer. It may simply boil down to complexity that we cannot yet achieve.

    We cannot create synthetic life from scratch. We can create certain simple viruses by synthesizing linear DNA viral genomes and transfecting the DNA into host cells. The host cells are then complete the viral life cycle and produce new viral particles. We can create certain simple bacterial species by taking an existing cell, removing its genome and replacing it with a different synthetic circular bacterial chromosome. This can transform the cell into a new (but necessarily highly-related) species.

    What we can’t do is take lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids and combine them together to create a living cell from scratch. We can synthetically make all these macromolecules individually. But what makes them “alive” might be the stunning complexity with which they need to be arranged together to form a cell that can reproduce itself autonomously.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    From Nature:
    'Minimal’ cell raises stakes in race to harness synthetic life
    Craig Venter’s creation comes as CRISPR gene-editing methods provide alternative ways to tinker with life’s building blocks.

    24 March 2016

    Genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter has created a synthetic cell that contains the smallest genome of any known, independent organism. Functioning with 473 genes, the cell is a milestone in his team’s 20-year quest to reduce life to its bare essentials and, by extension, to design life from scratch.

    Venter, who has co-founded a company that seeks to harness synthetic cells for making industrial products, says that the feat heralds the creation of customized cells to make drugs, fuels and other products. But an explosion in powerful ‘gene-editing’ techniques, which enable relatively easy and selective tinkering with genomes, raises a niggling question: why go to the trouble of making new life forms when you can simply tweak what already exists?

    Each cell of JCVI-syn3.0 contains just 473 genes, fewer than any other independent organism.

    Unlike the first synthetic cells made in 20101, in which Venter’s team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California, copied an existing bacterial genome and transplanted it into another cell, the genome of the minimal cells is like nothing in nature. Venter says that the cell, which is described in a paper released on 24 March in Science2, constitutes a brand new, artificial species.
  17. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    The project you reference is exactly as I described above (and, indeed, was the precise project I was thinking of when I responded above): take existing cells, remove the genome and replace it with a synthetic genome. They did not synthesize a cell from scratch.

    Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome
    Hutchison et al.
    Science 25 Mar 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6280, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253

    A goal in biology is to understand the molecular and biological function of every gene in a cell. One way to approach this is to build a minimal genome that includes only the genes essential for life. In 2010, a 1079-kb genome based on the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides (JCV-syn1.0) was chemically synthesized and supported cell growth when transplanted into cytoplasm. Hutchison III et al. used a design, build, and test cycle to reduce this genome to 531 kb (473 genes). The resulting JCV-syn3.0 retains genes involved in key processes such as transcription and translation, but also contains 149 genes of unknown function.
    Edit: I agree with the authors that this is a huge step towards completely synthetic life. The potential benefits of synthetic cells with designer capabilities are huge. But I think we’re straying from the topic of plant consciousness (which I think is a largely semantic discussion based on your chosen definition of ‘consciousness’).

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  18. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    One is exclusively performed by the host. The other isn't.
    If they weren't distinct, the wiki page on abiogenesis would look very different, to say the least.
    When you should be talking about "arranging the chemicals" by the the living things( ie, the host). Your very choice of language begs the question why you are broadening up a category that is necessarily singular.

    Those sentences don't even begin to make sense. Perhaps you could provide an example of arranged chemicals that confuse the definition of a "real" life form.
  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    So they synthesized a chemical that life utilizes, and applied it to a living cell.
    This proves there is or there is not no distinction between synthesizing life and the chemicals life utilizes?
  20. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    Given the practical monopoly of tool usage by the human species in our world, could it mean anything else?

    If you want to put a price tag on performing the process of something that not even the professionals can theoretically agree on, much less demonstrate, then yes, the price tag will be high.

    Only if you want to conflate life (which can only be biosynthesized) with the chemicals life utilizes (which can, at least in quite a few cases, be either synthesized or biosynthesized)

    Because in the case of synthesizing life, it remains exclusively in the realm of "bio", as opposed to urea, citric acid, etc
  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    But it is not parsimonious for life to arise from matter or complex life forms to arise from simple ones. At some point, the development of things in this world rejected mere form following function (aka parsimonious) and upped the anti for function to lead the way.

    As iceaura has been pointing out, appreciating such things arises from sentience. Maths is just maths. There is no "elegance" to a random group of integers over a sequence unless you want to introduce sentience. Given that attributing sentience to the universe does not appear to be a page from your "player's manual", it's unclear where you are trying to take this.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What difference does it make here, for the purpose of this thread, who did the synthesis?
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    As a general statement one can make that argument, but it is more complex than that.
    First, a Salmon may die soon after spawning, but she leaves thosands of eggs which will become her offspring.
    Same as a Cuttlefish, Mayflies, Butterflies and a host of other organisms which will die in the process of procreating.
    Their own survival is no longer required.

    Insect hives have one queen who is able to reproduce. A queen bee may live 30 years and produce close to a million offspring, all sterile. The offspring's entire lives are dedicated to keep the queen alive as she is the only one which can reproduce.
    As she dies and is not immediately replaced the hive will die.

    Thus the the million sterile workers' and soldiers' purpose is to keep the queen alive. Their lives have no reproductive meaning per se without a queen to serve.

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