Sentient Superorganisms?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by CapsOwn, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. CapsOwn Registered Senior Member

    I was just curious to know that if a group of cells can work together to form a sentient being, could a bunch of organisms come together and form a sentient being as well? And if they could, would we ever know?
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  3. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    No reason in theory why not, as long as the organisms can link their nervous systems, without undue delays to transmissions of impulses from one nervous system to the next.

    How would we know? By the sentient actions of an otherwise non sentient appearing colony of wee beasts.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I have often insisted that civilization is a super-organism that we, its cells, have created. It has five of the seven characteristics that define life:
    • Organization
    • Metabolism
    • Growth
    • Adaptation
    • Response to stimuli
    I don't know if it manifests homeostasis, the regulation of a constant internal state; I'm not sure what to look for or how to measure it once I find it. And it clearly does not exhibit reproduction, although perhaps it's just waiting until it develops interstellar transportation.

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    Nonetheless, the definition only requires most of these characteristics, not all of them. I think homeostasis is a rather weak requirement, and as for reproduction, hey, I'm alive and I've never reproduced
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  7. orcot Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure abouth that it shows signs of evolution, you can't miss the fact that city's have become more structurally complex over the millenia.

    Homeostasis also seem to apply aftherall city's are run, the expand according to a certain patron and evolve without disturbing the inner workings.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Although the Neo-Latin word civilizatio means "the building of cities," an individual city is not a civilization. A civilization is a group of cities that exchange raw materials, food, goods, services, technology, information, culture, people, etc. The changes taking place in a single city are more analogous to "growth" and "maturation" in biological organisms, rather than the "evolution" of a species or a clade. I would judge that in order to reproduce, a civilization must spawn other civilizations.

    Of course, this has, arguably, happened. Greece and Rome were "descendants" of Mesopotamia. Japan and Korea were "descendants" of China. Are the USA and Australia "descendants" of England/Britain, or merely "new growth"?

    But today the point is moot because all of the world's civilizations are heading (or in some cases being dragged kicking and screaming

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    ) toward unification into one global civilization.

    One would be tempted to say that this is something that biological organisms cannot do, so it ruins the comparison. But the first multicellular organisms were groups of single-cell organisms that evolved in ways which allowed them to combine into a single entity, and then specialize in different organic functions.
    There ya go!

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