Nov 4, 2021

University of Chicago Biochemist: All Living Cells Are Cognitive

Posted by in categories: cosmology, neuroscience

It’s awe-inspiring to realize that there is a complex intelligence in every living cell. Two questions arise: Is it the intelligence of the cell? That seems inconsistent with how we usually use the word “intelligence.” If we see that a one-celled life form functions with lot of intelligence, perhaps it is more like a book that contains great ideas. Paper doesn’t create ideas; neither, by itself, does protoplasm. Something else is at work.

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.

As we learn more and more about the intricate complexities of nature, perhaps debates over the origin of life, intelligence, consciousness, and similar topics will increasingly be between panpsychists and theists rather than materialists and theists. A whole new environment.

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