I have offend wondered if intelligence expressed itself on a scale more far grander and more diverse than the human mind. To avoid to obvious, “no” I am not suggesting “Intelligent Design” , God or any other unnatural explanations. The late Carl Sagan once declared, “why distract ourselves with pseudoscience when nature offers wonders beyond our imaginations”. What if the very “code” of existence itself (DNA) contained a 3.5 Billion year old intelligence?
“Intelligence comes from the Latin inter-legere, to choose between.”
I came upon this article on line titled, “The Cosmic Serpent”; DNA and the Origins of Knowledge; Q&A with Jeremy Narby by Todd Stewart:
"DNA is a single molecule with a double helix structure; it is two complementary versions of the same "text" wrapped around each other; this allows it to unwind and make copies of itself: twins! This twinning mechanism is at the heart of life since it began. Without it, one cell could not become two, and life would not exist. And, from one generation to the next, the DNA text can also be modified, so it allows both constancy and transformation. This means that beings can be the same and not the same. One of the mysteries is what drives the changes in the DNA text in evolution. DNA has apparently been around for billions of years in its current form in virtually all forms of life."
“There seems to be a capacity to make choices operating inside each cell in our body, down to the level of individual proteins and enzymes. DNA itself is a kind of "text" that functions through a coding system called "genetic code," which is strikingly similar to codes used by human beings.”
“Some enzymes edit the RNA transcript of the DNA text and add new letters to it; any error made during this editing can be fatal to the entire organism; so these enzymes are consistently making the right choices; if they don't, something often goes wrong leading to cancer and other diseases. “
If one were to consider the totality of the biosphere as a membrane of life surrounding a rock in the vastness of an seemly unending vacuum looking back at our “pale blue dot” as Voyager 1 did from 3.7 billion miles away reveal a lonely leviathan peering back at us. In short, the countless “systems” that are alive in our biosphere taken together could be a (cumulative) life form itself.
At the very least, a kind of “artificial intelligence” found in computer code is implied by the complex “if-then” statements of DNA.
“Cells send one another signals, in the form of proteins and molecules. These signals mean: divide, or don't divide, move, or don't move, kill yourself, or stay alive. Any one cell is listening to hundreds of signals at the same time, and has to integrate them and decide what to do.”
If a core component of intelligence is making choices the above statement makes it clear that “nature” in it’s totality has been doing this for Billions of years. Natural Selection, Mutation, even mass extinctions.
Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM PT: We have a lot to learn about this "Living Ship" we travel through the endless void in.