Ccellular processes proceed by "autoorganization"?
Sept 05 1999, in HBG forum, re "cell as the selected base unit of life",
posted by Dov on September 04, 1999:
DH: Why "autoorganization" ? what is this AUTO ? Are we afraid to call what we see ? Is the so plainly obvious scheme of Earthly life such a shock to us and such an insult to our vanity that we refuse to face it ? Do we refuse to acknowledge that we are simply a chance product of mercell evolution ?
PS: I agree that auto is optional, but I do not see why using auto is underlining my anthropocentric vanity. I used it here to insist that the environment for each cell is the colony itself and to refer to a branch of mathematical models usually called that way.
PS: During embryonic development, nerves (extensions/roots of neurons) accumulate at the sources of Nerve Growth factor and compete for this protein. Many neurons die. The number of surviving neurons is precisely determined by the amount of nerve growth factor produced by cells present at the extremity of the nerve.
DH: Those cells at the extremiy of the nerve "happen" to produce the "right amount" of the growth factor? The amount is probably dictated by the manual, by the gene, as part of the scheme of the rules and dictates of the symbiotic association of the space station, the organism.
PS: The amount of NGF produced is not the RIGHT (or written, or programmed) amount. It is the amount that producer cells have enough resources to produce. In the same manner the ocean does not produce the RIGHT amount of fishes for the fisher population to live, as ordered by the manual (the creator). Is it a mark of your vanity to consider that we are written in a manual before we really exist?. It seems to me that in your essay, you just apply the gene centrics of Dawkins et al. with a renewed imagery. Is it right ?