Re: Coordinated behavior among birds, fish, and insects

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 14:46:36 BST

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    > Loathed as I am to give to some help with this theory, but perhaps a
    > better example than a flock of birds in flight for your arguments, might be
    > a slime mold particularly when all those cells seem to conglomerate and move
    > like a much larger single organism. Does Sheldrake have any views on slime
    > molds?

    Slime moulds really are simple to explain (as someone has more or less
    done in a recent post). Fish are easier than birds, because they have
    the 'lateral line' organs either side of their body (practically all
    fish - look halfway down the flank paralleling the body axis - line of
    tiny dots - each a pit with a tiny sensory hair - and a fast nerve line
    to fast twitch white muscle as well as upstairs). Mass movement in fish
    is therefore piss easy to explain, because you're looking at a
    combination of speed of sound in water (pretty fast) and very short
    reaction times in the fish.

    > >> Wouldn't all social insects disperse on the death of the central
    > >> queen?
    > <They lose their social behavior instantaneously, before the message
    > has had
    > > a chance to be transmitted chemically.>
    > >
    > I doubt this very much indeed. What about the chemical messages
    > exuded by the dead queen themself that would waft through the mound with
    > some rapidity? There could be all sorts of highly subtle indicators that
    > produce what appears to be an instantaneous cease of social behaviour. Did
    > the experimenter genuinely observe every singly termite/ant (remember some
    > species have up to 20 million individuals in a nest)?

    Or air or solid sub/ultrasonics, or some sort of EM pulse (if you wanna
    get weird).

    > <Ultimately, memetics will sink or swim with morphics.>
    > Yeah, that's what's beginning to worry me...

    My god I hope not, that's like linking astronomy to astrology.

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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