Mumurations

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Yazata, May 16, 2019.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I was having a conversation about tonight's upcoming SpaceX launch of 60 Starlink satellites, and somebody remarked that a flock of Starlinks is a mumuration. That got my mind (once again) going on a crazy tangent. Mumurations can be something to behold, one of the wonders of nature. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that they were divine revelations.

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    Apparently the birds are behaving like cellular automata. Each bird's behavior is a function of what the six or seven birds closest to it are doing, with (relatively) simple rules. And each of those birds is doing exactly the same thing. So waves can be observed propagating through the mumuration and the whole thing starts to display unexpected holistic behaviors. It's been modeled on computers with pretty good results.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/105/4/1232
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe, to avoid future confusions: we can get our cellular automata to behave like starlings.
     
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  5. globali Registered Senior Member

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    The motion of each individual bird is way more complicated than we think (and use in our computer models), and the future shapes cannot be predicted in reality, but only in approximation.
    There is just a limit in the level of complexity our brain can handle. The system of birds is just too chaotic and complex for us to handle. And our brain needs to organize everything. We are just amazed by the flock shapes because we think there are some areas of order (pseudo)emerging in front of our eyes.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Murmurations may already be present as proto-pattern forming ability in bacteria, a phenomenon known as "quorum sensing"

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quorum_sensing

    "Quorum Sensing" is a quasi-intelligent chemical reaction in bacteria to the presence of high quantity or density. It is a form of chemical communication and information sharing. A self-referential system.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    We do, with bacteria. See the Bassler video.
     
  9. globali Registered Senior Member

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    The way i see it is this:
    Imagine that you have a yard 2x2meters and you add 2000 small red pessaries that are magnetically charged. They may all have the same charge or half of them positive, half negative. Now lets say they all start moving at 20mph at random directions initially. And then you step back and enjoy what you will see.
    Yes, the patterns will remind us of the birds. Yes there will be quorum sensing because the trajectory of an individual pessary will be influenced by all the others.

    The question is this:
    Is anything really emerging inside the shapes they form, or is it just paredolia?
    Maybe its the fact that there is too much of counter-intuitive information happening in front of our eyes that keeps us amazed.
     
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  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just take the example of iron filings lining up all in the direction of a magnetic stimulus. This is a very specific mathematical physical response to a very specific physical stimulus.
    No, the response does not require decision making from memory, it requires only a specific (deterministic) chemical response in the recipient of the stimulus.
    IMO, we expect to see intelligence associated with ability to quantify or qualify. This is the human use of mathematical values and functions. But intelligence is not required at all. All that is needed is a specific response to a specific stimulus. The choice is based on chemical information.
    The response is not based on choice at all. It is a completely autonomous function of either this or that, which already goes back down to quantum superposition which resolves in a single deterministic outcome.

    IMO, this is the fundamental excellence of consistent (deterministic) mathematically quantifiable and qualifiable properties and potentials. It applies at all levels of physical sensitivity, conscious or not.

    It is a physical chemically mathematical response to external stimulus. When a stimulus has two fundamental properties of quantity and quality any chemical system will have a different response to each type of stimulus, at which time the system assumes mathematical functionality and we achieve a type of "quorum sensing", which needs not be consciously intelligent at all, but constitutes a "quasi-intelligent" mathematical function (input-->process-->output).

    A Lemur can count as fast as any human and sometimes the Lemurs's response time is even faster than for humans.
    The reason is that a Lemur does not count 1,2,3,4,5,......, it counts "more" or "less" of "this or "that" and responds to a purely impressionistic input of quantity and quality. A form of quorum sensing.

    A brainless single celled slime mold uses quorum sensing to solve mazes and design shortest routes to food. It also responds to heat and cold and to timed sequences. These are all unconscious functions, but the results are clearly mathematical in essence.

    Bonnie Bassler demonstrates the mathematical results of chemical communication in quorum sensing in primitive bacteria. Which is entirely acceptable at an evolutionary scale. Bacteria are the oldest living DNA based biological organisms in existence.

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    https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/images/2329-bacterial-dna

    This phenomenon is already present in all simple chemical reactions. Chemicals respond differently to different chemical inputs, and IMO. That constitutes a mathematical chemical function.

    Robert Hazen observes that evolution and natural selection already starts at the chemical polymer level.
    Some mutated polymer patterns are more efficient than other mutated polymer patterns and natural selection does the rest.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  11. globali Registered Senior Member

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    So you are saying that every tiny single grain of iron experiences quorum sensing? But then you seem to agree that quorum sensing actually does not exist, and it is more of a human misconception.

    According to wikipedia, biological quorum sensing is the ability to detect and to respond to cell population density by gene regulation. Iron grains don't detect and don't regulate anything. That would be a more deterministic interpretation of the effect, which is fine.
    But it would be better if you used alternative terms such as "quorum-sensing illusion", or "quasi quorum sensing", "anti-quorum sensing" etc to avoid confusion.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This is actually not an example of quorum sensing, but an illustration of the mathematical nature of natural phenomena and the passive level at which these cause and effect phenomena already become measurable. It is intended to illustrate a starting point of molecular reponse behavior to external stimulation such as magnetism, but which is not subject to evolution.
    No, quorum sensing does not happen by gene regulation. Quorum sensing causes gene regulation, i.e. gene expression.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17025169

    Quorum sensing is one step above the top example of passive response to magnetism, where the causal threshold actually triggers and induces a dynamic secondary genetic response behavior. This is the more sophisticated quasi-intelligent step of causal response to an external stimulation and the proto type of sensory observation and dynamic response behavior.

    Kind of an example of the gradual evolution from passive response to the general environment to a dynamic chemical treshold response which regulates an actual gene response of a very specific type. i.e. an actual chemical language which can only be read by the same type bacteria (an intra-species communication), and a chemical language which can be read by other species of bacteria (an inter-species communication) or a chemical esperanto which is a result of and subject to evolutionary pressures.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019

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