In a previous post, Trees, I discussed the possibility that trees are more intelligent than humans. Here I want to introduce another candidate for super intelligence; colonies of micro-organisms. We have evidence that groups of cells can be intelligent. We are that evidence. If that is true, then groups of cells that are organized in other ways than being parts of one animal or plant might also be intelligent. In the sea, there are vast numbers of organisms with one or few cells. Do these colonies have intelligence? Do they have an agenda? If they do have an agenda, what would it be?
Again, I want to emphasize that I don't believe this theory. I don't believe in belief. I do advocate thoroughly examining all possible information processing systems in the biosphere.
There are more bacterial cells in the human body than the cells that we usually consider part of us. If these cells have a collective intelligence, then that gives a whole new meaning to the term gut reaction.
If we consider the possibility that the plant kingdom might communicate to animals through drugs like cannabis and opium, then we could also consider the possibility that colonies of bacteria communicate to us through alcohol.
As we consider the possibility that plants and colonies of micro-organisms might be communicating with us through our food and drug intake, we might also consider the possibility that we communicate with these super intelligences through our excretory products. Please insert your favorite scatological jokes here.
Over the last hundred years, we have moved from a situation where most human excrement was processed by plants to a situation where most human excrement is processed by micro-organisms. I'm talking about septic tanks and urban waste processing systems. Is this a power grab by the micro-organism segment of the biosphere?
If the super-intelligences are so smart, why do they make such a mess of things? It could be that they are intelligent but foolish. We certainly have enough examples of that in humans. Or it could be that everything is going according to their plan, and it will all work out to be benefit of all. If we postulate that view, then it might be that global warming is a successful effort to counteract the coming ice age. All those SUVs carrying a single person forty miles one way to a job might be staving off a massive die off when the next ice age hits.
It seems to me that this is all worth thinking about.
The opinions expressed in this post to not necessarily reflect the opinions of my wife.