conciousness of a carbon based lifeformgreenspun.com : LUSENET : quaternions : One Thread
is it possible by the laws that human beings work by for a single carbon based life form to manipulate space time and matter to bring order out of chaos???
-- mr currious (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 24, 2004
Henri Poincare considered the problem of whether or not life forms are predestined to adopt tridimensionality for space. Poincare thought not. He mentioned the strange case of the Japanese rice mouse. This variety of mouse has two, not three, semicircular canals in each ear. It also has great trouble running 3-D mazes, which other mice run without difficulty. Poincare concluded that the poor Japanese rice mouse could not think tridimensionally, due to its anatomical deficiency.
-- Matthew McCann PE (email@example.com), March 06, 2004.
My favorite example of a simple organism doing fancy math is are one-celled organisms with a big tail for power. They can rotate their tails two ways. One lets them go forward, the other has them tumble randomly.
The question is how much time should they spend tumbling randomly versus swimming straight? The mathematical problem is called the biased random walk. If there is an increase in food, they should swim straight for a longer period of time. If there is a decrease in food, they should spend more time tumbling, hoping to find the right direction. The time scale is set by the law of diffusion. One can show that these organisms have found the best way to end up at a meal.
The general reason this works is simple: being wrong leads to death.
-- Douglas Sweetser (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2004.