LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

June 6, 2008

Flatworms

Filed under: Ch 07 Biological Holography — Tags: , , , , , — insomniac @ 7:42 am

Science tends to ignore it’s own findings when they don’t fit the currently accepted theory. That’s not a big deal, lots of things in life don’t seem to fit, but it would seem to me that they would pay more attention to anomalies, just because that’s the best way to debug anything. If you are in computer science you look to the anomalies. Those are the clues as to how to eliminate errors. That should be true all across the board, but get into biology and a lot of interesting bits get swept under the rug.

“Some fifteen worms were placed in a small aquarium over which hung an electric light and which was equipped to give its occupants an electric shock. The light went on two seconds before the electric charge came, and very quickly the worms started to react characteristically to the shock from the time the light went on. Using scissors, the experimenters cut each worm in half and put the severed heads and tails into separate aquariums. The experimenters found that all the regenerated worms, both those building from the original tail and those from an original head, retained the memory of this training.”

It’s from a book called “Non-Human Thought”, by Graven, published in ’74. It took about 150 tries before the first flatworms learned that the light meant impending shock. The severed halves figured it out in about 100 tries.

This is representative of a series of standard conditioning experiments done with flat worms that show how our nervous system functions. Granted that we have a far more complex nervous system than does the lowly flatworm, but the basic process is the same.

What is memory?

This brings up the question: What is memory? In the flatworm experiment, they call the process “conditioning”. Whether you call it conditioning, adaptation or learning, the result involves some sort of memory. The organism remembers an event.

It isn’t a vivid memory, but a vague sort of recall that intensifies with repetition. Each time the event happens the memory becomes stronger. The event is remembered as a sequence of events. The memoryof the flatworm identifies the light as the start of the sequence and acts accordingly. Here the lowly flatworm clearly spots the “difference that makes a difference” and initiates action in advance of the shock. Granted that panic wriggling is not a solution to the problem, but there isn’t much else a flatworm can do in a crisis situation. It does show us that the organism recognized the light as a warning that the shock would soon follow.

The most important thing it tells us is that the memory of this “trauma” was recorded in the cells rather than in the brain, which only one end of the flatworm possessed. It also shows us a consistent pattern of learning behavior.

Isn’t this the very same process we go through when we learn everything we do? We practice. Every time we repeat a behavior it gets easier. Our body has to learn the action, just the same way that our brain remembers something. They say our brain remembers by growing “pathways” in our gray matter. The more these pathways are reinforced, the stronger becomes the memory. Our muscles learn the same way. These pathways carry blood and neural signals to the cells. They “remember” the use patterns for the cells they service and are prepared to supply their needs. If the demands increase, the pathways are expanded as necessary.

These pathways are the result of interference patterns created by the appropriate coherent electromagnetic field. The body has a copy that remembers what each muscle has to do and the brain has one that remembers what commands it has to give for the action to take place.

The nervous system of the flatworm learns in the same way that our nervous system learns. This really fits with the concept of holographic memory, where each unit of memory contains the whole, but lacks detail. It is this vague pattern that is filled in by the details as the organism learns its new behavior.

Educated Cannibals

In further experiments, “educated” flatworms were minced and fed to worms that had never faced the light bulb and its shock. These worms also learned the reflex much faster than worms without any clues. What this tells us is that the information recorded in the memories of the minced worms was decoded by the digestive system and understood by the nervous systems of the “cannibal” worms.

What form could a memory take in order for it to pass through the digestive system, be decoded and made available to the living creature? Thirty years and science has yet attempted to answer that question. Science is still trying to find memory in the brain. In that time scientists have carved up the brains of all kinds of creatures trying to eliminate their memory, to no avail. They have studied human subjects with damaged and/or developmentally retarded areas of the brain and found little or no correlation between specific locations of the brain and memory.

On the other hand, the reports of transplant patients having memories related to the donors are legion. How else could this be possible? The model of a holographic memory is the only one that fits, yet it is hard to find a scientist that thinks so.

In the case of the flatworms, their memory is a fact that can be proven by a repeatable experiment. The memory is passed by some natural process that we should be able to identify, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from the scientific community.

Security Breach

If we were operating a computer system and we found information being encrypted, secreted and passed in such a way, we would be forced to track down the pathways taken by the data and discover its source and destination. It is the job of the IT administrator to maintain the security and integrity of the system and this clearly represents a previously unknown breach of security.

In biology there is no one looking after the integrity of the system they study. The current paradigm doesn’t recognize that the system is controlled by information. It ignores information pathways for the most part. When they find an obvious information pathway, they credit the chemical message carrier and ignore what it does for the system. I guess they still figure that it all runs on the magic of instinct and random encounters. This holographic view of the information channels of nature has been passed around for decades, yet the obsolete paradigm is still dominant.

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4 Comments »

  1. I’ve always believed that memories were probably stored in a symbolic or linguistic manner as opposed to imprinting an ‘image’ directly. I’ll give an example that seems to support this idea.

    Say you’re watching a sunset and you deliberately try to memorize a ‘snapshot’ of the sunset into your long term memory for later use. When you later try to recall the snapshot, it differs significantly from the original experience. For one thing it’s never as vivid as the experience. You never mistake the memory of an experience for the actual experience itself. Also, according to certain studies I’ve read about memory recall, there are often logical or contextual artifacts that may be remembered but were never actually experienced. On the other hand, if I try to record logical facts about the sunset in addition to the snapshot when I commit the scene to memory, my later attempt at recalling the scene is much more accurate. For instance, if, while I am memorizing the sunset I also memorize details like ‘40% of the sun in visible above the horizon’, ‘The sun is setting into the ocean’, ‘the ocean is choppy with waves’, ‘there are no clouds in the sky’, ‘the predominant colors are red and reddish-orange’, ‘a few seagulls are flying above’, etc., then my subsequent recall will be much more detailed and accurate. I think this is because the logical details are already linguistic symbols and so they can be stored and recalled without losing any information in the process of encoding them symbolically into memory. Our consciousness creates memories by imagining a mental image based on the content of memory. It’s never actually in the form of an image until we construct it in our consciousness based off of the symbolic logical description we retrieve from our memories.

    I think this also explains why memory and imagination are so similar they are often confused. Both use the same process to construct an image from logical facts, it’s just that in imagination the facts don’t necessarily correspond to a single prior event, but can be retrieved and combined in a more or less arbitrary manner.

    Comment by jneuhaus — June 10, 2008 @ 1:24 am

  2. I agree.

    Images, sound, touch sensations, all our senses are intermingled with toughts and emotions and stored together. It seems to me that this holographic process is using a language that could be described as symbolic/lingistic. DNA is a language with a syntax, and maybe the core example of linguistics, while it also participates in a coherent electromagnetic field that is creating a dynamic, informational representation of current reality, very symbolic.

    “I think this also explains why memory and imagination are so similar they are often confused.  Both use the same process to construct an image from logical facts, it’s just that in imagination the facts don’t necessarily correspond to a single prior event, but can be retrieved and combined in a more or less arbitrary manner.”

    Yes, and we also seem to have levels of memory, like conscious memories that are vague, but unconscious memories that are extremely vivid, like those revealed under hypnosis. There is a lot going on, for sure.

    cheers,
    jim

    Comment by insomniac — June 10, 2008 @ 6:06 am

  3. […] crude examples showing only primitive engineering savvy, when compared to the simplest life forms. Flatworms are primitive according to evolutionary standards, yet their design is extremely efficient, even […]

    Pingback by Instinct, Learning and Adaptation « LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA — October 25, 2008 @ 7:07 am

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    Comment by hypnosis books — June 24, 2013 @ 9:04 pm


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