Theory of Consciousness as a Biological Imperative

What do you want me to do, pray?
I believe I have identified some of the problems that beset humans today. Not much I can do about them.

I try not to live too wasteful and recycle what I can. If everybody did that would help.

I never said miraculous, in fact I think it’s the exact opposite. It’s perfectly natural, and that’s what so many miss. They want to claim consciousness is a) special to humans and b) it’s somehow supernatural.

But I DID say it’s different. It’s not like I said in my silly example of purple being a result of physical processes of mixing blue and red. Consciousness is something different in kind than that kind of “simple” physical process. I do think consciousness is special in the sense of wow, it exists and lil ol’ me gets to experience a sliver of it.

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Yes and perhaps it is the ultimate evolved sensory processing of naturally occurring electrochemical differential equations.

What opened my mind was Bonnie Bassler’s Ted talk on bacterial “communication” and “quorum sensing” (a fundamental form of hive intelligence).
In her lecture she suggests that bacterial communication may well have been the proto form of language and emergent conscious "understanding ".
I love her excellent and entertaining presentation.

Bacteria are multilingual!
Microtubules in the cytoplasm and cytoskeleton are responsible for “intra-cellular” and “inter-species” communication in bacteria.

Quorum-Sensing Signal-Response Systems in Gram-Negative Bacteria

Kai Papenfort1,# and Bonnie Bassler2,3,#

Four common features are found in nearly all known Gram-negative quorum sensing systems5.

First, the autoinducers in such systems are acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) or other molecules that are synthesized from S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and they are able to diffuse freely through the bacterial membrane.

The transmission ports in membranes are formed by microtubules.

Second, autoinducers are bound by specific receptors that reside either in the inner membrane or in the cytoplasm.

The receptors are microtubules.

Third, quorum sensing typically alters dozens to hundreds of genes that underpin various biological processes.

Microtubules are responsible for gene copying during mitosis (cell division).

Fourth, in a process called autoinduction, autoinducer-driven activation of quorum sensing stimulates the increased synthesis of the autoinducer, which establishes a feed-forward loop that is proposed to promote synchronous gene expression in the population.

more…Quorum-Sensing Signal-Response Systems in Gram-Negative Bacteria - PMC

Autoinducers are processed and transmitted by microtubules.
Note that flagella and cilia providing motility are powered by microtubules.

Both flagella and cilia have a 9 + 2 arrangement of microtubules . This arrangement refers to the 9 fused pairs of microtubules on the outside of a cylinder, and the 2 unfused microtubules in the center. Dynein “arms” attached to the microtubules serve as the molecular motors.
image image

Microtubules have been the processing and transmission mechanism for all Eukaryotic organisms since the beginning and before then, a simpler transmission “filament” was already present in Prokaryotic organisms.

From my perspective, it is the facts that microtubules have been the data processing and transportation mechanism since the very beginning should speak very loudly in favor of their role in the evolution of sensory awareness and eventual conscious awareness,

Interesting article, and as you remember, I’m not unfamiliar with Bonnie Bassler and her various talks that are viewable on YouTube.

I did find it curious that “microtubules” were never referred to in the paper.
Not to diminish microtubules in anyway, still it seems worth pointing out.

I imagine that’s because by that point, they’ve already been lost in the sauce, so to speak, subordinating themselves to other systems. Doesn’t diminish their importance in and of itself, but it does take into account all the other systems needed to produce a final functioning creature.

Folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity flowing down the cascade of time.

If you see the phrase “cell to cell communication” you see a description of the result of inter-cellular microtubule data transportation.

This is what intrigued Penrose! The ability of neuronless cellular communication. Hameroff brought microtubules to the attention of Penrose as the likely candidates. This is how ORCH OR developed as a possible candidate for emergent conscious experiences.

It has since been proven that microtubules are responsible for inter-cellular information sharing.

Here is a discussion between scientists that answers a lot of questions that have never been asked.

This is a must for understanding the folds within folds of the earth’s ecology.

p.s. Plant roots are very much like neurons in animals and guess how roots communicate with each other? MT or Mycilia

What is the importance of microtubules?

Microtubules, together with microfilaments and intermediate filaments, form the cell cytoskeleton. The microtubule network is recognized for its role in regulating cell growth and movement as well as key signaling events, which modulate fundamental cellular processes.Jun 3, 2014

Write, no one is arguing against microtubules or their importance!

No one is arguing against the innate intelligence of natural systems.

Stop beating that dead horse.

Why not try to say something original?

Are you telling me that I am not talking about an original area of inquiry into consciousness? Where else can you find an extensive dissertation on microtubules. I am talking about a new area of knowledge that deals directly with the hard facts associated with the question of conscious intelligence.

As Tegmark observes; “the brain has all the ingredients for consciousness. The secret lies in the pattern the neurons and cells are arranged”.

This is undeniably and demonstrably true.

It is you who keeps telling me that I am missing the point.
It is you who refuses to find out how exactly natural systems acquire innate intelligence.

I think that saying “everyone else knows this or that” is a false statement. It is lazy thinking. They don’t! My aim is to demonstrate how we know by assembling seemingly unrelated scientific inquiry and presenting a new perspective on “how nature works”.

As David Bohm complained that science has become so specialized that it has become fractured and lost all concepts of “wholeness” and “universal relational values”.

Do you know that plants can “learn”? I mean actually learn to respond or not to respond to certain situations? This “hard fact” is demonstrated in this video.

Yeah, and the team with the most points wins.

And you think you’re helping by laser focusing on microtubules?
Okay, what is your new perspective that helps unite stuff?

Bringing it back to a humanist sort of thing, you know,
We people and our perceptions of our world. STOP

When I suggest that perhaps a realistic Theory of Consciousness needs to start with the conception that: “Awareness/consciousness is a biological imperative since the beginning of life.”

then when someone challenges me:“You’re smoking tea leaves!”
I’ve got my Physical Reality based response:

Please do some homework and learn about microtubules and how they are woven into the very fabric of early evolution and our cells today.

You know that’s an insult.

Do you know that minerals evolve?

“Common denominators” in data transmission abilities of ALL Eukaryotic organisms on earth! There is only one known candidate; microtubules.
They pop up everywhere you look at organisms that interact with their environment.

Please watch the video “Intelligence without brains” and how plants communicate via mycilia between their root networks. (microtubules).
I know you will appreciate it.

That is not the same. Evolution is not learning.
Evolution is molecular (genetic) mutational change during mitosis.
Learning is acquiring knowledge (memory) during exposure to the environment.
Question; how do plants acquire memory? You know the answer.

That is not what’s at issue here! No one is question that.
Thing is there are lots of other components between cilia and complex creatures acting in a complex environment, that seems to me, you tend to ignore.

Advanced Materials From Fungal Mycelium: Fabrication and Tuning of Physical Properties

I watched the video Intelligence Without Brains and listened to it, very cool to see all of them on stage together and it was one of the better, more grounded talks of the kind.

How much brain do you need to be smart? Bees and ants perform marvels as colonies, though each insect has barely any brain. And plants—with no brain at all—exhibit behaviors that, by any definition, count as intelligent. Brace yourself for a mind-bending exploration of plants that learn new behaviors and warn their brainless fellows of danger; vines that compete with each other; molds that solve puzzles; and trees that communicate and cooperate through a ‘wood-wide web’ of microscopic mycological fibers. Perhaps the real question is, are we smart enough to appreciate the vast range of intelligence that surrounds us?

Okay, so where do we go from there?

I’m good with - Evolution as change over time.
Incidentally, our mutual hero:

What of it?

I’m an observer, I’m aware that yes plants have memories on various levels.
I’ll leave it to scientist to figure out the details and when they do, and when they share their information with an interested public, I have a framework in place to make sense of said new finding and fitting the new puzzle piece into a appropriate slot, that often compliments other bits of, memory and my own previous learning.

Now, how does your story connect microtubules with the rest of the organism that’s build up around it? Not another paper, I think I beat you to the punch with the very interesting Journal of Cell Biology paper.

Be honest. When was the first time you heard the word “microtubule”?

Of course, there are trillions of bits of electrochemical information being shuttled back and forth.
But that is data, not the microtubules that do the data processing and ultimately create the emergent conscious experience.

Among the infinite variety of species and the variety of data they process from their environment, there is always the microtubule that does the data processing. That is why MT are a “common denominator” in all living organisms.

I might even go on a limb and compare the biochemical microtubules to the purely chemical carbon “nanotubes”.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and microtubules are both hollow nanofibers and have similar dimensions; they both self-assemble and form bundles. These common features prompt their association into biosynthetic polymers in vitro and in vivo.

Unlike CNTs, microtubules are highly dynamic protein polymers essential for cell proliferation and migration. Interaction between these filaments inside live cells leads to microtubule dysfunction, mitotic arrest and cell death.

Thus, CNTs behave as spindle poisons, same as taxanes, vinca alkaloids or epotilones. Recent findings support the idea that CNTs represent a ground-breaking type of synthetic microtubule-stabilizing agents that could play a pivotal role in future cancer treatments in combination to traditional antineoplastic drugs. Here we review the potential use of CNTs in cancer medicine.

Keywords: biomimetics; biosynthetic polymers; carbon nanotubues; cell proliferation; cytoskeleton; microtubule stability; tubulin polymerization.

As Tegmark observes; It is not so much the components as the patterns they are arranged in.

“there is no molecular difference between a live beetle and a dead beetle, except for the dynamic pattern the molecules are arranged in.”

I find that a profound observation.

As the answer to everything, only since you’ve been going on and on about it.

As an important component of cell structure, it’s been ages, even before I discovered CFI.

Woo maximus.

And I can find the world in a grain of sand - ain’t I the cats meow.

Interaction never seems to make your hits list.

Sometime it’s really tough trying too figure out if Tegmark is more an intellectual entertainer than serious scientist.

It is the microtubules that do the building of the entire organism to begin with.
Without microtubules there would be no diploid cell division. You don’t see the fundamental priority in this?

There are two types of cells in the body - haploid cells and diploid cells. The difference between haploid and diploid cells is related to the number of chromosomes that the cell contains.

Comparison chart

Diploid cells contain two complete sets (2n) of chromosomes.|Haploid cells have half the number of chromosomes (n) as diploid - i.e. a haploid cell contains only one complete set of chromosomes.

Cell Division and Growth

Diploid cells reproduce by mitosis making daughter cells that are exact replicas.|

Haploid cells are a result of the process of meiosis, a type of cell division in which diploid cells divide to give rise to haploid germ cells. A haploid cell will merge with another haploid cell at fertilization.

Skin, blood, muscle cells (also known as somatic cells)|Cells used in sexual reproduction, sperm and ova (also known as Gametes).
Diploid vs Haploid - Difference and Comparison | Diffen

Every Eukaryotic cell on Earth was built by and functions via microtubular dynamics. That includes every brain cell and neuronal cell throughout the organism itself. I just realized that the root systems of plants give plants the ability to communicate. Never given it any thought before.

Can you think of a more interesting scientific subject for study regarding the continuation and evolution of life and consciousness with or without neural networks?


Microtubules in Purkinje cells may be the timekeepers in the brain.

Internal Clocks, mGluR7 and Microtubules: A Primer for the Molecular Encoding of Target Durations in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells and Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons

  • 1Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States
  • 2Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 3Department of Genetics, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, United States

The majority of studies in the field of timing and time perception have generally focused on sub- and supra-second time scales, specific behavioral processes, and/or discrete neuronal circuits. In an attempt to find common elements of interval timing from a broader perspective, we review the literature and highlight the need for cell and molecular studies that can delineate the neural mechanisms underlying temporal processing.

Moreover, given the recent attention to the function of microtubule proteins and their potential contributions to learning and memory consolidation/re-consolidation, we propose that these proteins play key roles in coding temporal information in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) and striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs).

The presence of microtubules at relevant neuronal sites, as well as their adaptability, dynamic structure, and longevity, makes them a suitable candidate for neural plasticity at both intra- and inter-cellular levels. As a consequence, microtubules appear capable of maintaining a temporal code or engram and thereby regulate the firing patterns of PCs and MSNs known to be involved in interval timing.

This proposed mechanism would control the storage of temporal information triggered by postsynaptic activation of mGluR7. This, in turn, leads to alterations in microtubule dynamics through a “read-write” memory process involving alterations in microtubule dynamics and their hexagonal lattice structures involved in the molecular basis of temporal memory.

more… Frontiers | Internal Clocks, mGluR7 and Microtubules: A Primer for the Molecular Encoding of Target Durations in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells and Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons

I admit I’m not keeping up with this thread. You can complain to a mod if this post is out of place. :slight_smile:

I really hate articles like this too be honest.

OK, let’s try another example;
“What is the molecular difference between a live person and a dead frozen person?”
Tegmark; “There is no difference other than the pattern the molecules are arranged in”.

Still woo? If so, what is the difference between a live person and a dead person.

Write4 - let me ask you this about microtubules. Do you think any living thing in the universe has to have microtubules to exhibit consciousness? Or are MT just the way it happens to work on earth?

In Chaos theory regular patterns constantly self-assemble from collections of same elementary particles, because these patterns are mathematically permitted. If a pattern is mathematically not permitted it cannot form or if it does it doesn’t last long.

What is meant by self-assembly in nature?

Self Assembly: Nature’s Design Principle

One of the most wondrous aspects of life is that all living organisms are formed through self assembly, a fundamental biological design process by which an organized structure seemingly builds itself from a disordered collection of smaller parts. Oct 18, 2016
Self Assembly: Nature’s Design Principle

IMO, this is the basic principle of evolution via natural selection ( a mathematical function).

IMO, self-assembling microtubules and carbon nanotubules are not necessarily unique to earth.

Any planet that produces carbon or tubulin should also allow for self-assembly of tubular atomic or molecular structures. According to Robert Hazen the Earth is not an extraordinary planet. He believes there are many earthlike planets in the universe. And he is a bona fide expert in mineralogy.

Spiral coils are natural dipolar structures and therefore efficient and variable EM conductors (depending on resistance).

Note also that spirals are guided by the naturally occurring Fibonacci Sequence and are found everywhere on earth and in the universe in almost all forms and sizes.


Influence of carbon nanotubes on the buckling of microtubule bundles in viscoelastic cytoplasm using nonlocal strain gradient theory


Carbon nanotubes are a new class of microtubule-stabilizing agents since they interact with protein microtubules in living cells, interfering with cell division and inducing apoptosis. In the present work, a modified beam model is developed to investigate the effect of carbon nanotubes on the buckling of microtubule bundles in living cells. A realistic interaction model is employed using recent experimental data on the carbon nanotube-stabilized microtubules. Small scale and surface effects are taken into account applying the nonlocal strain gradient theory and surface elasticity theory.

Pasternak model is used to describe the normal and shearing effects of enclosing filament matrix on the buckling behavior of the system. An exact solution is obtained for the buckling growth rates of the mixed bundle in viscoelastic surrounding cytoplasm. The present results are compared with those reported in the open literature for single microtubules and an excellent agreement is found.

Finally, the effects of different parameters such as the size, chirality, position and surface energy of carbon nanotubes on the buckling growth rates of microtubule bundles are studied. It is found that the buckling growth rate may increase or decrease by adding carbon nanotubes, depending on the diameter and chirality of carbon nanotubes. In nature, there are many self-assembling nano-scale tubes from many different elements and molecules.

To me, all this confirms the mathematical nature of spacetime fabric.
In a dynamic environment with lots of similar elements, creative self-assembly occurs spontaneously via mathematically guided physical processes.

This is what makes the universe and its naturally self-forming physical patterns a stochastic environment. Given enough time and substrates, all possible mathematically allowed physical configurations and resulting abilities will eventually emerge, including consciousness, which is basically a highly evolved form of pattern cognition and is present on earth in all stages of evolutionary complexity and sophistication in ALL Eukaryotic organisms, be it Flora or Fauna and no doubt on other planets throughout the universe.

All that being what it is, that’s still the microscopic realm and we human live in a different realm.
Besides, I believe it would be stretching it to say that microtubules controlled life’s evolution - even if they are ubiquitous in living creatures.

Because with every turn of increased biological complexity, interactions becomes an increasingly important factor. Think about “consciousness” at whatever level you want, it’s an interaction, nothing static about it.

We’ll let it slide :stuck_out_tongue: :v:t2:

Yeah, the pretense gets to be too much.
It’s what I call an example of people expecting the universe to prove itself.

But even the classics, like Descartes 'Meditations" the ease with which he dismisses the existence of the body is astounding to me. Though complimented by his apparent need to keep God foremost in our minds.

That Evil Demon and God stuff. The inability to conceive of body/brain production mind.
What about the magic effects of magnet and copper - how can that spark be, how can that magnetic attraction be, it’s not real, it’s magic. I’m told by experts they still don’t really understand how electricity happens, but do we stand in stunned awe every time we see a spark?

Why is it so amazing to believe biological systems don’t produce “emanations”, heck these days they are even recording the electrochemical patterns of the brain - Seems to me that thanks to modern imagery magic they are imagining the mind, or dang close to it. Check out the Human Connectome Project images. Exactly what that is, I haven’t wrapped my mind around it yet, I don’t think it’s like Kirlian Photography, it’s something more substantial, but not sure what. Interesting has heck though.

Seems to me we’re told by philosophers that it’s intellectually dishonest to say the connection between body/brain and mind is plain old self-evidence - no human opining needed. Things like that make my head shake. Though it does explain how we can be driving our current extinction event with casual disregard.

But if epiphenomenalism is correct, it means that our thoughts don’t add anything to the physical world that isn’t already ongoing. It means that we are locked in our heads. All the thoughts and feelings are ultimately pointless or nonsense. We are like children pretending to drive a car — it can be great fun, but we are really not in charge.

Well there are plenty of brain dead out there these days, for whom that’s probably plenty true.

But I don’t think that reflects real human mind/body or human history. The dolts died out in a hurry, you had to be on the ball and use every bit of knowledge and sense that you had, if you were to live another day, let along make and raise kids.

Big think my behind, more a peek at today’s Boob Tube Nation.

(damned and I keep trying to get kinder and gentler)