It has been argued that several different matrices formed at the cellular level following the first Snowball Earth, 1.6 billion years ago as a result of free flowing oxygen in the atmosphere rising form trace amounts to about one percent. Like a Timothy Leary acid induced hallucination, utterly bazaar and alien life at the cellular level may have competed for dominance for over a billion years and the fossil record is starting to cobborate the speculation. One thing is clear that two cell types took hold following the second snowball event, 600 million years ago, and have comprised all advanced life forms since. One of these cell types was the result of a more complex structure of protist and the subsequent symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacterium, producing the ancestor of the plants and algae. The chloroplasts in modern plants are the descendants of these ancient symbiotic cyanobacteria. The other type, eukaryotic cells are shared by all animals and allow cellular specialization in more advanced animals. For the plants cellular intelligence marks the apparent zenith of intellectual development and no further advancements have taken place, for animals this level of intelligence was just the beginning of the metaphysical road less traveled and more representative of the base that is the strength of the pillar than the end of the road. Cellular intelligence is still with us today and to a lesser degree has evolved along several paths that affect cell function specialization as well as the entire organism and perhaps beyond. This is a relatively new area for evolutionary biologists and warrants much exploration.
The first bacteria, asks the second one, “What do you get when you add 12 to 2 dozen and subtract 24 from the result?” The second one says, “I don’t know, I just divide and multiply”.
Senescence is a term that refers to aging and a powerful example of evolved cellular intelligence that has undeniable implications for the existence of passive background and cellular intelligence. Aging is not a predetermined physical consequence of wear and tear, as counter-intuitive as this is, it is true. Mammals are an example of a category of organisms that are iteroparous (reproduce several times in one lifetime), wholly renewable and need not age. The laws of thermodynamics do not apply to mammals. Aging is the programmed manifestation of cellular intelligence with the consequence of increasing the overall intelligence of a population of organisms through clearing away older, experienced individuals for younger more intelligent individuals. This can be the only explanation for the existence of a phenomenon that has a detrimental impact on individual organisms but a positive impact on the entire population of a species. Negligible senescence refers to a few select animals that do not display symptoms of aging – and for the one molecular biologist reading this, they don’t all die from run away, immortal cancer cells – at least not right away. More specifically, negligibly senescent animals do not have measurable reductions in their reproductive capability with age, or measurable functional decline with age. Death rates in negligibly senescent animals do not increase with age as they do in senescent organisms. Certain species of fish and reptiles, sturgeons, rockfish and turtles, provide examples of negligible senescence where death rates among populations actually decline with age.
Getting a tan is another great example of intelligence at the cellular level that still exists within us but outside of our consciousness and even our central nervous system to this day. Your central nervous system doesn’t discuss that a tan would look nice and make you more attractive to the opposite sex, glad that we could at least make mention of the main thesis of the work in this chapter, with each skin cell or debate the medicinal benefits of darker skin pigment with a mysterious master controller skin cell. Instead each cell automatically and independently responds to ultra-violet radiation and produces and rearranges the chemical compounds necessary to provide a change in pigment and ultimately protection from the radiation for the exposed areas and later, all too often, some embarrassing tan lines. I imagine that the larger question concerning the existence of cellular intelligence is can cells learn and pass that information to the next generation? Yep, it is called genetics!