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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology and methodology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 13:15:32 -0500
Message-id: <460024C4.5000601@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat,    (01)

Natural languages are important, but tiny compared to the
enormous amount of information organisms receive from all other
kinds of signs.    (02)

PH> A bacterium can respond to signs? What language do they speak?    (03)

The first point to note is that neurons are single cells, and
they have a very rich "language" for communicating with other
neurons, which neurophysiologists have not yet been able to decode.    (04)

Bacteria are not as sophisticated as neurons, but they have a rich
system of responses to a wide range of signs, which include chemicals
of various kinds, physical contact, temperature, etc.    (05)

Their responses include moving toward some signs, moving away
from others, ingesting some things, blocking others, going into
a protective state (e.g., a spore-like mode), and excreting
chemicals to which other bacteria (usually of the same species)
respond.  The most complex semiotic processes in bacteria (and
all other organisms) involve interpreting the signs encoded in
DNA and RNA.    (06)

A virus is a large protein that resembles food-like particles
to a bacterium, which responds by ingesting it.  But if the
bacterium is susceptible to that type of virus, its reproductive
machinery takes over and responds by making replicas of the virus.    (07)

Neurons have evolved as specialized cells that extend and build on
the same kinds of mechanisms that are used by other cells.  The brain
is a complex semiotic system that is made up of billions of neurons,
whose coordinated semiotic processes interpret all the signs that
animals perceive and respond to.    (08)

But most of the semiotic processes in multicellular organisms use
chemicals to signal and control various processes along pathways
that are often parallel to, but independent of the nervous system.    (09)

That is life.  The DNA and RNA encode information, which is processed
by a dynamic system of signs of signs of signs of signs....    (010)

John    (011)

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