Intelligence & Slime Mold

Heretofore, scientists have associated intelligence with advanced multi-celled organisms which have developed so-called brains. The common misconception in the field of biology and other scientific fields has been if an organism does not possess a brain–regardless of how primitive–then it cannot be expected to possess any tangible level of intelligence. Now, recent research into a single-celled organism colloquially referred to as “slime mold” definitely appears to empirically support the notion that it possesses a level of intelligence that has many scientists, biologists, neuro-biologists, and mathematicians baffled.

Studying slime molds in the laboratory has clearly shown that they apparently appear to learn and make decisions–without having a brain. These single-celled blobs of biological goo are able to navigate rather complex mazes and develop highly-organized networks that link them to their desired food products using the shortest path to reach them.

Intensive studies into slime mold behavior have shed new light on the evolutionary origin of intelligence. Not classified as a plant, an animal, a fungus, or even a bacterium, slime mold has displayed intelligence characteristics of its multi-celled counterparts in nature without the presence of a brain. Lacking eyes, a nose, or appendages, it has the ability to navigate through its environment all the while appearing to see where it is going and to smell its food with relative ease.

The slime mold organism, although it lacks a brain and a nervous system, seems capable of making choices, solving complex problems, possessing the capacity to remember, and devising strategies which is forcing the scientific community to redefine intelligence.

Rather than explain the baffling world of the intelligent slime mold organism any further, I invite you to watch this video courtesy of NOVA called: Secret Mind of Slime Mold | Season 47 | Episode 12 | on PBS.org.

After watching the video, I think you too will be amazed at some of the unexplainable things that can be found on “Our Amazing Planet.”

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