19 Comments

There is imo dire need for more great, general write-ups of Levin's work—writing which can get into the interesting details without losing readers (or really any (?) I'm not actually sure I know of any!) This seems like a useful contribution to me, I'm glad you wrote it—thank you. I'll be revisiting this a bunch as I continue to gather my thoughts about this.

Also, I maintain that one of the wildest things that has ever happened is that Levin showed not just that the worms can generate a head of a different species but that the frequency with which they do is _proportional_ to how far that species is from them, evolutionarily speaking. Wtf!

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author

thank you! definitely want to hear your thoughts on it. and WOW I did not realize that

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that is wild about growing a different head but if I accept that, then what is the wild part about it happening at a proportional amount, that seems more intuitive?

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I’ve been obsessed with genetics and genetic potential but have never really given any thought to bioelectric networks. This is fantastic research and a great post which explains it. I’ve learned a lot and have so much to think about, thank you

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This is very interesting research and seems like it has a lot of potential for real world treatments. In school stem cells were the main area of promise for manipulating, healing, and regenerating human cells and tissue. With this in our arsenal one can only begin to imagine the types of benefits this will reap.

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"Once we view cells and groups of cells as having an innate intelligence, we can leverage that intelligence to our own ends." This statement points to a creative end point, which is intriguing yet worrisome in some aspects. I am in awe of these discoveries yet wonder if using the knowledge in this way is the best response to its recognition. Does it need to have a man made goal? Can we cooperate with these processes rather than hack them? Maybe I am questioning the goals of scientific research.

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author

good question, and cooperation is definitely an important part of it too. much of Levin's research is driven by a desire to help people alive today who have suffered serious injuries, lost limbs, etc. and he has a paper about how when developing these new biological tools/agents, we should be adopting an increasingly wide "circle of concern" for various kinds of lifeforms and beings https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/24/5/710

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Absolutely fascinating!

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...So Levin Just reinvented morphogenetic fields with no theory and animal cruelty tier experiments on worms? This is interesting, but I still prefer the original. We mostly need a topological description of morphogenesis, not poor two-headed words that produce more two-headed worms from the exact same genes due to frankly morphic resonance renamed because umm, I don’t think the worm wants two heads that fight and can’t poop.

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Thanks for giving voice to my unease when reading about Levin's work, in particular the worm experiments.

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Observing and causing such incredible biological changes in real time is astounding.

Vast elements of developmental biology and evolutionary science will need to be researched, argued and reworked for the next several generations. Researching additional possible impacts from other electromagnetic and nuclear forces will be exciting too (magnetism, quantum effects, light, etc.).

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The above isn't even the most foundationally important work that Levin is involved in, this is: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2024.02.28.582499v1.full

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author

thanks, I'll check this out!

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RemovedJun 14
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Hey Ben, thanks for the heads-up -- it looks like the biorXiv server is down :o Anyway, here's the same paper on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/378702311_Natural_Induction_Spontaneous_adaptive_organisation_without_natural_selection

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I believe you! But it is still hard to believe. How have we not heard of this before? You would think it would be front page news?

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

This research imho begins to validate panpsychism. Separately, everything is a system of systems.

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Yeah he’s basically pretending Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas are his while making poor two-headed worms but not being able to explain the theory at all. It’s interesting but not a huge step forward.

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Might make morphic resonance more accepted in the mainstream I guess, but yeah I agree

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Check out the work "The origin of life, and the destruction of worlds" on Research Gate, which explores this notion of fractal life, fractal intelligence, and fractal conciousness.

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