The Mental Life of Plants and Worms, Among Others:
(by Oliver Sacks
"[...] The magic ions, here, are sodium and potassium ions, which enabled the development of rapidly reacting muscle cells, nerve cells, and neuromodulation at synapses. These made possible organisms that could learn, profit by experience, judge, act, and finally think.
This new form of life—animal life—emerging perhaps 600 million years ago conferred great advantages, and transformed populations rapidly. In the so-called Cambrian explosion
(datable with remarkable precision to 542 million years ago), a dozen or more new phyla, each with very different body plans, arose within the space of a million years or less—a geological eye-blink. The once peaceful pre-Cambrian seas were transformed into a jungle of hunters and hunted, newly mobile. And while some animals (like sponges) lost their nerve cells and regressed to a vegetative life, others, especially predators, evolved increasingly sophisticated sense organs, memories, and minds.It is fascinating to think of Darwin, Romanes, and other biologists of their time searching for “mind,” “mental processes,” “intelligence,” even “consciousness” in primitive animals like jellyfish, and even in protozoa.
[...]" #octopus #intelligence #consciousness Links below!