Biosemiotics and slime mould

many headed slime - physarum polycephalum
Image by randomtruth via Flickr

New Scientist has an interesting article on the ways in which it may make sense to talk about non-conscious entities creating meaning. Biosemiotics.

Hat tip to Meika.

I had been thinking abut this when I came across a report on the slime mould’s ‘irrational’ decision-making process.It seems that like humans, Physarum polycephalum makes quick foraging decisions based on comparisons of what’s available. These decisions aren’t strictly rational.

Canadian researcher Dr Tanya Latty of Sydney University said:

“If you are in a risky environment… it’s better to be able to make a quick decision that’s right most of the time rather than a perfect decision that takes too long and means you get eaten by something,”

There’s a radio interview on CBS.

…and another paper.