natural intelligence and anthropic reasoning

Biosemiotics 13 (tba):1-23 (2020)
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This paper aims to justify the concept of natural intelligence in the biosemiotic context. I will argue that the process of life is (i) a cognitive/semiotic process and (ii) that organisms, from bacteria to animals, are cognitive or semiotic agents. To justify these arguments, the neural-type intelligence represented by the form of reasoning known as anthropic reasoning will be compared and contrasted with types of intelligence explicated by four disciplines of biology – relational biology, evolutionary epistemology, biosemiotics and the systems view of life – not biased towards neural intelligence. The comparison will be achieved by asking questions related to the process of observation and the notion of true observers. To answer the questions I will rely on a range of established concepts including SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence), Fermi’s paradox, bacterial cognition, versions of the panspermia theory, as well as some newly introduced concepts including biocivilisations, cognitive/semiotic universes, and the cognitive/semiotic multiverse. The key point emerging from the answers is that the process of cognition/semiosis – the essence of natural intelligence – is a biological universal.

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Predrag Slijepcevic
Brunel University


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