The appearance of these increasing states of intelligence can be placed on a non-linear time curve as was done in the prior section, but in this case substituting the various categories of intelligence for the estimated arrival times of categories of organisms. As before, each point on the curve can only be approximated, and thus the slope of the curve is in question.
This spectrum of intelligence exists as such because of the very way in which it has come about through a gradual process of upward evolution. It was relatively simple in the earliest life forms and has become very complex with the arrival of man.
What I have envisioned as a spectrum or continuum has been referred to by others as a principle of hierarchization. This implies that there are successive levels of increasing complexity, flexibility and coordination in form, function and behavior, ranging from the relatively simple to the relatively complex. This is the same basic concept as presented in General Systems Theory in Chapter Three. Hierarchization is found all around us, and is most apparent in terms of coordinating functions; i.e., the nucleus coordinates the activities of a single cell; nerve ganglia coordinate information passing through radiating synapses; the brain stem of higher mammals coordinates many bodily functions; and a queen bee coordinates the activities of the hive.1
Each cell of any organism contains a total program in memory which potentially could allow it to construct the entire organism; however, each cell soon specializes during embryological development, giving up its toto-potentiality. It does this through a sophisticated electrochemical communications system. The individual cells collaborate to form a higher system which becomes greater than the sum of its parts.2
Netscape CTRL + D
MAC Command + D