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Eric Cassell

At Mind Matters News: The hive mind: Leafcutter ants behave like farmhands but…

Ants’ complex behavior patterns are part of following a colony algorithm rather than making individual decisions. They make immediate individual decisions but the hive mind of the colony makes the big ones. We humans struggle to understand the hive mind because our world is one of uniquely individual minds that can, with effort, be got to work together — for a while. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Asked at The Scientist: Do invertebrates have feelings?

What we are learning is that invertebrate status is not, by itself, evidence of an inability to think or feel — as we used to suppose. In a world full of information and intelligence, it’s not nearly as tidy as our biology teachers thought. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Do ants think? Yes, they do — but they think like computers

Navigation expert Eric Cassell points out that algorithms have made the ant one of the most successful insects ever, both in numbers and complexity. Computer programmers use some of the same basic structures. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Source of most animal intelligence still a mystery

Question: Magnetic poles can shift. We can suddenly have north become south and south become north. The continents can drift. So can these animal behaviors accommodate changes in earth’s magnetic field or its geography in order to allow animals to continue to migrate? No one really knows the answers to this stuff as yet. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Neuroscience mystery: How do tiny brains enable complex behavior?

Eric Cassell notes that insects with brains of only a million neurons exhibit principles found only in the most advanced man-made navigation systems. How? Read More ›

New excerpt from Animal Algorithms

Eric Cassell: Scientists typically specialize, and a biologist who does this may see problems for evolutionary theory in his or her own subdiscipline but then figure those problems are the exception and that evolutionary theory has things well in hand elsewhere in the life sciences. Read More ›

Eric Cassell on the mystery of Monarch butterfly migration

There exists no evolutionary model that satisfactorily explains its origin. That by itself does not prove that gradual evolution didn’t produce such programming, but the lack of such a model should at least give the open-minded pause for reflection. Read More ›

Book excerpt: Navigational genius of insects

Eric Cassell: The Goulds call this curious dance “the second most information-rich exchange in the animal world,”5 second only to human language. That is quite a statement considering the communication is by insects with only 950,000 neurons, compared to humans with about eighty-five billion. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: The intelligence birds and bees naturally have — and we don’t

Richard W. Stevens: You’re aiming to find your childhood friend’s home in a new city. A map helps; GPS is better. Accessing all that previously-acquired mapmakers’ knowledge, employing all of that satellite, radio and computing technology, you’ll probably (although not certainly) reach your goal. Could some “dumb bird” do any better? Way better, actually. Read More ›

New book focuses on animal intelligence as not product of pure randomness

"[H]ow did these embedded programs arise in the history of life? There’s the problem for evolutionists. “Specified complexity, irreducible complexity, and the Cambrian explosion are inexplicable from a Darwinian viewpoint,” comments Baylor University computer engineer and intelligent design theorist Robert J. Marks. “In this book, Cassell masterfully adds animal algorithms to the list.” Read More ›