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open quotation mark..the environment cannot be viewed as merely a permissive or triggering factor in development; rather, it is a critical feature of developmental biology.

In 'higher' animals, such as humans, ontogeny can be understood as being made up of three, broad chronological phases: conception to puberty; puberty to maturity; and maturity to death. During the first phase, the senses and the elementary skills of their application are acquired by developing awareness through practice and relationships. Later developments then build recursively on these early acquisitions.

open quotation mark..what offspring inherit from parents is not simply genes, but a structured developmental system. This developmental system provides sources of both stability and variability, and the structure and interactions among components of an organism's developmental system are as causally informative to the development and transmission of phenotypic traits as are the strands of DNA contained within this system.

The sense we associate with the most is perhaps that of sight —feeling that we look out through our eyes— yet nature only delivers its functional, cellular infrastructure, sight itself is constructed through nurture, from the experience of shade and colour, delivered through the environmental feedback mechanisms of early ontogenetic learning, a form of learning rooted deep in the early evolution of multicellular beings from the time that land plants first emerged.

open quotation markTraditionally it has been assumed that fish orientation and migration were to a large extent hard-wired. But .. many fish species possess spatial as well as temporal memory and exert a behavioral flexibility reflecting their ability to learn during ontogeny . .. if we suppose that the cognitive capacities of modern fish species have not changed too much since ray-finned fish appeared, then advanced learning skills have been a part of life on Earth for more than 400 million years.


see for instance:— Evolutionary transitions in individuality. [Maynard Smith, Szathmary], Social evolution. [Hamilton], Eusociality. [E.O.Wilson])

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Lickliter and Honeycutt, in Developmental Dynamics: Toward a Biologically Plausible Evolutionary Psychology, 2003, p.826, Psychological Bulletin, American Psychological Association, Vol. 129, No. 6, pp.819-835.

Lickliter and Honeycutt, in Developmental Dynamics: Toward a Biologically Plausible Evolutionary Psychology, 2003, p.828, Psychological Bulletin, American Psychological Association, Vol. 129, No. 6, pp.819-835.

Citing:— Griffiths, P. E., & Gray, R. D. (1994). Developmental systems and evolutionary explanation. Journal of Philosophy, 91, 277-304; Johnston, T. D. (1987). The persistence of dichotomies in the study of behavioral development. Developmental Review, 7, 149-182; Oyama, S. (1985). The ontogeny of information. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Oyama, S. (2000). Evolution's eye. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Richardson, K. (1998). The origins of human potential: Evolution, development and psychology. London: Routledge. West, M. J., & King, A. P. (1987). Settling nature and nurture into an ontogenetic niche. Developmental Psychobiology, 20, 549-562..

'The Great Chain of Semiosis. Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence.' by Jesper Hoffmeyer and Frederik Stjernfelt (2015), Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht; citing Odling-Smee, L., & Braithwaite, V. (2003) 'The role of learning in fish orientation.' Fish and Fisheries, 4, 235-246.

Beings, here includes those that are unicellular (e.g. bacteria, archaea, and some algae); and those that are both unicellular and multicellular (e.g. slime molds) as well as those that are multicellular and, therefore, societies —cellular metasystems (e.g. humans, ants, jellyfish).

Bioemiosis proceeds through recognition — through current sense-data that a being perceives being recognized by it as being the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something the being has sensed or perceived before. This then is a recursive process, its first iteration (or 'base case') generating meaning by matching current sense-data and perceptions to those that have previously been recognized, recorded, embodied, and inherited.

Embodiment here then refers to the biophysical expression of semiosis — and to the semiosis of biophysical expression. In this, embodied cognition is simply a dimension of biosemiosis.

NB. While the definitions used here may vary considerably to those used elsewhere, both in degree and specificity, nonetheless they may, even considerably, overlap with them.

A language is a system of arbitrary signals used to communicate information. To communicate, is to convey information through a system of arbitrary signals. Semantic means of or relating to meaning, and meaning refers to the sense or reference of an expression. To recognize, is to know something as the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something known before.

Definitions referred to, and given above are after those in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; apart from meaning and recognize, that are after those in the Collins English Dictionary.

quoteleftHydrozoa show great diversity of lifestyle; some species maintain the polyp form for their entire life and do not form medusae at all Polyps of some species propagate vegetatively, forming colonies.. polymorphism occurs in colonies of some species of hydrozoans and anthozoans, the polyps being specialized for functions such as feeding, defense, and sexual reproduction.

Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, 7th edition. Cengage Learning. pp. 148-174; cited in Jellyfish, Taxonomy (list item: Staurozoa), Wikipedia..

Fautin, Daphne G. and Sandra L. Romano. 1997. Cnidaria. Sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, sea pens, hydra. Version 24 April 1997. in The Tree of Life Web Project,

Anthropocentrism is the anthropocentric belief that the human species is the central fact, and final aim of a universe that should, therefore, be understood in terms of human experience, needs, and values.

Crows and flocking horses, otters and gorillas, clamour at our doors of reason. Geese and horses, chimps too follow the leader. Fungi on beetles, ribeiroia on herons, staph in our guts, win minds and hearts for their gods. What makes us human, or more so than our dogs?


open quotation markThe whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.    Albert Einstein.

Science is an elementary practice. Scientism is a belief. Eugenics and the Holocaust are among the brutal consequences and stark reminders of not recognizing this distinction..

from: Physics and Reality, published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 221, Issue 3, March 1936, pp. 349-382.

from: "The Great Chain of Semiosis, Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence." p.8, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Frederik Stjernfelt, September 2015, Biosemiotics 9(1) DOI:10.1007/s12304-015-9247-y (Emphasis added).


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