Biointellectics – Fringes of Instinct and Intelligence (The Cockroach)

Biologically, humans are classified as higher mammals. Every human will agree to that higher ranking as much as they’ll want to accept the recognition as mammals. There is a clear difference between the higher mammals, humans and the lower mammals, animals. This clear difference is in the use of intelligence by humans while animals are lead by instinct. However, it is observable that humans are sometimes lead by instinct as well. Have you been told sometimes to “simply trust your gut feeling”. The brain uses a combination of logic and emotions when making decisions of any kind. That specific emotion, innate to us as humans, is intuition. We possess the capacity to feel, and thereby the ability to know things without consciously reasoning. The “gut feeling” is real, and we use it all the time.

Some animals like dolphins, apes, and dogs have displayed behavioral patterns that suggest some level of use of intelligence, yet there are still observable wide difference in the use of intelligence in humans. Humans can observe the behavioral patterns of animals and draw up intelligent learnings from them. Animals cannot archive such. Most animals do not have the capacity to be intelligent, that is to say they cannot rationalize or think through processes and reproduce it again. However, zoologist have observed animals to be instinctively wise. Humans, with the use of intelligence continue to tap into the instinctive wisdom of the animal world. An example of such is the study of biomimetics and bioinformatics. Biomimetics is the study of the formation, structure,or function of biologically produced substances and materials (such as enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms and process (such as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of synthesizing similar products by artificial mechanisms which mimic natural ones.

Biointellectics is the observation or study of the instinctive nature of animals to enhance human intelligence. One definition of intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate ones environment. In our everyday life we sort ideas to manage varying situations as they arise. Be it in our businesses, relationship with one another – either in the family, places of work/business; how to cope with crisis/anxieties, how to be productive, etc. The Bible encourages biointellectics when at Poverbs 6:6-8 it encourages lazy ones to “go to the ant”. We can then imagine the wealth of intelligence we can harness from the instinctive wisdom of the animal world.

You can come back to this blog every once in awhile to glean from the wealth of research made on a particular animal instincts. There will be a brief introduction to the animal life. The instinctive living of the animal will be analyzed. The particular aspect of human life – be it ethical, etiquette, business, social, medical, economical, safety, governmental etc where such an instinctive nature of the animal is applicable in human living will be made clear. The next time you see such animal, you’ll value them for the level of intelligence instinctive nature accord humans.

Let’s start off with a strongly hated kind of animal by many humans, the cockroach. This insect is quickly killed or feared because of its raunchy nature.

There are 4,000 roach species that exist in the world but only a handful of them plague homes and businesses. These pest species includes:

 Blatella germanica, the German cockroach

 Periplaneta americana, the American cockroach or palmetto bug

 Supella longipalpa, the brown-banded cockroach

 Blatta orientalis, the oriental cockroach

Around the world, just one specie – the German cockroach, is responsible for most infestations. Predominantly, humans are to blame for the uncontrollable prevalence. Most cockroach pest have spread across the planet by hitchhiking on boats, airplanes, trucks and even in moving boxes and grocery bags.

Whether they’re digesting wood pulp in a rain forest or hiding under a refrigerator, cockroaches are fascinating. They’re primitive insects – they existed millions of years before dinosaurs did and have survived since then even when other species have not. As an example, dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago but cockroaches have kept living for 320 million years.

Did you know a cockroach can live 7 – 10 days without water, can live 30 days without food before starving to death. Some female cockroach only mate ones and stay pregnant for life. A cockroach can live up to a week without its head. Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Cockroaches can run up to 3 miles per hour.

Do cockroaches have economic value? The answer is yes. In Nigeria, infestation of cockroaches have giving business, pest control, to some in an attempt to eradicate cockroach infestation. In China, reverse is the case. Cockroaches form part of delicacy in China. There are actually cockroach farms. One Chinese farmer own 10 million cockroaches – good business? Cockroaches are also use for cancer treatment.

The presence of few cockroaches will not give any perceivable smell. When the numbers reach high enough, however, a smell can certainly come from infestation. The smell of cockroaches actually comes from a number of reasons:

Common Secretions: When roaches are parked in their colonies, they give off a pheromone to let other roaches know they’ve found a good place to nest. Letting of secretions is also part of their standard routine. Even without contacting other roaches, secretions can come out day after day.

End of life secretions: When cockroaches die, they let off another kind of scent known as the death stench. It’s usually oleic acid that is let off by a roach carcass.

Sexual Attraction secretions: Roaches also use scent to attract a mate. With a simple scent, females can attract swarms of male roaches to herself. This smell also reaches humans as well.

So the next time you perceive a roach smell, which would think it is? Is it the common, end of life or, sexual attraction secretions? It’s up to you to make it out.

Cockroach Instinctive Nature

Cockroaches live in groups. A study in Brussels, Belgium observe that roaches instinctively define space they live in. When the space is not large enough, the roaches divide themselves into equal groups to fit into the smallest number of other enclosures.

The roaches instinctively determines an enclosure as insufficient for a particular number of cockroach colony and at the same time keep dividing the groups equally into available enclosure until all Cockroach are sufficiently accommodated, forming interrelated colonies after another. This is a secrete of their multiplicity. With enough space per roach, they develop better and healthier. Possibly.

Another study suggest that cockroaches have a collective instinct made up of the instinct of individual roaches. In other words, roaches allow themselves to be dominated by the instinct of any other singular roach. That means they recognize a leader in any colony group. They are communal insects.

Fringes of Instinct and Intelligence

Cockroaches do not choke themselves up in crevices. As much as they group themselves equally into every available opening, they do not live in deprivation. This is valuable intelligence for human settlement system. Human settlements are so clustered that we’re concerned about population explosion. When appropriate authorities and agencies consider establishing new settlement areas to decongest already over crowded cities, every one in the human colony will live a better healthier life. Over crowding is a problem in developing countries with limited financial or natural resources. Developed countries likewise have over crowded cities either as a result of technological advancement concentrated in some choice cities or limited landed space to build more settlements. However, developed countries are doing a better job at settling its human colonies like the cockroaches.

Cockroaches do not just settle equally into every available crevices, they so much as care for their own that they instinctively ensure each settlement is habitable. This is another valuable intelligence for the human colonies. It’s not just enough to establish places of settlements in the human colonies but they should be made habitable. It is not uncommon to hear of buildings crumbling down as a result of defective structure. There is shortage of power, inadequate water or no clean water supply, faulty drainage and sewage systems, insufficient food supply or lack of financial resources to purchase food stuffs, etc. This is how it has been for so many developing human colonies.

Cockroaches submit to instinctive authority in their respective colonies. This is yet another valuable intelligence for the human colonies. Intelligence in humans makes them kick against established authorities within their colonies. Every human wants to be in authority and not under any authority. Such disposition has giving rise to breakdown of so many colonies over the centuries. Even within smaller units, humans have so intelligently destroy their very foundation.

Humans complain about the uncontrollable multiplication of cockroaches, it’s partly because cockroaches accept instinctive authority over them. They seldom kill themselves like humans do. Most of their death is caused by human activities and other insect predators.

If instinctively, cockroaches can permanently care for their own, where has the use of intelligence place the human colonies. It may sound absurd to say we go learn from cockroaches but what if observing them can tame our intelligence for what is acceptably correct and right in our varying human colonies.

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