On Aug 28, 5:21 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 25/08/2011, at 12:37 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > You're giving evolution an active role. Evolution can't program
> > anything. It's the agents themselves which embody characteristics
> > which happen to be selected for. Evolution cannot program a stone to
> > feel pain. How does that answer the question of why transistors don't
> > build ever anything on their own accord?
> Evolution programs matter to survive and replicate. Are you saying that a 
> computer or program that was designed to survive and
> replicate would invalidate your entire theory?

Evolution doesn't program anything. It's not telological, it's a
teleonomy. If a disease kills half of the people in a town, the
survivors who go on to reproduce have been naturally selected. They
aren't programmed by anything at all, they just happened to have an
immune system which makes sense out of the disease in a way that
doesn't kill them. To 'program' is to write in advance, to script. Pro-
gram: (Pro: prefix meaning "before, forward, in favor of, in place
of," from L. pro "on behalf of, in place of, before, for,"
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pro- ), gram from graphy
(“process of writing or recording” or “a writing, recording, or
description,” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=-graphy).
Evolution is only backward looking. It arises blindly and impartially
from chains of consequential outcomes and therefore isn't even a
process which is experienced by anything, it is just an aspect of
entropy which can be understood through third person analysis.

Matter doesn't need to survive. It's not alive. Replication alone
isn't life (crystals replicate, but we don't talk about them dying).
It's substance monism that defines life as mere 'survival' and
replication. It's laughably backwards. It's like saying that a
computer which simulates non-drunkenness must be the same thing as
artificial intelligence. Life is a feeling of being alive. Survival
means caring about not losing those feelings. If you can make a
computer out of silicon that feels and cares, then I would have to
give silicon more credit than I am now. I can't rule it out.

You could maybe make a live newborn baby out of fiberglass, I just
don't think it's very likely. If it were, by now you'd probably see
some kind of organism in the world that's made of nothing but sand.
What about the possibility that our naive perception that there is
some important difference between a baby and a pile of bricks isn't
100% wrong? Perhaps we sense an important truth, if not about
objective reality, then about the way that we experience reality -
which is mostly what we care about anyways (again, knowing quantum
physics doesn't mean getting hit by a bus won't matter'.

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