2012/9/30 meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net>
> On 9/30/2012 6:54 AM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
> Whoever said that does not know what he says:
> "There are great differences between evolutionary designs and rational
> design, rational designs are, well, rational, but
> evolutionary designs are idiotic. Mother Nature (Evolution) is a slow and
> stupid tinkerer, it had over 3 billion years to work on the problem but it
> couldn't even come up with a macroscopic part that could rotate in 360
> degrees! Rational designers had less difficulty coming up with the wheel.
> The only advantage Evolution had is that until it managed to invent brains
> it was the only way complex objects could get built."
> First of all, 360 degrees rotation is present in the flagela of
> the bacteria, invented about 3800 million years ago under intense comet
> Did you miss the word "macroscopic"?
> Try to do it yourself in the same conditions ;). If there is no weel in
> natural evolution is because legs are far superior.
> And if you think that weels are superior, NS invented it, because the
> invertor of the weel was a product of natural selection. Even your feeling
> of superiority of the weel and the very feeling of superiority of reason is
> a product of natural selection. The claim of superiority of reason over
> nature is the last vestige of unjustified antropocentrism in its most
> dangerous form: Pride and self worship.
> But NS couldn't 'invent' it for macroscopic size animals traveling on hard
> smooth surfaces, because it had already 'invented' legs and there was no
> evolutionary path from legs to wheels.
> That is right, but this is not the most important. This is not the
complete reason behaind lack of usage of macroscopic wheels by nature.
Neiter mine that I expose here below. To gasp how NS works is to admit
the basic "we don´t know" that return us to the human condition.
The reason behind is repairability. much of the wheel pieces are not
accessible from outside, because a weel is made of topologically
disconected pieces. Whenever men manage to create an autonomous robot that
can travel trough a planet for years without human support, it will be
made of legs rather than wheels. A living being by definition to have
control of its parts has to be topologically connected.
The weels in the flagella of a bacteria are inside the bacteria, so she can
absorb them and create new ones. So, surprise surprise, evolution use also
macroscopic wheels inside organisms: The wheels we use daily in the cars
are internal to the social organism.
That´s why the weels can be repaired. The human societies are natural
organisms at a level above animal organisms. There are many levels. A
multicellular animal is the result of five levels of natural selection.
There is no reason why not consider human societies as a leven in natural
And second, with more relaxed mood, I have to say, as I said many times
> here, that evolution works simultaneously with infinite variables and
> problems at the same time: log term and short term. Therefore we NEVER are
> sure of knowing in FULL the reasons
> You mean the random events and the selection events - there are no
> The human understanding when he discover a cause consider it as reasonable
because it obey a discovered reason. The reasons behind bird wings is the i
laws of flying. Apparently if the cause is not discovered, many people
despises it as unreasonable or irrational or "idiotic". That, by the way is
probably the most tragic error in logic of our time.
Selection introduces teleology where previously there were non teleological
laws. from each level, selection produces the emergence of new teleological
levels of meaning and purpose. from non-life, selection creates plant-like
life. from this, selection creates the teleology of avoiding suffering and
going after pleasure of animals. From this level, selection produces the
teleology of avoiding evil and going after beauty, truth and the good of
humans in society, that is what we are doing now in this discussion group.
> behind an evolutionary design and therefor we can not understand FULY an
> evolutionary design. That gives evolutionary design an appearance of mess
> poor design and so on. This is NOT the case. If evolution and reason
> collide, the prudent is to consider that the reason don´t know enough.
> That is because Reason work to solve a single problem, Cognitive scientist
> say that can handle no more than seven variables at the same time for a
> single problem.
> THAT is the reason WHY the human designs are made of modules with
> discrete interfaces. No matter if we talk about architecture, computer
> science or social engineering, Each rational design module solves a single
> problem and comunicate with other modules in discrete ways. This is what is
> considered "good designs" ,.
> Not in general. Some engineers consider it good design to make multiple
> uses of the same structure, e.g. there was a German motorcycle that used
> the gear shift lever to also serve as the kickstarter, more recently Ducati
> designed their racing motorcycles to be 'frameless', using the engine as
> the structural member.
> Most if not all discoveries are not a direct effect of reason, but of
fortunate events perseverance and observations. In the same way, the
refinement of a design has much more of essay and error than a prioro
reasoning. All these things introduce variation and selection outside of
and helping the reasoning process. The very reasoning process is a very
limited unconscious form of matching ideas in different ways until a good
outcome result from a chain of them.
> BUT THESE RULES OF GOOD DESIGN ARE A CONSEQUIENCE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF
> REASON. Reason does not produce optimal solutions. it produce the optimal
> solution that he can handle without breaking.
> Not limitations, but the recognition that a modular design can be easily
> changed to solve problems, usually by changing one module. But with a
> non-modular design you may have to start over from scratch; which is why
> evolution gets stuck on local maxima like legs and no wheels. Incidentally
> Ducati's frameless design was a maintenance nightmare, didn't handle well,
> and couldn't be modified. They went back to a conventional frame.
> A modular desing can be easily changed and a non modular not because the
engineer can understand it with its limited one reason seven variables
reasoning. If the enginer would manage infinite design goals and variables,
such is Natural selection , it would repair or adapt a non modular design
much more easily.
For this reason, natural selection never operates from scratch. I will not
ellaborate on this because it is evident.
> Natural selection takes the whole problem and produce the optimal
> solution without modular limitations. Starting from scratch, evolutionary
> algoritms have designed electronic circuits with a half or a third of
> components, that are more fast that the equivalent rational designs. As
> Koza, for example has done:
> These circuits designs are impossible to understand rationally. why?
> because they are not modular. There is no division of the problem in
> smaller problems. a transistor may be connected to more than one input or
> output and so on. But they are better, ligther, faster. it seems a "Bad"
> design but this is a subjective perception, as a consequience of our
> rational inherent limitations.
> It is not a casual that genetic algoritms are used whenever 1) it is or
> very difficult to break a problem in parts 2) is easy to measure how good
> a solution is.
> I have used genetic-evolutionary algoritms for deducing the location of
> extinction resources in a simulated firing. The algoritm deduced the
> optimal location every time. the only problem is that we did not know WHY
> this was the optimal solution.
> But in genetic-evolution algorithms you have the luxury of adjusting the
> randomness and of starting over from different initial values.
> That happens in natural selection every generation. the genetic code has
evolved to evolve. The parameters of DNA are finely tuned for an optimum
rate of mutations, among other things. see:
> In the same way, an human organ can perform 3 4 5 functionalities at the
> same time. the capillar tubes in a tree act as pumps, conducts,
> architectural sustaining foundation and may be many more that still we
> don´t know.
> In the same way societies are subjects of evolution. A natural
> socio-biological institution, like the family has many functions, far more
> than the social engineers think. Its functions can not be extracted away by
> public institutions ruled by social engineers without a failure of the
> whole society.
> Some functions can, e.g. slavery, and some have unintended consequences.
The moral that condemn slavery is also a consequence of evolution. There is
nothing rational or irrational in slavery. it is only moral. this moral has
an evolutionary story behind. It is also factual: the societies which have
condemned internal aggression are more advanced that those that don´t for
various reasons. the moral and the factual converge in the long term.
> That is why conservatives rely on nature where progressives rely on
> reason and this is the reason why the latter fail.
> Conservatives are those who find themselves on top and call it 'natural'.
What a waste of power to be in the top and wanting to do leave things as
they are... In contrast, the progressives supposedly consider themselves in
the bottom, but still they want to change everything while insult
whatever established before them. it´s a weird way of feeling at the
> But natural evolution does not start from scratch it has to modify
> previous designs for new needs, while reason without the help of
> tradiction, operates from scratch. But this is not a drawback but an
> advantage for evolution,since the problems of the past may not happen in
> the present, but probably they will happen in the future.
> So now you are imagining foresight in evolution. Isn't it much simpler to
> just recognize it is a constraint that random variation is unlikely to
> change many things at once so as to 'start over with a clean sheet'.
> Evolution design not for today, but from all times to al times, taking
> into account past, present and probable future events.
> So that's why 99.9% of all its designs have gone extinct? Evolution
> doesn't design at all, it just randomizes and nature selects. The waste is
> enormous, but there's no accounting department to care.
> Don´t go as far away. You,for example. You will die. What a bad design!
you will say. You only live for 100 years at most. But how many years live
your car?. All depends on the values which which you see reality. This
negative view of reality has a load individualistic values.
Alternatively,as Popper said, nothing has been extinct. in a scientific
way, we are the sons primordial cell, the first worms, the fishes, the
anphibians etc. and therefore these species are not extincts, in the same
way that dinosaurs are not extinct. they are now called birds.
But if you have an individualistic, your view must be pessimistic. its´s
not that 99.9 of species in the lay sense, not in the cladistic sense are
extinct, but your grand father, and your father and you also will pass
away. What a depressing idea. Isn´t?
Well i will continue later.
> Natural adaptation exceeds not only the capabilities of rational
> design but also the rational understanding, as I have demonstrated
> You've only demonstrated your own prejudice against reason. Evolution
> produces many designs that are suboptimal, because natural selection only
> requires that a design be 'good-enough':
> Arthropods make an elastic protein, rezulin, which is much more elastic
> than that in molluscs (abductin) and in vertebrates (elastin). Thus a fly
> can flap it's wings with less energy loss than a horse can run or a scallop
> can swim.
> The nerves in a mammals eye join the photoreceptor cells at the end facing
> the pupil. They run across the inside surface of the retina and exit
> together. Where they exit they create a 'blind spot' in our field of
> vision. So, first, they partly obstruct the retina and, second, they create
> a blind spot.
> People swallow and breathe through a shared passage. A design that results
> in many deaths due to choking on food.
> Oxidation of fatty acids unnecessarily reverses the handedness of
> methylmaloyl. In the biosynthesis of some plant alkaloids, reticuline is
> formed in the S configuration and then inverted to the R configuration; a
> step which could have been avoided by just using the S form for all the
> alkaloids. Lysine is biosynthesized via two different parallel processes
> when one would have served.
> The designer of a larger and heavier vehicle on the softer surface uses
> more wheels to avoid sinking into the surface. Yet among animals the small
> ones, arthropods, have six or more legs; while the large animals have two
> or four. Why don't large heavy animals like elephants and rhinoceri have
> six or more legs?
> When animals with fur get cold little muscles attached to each hair
> folicle cause the hairs to stand up thus thickening the fur and increasing
> its insulative value. Humans also have these muscles which cause
> 'goosebumps' when we're cold. This increases our surface area and increases
> our loss of heat.
> In the human male the urinary tract passes through the center of the
> prostate gland; a gland given to swelling. This stupid design causes a lot
> of pain and difficulty for older men.
> 'A woman can be proud and stiff
> When on love intent;
> But Love has pitched his mansion in
> The place of excrement;
> For nothing can be sole or whole
> That has not been rent.'
> --- William Butler Yeats, "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop"
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