On 10/5/2012 9:04 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 10:12 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 10/5/2012 8:00 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 10/5/2012 4:56 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 10/5/2012 2:04 AM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
2012/10/4 John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com
Alberto G. Corona <agocor...@gmail.com
>> Mother Nature (Evolution) is a slow and stupid
it had over 3 billion years to work on the problem but
couldn't even come up with a macroscopic part that could
rotate in 360 degrees!
> First of all, 360 degrees rotation is present in the
the bacteria, invented about 3800 million years ago
I know, that's why I said "macroscopic". It's easy to make if
wheel is microscopic because nutriments can just diffuse in and
products diffuse out; but as parts get bigger the volume
the cube of the radius but the surface area only increases by
square, so when things get big diffusion just isn't good enough.
Evolution never figured out how to do better and make a wheel
enough to see, but people did.
I explained in a post above why evolution does not select weels.
autonomous living being must be topologically connected, and weels
not. This is a neat consequence of the need of repairability. No
autonomous robot with weels can work for long time without
is explained in detail somewhere above.
I can imagine a design in which wheels are connected to the
system just as some vehicles are built with hydraulic motors in
wheels. Or the wheels might be separate organisms in a symbiotic
relation. Those are possible - but it's too hard to get there from here.
So you make the point yourself, evolution is constrained in ways that
rational design is not.
Do we know that imagination doesn't use an evolutionary process (behind
scenes) to come up with new ideas? Could it be that our brains use
evolutionary techniques, combining different things we know in random
running internal testing and selection of those ideas, before they
into an Ah-Ha moment that we become conscious of?
Do we have any reason to believe ideas reproduce with variation and
that reproduce most successfully rise to consciousness? THAT would be a
Darwinian theory of consciousness.
The only known implementations of artificial creativity involved genetic
programming. In fact, this computer used such techniques to invented
When I try to conceive of how creativity works, it is hard for me to to
could be anything other than random permutation and cross pollination of
ideas, which must then be evaluated and the nonsensical ones pruned. New
ideas do not fall from the sky, nor are they directly implied by the
of ideas. It seems then that the process involved is to generate a bunch
ideas (using methods similar to the tools of evolution works), and then
selection criteria to determine which are the good ones and which are the
This strikes me as disingenously stretching meaning to fit an argument.
variation and recombination of ideas and selection according to some values
probably how creativity works. But do you really think that shows
I was only making the point that reason may itself use the same techniques
Aren't you overlooking the fact that reason does all this in imagination,
symbolically, not by reproducing and competing for resources and suffering
Before there were minds to experience all the suffering and dying, you might say that
evolution was equally symbolic.
There were minds enough to try to avoid suffering and dying. Are really going to try to
stretch this analogy to say that our ideas 'compete and suffer and die' and this is just
as wasteful and cruel as the Darwinian struggle for existence?
That is, the molecular interactions in the biosphere held a similar role to the flurry
of ideas in a reasoning mind.
Being able to develop ideas quickly and without whole generations having to suffer and
die is a great improvement to the process,
Exactly my point.
but it is an improvement natural selection (not we) made.
Do you realize you've just anthropomorphized natural selection in order to attribute
agency to it in order to argue that it's better than agency? It doesn't matter where
reason came from, the question is whether it is inferior to Darwinian evolution in the
designs it produces.
Biological evolution is now largely inconsequential compared to the evolution of
technology and ideas. But the trends in technology and ideas are still evolutionary.
But not Darwinian evolution. That's what I find objectionable. Using the word
'evolutionary' like a pun because it means both gradual change and the Darwinian process.
Reason may be able to make longer strides than was possible with mutation of
DNA molecules, but the products of reason are still very much subject to the same
evolutionary forces: ideas must reproduce (spread), and compete to survive, or risk
I don't see that reason can be said to outshine evolution since they seem to be
inseparable. Reason is a product and tool of evolution (just as DNA is). Reason itself
may even use evolutionary processes. And in the end, everything, including the ideas
and inventions created by reason are still bound to the general rules of evolution.
General rules? That no designer can start over? That you can't borrow and combine ideas
from wildly different species or even from non-biological examples. You're just fuzzing
up definitions to make apples the same as oranges because they're both fruit.
As an example of my point: We might say books outshine clay tablets by far, but we can't
books outshine methods for preserving and communicating information. Similarly, we
might say that neurology outshines DNA, but we can't make the leap to saying neurology
outshines systems for adaptation. Both neurology and DNA are systems for adaptation.
Therefore, I think it is more accurate to say reasoning has accelerated the process of
evolution. Many things have similarly accelerated evolution: RNA, DNA,
Most theories of the origins of life suppose that DNA became the code for reproduction
because it was *more* stable than RNA. The pace of evolution is itself subject to natural
sexual reproduction, increased diversity of species, neurology, language, writing,
printing processes, computers, the Internet, Google, etc. In the future, we can expect
AI, mind uploading, super conductors, etc. to further accelerate the rate of change.
But by reason, not by Darwinian evolution. If GM randomly changed the design of each car
as it came down the production line it would be in even more trouble.
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