On 06 Oct 2012, at 06:04, 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> Wrote:
>> 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
> First of all, 360 degrees rotation is present in the flagela of
the bacteria, invented about 3800 million years ago
I know, that's why I said "macroscopic". It's easy to make if the
wheel is microscopic because nutriments can just diffuse in and
waste products diffuse out; but as parts get bigger the volume
increases by the cube of the radius but the surface area only
increases by the square, so when things get big diffusion just
isn't good enough. Evolution never figured out how to do better
and make a wheel large enough to see, but people did.
I explained in a post above why evolution does not select
weels. An autonomous living being must be topologically
connected, and weels are not. This is a neat consequence of the
need of repairability. No autonomous robot with weels can work
for long time without supoort.. This is explained in detail
I can imagine a design in which wheels are connected to the
circulatory system just as some vehicles are built with hydraulic
motors in their 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 the scenes) to come up with new ideas? Could it be that
our brains use evolutionary techniques, combining different things
we know in random ways and running internal testing and selection
of those ideas, before they bubble up into an Ah-Ha moment that we
become conscious of?
Do we have any reason to believe ideas reproduce with variation and
then those 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 patent-worthy designs: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.100.4146
When I try to conceive of how creativity works, it is hard for me
to to imagine it could be anything other than random permutation
and cross pollination of existing ideas, which must then be
evaluated and the nonsensical ones pruned. New (good) ideas do not
fall from the sky, nor are they directly implied by the existing
set of ideas. It seems then that the process involved is to
generate a bunch of new ideas (using methods similar to the tools
of evolution works), and then apply selection criteria to determine
which are the good ones and which are the useless ones.
This strikes me as disingenously stretching meaning to fit an
argument. Yes, random variation and recombination of ideas and
selection according to some values is probably how creativity
works. But do you really think that shows "Evolution outshines
I was only making the point that reason may itself use the same
techniques evolution does.
Aren't you overlooking the fact that reason does all this in
imagination, symbolically, not by reproducing and competing for
resources and suffering and dying?
Before there were minds to experience all the suffering and dying,
you might say that evolution was equally symbolic. 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, but
it is an improvement natural selection (not we) made. Biological
evolution is now largely inconsequential compared to the evolution
of technology and ideas. But the trends in technology and ideas are
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 extinction.
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
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, 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.
I agree with this analysis. In our neighborhood, we can see a
perpetual apparition of universal numbers, often built on the top of
each other in a layered structure, and all such apparition entails a
relative speeding up of one universal system with respect to another.
Such universal layers are for example many subparts of physics, DNA/
protein, cells, neural nets, persons, cortical thought, languages, and
now computers. Just a brain is already a sequence of universal layers
(stem, limbic systems, cortex). Man-made computers are a sort of
external human neocortex and can be seen as extension of ourself, by
universal means again, and this too provides one more acceleration
layer. Even todays computer work through layers of universal numbers
(boolean gates, micro-assemby languages, high level interpreters, etc.).
I think that consciousness, or just self-consistency interrogative
inference, is when the self-acceleration is made systematic, like with
brain,where a universal numbers can accelerate relatively to itself.
It is not the point where reason appears, but it is the point when
reason get a name and is discussed self-referentially (the Löbian
We did not leave the see without reason, but we would not have express
it like that at that time 'course.
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