On Mon, Sep 09, 2013 at 11:58:37AM +0200, Telmo Menezes wrote:
> Hi Alberto,
> On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM, Alberto G. Corona <agocor...@gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> > I think that there are real progress that can be even measured in terms of
> > entropic order. That a man embodies more structure and organization than a
> > bacteria is objective and measurable, and it is a product  of more emergent
> > levels of evolution. In concrete the human being includes the eucariotic
> > level, the multicelularity level and human society level, that are
> > aggregations of coordinated individuals to achieve an individuality of an
> > higher level. These levels are absent in bacteria .
> Ok, there's an arrow of complexification, that's undeniable. I'm not
> convinced that Darwinism alone explains that. One of the reasons for
> my scepticism is the failure of ALife models to replicate unbounded
> complexification. My favourite attempt in this domain is the Echo
> model by John Holland -- which is beautiful but didn't work in this
> sense. There's also Tierra/Avida, where you get a lot of interesting
> stuff but no unbounded complexification.
> One idea I heard but don't know whom to attribute to is this:
> evolutionary complexification is just an artefact of the simplicity of
> the initial state. The idea being that the laws of physics inherently
> contain a "pressure" towards a certain level of complexity and that
> evolution is just following the path of least resitance, in a way. It
> is then conceivable that there is a state of equilibrium that we
> haven't reached yet and that complexification will halt at some point.
> This is wild speculation, of course, but I like to ponder on this
> hypothesis.

I think this idea goes by the name of "modal bacter". It was, perhaps, most
forcefully argued in Stephen Gould's 1996 book "Full House".

I suspect the idea is wrong, because it fails to explain the
exponential growth of diversity, seemingly observed by
Palaeontologists such as Michael Benton:

  author =       {Michael J. Benton},
  title =        {Biodiversity on Land and in the Sea},
  journal =      {Geological Journal},
  year =         2001,
  volume =       36,
  pages =        {211--230}

> > What is not true is that human beings are more "adapted" than bacteria. That
> > is not true. Because there is no objective and absolute measure of
> > adaptation. It ever depends on the concrete environment, and varies a lot.
> Humm... I think ecologists are able to estimate the likelihood of a
> species going extinct. I'd argue that this could be taken as a measure
> of adaption.

That measure is called persistence, and no, it is not really related to
adaption. For an adaption measure, one good possibility is Mark
Bedau's "cumulative evolutionary activity"

  author =       {Mark A. Bedau and Emile Snyder and Norman H. Packard},
  title =        {A Classification of Long-Term Evolutionary Dynamics},
  crossref =     {ALifeVI},


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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