[extropy-chat] Humans--non-rational mode

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Fri Mar 10 17:29:27 UTC 2006

On 3/10/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com> wrote:
> We're operating on different levels. I'm thinking biology:
>     Gene: The fundamental physical and functional unit of
>     heredity. A gene is an ordered sequence of nucleotides
>     located in a particular position on a particular
>     chromosome that encodes a specific functional product
>     (ie, a protein or RNA molecule).
> Those things---in the sense that they're "selfish" a la
> Dawkins---have made an awful mistake that greatly imperils
> their survival.
> You're evidently thinking of our genes' collective hypothesis
> that there is a niche for a thinking general purpose creature.
> Indeed, the algorithms and propensities that the human genes
> have created (what you're calling the essential part of the
> information) entertain a good chance of scoring really big
> in this universe.

Well, by "the essential part of the information" I mean something more than
the "hypothesis that there is a niche for a thinking general purpose
creature". There is a lot of information in the human way of experiencing
life, as opposed to that of some unspecified general intelligence.

Take the distant future, say 10^14 years, when all the stars will have
burned out (though other energy sources such as dark matter annihilation and
proton decay may still be available); will genes in the biological sense -
sequences of nucleotides coding for proteins - still exist? Unlikely. Will
the human way of experiencing life still exist? I hope so. If it does, I
will think it meaningful to say our genetic inheritance has survived, in the
same sort of way that if my mind is uploaded into an electronic substrate I
will say that I have survived even though my neurons have not.
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