[extropy-chat] Role of Observer is not Relevant

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Apr 4 10:53:34 UTC 2007

On Wed, Apr 04, 2007 at 10:59:39AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

>    Sorry to keep harping on this, but it is not clear if you are
>    acknowledging that smart objects are made up of dumb objects, and

Smart is a shorthand for specific information processing
by some physical objects. Intelligence is an emergent process,
so it has no trouble at all with dumb building blocks.

>    moreover they might be made of of dumb objects which have come
>    together in the right configuration accidentally rather than

Evolution is not just accident, stochastical processes are merely
the drive. Selection is the very opposite of a stochastic process.
It takes evolution to bootstrap infoprocessing systems from a roiling
sea of molecular chaos. Once you're there, intelligent systems can
build other intelligent systems. 

>    deliberately. That is actually exactly what the human brain is: over
>    billions of years, multiple chemical reactions have occurred
>    completely at random ( i.e. there is no designer), and those that just
>    happen to be better at self-replicating have survived. So although it
>    seems almost impossible that a car would be thrown together with spare
>    parts blowing in the wind, it is quite possible if the parts are
>    blowing in the wind for billions of years.

Absolutely not, because the system you described doesn't self-replicate.
It's not evolutionary, merely stochastical. There's a world of a difference.

Many (most) physical systems are sterile as life emergence (autocatalytic
reaction set) is concerned. We also have no data on how rare that emergence
event is, because the prebiotic Earth is no longer available for observation,
we don't have a lot of data on mature systems (chemistry from Titan would
be quite interesting), and nobody has recreated a large enough setting in
order to make measurements about the chemistry change in a realistic
(the original version has very little to do with prebiotic Earth)
version of Miller/Urey over time, if any.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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