[ExI] ‘Survival of fittest’ is disputed

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 25 13:23:06 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----
> From: Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Tue, August 24, 2010 6:18:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] ‘Survival of fittest’ is disputed
> On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 7:16 PM, The Avantguardian
> <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > A good metaphor for understanding this is to think in terms of the fitness
> > landscape as being an actual landscape of hills and valleys. Hills represent
> > high fitness and valleys represent low fitness. Selective pressure can be
> > thought of as the "water level" on the fitness landscape. During "hellish"
> > phases, the water level is high, and you are better off climbing the hill 
> > are already on to its peak and hope it is high enough in case the water 
> > rises higher, rather than going down and potentially drowning. During "Eden"
> > phases, the water level is low, and you are able to go down into the valleys 
> > search around for other potentially higher hills elsewhere. Thus during 
> > phases, many more "hills" become occupied and you get mass speciation or
> > adaptive radiation.
> >
> > That's Nat Hallinan's Eden Hypothesis in a nutshell. Now I gotta go.
> It also sounds like a computer science major explaining a genetic
> algorithm exploring a solution space.

Yes although there are some key differences that make genetic algorithms more 
like the selective breeding of domesticated organisms than the evolution of 
organisms in the wild. For example in nature, the solution space is several 
orders of magnitude higher in dimensionality. Also the local maxima are moving 
targets and there is a feedback of the solutions on the problem constraints. As 
well as the tendency of the natural algorithms to eat one another. :-)

 Stuart LaForge
"Old men read the lesson in the setting sun.
Beat the cymbal and sing in this life, or wail away the hours fearing death.
Their choice is their fortune." - I Ching


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list