[ExI] endpoint of evolution: was RE: why anger?

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Feb 26 17:00:17 UTC 2010


> ...On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou
> > ...If we then send nanoprobes into the 
> > rest of the galaxy to turn other stars' metals into computronium, 
> > destroying all indigenous life there but facilitating the thinking of 
> > pure thought, is that not evolution in action?
> To be strictly correct, those who oppose environment-altering 
> engineering have to change the language they use slightly to 
> say that that which nature created prior to the advent of 
> technologically capable humans is good and worth preserving.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

OK I am with you on that, but let's look at the endpoint question: 

What is the ultimate endpoint of evolution?

We can imagine a planet with a climate like ours today with about a billion
well-fed well-educated humans and a bunch of areas where humans never go,
filled with lots of bugs and other interesting beasts, all in an equilibrium
with little change over millenia until the heat death of the universe,
forever and ever amen.  

Many in the environmental movement picture this, but I consider it an
unlikely outcome.  Rather, I envision a continually changing chaotic system
pressing towards (I hope) increasing intelligence with ever improving means
of making matter ever more efficient in thinking.

Thought experiment: picture the earth as it was for most of its 5 billion
year history: a big rock with the only lifeform being blue-green algal mats.
If we saw it that way, we might say this is a big waste, there are no
thought being thunk here.  The actual metals (everything that isn't hydrogen
or helium) is idle.  Multicellular life comes along, Prerecambrian
explosion, dinosaurs, etc, now suddenly right at the endgame, sentient
beings show up.

>From the point of view of an MBrain, the overwhelming majority of the metals
on this planet still are unemployed with thought, with the rare exception of
a few billion scattered points of proto-thought.  

My notion of an endpoint of evolution is that these few points of
proto-thought create mind children capable of robust thought, and eventually
put all the available metals to the task.  With a mere few grams or perhaps
a few kg of those metals, we could simulate all the interesting currently
extant lifeforms, and use other metals to simulate other possible
evolutionary paths, demonstrating something about which I have long been
fascinated: convergent evolution, as seen in the ratites.

Until we get all the metals thinking in the form of computronium, they are
going to waste.  We need to get on it, since we have a limited time before
the heat death of the universe, perhaps as short as a few hundred billion

Question please: is there any other logical endpoint for evolution besides
an MBrain?



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